A Baltimore police officer is facing charges after prosecutors say the body of his teenage stepson was found “secreted” in a wall in his home and he tried to steal a fellow officer’s gun as authorities made the grisly discovery.
The chaotic chain of events kicked off on Tuesday, when prosecutors say Anne Arundel County police officers went to the home of Baltimore police officer Eric G. Banks Jr. to inquire about the whereabouts of his 15-year-old stepson, Dasan Jones. After first claiming the teen wasn’t home, Banks gave the officers permission to search the house, The Baltimore Sun reports, citing court documents.
Police then found the teenager’s body stashed in a “hole in the wall with a white cover leaning on it” on the top floor of the house, prosecutors wrote.
Banks was handcuffed and in the midst of being walked away from the scene when he is said to have begged to kiss his children. He requested that his handcuffs be adjusted and then made “a clear attempt” to snatch another officer’s Glock 17 from the holster, prosecutors say.
Banks allegedly “made statements that he is homicidal and suicidal” at the scene. The officer recalled in charging documents that he “stated multiple times ‘you’re gonna have to end this’ as we were wrestling over the firearm.”
A member of the police force for three years, Banks was denied bail on Thursday and has been deemed a suicide risk. He is charged with assault and resisting arrest, and had already been suspended from the force prior to Tuesday’s incident.
His wife had sought a protective order last month to keep him away from herself, Jones, and their two other sons. Despite her complaint of “emotional and mental abuse” and her assertion that Banks was in possession of two firearms, a judge denied her request for a protective order on June 28.
The cause of death of Banks’ 15-year-old stepson is still under investigation. So far, prosecutors have accused Banks only of hiding the teen’s remains.
“He admits to officers that he moved his son’s body from one location in the home, and secreted it in another,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Miller said at Thursday’s bail hearing. “He has shown that he is not afraid to resort to violence.”
While the circumstances of Jones’ death remain unclear, a neighbor who knew the teen remembered him fondly.
In comments to the Sun, Stephanie Castagnera said she was left with the gut-wrenching sound of Jones’ mother reacting to the news of his death.
“That cry that I heard, I knew instinctually, as a mom, that something happened to her kids. I will never forget it. My heart is just broken.”