Captured Detroit inmate faces host of new chargesDETROIT (AP) — A convict accused of fleeing a Detroit courthouse after stabbing an unarmed deputy and stealing his uniform was facing a slew of new charges on Tuesday, a day after his daring escape led to a daylong manhunt.
By: ED WHITE, Associated Press, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — A convict accused of fleeing a Detroit courthouse after stabbing an unarmed deputy and stealing his uniform was facing a slew of new charges on Tuesday, a day after his daring escape led to a daylong manhunt.
Abraham Pearson, 25, is now charged with assault with intent to commit murder, armed robbery, carjacking and other crimes connected to his 14 hours on the lam. He eluded dozens of law enforcement officers searching wooded fields, overgrown city lots, alleys and vacant houses until a tip led to his arrest Monday night.
Police said he had been hiding in a vacant home for most of the day, and that he was caught after a brief foot chase. The sheriff's deputy who was attacked, Harrison Tolliver, was treated and released from a local hospital.
Pearson, also known as Derreck White, was being escorted to the seventh floor of the downtown Detroit courthouse Monday morning to be sentenced for armed robbery and other crimes. White attacked after his handcuffs were removed, using a sharpened plastic comb to repeatedly stab Tolliver in the neck, according to the sheriff.
"The part of the comb that he was stabbed with broke. It did not inflict any life-threatening injuries," Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said.
Pearson stole Tolliver's uniform and ran from the courthouse, stopping only to force a woman from her minivan, then drove the vehicle from the scene, police said. He abandoned the minivan blocks away from the courthouse, on the city's east side.
Dozens of officers fanned out across Detroit to search for Pearson, who police said spent most of the day hiding in a vacant house, and he "was attempting to flag down cars in an attempt to get a ride when police arrived," the sheriff's office said in a statement Tuesday.
Pearson will face additional charges related to his alleged attack and escape, Napoleon said. He was expected to be arraigned Wednesday. The charges, which also include assaulting a police officer causing serious impairment, carry lengthy prison sentences.
"He's looking at a considerable amount of time," the sheriff said.
Patricia Banford, whose van was stolen during the escape, said the suspect threatened her.
"He snatched the door open and said, 'Get out or I'll kill you!'" Banford told television station WDIV.
The sheriff, who oversees security at the courthouse, said he would prefer to have more than one deputy escorting inmates but that the county can't afford it. Tolliver, 63, joined the sheriff's department after retiring as a Detroit police officer.
"It's a dangerous job," Napoleon said. "We're streamlined as much as we can."
Napoleon said his office was trying to determine how the comb used to stab Tolliver was hidden from the time Pearson left the jail, to the inmate transport van and finally to the courtroom holding cell. He also said they are looking into whether official policies and procedures were followed or if "human error" occurred.
Pearson also will be sentenced Sept. 23 in circuit court on his original carjacking and armed robbery conviction. He was facing 10 to 15 years in prison on those charges. He also was arraigned Tuesday on a warrant for failing to appear at Monday's sentencing, according to the sheriff's office.