A Forest Hill man charged with robbing a bank on Rock Spring Road last week attempted suicide while in custody at the Harford County Detention Center on Saturday and died Sunday after he was removed from life support, police said.
Jeffrey L. Lawson, 47, was arrested August 4 in connection with the robbery of a Baltimore County Savings Bank in Forest Hill. According to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the Detention Center, Lawson was being held without bail at the facility when a corrections officer found him hanging by a bed sheet in his cell at about 10:34 a.m. Saturday morning.
Corrections officers removed the sheet and began CPR on Lawson until paramedics from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company arrived, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell said. Lawson was transported to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and placed on life support, she said.
Lawson’s family decided to remove him from life support at approximately 5 p.m. Saturday, Worrell said, but he did not pass away until approximately 11:50 p.m. Sunday night, more than 30 hours later.
Lawson was being held in medical isolation when he hung himself, due to a brace and pins supporting injuries to his right arm, shoulder and collarbone. Worrell said Lawson’s injuries were pre-existing, and did not occur during the robbery or his arrest.
According to police, Lawson entered Rock Spring branch of BCSB on August 4, presented a note to a teller indicating that he was armed, and demanded cash. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, police said he fled but was arrested less than an hour later after he was found hiding in the bushes of a nearby business.
Two inmates died while in custody at the detention center last year; one committed suicide by hanging while the other struck his head after being Tasered by corrections officers.
someone please explain to me how someone with a broken collarbone, shoulder and arm was able to hang himself. seems that harford county’s finest are not doing a very good job of watching these prisoners. furthermore I can’t believe this happened on saturday and none of our baltimore news stations have picked this story up.Especially since they are already being sued for the death of a prisoner they tazed last year.
Who cares? He is (was) a criminal.
Are you claiming to be perfect? That certainly doesn’t warrant making light of what happened. Regardless of what you think, or even what I think, he has a family who cares.
He went into a bank and robbed it…
one less criminal around now.
Wow lisa. You sure are quick to blame corrections/law enforcement. These prisoners are not under 24 hour constant supervision. This prisoner wasn’t thought to be at risk to himself or he would have been placed in a suicide cell. It doesn’t take a whole lot to tie a loop and choke yourself out in it. Let’s remember he was perfectly capable of ROBBING A BANK with a broken collar bone and pins in his arm. You seem to be skeptical of his suicide. Let’s not be subliminal. Say what you really think.
I don’t think it takes much muscle or even two arms to write a note, give it to someone, and carry a bag of money out the door. That does’t really compare much.
king of common sense says
The fact that he was alive enough to be off of life support for 30 hours tells you that he was found relatively quickly after hanging himself. With a ratio of 50 inmates to every 1 officer, I would say the officers deserve a great deal of credit for being able to find him as quickly as they did. Lisa is showing us what civilians are famous for…speaking without any kind of knowledge or experience in the subject matter.
There is a lot of shady business that goes on in this world. I’m not really pointing any fingers, but I don’t think that it’s impossible either. Although the whole situation does seem a little strange, I’m sure it is quite a task to oversee all of the inmates and I’m sure most of you probably do the best you can, but there’s always a few bad seeds everywhere you go. On that note… as far as safety goes, it probably would’t hurt to have a few more guards around…
More Corrections Officer’s would certainly be a blessing in almost any jail in the country I think. However I don’t think it’s the most desirable career out there. I don’t find it strange at all that this guy killed himself. I find it strange that he robbed a bank and people defend him. Some dirtbag strings it up and it’s all of a sudden everyone’s fault except the person who did it. And to sit there and use the ” hes a son or a friend or a brother” of someone and I should be sensitive rambling isn’t fair either. I’m sorry that a mother lost a son. I’m not sad that this man is dead though. I’m also not cruel. He had some issues obviously but this is what happens when you CHOOSE to live his lifestyle.
And BRENDA you have the nerve to throw out an accusation towards the deputies about them having bad apples?? JEFF LAWSON was the definition of a BAD APPLE. And just so you know Brenda, Ive seen plenty of suicides in my day. All the way from hangings, to wrist cuttings, to gunshot wounds, to pain killer overdoses, and even an impaling. So I’m pretty aware of what people can do to themselves, even with an injury as incapacitating as a broken arm (sarcasm)….
Why would the CO’s have something to do with it? That guy did nothing to them. That is just pure stupidity with what you just said.
Joe Bagodonuts says
Few if any prisoners in detention facilities anywhere are monitored 24/7. The cost to have cameras and personnel to monitor every inmate @ the HCDC 24/7 would be staggering and totally unnecessary. The public would scream against this expense and probably claim it is an invasion of privacy. Unless “Jeff” was under suicide watch, there was ostensibly no reason to monitor him 24/7.
While this is a senseless death, casting blame on the public (by scapegoating law enforcement) is absurd. It would not surprise me if “Jeff” had psychological/psychiatric issues that were not made known to the HCDC officials, but without any evidence, there is no way of knowing if he had such conditions. If any of “Jeff’s” family and friends knew about any possible mental health conditions and failed to apprise HCDC officials once they learned of his arrest, shame on them for failing “Jeff.” I sure hope this does not become a lawsuit against the county. “Jeff” created this problem for himself. This is not the public’s fault!
Sometimes it is the person that you would least suspect who tries or does commit suicide. People take incarceration differently. The correctional officers do a great job monitoring those persons who exhibit destructive behavior. If Mr. Lawson would have exhibited any hints of being suuicidal he would have been placed on a 24/7 suicide watch. Mr. Lawson was certainly capable of causing himself harm. While a tragic event, these incidents do happen.