A stop on road to recovery

Treat: A 10-year-old recovering from a bullet wound enjoys a day spent watching the Ravens practice.

July 27, 2002|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF

It's been 12 days since a stray bullet struck 10-year-old Tevin Montrel Davis in the neck and left him fighting for life as his father carried him to a West Baltimore hospital.

Tevin's mother isn't sure when things will return to normal - or whether they will - but yesterday brought a positive sign: Tevin was having fun again.

He and his family attended the Ravens training camp at McDaniel College in Westminster. The day began with a black limousine - sent by star linebacker Ray Lewis - picking up the family at 8 a.m., and ended with Tevin awash in autographed jerseys, team hats and used athletic gloves.

"It feels so good to see smiles on his face," said Tevin's mother, Antoinette Davis, "and no more tears rolling from his eyes."

It's been a stressful week for Tevin, who returned home July 20 after spending four days at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The man charged in the shooting - 19-year-old Perry Spain, whom Tevin once called a friend but now fears - was released on $35,000 bail and returned to his home on the same block as the boy.

But Tevin continues to recover. He is watching professional wrestling, which he loves. The pain in his mouth has subsided, and the only remaining signs of the shooting are a white bandage behind his left ear and a gap in his mouth where two teeth were knocked out by the bullet.

"It was bad luck when I got shot," Tevin said. "Now, it's good luck because I'm here with my family, meeting the Ravens."

For that, the family thanked Lewis, who had heard about the shooting on the news and said he felt obligated to do something for the boy.

As the Ravens performed drills in a gymnasium, Tevin, wearing a No. 52 jersey in honor of his favorite player - Lewis - and an oversized team hat that ballooned over his ears, looked on from the top row of the bleachers. When the workout ended, Lewis walked past the horde of reporters and cameras awaiting him and hugged Tevin.

"I see you've got on the right jersey today," said Lewis, wrapping his arm around the boy's shoulders.

"Why didn't you visit me at the hospital?" Tevin asked.

"I had to come to work," Lewis answered. "That's why I brought you out here today."

Lewis said later that Tevin is an inspiration to him and the Ravens.

"What he went through, he'll never understand until he gets older," Lewis said. "He can teach us the value of enjoying life every moment. I was giddy all day today, not to play football, just to meet this kid."

In addition to giving Tevin a signed jersey and lunch at Ruby Tuesday yesterday, Lewis promised him tickets to a Ravens game.

Team president David Modell said he has been following Tevin's progress. "It's unbelievable," Modell said. "I have four kids, and it hurts your heart to hear that."

Among other gifts Tevin received were used gloves from tight end Todd Heap.

"It's like his birthday," said Tevin's father, Rodney Harden, who works as a security guard at Ravens home games. "He's like a kid in a candy factory."

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