Uncooperative man strapped into wheelchair for court date

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver man accused of robbing a neighbor and threatening to "gut" her with a knife had to be shackled into a wheelchair and forcibly taken into Clark County Superior Court on Tuesday to appear on the allegations.

Alvin H. Hudson, 22, was described as combative toward corrections deputies, who were attempting to transport him from the Clark County Jail to the Clark County Courthouse to make a first court appearance.

"He is extremely combative, and it will be difficult for jail staff to bring him down," said Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Ward.

Judge David Gregerson said for the safety and decorum of the court, he would have Hudson appear via video conference from the jail. Corrections deputies managed to haul the 6-foot-6, 275-pound Hudson into the video conference room, but technical difficulties prevented the courtroom and the jail from connecting on video.

"It appears this isn't going to work," a corrections deputy said via radio to his colleagues. "How many people do you have to bring him over?"

Then, to the judge, the deputy said, "We're just going to bring him over here. We'll have him strapped in a wheelchair."

Several minutes later, deputies wheeled Hudson, shackled to the wheelchair, into the courtroom.

Jail operations Cmdr. Mike Anderson said combative transports are relatively unusual. Jail protocol is to either resort to a video conference hearing or to haul the prisoners in a wheelchair with their hands and feet shackled to the chair.

"That's the fastest way to get someone to court," Anderson said.

He said the jail's wheelchairs are used more frequently for geriatric prisoners and those with physical impairments or injuries. He said the wheelchair method is used about once a month.

Hudson, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, remained calm throughout his court hearing but refused to answer questions from the prosecutor and judge, including his name and about his ability to hire an attorney. Instead, he hung his head and stared at his lap.

Gregerson held him on $75,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Therese Lavallee to defend him.

Hudson is accused of snatching a $20 bill out of his neighbor's hand around 7:15 p.m. Sunday at the Robinwood Apartments, 3311 E. 18th St., according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

When the victim attempted to recover the bill from him, he allegedly pulled out a steak knife and threatened to "gut" her with it, the affidavit said. She said he laughed as she retreated to her apartment, the court document said.

He surrendered only after the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team responded to the scene.

He faces a charge of first-degree robbery at his arraignment hearing Sept. 13.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com