Mario Roberts was ushered into the DeKalb County Jail in suburban Atlanta after being arrested for public intoxication. He was able to walk under his own power and seemed in general good health. Days later, however, the inmate is clinging tenuously to life in the ICU section of Grady Hospital after being beaten to within inches of his life.
The family of Roberts demand answers as to how it happened and, just as importantly, why it took the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office two days to let them know.
Mario Roberts, 32, is reportedly on a ventilator and in critical condition at the renowned trauma medical center in downtown Atlanta, according to WSBTV. DeKalb police booked him into the jail Friday on public intoxication charges. His family met with the Sheriff’s Office Monday to get answers as to what happened.
“I just want answers,” said Roberts’ mother Bobbi Smith told the television station. When asked how her son was doing, Smith replied, “He’s brain dead.”
DeKalb County Sheriff’s officials refused to divulge any pertinent information about the circumstances surrounding the inmate’s current condition, citing an ongoing investigation.
However, Civil Rights Activist Rev. Markel Hutchins, who accompanied the family into the Sheriff’s Office, was reportedly told that Roberts may have started a fight with another inmate shortly after he arrived at the jail, accounting for his current medical state.
The civil rights leader said the sheriff pledged a full-fledged investigation into what happened.
“I have some concerns that this young man entered the jail one way and left a different way,” said Hutchins. “But I am confident, especially having talked with the sheriff, that there’s going to be some answers to the questions that the family has.”
According to DeKalb County records, Roberts is a prolific criminal with six arrest over the past decade for charges ranging from felony drug possession and theft.