Bullet grazed officer's leg in St. Joseph shooting, police say

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 charged upon his release from the Towson hospital, police said. Dargan is being held on $25,000 bail for unrelated burglary charges and was taken to St. Joseph from 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 his 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 county police officer assigned to guard Dargan struggled with him as he attempted 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 police 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 police officer's pants and grazed her right leg. She did not need medical treatment, police said.

Earlier Wednesday, county police were called by a Towson resident who said a man was trying to break into cars in the alleyway behind rowhouses on Drumwood Road near Putty Hill Avenue, according to charging documents.

Another resident, Tom Pagano, said he was awakened by an officer about 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.

According to charging documents, Dargan was walking away from a home in the 8500 block of Drumwood when police arrived. An officer asked Dargan if he lived in the area; he replied that he didn't but he was visiting an aunt who lived in the neighborhood. But when the officer continued to question him, Dargan could not provide his aunt's address.

In addition to the attempted-murder and escape charges, Dargan faces four counts of burglary.

The hospital's emergency department was closed to new patients for several hours Wednesday after the shooting while police investigated, but it reopened Wednesday night.




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