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Police consider charges in death by restraint of San Pedro woman

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2023. 1:04 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Nicole Polonio, 33, a mother of four, died on January 28 after several days of being restrained following a violent episode of mental illness at her residence in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.

Reports suggest that she had a history of mental issues and her most recent episode was particularly violent and led family members to tie her hands and feet with a galvanized chain and lock her inside her room for several days. She tried to escape her restraints and family members subsequently wrapped her up in a sheet mimicking a straitjacket.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Hilberto Romero, Officer Commanding, Eastern Division, reported on Monday that police have been investigating since the death was reported to them and the file will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a determination as to charges.

The post-mortem examination revealed that she died from asphyxia due to freedom restraining measures. As explained by ACP Romero, “…according to family members, that was done because she became violent and had caused injuries to herself and also had damaged some items in the house so she was restrained and according to them, they were trying to seek help for her.”

But he added that they could have called the police to assist, and that police on the island were not aware of any complaints related to Polonio’s mental issues.


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