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Man Ordered To Stand Trial In Palo Alto Taco Bell Hostage Case

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Taco Bell. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Taco Bell. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (AP/CBS) – A San Jose judge has said a transient is mentally competent to stand trial for felony false imprisonment of a good Samaritan who was forced into a Palo Alto fast food restaurant bathroom.

A judge ordered trial for 54-year-old Reginald Hodges after an October preliminary hearing. But defense attorney Jeffrey Dunn expressed doubts about his client’s competency and a doctor’s examination was ordered.

A San Jose judge ruled Wednesday that Hodges was competent. A March 28 hearing will decide a trial date.

Media outlets have reported that Hodges asked a woman for help in carrying his belongings to a bus stop.

Prosecutors said Hodges led her behind a building, opened the door to a Taco Bell bathroom and forced her inside against her will. The woman escaped unharmed minutes later.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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