Darryl Mount Jr. died early Tuesday morning after struggling through months of recovery from a two-story fall he took while being chased by Saratoga Springs police last summer.
The 22-year-old man died at his mother’s home in Malta around 1 a.m., after suffering a bout with pneumonia, said Willie D. Bacote, pastor of Dyer Phelps AME Zion Church, acting as a spokesman for the family. Mount was continuing physical therapy for injuries he sustained after tumbling roughly 20 feet from a scaffold behind 422 Broadway.
Bacote said Mount’s death has left family in anguish, especially his mother, Patty Jackson, who cared for her son for months after the accident, never losing hope that he would one day recover.
“The whole family is devastated,” he said.
Many family members remain unsatisfied with the explanation of how Mount ultimately fell to a paved area near Gaffney’s Restaurant. And while the calls for an independent investigation into last year’s foot pursuit have diminished, family members still want answers.
“This is a complete setback,” said Bacote. “And then to be sitting there with no answers for how this happened, it’s quite difficult.”
Mount was with a group on Caroline Street during the predawn hours Aug. 31 when Saratoga Springs police say they saw him slam a woman’s head into a brick wall. When officers tried to break up the scuffle, Mount — who was then on parole — took off running.
About a half-dozen officers chased Mount through an alley on the north side of the Washington Building, firing Tasers at him but missing.
Police said they lost sight of Mount as he ran into a construction area at the back of the building. They eventually found him unconscious and injured on the sidewalk below the scaffolding.
Mount was hospitalized for months afterward, then was moved home earlier this year to continue his recovery. Jackson has repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the incident, saying there have been several different police accounts of the events that led to her son’s injury. In November, Mount’s family filed a notice of claim against the city, a precursor to a potential civil lawsuit. The family has about six more months to bring a claim against the city or any other party they believe to be liable for Mount’s injuries.
Attorney Robert Katzman said he’s still compiling information in the case and couldn’t say when or if a lawsuit will be filed. He said Mount’s death, though tragic, likely won’t impact the case because he wasn’t in any condition to testify anyway.
Absent a firsthand account of the fall or other pertinent information, Katzman said the case is facing an uphill battle to get its day in court. He said the city of Saratoga Springs continues to refuse an independent investigation into Mount’s fall, leaving him to uncover evidence that shows culpability on the part of the police or another party such as the scaffolding company.
“If it’s possible to put these facts together, then the case will go forward,” he said.
More importantly, though, is the closure due the family, Katzman said. All they have now are statements from the police chief, several pictures of the scene of the accident and the unfortunate death of their son.
“Really, the family wants to know what happened,” he said, “and they have a right to know what happened.”
Services for Mount are slated for noon to 2 p.m. Friday at Burke’s Funeral Home, 628 N. Broadway. The family is also seeking donations to help cover funeral expenses, and anyone interested in contributing can contact Bacote at 421-5222.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen offered condolences to the family.
“It is a very sad occurrence when anyone loses their life, especially someone as young as Darryl,” she said. “Heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends at this time.”