It’s Deja Vous All Over Again: Sean Brown Huffed His Way with Stolen Aerosol Cans in Cemetery that Memorializes the Death of a Teen that Huffed Himself to Death
LEONARDTOWN, MD. — The pattern of drug addiction in the Mid-Atlantic region is not only generational but also provides ironic twists as the addiction winds its way through the decades. A man that Maryland State Police say stole aerosol dust spray to huff and inhale ran from the store with the pirated cans and chose a place to rest and huff – a nearby cemetery. The same cemetery was named in the memory of a St. Mary’s County teenager who died from huffing glue.
Sean Michael Brown, of 24820 Garner Road, Chaptico, Md., was arrested and charged with inhaling a harmful controlled deadly substance after police chased him from the Ace Hardware store in the Leonardtown Center.
Police say that their investigation revealed that the suspect stole several cans of aerosol dust cleaning spray and fled the building towards Charles Memorial Gardens.
Maryland State Police report that on August 6, 2017, at about 11:00 a.m., TFC S. DiToto responded to Ace Hardware for a reported theft. Police say that their investigation revealed that the suspect stole several cans of aerosol dust cleaning spray and fled the building towards Charles Memorial Gardens. While searching the area, the suspect was observed sitting on the ground with three cans of duster spray in front of him. When officers called out to him, he attempted to flee the area. He quickly stopped, fell to the ground and began “huffing” the dust spray. The suspect was apprehended and arrested. He was identified as Sean M Brown, 47, of Chaptico. Brown was arrested the day prior, on Aug. 5, 2017, by Trooper Rutkowski, with inhaling a harmful substance.
When officers called out to him, he attempted to flee the area. He quickly stopped, fell to the ground and began “huffing” the dust spray.
The cemetery Brown ran to is named for the son of the late Leonardtown funeral director, Clarke Mattingley. Mattingley had buried his son Charles after the teen overdosed on inhalants from glue placed in a bag over his head during Christmas vacation when he was a high school senior. The first burial of Charles was in St. Aloysius Cemetery in Leonardtown, and when Clarke moved his son’s remains to the new cemetery, he took out an ad in The Enterprise featuring the truck removing the casket as the remains moved to the new cemetery, known as Charles Memorial Gardens – an emotional experience for any family losing a child to drug addiction and even more so for the longtime undertaker.
One person remembers this about Charles Mattingley: ‘He was in my 9th-grade math class and he was a senior. Charles was tall and skinny with red hair and freckles, a nice kid who likely had to make up a math credit in order to graduate. All I remember was that he killed himself by overdosing on inhaling glue.”
- On Aug. 12, 2017, Brown was charged by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Fennessey with the same crime as well as two counts of theft, and has an appearance in District Court in St. Mary’s County set for Oct. 12, 2017. In this case, Brown has hired Leonardtown attorney Dan Slade. After his arrest, Brown was let loose on an unsecured $5,000 bond which made it easy to find another can of paint to inhale.
- Brown was charged with assault by Charles County Sheriff’s Officer Snyder on May 26, 2015. In a plea deal with Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington, the charge was put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time. A Domestic Violence Order was placed against Brown on March 24, 2015, by a Charles County District Court Judge.
- St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz put charges of inhaling a harmful substance placed by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Bowen against Brown on the Stet Docket on June 27, 2013. From the St. Mary’s Sheriff: On November 18, 2012, deputies were dispatched to a suspicious subject inhaling substances in a vehicle parked in the parking lot of a local business in Leonardtown, Maryland. Deputies located subject, later identified as Sean Michael Brown, 42, of Chaptico, Maryland. Brown was seated in the vehicle with a canister of “Air Duster” sitting between his legs. Deputies spoke with Brown who appeared to be confused. Brown then picked up the canister and began to inhale the contents in the presence of the deputies. When the deputies attempted to take the canister from Brown, he resisted and turned away. Brown was then removed from the vehicle and arrested. He was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Brown was arrested by Charles County Sheriff’s Officer Kuhn for CDS – inhale harmful substance on Nov. 13, 2012. Charles County States Attorney Covington placed the charge on the Stet Docket on May 14, 2013. THE DEAL: no fine and no time.
- Brown was arrested for DUI by Charles County Sheriff’s Officer David Benthin on Jan. 14, 2011 as he operated a 2004 Ford on Rt. 5 at Mattawoman Beantown Road. In a plea deal with Charles County States Attorney Covington, Brown entered a guilty plea to DUI with several other charges including attempting to elude a police vehicle were dropped. THE DEAL: One year in jail and no fine.
- Brown was charged by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Jean Vezzosi with DUI on Nov. 29, 2010, while operating a 1988 Ford on Rt. 235 at Golden Beach Road in Charlotte Hall, Md. On Feb. 11, 2011, Brown’s attorney, Joseph Vallario, struck up a plea deal with States Attorney Fritz. THE DEAL: Brown entered a guilty plea in return for one year and one day in jail and court records show he went to jail on that date. Brown was given credit of 29 days of time already served while awaiting trial.
- Brown was arrested by Maryland State Trooper Daniel Truitt on Dec. 29, 2009 for reckless driving and DUI. With La Plata attorney Rudolf Carrico Jr. representing him, Brown cooked up a great plea deal with the Charles County States Attorney on July 1, 2010. THE DEAL: The DUI charge was dropped and Brown entered a guilty plea to reckless driving with no jail time and a fine of $274.00.
- Brown was charged with 12 counts of violation of an ex-parte order and one count of telephone misuse on Aug. 11, 2010. In a plea deal with Carrico representing him and the States Attorney representing the people of Maryland, Brown entered a plea of guilty to telephone misuse. THE DEAL: 18 months in jail with all the 18 months suspended, no fine and probation of three years. Three months later Brown violated his probation and an arrest warrant was issued.
- Brown was arrested by Charles County Sheriff’s Officer Dodge with violation of a court ex-parte order. In a plea deal with the Charles County States Attorney, Brown entered a guilty plea. THE DEAL: Brown was sentenced to jail for 90 days with 80 days suspended.
- Brown faced charges of reckless endangerment, malicious property destruction while intoxicated; in a plea deal with prosecutors, Brown entered an Alford Plea on March 11, 2011, to reckless endangerment, all the other charges were dropped and he was sentenced to five years in prison with all five years suspended.
- Brown entered a guilty plea to violation of a court ex-parte order on Sept. 23, 2008. THE DEAL: 90 days in jail with 89 days suspended by agreement of the Charles County States Attorney.
- A conviction in St. Mary’s District Court for theft on March 20, 2003, resulted in a sentence of 30 days in jail in a plea deal with Fritz.
- Brown was charged with assault and burglary in Prince George’s District Court. In a plea deal, Brown entered a guilty plea burglary and he was sentenced to one year in jail with all the jail time suspended.
They’re all over your house. They’re in your child’s school. In fact, you probably picked some up the last time you went to the grocery store. Educate yourself. Find out about inhalants before your children do.
Most parents are in the dark regarding the popularity and dangers of inhalant use. But children are quickly discovering that common household products are inexpensive to obtain, easy to hide and the easiest way to get high. According to national surveys, inhaling dangerous products is becoming one of the most widespread problems in the country. It is as popular as marijuana with young people. More than a million people used inhalants to get high just last year. By the time a student reaches the 8th grade, one in five will have used inhalants.
What is inhalant use?
Inhalant use refers to the intentional breathing of gas or vapors with the purpose of reaching a high. Inhalants are legal, everyday products which have a useful purpose, but can be misused. You’re probably familiar with many of these substances — paint, glue, and others. But you probably don’t know that there are more than 1,000 products that are very dangerous when inhaled — things like typewriter correction fluid, air-conditioning refrigerant, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane and even cooking spray. See Products Abused as Inhalants for more details.
Who is at risk?
Inhalants are an equal opportunity method of substance abuse. Statistics show that young, white males have the highest usage rates. Hispanic and American Indian populations also show high rates of usage. See Characteristics of Users and Signs of an Inhalant User for more details.
What can inhalants do to the body?
Nearly all abused products produce effects similar to anesthetics, which slow down the body’s function. Varying upon a level of dosage, the user can experience slight stimulation, feeling of less inhibition or loss of consciousness. The user can also suffer from Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. This means the user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time he or she uses an inhalant. Other effects include damage to the heart, kidney, brain, liver, bone marrow and other organs. This type of damage is long term and can’t be easily reversed with a simple vitamin or krill oil supplement. Results similar to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may also occur when inhalants are used during pregnancy. Inhalants are physically and psychologically addicting and users suffer withdrawal symptoms. See Damage Inhalants Can Cause to the Body and Brain, Long-Term Effects of Inhalant Usage and Signs and Symptoms of a Long-Term User for more details.
What can I do if someone I know is huffing and appears in a state of crisis?
If someone you know is huffing, the best thing to do is remain calm and seek help. Agitation may cause the huffer to become violent, experience hallucinations or suffer heart dysfunction which can cause Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. Make sure the room is well ventilated and call EMS. If the person is not breathing, administer CPR. Once recovered, seek professional treatment and counseling. See What To Do If Someone is Huffing for more details.
Can inhalant use be treated?
Treatment facilities for inhalant users are rare and difficult to find. Users suffer a high rate of relapse, and require thirty to forty days or more of detoxification. Users suffer withdrawal symptoms which can include hallucinations, nausea, excessive sweating, hand tremors, muscle cramps, headaches, chills and delirium tremens. Follow-up treatment is very important. If you or someone you know is seeking help for inhalant abuse, you can contact the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition at 1-855-704-4400 for information on treatment centers and general information on inhalants. Through a network of nationwide contacts, NIPC can help (but not guarantee) finding a center in your area that treats inhalant use.
What should I tell my child or students about inhalants?
It is never too early to teach your children about the dangers of inhalants. Don’t just say “not my kid.” Inhalant use starts as early as elementary school and is considered a gateway to further substance abuse. Parents often remain ignorant of inhalant use or do not educate their children until it is too late. Inhalants are not drugs. They are poisons and toxins and should be discussed as such. There are, however, a few age appropriate guidelines that can be useful when educating your children. See Tips for Teachers for more details on how much to tell your children or students in the classroom about inhalants.
Parents normally try to provide the best for their children. These same parents would find it alarming that various inhalants are popular among the youth and possibly their own children.
How can I educate my community about inhalants?
NIPC leads the annual National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW) every third week in March. The 25th. Annual Campaign will be held March 19 – 25, 2017. This community mobilization campaign has proven to be an effective tool for fighting inhalant abuse. In Texas, where the campaign originated, inhalant use decreased following widespread involvement in NIPAW. For details on the campaign and NIPAW coordination in your community, see NIPAW 2012.
How can I be put on the NIPC mailing list?
To receive current inhalant news and information, contact NIPC with your name, organization (if applicable), address, phone, fax and e-mail. Also, please indicate how you heard about the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition or how you found NIPC on the Web. Subscriptions to the NIPC newsletter and general information booklet “Inhalants: Subscriptions to NIPC’s electronic newsletter, NIPC UPDATE, and other NIPC resources are free, but a voluntary payment or contribution is requested.
National Inhalant Prevention Coalition
Post Office Box 4117
Chattanooga, TN 37405
phone: 855-704-4400 or 423-265-4662