Chandler officials to examine fatal boxing match - East Valley Tribune: News

Chandler officials to examine fatal boxing match

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Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2008 6:40 pm | Updated: 9:58 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The recent death of a Phoenix police officer after a charity boxing event with a Chandler firefighter has prompted Chandler officials to brainstorm on ideas for preventing future tragedies.

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A meeting hasn't been scheduled yet, but it will likely include the city manager and attorney, police and fire department chiefs and employees from the risk management office, said Chandler spokeswoman Jane Poston.

"This was a horrible, tragic event ... but we need to look at what can and can't be done, or even if we should do something," Poston said.

Barry Scott, a 22-year-old Phoenix officer, father and veteran of the Iraq war, died Sept. 16, four days after participating in a charity boxing match against Chandler firefighter Donaldo Lopez at the Fort McDowell Casino. Scott collapsed shortly after the match. The medical examiner determined the death was accidental and was caused by a strong blow to the head.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office is investigating the death. The investigation will be a noncriminal, fact-finding inquiry to determine the facts of the event, officials said.

Lopez works at Station 282, near Alma School and Warner roads. He declined an interview request through a Chandler fire spokesman.

Assistant City Manager Rich Dlugas said officials are planning the meeting to take a closer look at what kinds of activities employees are taking part in.

"The meeting is going to be just some discussions to talk through and get information onto the table and see what we want to do," Dlugas said.

But Dlugas also acknowledged that it might be challenging to create a new policy.

"It's kind of a gray area ... in terms of employees are off-duty and they're signing personal waivers, so you get in the situation, what is it that you can even do as far as setting standards for this?" Dlugas said.

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