(CNN)Hours after a young North Carolina boy thwarted a home invasion with a machete to the back of his head, the 19-year-old suspect walked out of a hospital and got away, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood told CNN affiliate WTVD.
Jataveon Dashawn Hall, who had an arrest warrant in connection with the home invasion, was not being watched by a deputy when he was discharged from UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill Saturday morning, UNC Health Care said in a statement.
The sheriff’s department has not returned a call from CNN seeking comment.
After showing up in the emergency room hours earlier with a head wound, Hall slipped out in a gown and holding a cup of water, Blackwood told the station.
County law enforcement and US Marshals were looking for him.
"This patient was admitted to the ED, but was in the legal custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department which did not place an officer with him," the hospital statement said.
"In similar situations, hospital staff will often alert law enforcement personnel when a suspect patient is discharged, but they remain the legal responsibility of law enforcement.
"It is the responsibility of law enforcement to closely monitor the status of suspects in their custody while those patients are receiving medical treatment."
The 11-year-old boy — a baseball player — was home alone Friday morning in Mebane, northwest of Chapel Hill, when the intruders arrived, according to the sheriff’s office, CNN affiliate WRAL reported.
While a woman knocked on the front door of his home, a man was breaking in through a window, the sheriff’s office said. The boy told authorities another man waited by a car outside the house.
The man who entered through the window grabbed a pellet gun in the home and forced the boy into a bedroom closet, the sheriff’s office said.
The child, described by the sheriff’s office as "a star baseball player," left the closet, grabbed a machete and struck a blow to the intruder’s head, the station reported.
"This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him," Blackwood said in an earlier statement.
"At the same time, I want to reflect that this youngster, his family and indeed this community, are very lucky this event did not have a tragic ending for the child."
After being wounded, the intruder kicked the boy in the stomach and the side of the head before grabbing a PlayStation and a television, CNN affiliate WTVD reported.
But bleeding heavily, the man dropped the home electronics and fled with the other suspects, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies provided area hospitals with a description of the suspect and his injuries, the affiliates reported.
Hall, who is from Monroe, south of Charlotte, was connected to the case when he arrived at a hospital with a head injury, the sheriff’s office said.
He was facing charges that include breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping and assault on a child younger than 12 when released from the hospital, according to authorities.
"Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case," Blackwood said.
"That is amazing," Judy Jackson said of her young neighbor’s actions, CNN affiliate WNCN reported.