Chesapeake Beach resident, Ronald Joseph Garraway, pleaded guilty on May 8, 2023, to four charges in connection with a barricade situation that occurred last August. The charges included first and second-degree assault and use of a firearm.

On August 19, 2022, the Calvert County Circuit Court ordered the Sheriff’s Office to take Garraway into custody for a mental health examination. Friends and relatives had informed the Court that Garraway was acting bizarrely. Deputies arrived at Garraway’s house, but he refused to leave and started making threats. The neighborhood was evacuated and deputies attempted to get Garraway to surrender. Tear gas was deployed, and deputies eventually entered the residence.

Ronald Joseph Garraway, 59, of Chesapeake Beach Credit: Calvert County Sheriff's Office

He fired shots at them as they ascended the stairway to Garraway’s location. Garraway later came down the stairway armed with a handgun, refused commands to drop the weapon, and was shot in the shoulder. He was taken into custody and transported to the hospital for treatment.

Garraway was examined by a psychologist employed by the Maryland State Department of Health and found to be psychotic and delusional. The psychologist determined that Garraway was not criminally responsible for his actions at the time of the offense.

Under Maryland law, Garraway was committed to the Department of Health for placement in a secure mental health facility. He will remain in that facility until it is determined that he no longer poses a danger to himself or others. Before release, the State is entitled to a hearing before the Court to determine whether Garraway should continue to be committed.

Garraway’s guilty plea was part of a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid a trial. Assistant State’s Attorney, Jennifer Lawrence, stated that the plea agreement was reached after consulting with the deputies involved in the incident, who were willing to accept the plea. The deputies stated that they did not want to go through a trial and have to relive the incident.

In court, Garraway apologized to the deputies involved in the incident, stating that he was not in the right state of mind at the time. Garraway’s attorney, John Johnson, stated that his client has been receiving treatment at the mental health facility and is responding well to medication.

The incident highlights the importance of mental health awareness and the need for adequate resources to help those in need. Garraway’s family and friends had informed the Court that he was acting bizarrely, indicating that they recognized a problem. However, it took a court order to have Garraway evaluated, highlighting the need for more awareness and education surrounding mental health issues.

The incident also highlights the danger that law enforcement officers face when responding to calls involving individuals with mental health issues. The deputies involved in the incident showed tremendous courage and professionalism in handling the situation. However, the incident also shows the need for additional training and resources to help law enforcement officers deal with individuals with mental health issues.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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