A Cleveland man sucker-punched his lawyer in the face seconds after being sentenced to over 40 years in prison on nearly two dozen charges.
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo handed David Chislton the hefty prison sentence Tuesday after the man pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend and setting fire to an apartment building in 2017, WKYC reported.
Video shows Chislton, wearing an orange prison jumper in handcuffs, standing next to his lawyer Aaron Brockler when the judge announced the prison term.
Immediately, Chislton turned to his side and attacked his lawyer, punching him in the face before pushing him against a table then falling to the floor.
Courtroom deputies managed to separate the men, dragging Chislton out of the room.
“I turned to him as I was about to tell him that I would come and meet with him privately to see if there’s anything we could do to reduce his sentence,” Brockler told WKYC News. “But before I could even open my mouth I just heard a swoosh sound and all I remember is waking up on the floor, underneath the table.”
The lawyer said he woke up to officers on top of his client.
“The prosecutors were behind me, I guess they were trying to pull me out from under him because he was biting me,” Brockler said. “He was biting me in my rear end.”
The lawyer said he suffered a broken nose and a concussion as a result of the attack, noting his client had been handcuffed in the front and not with his hands behind his back.
“It could have been avoidable,” Brockler said of how his client was restrained. “Hopefully, you know, I took a couple of shots and now nobody else will have to.”
Court Administrative Judge John J. Russo issued a statement encouraging the “sheriff’s department to fully review safety protocols for court proceedings.”
“This incident is a reminder that the safety of our employees, citizens and anyone else in our courtrooms should be a top priority,” he said. “We thank the deputies and others who responded during the incident for their quick actions, and we encourage the sheriff’s department to fully review safety protocols for court proceedings.”
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