Man injured in jail hanging attempt

April 15, 1997


Staff Writer

A Hagerstown man was in serious condition after trying to hang himself in a basement holding cell at Hagerstown City Police headquarters early Tuesday, authorities said.

Charles Dennis Durboraw, 41, of the first block of Wakefield Road, was discovered in his cell at 4:40 a.m., according to Chief Dale Jones. He was originally listed in critical condition at Washington County Hospital but improved to serious condition by Tuesday night, hospital spokesman John Costopoulos said.

Hospital officials said Durboraw arrived at 5:16 a.m. Tuesday.

Jones said Durboraw used a blanket in the cell in the attempted hanging.

An investigation will determine the events leading up to the attempted hanging, Jones said. He said he believes jail officials responded as fully as possible.


Durboraw was spotted on one of the video cameras located in the cellblock and was checked immediately, Jones said.

"We have monitors at the sergeant's desk, the front desk and dispatch,'' Jones said. The cellblocks are checked regularly, he said.

Durboraw was arrested just before 11 p.m. Monday, Jones said. Police had a warrant for his arrest for violation of a protection order, Jones said.

The petition for protection filed by Durboraw's estranged wife in Washington County District Court described an incident at 1:45 a.m. on April 13 in which she alleged Durboraw went to the home where she was staying and knocked out several windows, according to court records.

The petition also said that Durboraw drove past the house and harassed his former wife on the telephone, according to court records.

After he was taken to police headquarters Monday night, Durboraw was placed in a cell to await a bond hearing.

Durboraw was convicted of taking explosives to Washington County Hospital during a domestic dispute in Nov. 1987. The incident began when his wife and her mother were held hostage in their home, also with explosives.

When Durboraw arrived at the hospital with the explosives, he was disarmed by security officers and Hagerstown City Police.

Durboraw was sentenced to five years in prison in that case but four years were suspended, according to court records.

In 1990, Durboraw was back in court for violation of probation and was returned to prison for three more years of the original sentence, court records said.

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