The man suspected of purposely hitting three bicyclists on a popular Yolo County levee route pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges related to the incident.
Alamar Cyril Houston, 38, was arraigned on two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon (a vehicle) and felony driving under the influence of drugs during a hearing at the Yolo Superior Court in Woodland.
Houston, wearing a white and gray striped jumpsuit, smiled and talked repeatedly to court officials and Judge Doris L. Shockley. At one point before the proceeding, he told deputy public defender Martha Sequeira, “I represent myself.”
Later, as the judge reviewed the charges against him, Houston blurted out, “I need some mental help.”
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Shockley tried to calm Houston and asked whether he had an attorney. Houston replied, “I’d rather talk to you.”
Shockley then explained that the court needed to appoint him an attorney. Sequeira entered not-guilty pleas on Houston’s behalf. At the end of the lively hearing, Houston asked for copies of the complaint, which Sequeira said she would provide.
Houston allegedly drove a stolen 2015 Hyundai into three bicyclists on South River Road between West Sacramento and Clarksburg on Tuesday evening before being pursued and arrested in downtown Sacramento, according to the California Highway Patrol. Two of the victims suffered serious injuries, while one had minor injuries.
The victims were traveling on a levee route popular among area cyclists known as the “river ride,” which typically starts in Sacramento and loops through the Delta before returning to the city.
Houston allegedly struck Donald Dumaine, 51, before crashing into two teenagers, two of the victims said. Dumaine suffered minor injuries, while Jonathan Jackson, 17, required surgery on an ankle to remove debris.
Jackson is expected to be discharged from the hospital in the coming days.
The third victim was not identified by the CHP because he is a juvenile. Phone calls to his parents were not returned Thursday.
Sacramento Superior Court records indicate Houston has a criminal history spanning two decades with charges including petty theft, robbery, burglary and stealing a vehicle.
Houston also has a criminal history in Glenn County, with charges that include trespass and burglary, according to records from the county Sheriff’s Office. Glenn County authorities described Houston as a “laborer.”
Bail was denied at Thursday’s hearing, and Houston remains lodged at the Yolo County jail in Woodland. He is scheduled to appear in Yolo Superior Court on July 15.