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Local News

Joliet woman dies after passing out in casino parking lot

Police: Man who claimed to be woman's boyfriend arrested after becoming angry with hospital staff

JOLIET – A 25-year-old woman died after she reportedly passed out in the parking lot of Harrah’s casino Friday night, authorities said.

Janet T. Taylor, of the 2200 block of Cottonwood Road, was walking with a man who later claimed to be her boyfriend through the parking lot when she lost consciousness and fell to the ground, authorities said Monday. Taylor was transported to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, where she died.

An autopsy performed Saturday showed no indication of injuries or trauma, or that Taylor’s death was a homicide, Will County Chief Deputy Coroner Kevin Stevenson said.

The cause and manner of Taylor’s death is pending final autopsy, toxicology and police reports, Stevenson said.

The man who said he was Taylor’s boyfriend, Jahlani K. Watson, 28, of the 600 block of East Cass Street, followed her to the hospital and attempted to see her, but hospital staff refused to give him any information, said Deputy Chief Ed Gregory of the Joliet Police Department.

Watson was upset, Gregory said, and he allegedly yelled, pushed carts and threw a large container of linen.

Watson also took up a fighting stance against a 29-year-old male hospital employee, Gregory said.

Police were called to the hospital and Watson was arrested, Gregory said. When Watson was taken into custody, he went limp and refused to get into the police vehicle, he said.

Watson was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting and obstructing a police officer and assault. He was released on his own recognizance.

Gregory said police are investigating Taylor’s death, and deferred to the department’s investigations division for more information. A call to Joliet Police Deputy Chief Al Roechner was not immediately returned Monday.

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