Defendant tries to 'duck' into Honolulu court
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Connie Kim
The basic rule for anyone wishing to enter Circuit Court on Oahu is no knives, guns, or anything that could be classified as a weapon.
Michael Hubbard was well aware of the rule when he returned to the courthouse Monday morning to see his court officer regarding one of his two pending felony assault cases. What he didn't know is that the list of items not allowed in court included beer and live animals.
Like the dozens of people who filed into the security line, Hubbard took his turn of waiting patiently for security guards to screen him. Upon reaching the X-ray screening machine, he gently placed his bag onto the conveyor belt and then walked through the metal detector. The officer screening Hubbard's bag noticed two bottles and an unidentified object. Deputies asked him to open his bag, but he refused, which arose their suspicions.
"Deputies told him that if he didn't open the bag, he couldn't enter and that he needed to leave immediately," said Toni Schwartz, public information officer for the Department of Public Safety.
Hubbard insisted on keeping the contents of his bag a secret. Officers eventually escorted him outside, where he relented and blurted out, "There's a live duck in there!"
The guards didn't know what Hubbard meant, but when they opened the bag, comprehension was crystal clear. An actual live duck was inside, along with two 40-ounce bottles of beer.
"We have no way of knowing if Hubbard was drunk since no one was able to draw blood from him to test his blood alcohol content level. However, the deputies didn't smell any alcohol on his breath," said Schwartz.
Despite what appeared to be a harmless animal, the security officers advised Hubbard that he could not enter court with the live duck or the beer. Hubbard left with the waddling water fowl in tow, but he later returned after realizing that he still needed to meet with his court officer. Instead of demanding to be allowed in, he asked the deputies to secure his precious belongings at security, where couriers regularly make deliveries. That request wasn't against the rules. The deputies obliged, allowing the beers and the feathered friend to stay behind.
After wrapping up his business in court, Hubbard reclaimed his personal possessions and left the building without any further incident.
Schwartz couldn't say whether the duck quacked or whether Hubbard himself was a quack.
"They just thought he was peculiar," she said.
Despite the comical circumstances of Hubbard's appearance, he still faces serious charges and will be back in court April 22.
No word on whether any other live animals will accompany him.
Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.