Police Investigate Burtonsville Man’s Death
Dajuan Graham, 40 of Burtonsville, died on May 12. An officer used a stun gun on him on May 10, after police say he would not obey orders to remove his hands from his pockets as police were investigating what they called his erratic behavior along Castle Boulevard.
According to a police news release, on May 10 at approximately 10:38 p.m., while conducting a traffic stop in the Briggs Chaney Shopping Center, a 3rd District police officer was approached by four individuals who told the officer that there was an unclothed male subject walking north on Castle Boulevard. These individuals also told the officer that the man was acting erratically and that based on his behavior, they believed that he was possibly under the influence of PCP.
When officers arrived at the area of Castle Boulevard, one of the officers saw a woman standing next to a man later identified as Graham, according to police. Police said Graham was standing in the southbound lanes of Castle Boulevard. The woman told the officers that she had seen Graham walking north in the southbound lanes of Castle Boulevard and fearing for his safety, she asked him to leave the roadway but he refused to listen to her. The woman allegedly approached Graham to further her efforts to have him leave the roadway. Graham then reportedly punched the woman in the face, causing a cut to her lip, according to police. The woman then backed away from Graham and called police.
Police said one of the officers advised the dispatcher via his police radio that he was in contact with Graham, that Graham had assaulted a woman, and that an Advanced-Life-Saving (ALS) ambulance was needed for Graham due to the possible presence of PCP in his system.
The officers then reportedly approached Graham, who was again standing in the southbound lanes of Castle Boulevard with his hands inside his shorts pockets. The officers said they noticed that Graham began to breathe heavily through his nose and make snorting and grunting noises. Police told Graham a reported four times to remove his hands from his pockets so the officers could verify that Graham did not have any weapons. Police said he refused to comply.
The officers told Graham that if he did not remove his hands from his pockets, they would use the Taser. When Graham did not comply, one officer deployed his Taser. Police said the Taser probes contacted Graham in the right abdomen and the right upper thigh. Graham went to the ground, and the officers placed him in custody. According to police, they immediately placed him in the recovery position on his side and an ambulance arrived at 10:56 p.m., and transported him to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, arriving at 11:16 p.m.
During treatment at the hospital, Graham’s handcuffs were removed at the request of the medical staff. As this was occurring, Graham reportedly assaulted the officer and hospital security staff, injuring the police officer. The officer left Graham in the care of medical staff and security personnel. Police said Graham never lost consciousness.
On May 12 at approximately 9:42 p.m., Graham suffered a medical event and was pronounced dead, according to the police news release.
The patrol officers involved are assigned to the 3rd District Station. They are being identified as Officer Nathan Kane, hired in January of 2007 and Marco Aguiniga, hired in August of 2013.
The incident is under investigation.