A prisoner wounded at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary last week after allegedly shooting a Middlesex deputy sheriff had refused repeated commands to drop his weapon and waged a violent assault during an attempted escape, a prosecutor said Tuesday at his arraignment.
Raymond Wallace, 36, of Marblehead was ordered held on $1 million cash bail after being arraigned in his bed at Massachusetts General Hospital on charges of escape from a penal institution, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and carrying a firearm without a license. Wallace is being treated for gunshot wounds he received as a second deputy sheriff tried to subdue him. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.
Last Wednesday, Wallace was transported from the Middlesex Jail in Cambridge to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to be treated after he was injured at the jail, prosecutors said. As Wallace was being escorted out of the hospital, he asked to use the bathroom and was brought back into the emergency room waiting area to use the facilities, officials said.
“The deputies brought him back inside, unrestrained his wrists, and stood outside the bathroom door while Mr. Wallace was inside. The leg chains were still on Mr. Wallace when he entered the bathroom,” Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum said.
Then, Wallace burst out of the bathroom and tried to flee the hospital, officials said.
“Mr. Wallace was able to free himself from his leg restraints, exit the bathroom, and move toward the emergency room exit, pushing one of the deputies against the wall in the process,” Feigenbaum said.
Outside the bathroom, Wallace “engaged in a violent assault on the deputy sheriffs,” gained control of one deputy’s gun, and shot him in the leg, according to a police report.
The second deputy took his service weapon out of its holster and repeatedly told Wallace to drop the gun, Feigenbaum said. When Wallace did not, the deputy shot him point-blank in the chest.
“The defendant still had control of the firearm, and the deputy fired his service weapon,” she said. “The defendant fell to his knees, but still had control of the firearm. The deputy shot a third time, and the defendant fell to the ground.”
During the arraignment, Wallace was propped up in his bed with his sheets pulled up to his neck. He had bruises around both eyes, and a medical tube protruding from his nose. Wallace did not speak or open his eyes during the six-minute court proceeding.
Prior to the arraignment, a nurse inside Wallace’s room was heard telling him, “Raymond, you need to open your eyes and speak to your lawyer.”
Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian said the injured officer, 13-year department veteran Jonathan Persson, was released from the hospital Friday and is in “good spirits.”
No one else was hurt during the gunfire, which led to the closing of Mass. Eye and Ear’s emergency room for six hours while authorities collected evidence, officials said.
Wallace was being held at the Middlesex Jail in Cambridge on armed robbery charges when he was brought to the downtown Boston medical facility last Wednesday by the two armed deputy sheriffs.
Wallace had been shot by police before. In 2001, authorities said, he was shot multiple times by officers after he tried to break into the Pizzi Farm Stand in Waltham. At the time Wallace was masked, had two loaded firearms, and tried to wrest an officer’s gun away, the Globe reported.
Last week, one of his lawyers, Raymond D. Buso, said the Waltham confrontation nearly cost Wallace his life. “He was on life support, and he was expected to die,’’ Buso said.
After recovering, he pleaded guilty to robbery and unlawful possession of firearms charges in Middlesex Superior Court.
He is now facing charges in armed robberies he is accused of committing in Peabody in 2010 and in Salem in 2011.