By Scott Dance and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun
7:35 PM EST, December 6, 2012
A bullet grazed the leg of a Baltimore County police officer Wednesday when her weapon discharged during a struggle at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, police said Thursday.
The suspect, Brian Dargan, 30, will be served charges of attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree escape upon his release from the Towson hospital, police said. Dargan is being held on $25,000 bail for unrelated burglary charges and was brought to St. Joseph from U.S. District Court for medical treatment. Police did not know a permanent address for Dargan.
Police did not name the female officer involved in the shooting, but provided a more detailed account of the incident, which closed the hospital's emergency department to new patients for several hours Wednesday.
As a hospital employee examined Dargan, his left hand cuffed to a gurney railing, she noticed a needle hidden in Dargan's clothing, police said. When she reached to take it, Dargan grabbed her arm, but she was able to pull away, police said. The employee said she then saw Dargan hide something in his long hair, which is in dreadlocks.
The officer struggled with Dargan, who was attempting to free himself from the gurney, and Dargan was able to take the officer's weapon, police said. The gun fired once during the struggle, but then jammed, police said.
A hospital security officer was able to take the gun out of Dargan's hand, and the officer used pepper spray to subdue Dargan, police said.
The gun fired into the wall, but police later found that the bullet had traveled through the officer's pants and grazed her right leg. The officer did not need medical treatment, police said.
Earlier that morning, Dargan was found by home owners, who told police that a man was trying to break into cars in the alleyway behind rowhomes on Drumwood Road, near Putty Hill Avenue in Towson, according to charging documents.
Tom Pagano said he was awoken by an officer around 1 a.m. who told him that a man had been trying to break into his car and shed.
"He was going around to all cars to see if they were unlocked. He went into my shed but there wasn't anything valuable in there," Pagano said. He said this is the first time he was aware of any burglaries on his street, but said he recently moved to the neighborhood.
Pagano said a neighbor had been up reading when they noticed someone in their yard and called police.
The caller told police that a man broke the doors to her shed to get inside and then went into her neighbors yard and was trying to open the doors of her neighbor's car, the charging documents said.
Dargan was walking away from the caller's home in the 8500 block of Drumwood when police arrived. The officer asked Dargan if he lived in the area and said that he didn't but he was visiting an aunt who lived in the neighborhood. But when the officer continued to question him, he could not say provide his aunt's address.
The officer said Dargan "appeared to be nervous and his hands were shaking," the document said.
In addition to the attempted-murder charge, Dargan faces four counts of burglary charges.
The hospital's emergency department was closed to new patients for several hours following the shooting while police investigated, but reopened Wednesday night.
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