Man Shot in Arm by Sheriff’s Deputy Now in Critical Condition

… Mother says man suffered reaction to medication …

By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

7:51 PM EDT, November 3, 2011

A man who police said was alert and talking after being shot in the arm by a city sheriff’s deputy last week is now in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to a hospital spokesman. The wounded man’s mother said her son is on life support.

How 36-year-old Jontae L. Daughtry’s condition worsened is unclear.

His mother, Sherrell Daughtry, 57, said a neurologist told her that her son’s brain is swollen “due to a hit.” She also said that doctors told her that her son had become combative with law enforcement authorities, had to be sedated and then suffered an allergic reaction to the medicine.

Sherrell Daughtry said she has hired an attorney and will seek to obtain guardianship over her son, whom she described as suffering from psychiatric problems. Police had said that he jumped into a sheriff deputy’s cruiser on Friday and lunged at an officer with a knife.

“My hands are tied,” the mother said on Thursday. “Nobody tells me anything.”

A spokesman for Johns Hopkins, Gary Stephenson, would not comment on the mother’s account, citing patient confidentiality laws. He would only confirm that Daughtry is now in critical condition. A spokeswoman for the city Sheriff’s Department said she was unaware that Daughtry’s condition had worsened.

Daughtry’s condition changed while he was in the custody of correctional officers with the state prison system’s Pretrial Division of Detention and Services.

Those correctional officers were at the hospital for what is called a “bedside detention,” as Daughtry was in the process of being charged with attacking the deputy, according to Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He would not comment further.

Law enforcement sources from two different police agencies said security guards from Hopkins were also in the room.

Daughtry jumped into the marked cruiser Friday morning at Walther Avenue and Moravia Road, and attacked the driver, who was on his way into work and was stopped at a light, police said. The deputy, Gideon Shifaraw, a 10-year veteran, shot Daughtry once in the left arm.

Sherrell Daughtry described her son as troubled, and said that in August he suffered an episode that sent him to an emergency room and then to Sheppard Pratt psychiatric hospital. “He was talking strange and everything,” she said. “I knew he was having problems.”

His mother read from hospital papers showing that he had been involuntarily admitted in August and later released, with a note showing that he was a “danger to himself and to others.” Daughtry said her son refused to take his medication, but seemed of late to be doing better, and was seeking a trucker’s license.

Officials at Sheppard Pratt declined to comment and would not confirm that Daughtry had been there, citing laws barring them from talking about patients.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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