Court Security

Lawyer Steps In to Help Woman Attacked During Divorce Hearing in Judge's Chambers


Catherine Scott-Gonzalez, 23, says she tried to get a restraining order against her husband, Paul, but couldn’t persuade a court to issue one.

However, police say he attacked her in a Florida judge’s chambers Friday, leaving her with two black eyes, broken facial bones and split lips, and he is now jailed in lieu of $1 million bond on a felony battery charge, reports WSVN.

“Rarely in my career have I set a bond in this amount or even approaching it, but the allegations are indeed extremely serious and shocking,” said a bond court judge after the incident in Broward County Circuit Judge Ronald Rothschild’s chambers in Fort Lauderdale.

Bailiffs reportedly used a stun gun on 28-year-old Paul Henry Gonzalez Jr. A lawyer for his wife said Gonzalez became enraged and attacked her after a judge ordered him to pay child support and set visitation terms.

After storming out, Gonzalez came back in shouting, retreated, and then re-entered Rothschild’s chambers a second time and went straight for Scott-Gonzalez, rushing up to her from behind and punching her with closed fists, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, based on information from attorney Michael Dunleavy and a police report.

Dunleavy intervened and held Gonzalez in a bear hug until authorities arrived, the newspaper says.

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