The family of a 20-year-old man who was shot in North Baltimore says Johns Hopkins Hospital, city police and state corrections officials endangered his life this month by interrupting his medical care and transferring him to a dirty group jail cell.
“The police rushed and so did the hospital, rushed to hurry up and get him out of there before getting the proper care that he needed,” said Jaleel Huntley’s father, Anil Huntley. He believes officials at Central Booking failed his son by not placing him in a medical ward.
Angela Evans, Huntley’s mother, said she believes her son’s wounds could already be infected.
“When they did change his bandages, he said it was green and bloody,” she said.
Johns Hopkins declined to comment, citing patient privacy.
Police say they served a warrant for Huntley’s arrest on gun charges, but only after he was discharged by hospital officials. They say Huntley’s discharge papers were passed along to jail officials at Central Booking.
Corrections officials say Huntley was medically evaluated upon arrival at Central Booking, was “deemed stable enough to be in the general population,” and is receiving his prescribed medications.
His family says he has a bullet lodged in his lung and should still be in the hospital.
Huntley was shot Feb. 2. In an initial news release, police said Huntley was found in the 1200 block of Woodbourne Ave. with a gunshot wound to the back and taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.
They said in the release that he was driving along the block when he was shot. Asked by The Baltimore Sun about the circumstances that led to the shooting or the charges against him, they declined to elaborate.
In a statement of probable cause for his arrest, police said Huntley’s black 2000 Infiniti Q30 was found in the 1100 block of Woodbourne riddled with bullet marks — two in the rear passenger door, two to the front passenger door, one through the driver’s window. Nine 9mm casings were found scattered around the scene.
Police said in the statement of probable cause that Huntley was found in the 5400 block of The Alameda after falling out of the car and attempting to flee. They said witnesses reported Huntley “dropped a handgun at the corner” of Woodbourne and The Alameda and then directed a female passenger in the car to it.
The woman “was observed recovering the handgun and fleeing into” a nearby home, police wrote.
Police said they responded to the home and found a loaded .380 Jennings handgun “in plain view on the coffee table within the front living room.” They seized the weapon. Police alleged that Huntley “did use a firearm in the commission of a felony and crime of violence,” they don’t mention such a crime in the statement of probable cause.
Police reported no other shootings in the city on Feb. 2.
Evans said her son told her that he had been sitting with a girlfriend in his car, near where he lives with his paternal grandmother, when he noticed a man outside “kept looking at him, like they had a problem or something.”
Then, she said, “they just started shooting into the car.”
In the days after the shooting, Huntley’s parents and his stepmother were in and out of the hospital, meeting with medical staff and taking turns sitting with Huntley. His father said Hopkins staff talked them through his injuries and the care he’d need in coming weeks.
Anil Huntley said he was shown a CAT scan of a bullet lodged in his son’s lung, and bruising that had spread from the wound through his shoulder.
He said he was told his son would need physical therapy to “get used to walking and using his shoulder and to help his lungs too, because his lung had collapsed.”
The family said they braced for a long recovery. But then, they said, detectives who had already questioned Huntley returned to his hospital room early in the morning of Feb. 6 and told his father and stepmother they had to leave because he was under arrest.
“We most definitely questioned it,” said Dina Lewis, Huntley’s stepmother. “We didn’t even want to believe this was happening, especially after his father had just talked to the medical team and looked at the CAT scan. They had plans to put him in physical therapy. There was a whole medical plan that hadn’t happened.”
Lewis said it is her “heartfelt belief” that police “were trying to get him by himself by coming at that godforsaken hour of the morning to do this.
Later, they would learn that Huntley had been discharged and taken to Central Booking.
We were like, ‘What?’” said Evans, Huntley’s mother. “We couldn’t believe it.”
When Anil Huntley went to the jail to check on his son’s status, he was told he was in general population, not in the medical ward. When Evans spoke to her son on the phone, he told her he had felt weak at one point and fallen, and had been left on the floor for a period of time before he was helped up.
Family members say they have not been able to get information about Huntley’s condition, and officials are not responding to their calls that he be returned to a medical facility. They fear Huntley was interrogated while heavily medicated, without being informed of his rights, and under the false pretense that he was the victim in the scenario, not a suspect.
“We just need for the Police Department to be held accountable to doing it the right way, not trying to take advantage of the situation,” Lewis said. “You don’t snatch somebody from the hospital in the middle of something like this and then put them on the floor in Central Booking.”