The homeless man accused of a violent downtown attack was granted a bond in district court Wednesday morning, but a long list of priors and limited funds will likely keep him behind bars.
Douglas Dunson, 43, was arrested on June 5 just hours after police say he assaulted and attempted to rape a young woman in the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) parking garage on Water Street.
Dunson was formally charged with second-degree assault and attempted rape, and today Mobile County District Judge Bob Sherling set a combined $40,000 for both of those charges.
Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Tandice Hogan had requested that no bond be granted in the case, but Sherling said he was required to set a bond for Dunson based on Section 16 of the Alabama Constitution.
Section 16, which deals with criminal bonds, states: “that all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident or the presumption great; and that excessive bail shall not in any case be required.”
As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Dunson was still in police custody at the Mobile County Metro Jail, which is where he’ll most likely stay. Dunson faces charges for a laundry list of previous offenses, and bonds set in some of those cases were previously revoked.
In other words, the bond set by Sherling won’t allow Dunson to be released from jail, even if he were to find enough money to post bail. Following the hearing Wednesday morning, Hogan said she didn’t think Dunson, who is homeless, would be able to afford it anyway
During the same hearing, a detective with the Mobile Police Department’s sex crimes unit gave graphic details about the assault Dunson is accused of. Police say the victim was struck several times with a 2×2 board and dragged between two cars in the parking garage.
According to the detective’s statements, the assault lasted close to 45 minutes, and the victim sustained a broken wrist, broken ribs and deep lacerations to the scalp. Dunson is also accused of trying to remove the victim’s clothes and “penetrate her.”
Aside from the heinousness allegations he faces, Dunson’s arrest was met with outrage in many parts of the community because of his long list of prior offenses.
As Lagniappe reported, Dunson has been in and out of Mobile Metro Jail and AltaPointe mental health hospitals since he was released from state prison in 2016. He had been arrested at least seven times between January and the time of the incident.
Dunson was also involuntarily committed for a good part of 2017, but multiple attempts to have him recommitted were unsuccessful. It’s unclear at this point whether there have been any subsequent attempts since his arrest.
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