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Authorities ID disabled man who died at caretaker's home in Denver

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Posted at 7:07 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 21:12:12-04

DENVER – A man who houses people with intellectual and developmental disabilities was arrested Saturday for investigation of second-degree murder after he allegedly pushed a man who lived there, who fell and hit his head and later died, according to police.

Benjamin Garbooshian, 39, was arrested Saturday afternoon in connection with the incident, according to the Denver Police Department.

According to an arrest affidavit, police and first responders were called out to a home in the 3200 block of South Utica Street just after 2 p.m. on Saturday and found the victim – whom authorities identified Wednesday as 29-year-old Danial Lidvall – lying unresponsive on the living room floor of the home.

According to a person police interviewed in connection with the incident, Garbooshian is a host home provider who receives money from the government to allow people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to stay there and receive care.

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State records show Garbooshian registered a trade name as a home host provider in August 2020 at a home at 3240 South Utica Street.

The state contracts with a third party company that hires the caregivers, according to Marc Williams with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Williams said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also performs routine inspections of the homes. But Williams, citing HIPPA regulations, could not provide additional information about the victim.

The arrest affidavit said Lidvall needed caretakers to maintain constant visual contact on him.

The person who was interviewed by police, whose name is redacted in the affidavit, said Garbooshian was in the basement of the home that afternoon and Lidvall, who was “agitated,” according to the affidavit, had put a bean bag chair at the top of the basement stairs.

The affidavit says Garbooshian went upstairs and started to talk with Lidvall, who at that point was holding the bean bag chair. Garbooshian pushed the bean bag, and allegedly sent Lidvall backwards about five feet. According to the affidavit, Lidvall hit his head on the frame of a couch and again on the floor.

When officers arrived, Lidvall was unresponsive on the floor. He was taken to Swedish Hospital, where he died just before 5:30 p.m. The affidavit says the initial medical assessment was that Lidvall had died as a result of head trauma. An autopsy determined his cause of death was from blunt force injuries.

According to an obituary, Lidvall graduated from Green Mountain High School in Lakewood and was an avid sports fan, participating in many programs, including the Special Olympics. His family said they are "devastated by his sudden absence." A memorial service is scheduled for Friday.

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Garbooshia requested an attorney when officers tried to speak with him, according to the affidavit. Court records show he had his first court advisement on Sunday.