LOCKPORT -- A Falls man avoided being dragged from his jail cell Friday afternoon after his defense attorney asked a judge to allow him to go to the jail to meet with him.
For the second time since his arrest, Eduardo E. Rodriguez, 28, refused to leave his cell at the Niagara County jail to appear for a hearing in Niagara County Court.
Judge Sara Sheldon was prepared to issue what is known as a "drag order" to have Rodriguez physically removed from the cell by Sheriff's Office corrections officers and brought to court. But his recently appointed defense attorney, Michael Deal, asked Sheldon to allow him to go the jail to meet with Rodriguez before issuing the order.
Sheldon agreed to postpone the Friday hearing. Rodriguez is due to return to court next week.
Rodriguez, who is facing multiple felony charges for kidnapping, raping and repeatedly stabbing a Falls woman at his home on Feb. 23, also refused to leave his jail cell for his arraignment on those charges. Sheldon issued a drag order at that time and he was brought to court to enter a plea of not guilty.
The Falls man is accused of holding a 28-year-old woman against her will at his 10th Street home and raping her in his bedroom. When the victim attempted to escape from the home through a back door, Rodriguez allegedly stabbed her multiple times in the face, back and side, and left her in the basement.
The woman was able to find a ladder in the basement, prop it against a window sill and escape through the window. She was then able to walk to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, which is across the street from Rodriguez's home.
The victim then collapsed in the emergency room lobby.
Niagara Falls Police Criminal Investigation Division Det. Capt. Kelly Rizzo said the proximity of the hospital probably prevented a homicide.
"I am convinced that if this crime had taken place at any other location in the city, this victim would have died," Rizzo said after Rodriguez's arrest in February.
Rodriguez has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act and second-degree kidnapping.