Suspects hospitalized following Alabaster robbery

Two Alabaster robbery suspects were hospitalized Dec. 21 after their car crashed off Smokey Road following a police chase.

Eric Judkins, 37, who lives on Division Avenue in Birmingham, and Clarence Jones, 29, who lives on Second Avenue North in Birmingham, were both charged with counts of first-degree robbery.

The robbery happened at about 7 p.m. when the two suspects entered the China First restaurant on First Street Southwest, produced weapons, made threats and assaulted a restaurant employee, said Alabaster Police Department Deputy Chief Curtis Rigney said.

The employee who was assaulted suffered no major injuries.

Police spotted the suspects’ vehicle, a 2002 Toyota Avalon, shortly after the robbery was reported, and began pursuing the suspects.

“Speeds reached an unsafe level, so the pursuit was terminated,” Rigney said.

“Shortly after the pursuit was called off, the suspects’ vehicle wrecked off Smokey Road, and officers called in the medics,” Rigney added. “They airlifted one suspect and transported the other by ambulance.”

As of Dec. 22, Jones was in the Shelby County Jail on a $60,000 bond, and Judkins remained at UAB Hospital.