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Suspect's 201 Poplar Escape Attempt Sends Deputy to Hospital

An accused robber's mad dash through the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center turned a high profile defense lawyer into a defensive back and sent a Shelby County Deputy to The MED.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - An accused robber's mad dash through the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center turned a high profile defense lawyer into a defensive back and sent a Shelby County Deputy to The MED.

Bond was revoked for 18-year-old Curtis Nelvias Friday morning and he didn't take the judge's decision very well.

Marvin Ballin is usually known for what's going on inside the courtroom, on Friday the longtime defense lawyer put his body to use outside.

Ballin says Nelvias "was like a mad man, he just was knocking everybody aside, it took five or six guys on top of him."

Ballin has been defending criminal clients in Memphis for a long time, he jokes, "At least you didn't say forever." He's no longer surprised by anything that happens in or out of court, including the mad dash attempted by Nelvias. Ballin calls it "another exciting day in 201."

Shelby County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, Chip Washington says, "The Judge revoked his bond, he was out on bond. When they were taking him to the back to put him in a holding cell he broke loose from one of our deputies, knocked him over, ran into the courtroom and knocked over a couple other deputies including one that hit his head on a bench."

Ballin was standing in the hall when he heard screaming. "He came around where the elevators are and then he came around again," Ballin described the chase to catch Nelvias as "almost comical at first, he ran up where the restrooms were and she chased him up there, he came back and when he came back I knew he had to go past me in the hall."

That's when the defense lawyer turned into a defensive back, "I tried to stop him," Ballin says, "I never was good at touch football and he knocked me up against the wall and I fell down on one knee and that's my hero's part."

Nelvias was caught moments later by deputies before he made it to the elevator. Deputy Ralph Williams was knocked into the bench; he was sent to The MED but will be fine. Nelvias, originally out of jail on bond after an aggravated burglary, is now back behind bars. Ballin says, "Nothing is new, nothing is new - this is Shelby County, it's a different world."

Ballin says this shows every deputy at the Criminal Justice Center is essential.

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