Courtroom brawl caught on camera - WNEM TV 5

Courtroom brawl between judge and public defender caught on camera

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(CBS photo) (CBS photo)
VIERA, FL (CBS) -

Instead of raining down justice, a judge in Florida rained blows upon an attorney, according to a public defender.

It happened Monday in Viera, which is southeast of Orlando.

"What do you want to do? You want to set it for trial, we'll set it for trial," Brevard County Public Defender Andrew Weinstock was heard saying in the courtroom.

He was defending his client at the podium, but the way he was speaking seemed to upset the judge.

The exchange was recorded by a courtroom camera.

"You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now," the judge said.

The judge ordered Weinstock to sit down, but the public defender said he refused in the name of defending his client.

That's when the judge apparently had enough.

"If you want to fight, let's go out back, and I'll beat your (expletive)," the judge said.

Eyewitnesses in the courtroom watched Weinstock follow the judge into his chambers and then heard the commotion that followed.

"They went back there and started fighting like crazy!" one eyewitness said.

Amanda Strohofer was waiting to be a witness in one of the cases. She said she could not believe what happened. She said she thought it started with Weinstock's attitude.

"The lawyer was rude," she said. "He was extremely rude. He shouldn't have done that."

When the judge finally came back into the courtroom, he was alone. Eyewitnesses said he caught his breath and finished up the case.

"I thought it was crazy, but you know what?" said another eyewitness. "He ain't going to disrespect the judge in his own courtroom."

Another public defender said Weinstock had been punched in the head by the judge. There was no word on Weinstock's condition Monday night.

The judge did not wish to comment.

Despite the courtroom scuffle, neither the judge nor Weinstock decided to press charges against each other.

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