Judge sets bail for teen robbery suspect hit with machete by 11-year-old boy

An Orange County judge set bail at $175,000 Monday for a 19-year-old man accused of breaking into a Mebane home and assaulting an 11-year-old boy, who hit him with a machete.

Jataveon Dashawn Hall is charged with breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child under 12.

Orange County District Judge Samantha Cabe set the bail during Hall’s first court appearance Monday afternoon. Assistant District Attorney Byron Beasley had asked the judge to double the previous amount of $100,000.

Hall has shown he is a flight risk, Beasley said, and family members of the 11-year-old boy said the previous bail amount was too low. The boy’s grandmother attended the hearing, but left without speaking to reporters.

Beasley said Hall has been convicted of indignities to an officer in 2016 and felony and misdemeanor larceny in 2017. All of the convictions were in Alamance County.

Braydon Smith was on the phone with his mother in Kentucky when a man entered the home Friday. He wasn’t scared, the boy told ABC11, but he knew he didn’t have time to think.

He had a message for the man in an interview with ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

“You shouldn’t have done what you’ve done. You’re better off to get a job than breaking into other people’s houses,” he said.

Home alone

Orange County 911 calls reveal Braydon may have been more scared than he let on.

The first call came in from his aunt, who lives in Haw River and was contacted by Braydon’s mother. The aunt tells the 911 operator Braydon is home alone, and “he’s scared to death.” She is trying to get dressed, the aunt said, so she can go to Braydon’s home.

The aunt gave Braydon’s cell phone number to the operator, so Orange County 911 could call him directly.

In the second 911 recording, Braydon told the 911 operator he hit the intruder in the back of the head. The man and two others have left, but he doesn’t know which way they went, Braydon said. He checked on the family’s dogs outside in the back yard, and they were OK.

Braydon said he hit the man in the back of the head, just above his neck. He usually wields the machete, which he bought with gift cards, to chop down trees, he told ABC11.

His father, Christopher Smith, taught him to defend himself after a previous break-in, he said. ”If they come in the door, you let ‘em have it,” Smith told ABC11.

Left the hospital

The bloodied intruder fled the home with two unidentified accomplices — a man and woman — the Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported. Hall, who matched a description provided by investigators, showed up later at UNC Hospitals in Hillsborough.

The hospital alerted deputies, and the Sheriff’s Office asked UNC Hospitals police to let them know when Hall was ready for release. Hall’s condition worsened, however, and the hospital transferred him to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

He left the Chapel Hill hospital around 8 p.m. Friday against medical advice. A security video reviewed Saturday morning showed him wearing a hospital gown and socks with a bandage wrapped around his head.

Sheriff Charles Blackwood said UNC Hospitals police and staff did not tell the Sheriff’s Office that Hall had left until a deputy contacted them.

Burlington police arrested Hall at the home of his mother and stepfather Sunday afternoon in Alamance County.

Protocol to change

UNC Health Care has said the emergency room was busy Friday night, and Hall was in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office, which chose not to leave a deputy with Hall. The situation shows, UNC officials said, “that emergency department nurses and physicians cannot be both caregivers and law enforcement at the same time.”

Blackwood has said Hall was not in the department’s custody, because he had not yet been charged. Deputies followed what they thought was an established protocol for treating and then arresting a suspect in working with UNC Hospitals staff and police, he said.

The Sheriff’s Office will be changing its protocol, Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes said.

“We expected to be notified prior to Hall’s discharge,” Sykes said. “When Hall left the hospital Friday evening against medical advice, we certainly should have been notified. But most concerning of all is that hospital police did not even know Hall had left the premises almost ten hours prior. Indeed, Hall’s absence was only discovered when we placed a phone call to them.”

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Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.
Tammy Grubb has written about Orange County’s politics, people and government since 2010. She is a UNC-Chapel Hill alumna and has lived and worked in the Triangle for over 25 years.