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A Baltimore cop is accused of hiding his 15-year-old stepson’s body in a hole in the wall of his Maryland home and attempting to grab the weapon of an officer who responded to the gruesome scene.
On Tuesday, police found the dead body of teenager Dasan Jones during a search of Officer Eric Banks Jr.’s home, following a call about a custody dispute with the child’s mother, according to WJZ-TV, a CBS affiliate in Baltimore. Banks allegedly told police the hole in which his stepson was found was a gun safe, according to WJZ-TV.
Just before cops found Jones’ body, his mother had been at the home to pick up her son, according to WJZ-TV.
Banks, who initially said that the teen had left, consented to a police search after officers arrived at the scene at the mother’s request at 4:42 p.m., according to WJZ-TV. At 5:40 p.m. that day, Jones was found in a hole located in a loft of the top floor of the house, which had a white cover leaning on it, according to WJZ-TV.
During a bail review hearing on Thursday, a prosecutor alleged that Banks was the one who put Jones’ body there.
“He admits to officers that he moved his son’s body from one location in the home, and secreted it in another, your honor,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Miller told a judge.
“He has shown that he is not afraid to resort to violence.”
Banks now faces several charges including assault and resisting arrest, according to the Baltimore Sun. He’s currently being held in protective custody, according to the Baltimore Sun.
While Jones’ death has been deemed suspicious, it’s still not clear how the teen, described in the Baltimore Sun as a kind student in a magnet program, died.
Banks’ attorney, Warren Anthony Brown, told VICE News Friday that he is awaiting autopsy results and that he was not aware of the prosecutor’s allegation that Banks had moved the teen’s body until Thursday.
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, when asked for comment about Banks’ case, said the department was “aware of an ongoing investigation involving one of our members in Anne Arundel County. The member’s police powers were previously suspended and now they will be suspended without pay, while this current case is investigated by the Anne Arundel County Police Department.”
As to why Banks had his police powers suspended even before Tuesday, the spokesperson said: “We don’t discuss cases that are being investigated by our internal investigation unit.”
After officers put Banks in handcuffs, he allegedly attempted to disarm another cop, asked to kiss his children, and asked to have his handcuffs adjusted, according to the Baltimore Sun. He allegedly repeatedly stated “You’re gonna have to end this” while wrestling over an officer’s firearm. He has also made statements that “he is homicidal and suicidal,” Miller said in the bail review hearing, according to the Baltimore Sun. (Banks’ attorney also said he found out about those allegations Thursday.)
Banks’ wife had sought a protective order against him just a few weeks ago, alleging in a June 25 petition that the three-year veteran of the police department was emotionally abusive and had previously followed her, according to the Baltimore Sun. She asked that Banks stay away from her and the children and requested custody of Jones and her two sons.
That request, made in an Anne Arundel District Court, was denied, the Sun reported.