Federal inmate to appear Friday on juvenile center charges

2013-09-23T16:15:00Z 2013-09-24T06:58:17Z Federal inmate to appear Friday on juvenile center chargesBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
September 23, 2013 4:15 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | An 18-year-old man in federal custody in Porter County is expected in a county courtroom Friday on accusations of kidnapping and other charges last year at the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center.

Lavelle Hatley, of Gary, was 17 at the time of the March 7 incident at the center. He was charged in adult court with kidnapping, attempted escape and battery after allegedly brandishing a handmade weapon and roughing up a detention officer.

The case proved challenging for local officials because Hatley was a federal inmate at the time.

He pleaded guilty in January to eight federal counts of robbery and was sentenced in April to nine years behind bars, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

In the Porter County allegation, a juvenile detention officer said Hatley asked him if he knew how to get to Gary, at which time he pulled out a sharpened comb and began chasing the officer, according to police. After the officer fell, Hatley is accused of grabbing the officer, demanding he provide him with keys to leave the facility, threatening to kill him and having his hands on the officer's throat.

Police said when they arrived, Hatley used the officer to shield police from using a Taser. Hatley eventually threw his weapon to the floor and surrendered, police said.

Hatley will appear before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.

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