Crime & Courts

Home invasion suspect injured by 11-year-old Mebane boy escapes hospital

The day after an 11-year-old Mebane boy fended off a home invasion with a machete strike, the suspect escaped.

The suspect, Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, left UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill against medical advice Friday evening, Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help to find him.

Hall, who is from Monroe, is 6 feet tall and weighs 135 pounds, according to a news release. His head was wrapped in a bandage when he walked out of the hospital. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals are helping deputies search for Hall.

Hall is expected to be charged with breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child under 12 after being released from the hospital, police said. Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said the warrant had not been served yet, because Hall was still being treated at the hospital.

Blackwood said the suspect was in a room in the hospital’s Emergency Department at the time of his escape. The nurse who found he was missing did not report it to UNC Hospital police or to the sheriff’s office until 7 a.m. Saturday, he said.

UNC Health Care released a statement about the escape Saturday evening.

“UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill treated a patient suspected of several crimes in its Emergency Department (ED) Friday night,” the statement said. “This patient was admitted to the ED, but was in the legal custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department 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.

Orange County Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes said the Sheriff’s Office has a longstanding agreement with UNC Hospital police about when to notify them once a suspect has been treated.

“We’ve been doing this since I was in the Sheriff’s Office,” Sykes said. “We’ve been doing this since 1995, because we don’t want to interfere with medical care, and we work hand in hand. I don’t think we’ve ever had an issue where we’ve had someone there who got away.”

The boy, who was home alone Friday morning, told deputies a woman knocked on the door around 11 a.m. As the boy looked outside and saw a man standing near a car, another man broke a window on the other side of the home and came in, according to a news release.

The man who broke in grabbed a pellet rifle that belonged to the homeowner and forced the boy into a back bedroom closet, officials said.

The man then went into the living room, where he picked up a cell phone and put it into his pocket, officials said. That’s when the boy, who officials said is a star baseball player on several teams, left the closet and got a machete, they said.

The boy went into the living room and swung the machete at the man, hitting him in the back of the head.

The man kicked the boy in the stomach, knocking him into the couch, but the boy got up and swung the machete again, officials said. He missed, and the man kicked the boy in the side of his head, police said.

The man turned to grab a television, Playstation video gaming system and other items before realizing he “was bleeding significantly from the machete strike,” officials said.

The man dropped the electronics and left the house. He and the other suspects fled. A man matching Hall’s description showed up at the emergency department at UNC Hospital in Hillsborough a short time later, asking to be treated for an injury to the head.

The hospital transferred Hall to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill because of the severity of his wound, police reported. A nurse who entered his room shortly before 8 p.m. Friday found his bed empty, officials said. A security video showed him walking out of the hospital wearing a hospital gown.

The sheriff’s office is urging people to not approach Hall.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office at 919-245-2900 or 911.

The story will continue to be updated.

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Tammy Grubb has written about Orange County’s politics, people and government since 2010. She is a UNC-Chapel Hill alumna and has lived and worked in the Triangle for over 25 years.