By Simran Bhatt
Woodland –Charges against Mark Vincent Tucker for car theft were reduced to misdemeanors.
On Sept. 6, 2019, the defendant allegedly stole his girlfriend’s car, a silver 2015 Honda Accord, for approximately 30 minutes. While 30 minutes is not considered a long enough time to disrupt the girlfriend’s routine, the defendant had a record of prior misdemeanors with the law.
The first witness in the hearing, Woodland Officer Parveen Lal, recounted the defendant waving at him from approximately 50 feet away, allegedly asking for assistance. When the witness approached him, the defendant was agitated and incoherent. The witness recognized the defendant and claimed Mr. Tucker had a history of being uncooperative. The defendant did not hand over the car keys to the officer when requested. Mr. Tucker was uncooperative with the police and was unable to calm down. He told the officer to take him to jail for stealing the vehicle and, if the officer did not comply, he would vandalize the vehicle. The defendant then asked to speak to a supervisor and Sergeant Denzel was contacted. After approximately 40 minutes of negotiation, the witness deployed his Taser and used it on the defendant’s lower right stomach and right thigh.
The second witness in the hearing, Woodland Officer Mark Gojkovich, had called the alleged victim to verify whether the victim was aware of the ramifications of reporting the stolen vehicle. This witness only approached the defendant after Officer Lal had deployed his Taser. The defendant then fell to the ground and was held in a figure-four control hold. A figure-four control hold is a wrestling term for a joint-lock that resembles a “4.” In 2017, when the witness encountered the defendant, they had engaged in a physical confrontation. According to the 2017 incident, no unreasonable force was inflicted by the officer, although the defendant thought otherwise.
The defendant’s attorney stated that the defendant had mental health issues; therefore, the defendant should be charged with a misdemeanor. The defendant had stated that he was drugged, from needle use, and lacked proper sleeping conditions. Also, after questioning from the attorney, the second witness stated that, due to the prior experience the sergeant had had with the defendant, the sergeant entered later on the scene so as not to overwhelm the defendant, as the sergeant was familiar with the defendant.
The judge’s ruling was that the mental state of the defendant will be evaluated in a few weeks, on October 23. Also, the defendant’s bail was reduced based on his mental health status. The judge recommended programs to help get the defendant back on track and to adopt a better mindset.