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Published February 5, 2013

Man charged in beating of elderly man

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Jajuan Whitlow

WARREN — An 80-year-old Macomb County man remained in critical condition Jan. 31, days after police said he was brutally beaten by another patient at a mental health facility in Warren.

According to Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green, Jajuan Whitlow, of Canton, 23, was arrested after officers were called to the Behavioral Center of Michigan near 12 Mile and Ryan early Jan. 27.

Green said officers investigated an assault that allegedly occurred in one of the rooms at the facility and took Whitlow into custody. He said the assault left an elderly Chesterfield Township resident with “massive head injuries,” including skull fractures and damage to at least one eye.

A motive for the beating remained unclear. Green said Whitlow refused to speak to detectives, and police were still interviewing employees who witnessed the beating.

The elderly victim, who was not identified, had been receiving treatment at the facility for an unspecified condition.

Green said Whitlow was transferred to the center from another hospital where he was assessed at the request of a law enforcement agency in Wayne County.

“What we do know is that he was there because there was some violence indicated in his behavior,” Green said.  “The obvious common-sense question is how they got in the same room with each other?”

Whitlow was arraigned in the 37th District Court Jan. 28 on a charge of assault with intent to commit murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison. His bond was set at $500,000 cash or surety ahead of a preliminary examination scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Feb. 5, after press time, before Judge Jennifer Faunce.

Green said the case was submitted to Macomb County prosecutors for further review.

A call to the Behavioral Center of Michigan requesting comment on the case was transferred to the voice mailbox of CEO Ryan Gunabalan. A message left for Gunabalan had not been returned at press time.

According to its website, the Behavioral Center of Michigan is a 42-bed psychiatric care facility serving adults older than 18 who suffer from acute psychiatric conditions. The facility is open 24 hours and offers a list of services.



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