A 13-year-old student with autism reportedly died last week shortly after he became unresponsive while being physically restrained by a staff member at a Northern California school.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Thursday that the staff at Guiding Hands School in El Dorado Hills restrained the student after he became violent in efforts “to prevent the injury of staff and students.”

After the student became unresponsive, a teacher began CPR until medical aid arrived. He was then transported to Mercy Folsom “in critical condition” and later to the University of California, Davis, the police department said in the statement.


Police were informed that the student — who was described as being 6 feet tall, 280 pounds and “suffering from severe autism” — had died days later while in hospital care on Nov. 30. 

The police department said it is continuing its investigation into the incident but added that there currently “appears to be no evidence of foul play or criminal intent” at this time.

The school said in a statement reported by CNN that staff members used "a nationally recognized behavior management protocol."

A source familiar with the school’s policy told the news agency that staff undergo yearly training on de-escalating situations involving students and that placing a student in a "neutral position” is a last resort. 

The school also said in a statement that "it is with heavy hearts that we share the very difficult news that a beloved member of our school community has passed away. Out of respect for the family, and the ongoing investigation, we are unable to share full details at this time."

Local station Fox 40 reported that the state has since suspended the school’s certification as it also continues its own investigation into the incident.