Don't run from police. You could slip and bang into a pole and injure your knee.
That's what allegedly happened to Jordan Emory Baxter, 34, of Lodi, who is now in custody on $850,000 bail.
Baxter, 34, pleaded not guilty Monday to felony charges that could send him to prison for years, in part because he has a previous strike that would double the sentence on new cases.
He sat handcuffed to a wheelchair during the court appearance, due to injuries police said he received after running from them, sliding on wet asphalt and slamming knee-first into a pole.
He was then arrested.
Lodi police said the incident began shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, when a 19-year-old man made arrangements to buy marijuana from Baxter. They met in the Food-4-Less parking lot at Lower Sacramento Road and Kettleman Lane, Sgt. Bill Alexander said after reviewing a report on the matter.
When they met, Baxter allegedly pulled out a handgun and ordered the victim to drive to the country, where he searched the car and stole cash, Alexander said. They drove back to Lodi, where Baxter allegedly threw the victim's car key into a field off Harney Lane and Mills Avenue, then got a ride from a friend he'd called.
The victim told police that he lost a "large amount of cash," Alexander said.
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, Cpl. Dale Eubanks and Officer Eric Versteeg were in the 500 block of Pioneer Drive on an unrelated call when they saw Baxter and knew investigators were seeking him.
Baxter allegedly ran from the officers, slipped and collided with a pole. He was taken to Lodi Memorial Hospital for treatment of an injured knee.
He appeared in court Monday, where he asked Judge David Warner if police had the right to interview him before he was arrested and read his Miranda rights. Warner told him that depends on the situation, and suggested he discuss it with an attorney.
Warner appointed a public defender, who entered a not guilty plea to the charges of assault with a firearm, robbery and kidnapping. Baxter also faces a possible additional 10-year sentence because a firearm was involved, two more years because he had two prior prison sentences, and more time because of the strike.
That strike conviction - Baxter's first under California's "three-strikes" law - came in 2001, when he was serving time at Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy. He pleaded guilty to battery by a prisoner and arson, and was sentenced to more than five years in prison, San Joaquin County court records show.
He will return to court next week, and a preliminary hearing is tentatively set for Aug. 24.