Daytona Beach News Journal

County's medical examiner detained under Baker Act
Last update: 23 July 2003


CASSADAGA -- Volusia County's medical examiner was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies after threatening to kill himself, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

Dr. Thomas Beaver, 48, was held at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach under the state's Baker Act, which allows for involuntary detention for mental-health evaluations.

Deputies responded to Beaver's Cassadaga home at 5:45 p.m. Monday after receiving a call from one of Beaver's friends saying he was threatening to kill himself with his gun.

Beaver came out of his home and talked to a deputy, saying he was distraught over personal problems. The deputy took him into custody under the Baker Act and placed an unloaded handgun into evidence for safekeeping.

Hospital officials said they could not release any information in the case, not even confirming whether Beaver was admitted.

Baker Act rules usually call for subjects to remain under observation for 72 hours.

County spokesman Dave Byron said Beaver, who came to work for the county in 1999, is currently on personal leave and that the incident has not affected his job status.

"It's treated just like any other medical problem," Byron said.

Assistant Medical Examiner Thomas Parson is leading the office in Beaver's absence.

The office handles autopsies and other tasks for Volusia and Seminole counties.

-- Matt Grimison