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Officer who had fingers bit won't be prosecuted in shooting death of Crofton man

VIDEO: Graphic body cam footage released in the fatal police-involved shooting in Crofton
Posted at 4:01 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 16:06:16-04

CROFTON, Md. — A police officer has been cleared in the January shooting death of 20-year-old man in Crofton.

Anne Arundel County officer Jonathan Ricci killed Dyonta Quarles Jr. inside his home on January 30.

Quarles' mother called police that morning, reporting that her son was preventing her from leaving a bedroom in the house.

Ricci was first on scene and received no answer at the door after knocking. All of the doors to the home were locked, leaving officers with limited options.

The mother told the 911 dispatcher that officers had permission to force their way in.

When they did, officers encountered Quarles and his mom locked inside a bedroom on the third floor.

Ricci kicked the door down and ordered Quarles to the ground.

He initially complied but quickly got back up and sat on the bed, when officers moved in.

The mother was then told by officers to leave the bedroom.

As she left, Quarles followed and tackled Ricci in the process repeatedly punching him in the head as he tried pulling out a taser.

Ricci was able to escape, at which point Quarles ended up struggling with another officer.

The taser had no affect, although after some time Quarles briefly calmed down.

That was until Ricci tried placing him in handcuffs, that's when Quarles bit down on several of the officer's fingers.

Body cam footage shows Ricci screaming in pain and telling two other officers on scene to shoot Quarles.

Graphic body cam video details fatal police-involved shooting in Crofton

Neither pulled the trigger, later telling investigators their angle was no good.

Eventually Ricci was able to unholster his gun and shoot Quarles point blank, killing him.

Seconds later, Ricci was spitting up blood and collapsed.

According to the Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations Division, Quarles' mother had called officers over a similar complaint the night prior.

She reported that her son had been acting erratically, saying things like “we’re both going up, we’re going up together.”

When the first group of responding officers spoke to Quarles, he refused to go to the hospital and threatened to become violent if forced.

The officers ended up leaving without taking any action that night. Hours later after the next shift had come in, is when the second 911 call was made that ultimately turned fatal.

Quarles' mother told detectives that her son had been vaping and he feared someone had laced it. She had taken him to the doctor and were awaiting to hear back at the time of his death.

On September 7, the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office declined to prosecute officer Ricci for the shooting.

In their final report, the Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations Division wrote it would be difficult to prove any criminal charges in court.

The Quarles family has since filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that the officers involved were not properly trained and violated his constitutional rights.