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.