An 11-year-old boy hit a home invader in the back of the head with a machete after the man broke into his home to steal electronics, police say.
The incident took place on Yarbrough Rd. in Mebane Friday morning in broad daylight.
Authorities eventually arrested Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, of Monroe, in Burlington, after the suspect checked himself into UNC Hospital in Hillsborough and escaped from UNC’s primary care hospital in Chapel Hill after he was transferred due to the severity of the head wound suffered from the machete.
Hall was eventually charged with breaking and entering, second degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child under 12. He is being held in Orange County jail under a $100,000 secured bond.
According to Orange County Sheriff’s Office officials, Hall and two other suspects showed up at the Mebane home Friday morning. An unidentified female knocked at the front door. The 11-year-old – the only person inside the residence at the time – came to the door and also observed a man standing next to a gold sedan. The child then heard the sounds of someone breaking through a window in a different room, at which point he went and hid behind his bedroom door.
The child observed the perpetrator, now inside, peak his head into the child’s bedroom and notice the child standing behind the door. The man – suspected to be Hall – ordered the child into the closet of his bedroom. There, the child saw his machete and followed the perpetrator into a separate room where he found the man attempting to take a Playstation 4.
The boy struck the man in the back of the head with the blade, drawing blood. The man kicked the boy in the chest but eventually ran out the front door of the house at which point the boy put in phone calls to alert his parents and police as to what had transpired.
Hall checked himself into the hospital at UNC’s Hillsborough Campus. How he escaped became a matter of public debate between UNC Hospitals and the OCSO over the weekend.
“We learned early this morning from UNC hospital police that the suspect in this crime had left the hospital,” read an Orange County Sheriff’s Office release on Saturday. “Upon further inquiry on how this occurred we’ve heard nothing back from UNC hospital police. Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office pressed further for answers and learned the suspect had been seen on camera at UNC Hospital walking out the door of the emergency department wearing a gown with a cup of water in his hand. Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the US Marshals task force are following up leads and working around the clock to apprehend the suspect.”
On Saturday afternoon, UNC Health Care released a statement to ABC11 WTVD Eyewitness News about the incident.
"UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill treated a patient suspected of several crimes in its Emergency Department (ED) Friday night. This patient was admitted to the ED, but was in the legal custody of the Orange County Sheriff's [Office] which did not place an officer with him. In similar situations, hospital staff will often alert law enforcement personnel when a suspect patient is discharged, but they remain the legal responsibility of law enforcement.”
“It is the responsibility of law enforcement to closely monitor the status of suspects in their custody while those patients are receiving medical treatment. UNC Hospitals personnel are working with the Sheriff's Department to offer them assistance in this matter."
Authorities in Burlington confirmed Sunday afternoon that Hall was caught and has been taken into custody by Alamance County Sheriff's Office authorities. The Orange County Sheriff's Office provided another update on Sunday, attempting to clarify exactly what happened during the bizarre escape.
At approximately 1 pm on Friday, according to the Sunday OSCO press release, a man, later identified as Jataveon Dashawn Hall, arrived at UNC-Hillsborough Hospital with a laceration to the back of his head. He walked in on his own. Deputies were notified. OCSO Sergeant R. Jones happened to be at the hospital preparing to eat lunch. He remained nearby in public areas until investigators arrived, but at this point, Hall was only a suspect and there was no legal authority to hold him in custody.
Two OCSO investigators responded to UNC-Hillsborough Hospital and Sergeant Jones returned to his patrol duties. After enough information was established through the investigation to seek warrants, Investigator J. Nazworth went to the magistrate Friday afternoon. The magistrate issued warrants for Breaking and Entering, Second Degree Kidnapping, Interfering with Emergency Communications, and Assault on a Child under 12.
Hospital police were notified that warrants were now in the system. Hospital police were asked to call the OCSO prior to discharging Hall. OSCO planned to be at the hospital at the time of discharge and take Hall into custody and transport him to the magistrate’s office. There, warrants would be officially served and the magistrate would set bond and specify any other conditions of pre-trial release.
According to OCSO Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes, “The arrangement all of our area law enforcement agencies have with hospital police of ensuring the eventual arrest of a suspect after the suspect receives medical care, has been in place for decades. I cannot remember another time when it has failed.”
OCSO Investigator Zach Baldwin spoke on Friday with UNC Hospital Police Officer Brian Ellis before Baldwin left the UNC-Hillsborough Hospital. Ellis planned to flag Hall in the hospital’s system. In the meantime, Hall’s condition worsened and he was transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital due to the severity of his wound. Ellis also told Baldwin he was calling officers at UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital to make them aware of the transfer. The charge nurse in Hillsborough was made aware Hall had pending warrants, and she was instructed to inform her counterpart in Chapel Hill.
The next morning, Saturday, Sergeant Jones from OCSO called the UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital police at 5:53 am to check on the status of Hall. Hospital police informed Jones it was shift change and they would have to call Jones back. Sergeant Polk from UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital police called Jones back at 6:26 am. He told Jones that at 8:23 pm Friday night, a nurse wrote in Hall’s chart that Hall had left the hospital against medical advice. Polk also told Jones that Hall had told the nurse he needed to leave because the police were going to be looking for him. According to OCSO, it was apparent that hospital police were not aware Hall had left the hospital almost ten hours earlier until Sergeant Jones called to check on him. Sergeant Polk told Jones hospital police would review video tape and call back.
Chief Deputy Sykes said, “Our agency is very concerned about the events in this case. Effective immediately, we will institute policy changes necessary to protect the public in situations like this. We expected to be notified prior to Hall’s discharge. When Hall left the hospital Friday evening against medical advice, we certainly should have been notified. But most concerning of all is that hospital police did not even know Hall had left the premises almost ten hours prior. Indeed, Hall’s absence was only discovered when we placed a phone call to them.”
“I am not in the business of assigning blame,” Sheriff Blackwood said. “If you read the statement released by my office yesterday, you will see we were focused on efforts to apprehend the suspect and ask for the community’s help. However, it has become clear to me that another statement was necessary to defend the actions of my deputies and investigators and to place this matter in the correct context.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hall's accomplices, this crime, or any other crime are urged to contact the OCSO at (919) 245-2900 or call 911 immediately. For safety, do not attempt to approach the individuals.