HYANNIS – An 18-year-old Barnstable High School senior collapsed and died last night while playing basketball at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe called the death of Justin Aristide “a terrible tragedy.”
O’Keefe said by all accounts the death was a tragic medical issue and no drugs or alcohol was involved.
“There is absolutely no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved. In fact the reports are that this young man was not involved with drugs or alcohol. This was by all reports a terrific kid who had no issues other than perhaps some medical issues. This was a terrible tragedy,” O’Keefe said. “Obviously, one feels terrible for the family.”
The state Medical Examiner’s Office will be handling the case, O’Keefe said.
The matter is considered an unattended death, O’Keefe said, and by statute the district attorney’s office is involved in the investigation of any unattended deaths.
“It appears that this is a terrible medical tragedy. Nonetheless, though, there will be a full investigation. The Medical Examiner’s Office has accepted jurisdiction of the case and there will be their full and complete examination to have them officially ascertain the cause of death,” he said.
Rescue crews were summoned to the HYCC at 7:49 last night, according to Hyannis Fire Captain Bill Rex.
Barnstable Police Sargent Tom Bird said police were first to arrive and attempted to resuscitate Aristide with a defibrillator.
Hyannis rescue took over a short time later.
The teen was taken to Cape Cod Hospital. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 8:36 last night, according to fire officials.
Grief counselors will be available at Barnstable High School this morning beginning at 10 a.m.
According to rosters, Aristide was on the freshman football team at Barnstable High School. He also played Barnstable Little League, according to rosters.
Lynne Poyant, the Town of Barnstable’s Community Services Director, said that in addition to grief counseling at Barnstable High School, the town has set up an employee assistance program at the HYCC today for staff who need help processing the death.
“We’re obviously very saddened about this tragic event,” she said.