Updated 01/15/12 – 10:30 p.m.
CHICAGO (STMW) — A teenage inmate who collapsed and died while playing basketball at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Saturday had a history of high blood pressure and shouldn’t have been allowed to play, his grandmother said Sunday.
Terry Bell Jr., 16, had complained of feeling unwell and had high blood pressure Friday night but told staff at the detention center he wanted to play Saturday, a grieving Georgia Bell said. The teen, who she helped her son raise in the 1000 block of West 79th Street, had been incarcerated for four months when he died, and he took regular medication for his condition, she said.
“They shouldn’t have let him play so soon after he was ill,” she added. “I wouldn’t have.”
Bell was playing basketball at 3 p.m. when he got in an argument, authorities said. As he was being led away, he collapsed and was rushed to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where he died shortly after 4 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. An autopsy Sunday was inconclusive, the medical examiner said.
A sophomore at Paul Robeson High School, Bell was awaiting trial in juvenile court on burglary charges, his father Terry Bell Sr. said. It was the second time he’d been held at the detention center for burglary, Bell Sr. said.
“He was a good, quiet kid who kept to himself and loved sports, but then he fell in with the wrong crowd,” Bell Sr. added.
Chicago Police are investigating.
The Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, located at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., holds 10- to 16-year-olds who are waiting to appear in court.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)