Witnesses: Fraud defendant triggers Texas courtroom brawl

State News

A judge’s gavel is shown in a file photo. (Credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

HOUSTON (AP) — Witnesses say a crime defendant punched and attacked a bailiff, prosecutor and judge after being denied bond in his fraud case in Houston.

The Houston Chronicle reports Joseph Catarineau was making a routine appearance Tuesday before state District Judge Danny Lacayo when Lacayo asked if he needed an attorney.

Witnesses say Lacayo denied bond after Catarineau addressed him disrespectfully.

When the bailiff tried to take him into custody, Catarineau grabbed the bailiff’s hair, took her to the ground and began punching her, according to prosecutor Jacob Salinas.

Salinas says he and Lacayo traded punches with the man until the bailiff subdued him with her stun gun.

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