Trials & Litigation

Man held 6 months in retail theft of 2 paintbrushes gets 6 months for contempt over court outburst

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Already jailed for more than six months in what would ordinarily be considered a fairly minor suburban Chicago shoplifting case, Ignatius Pollara got another six months for direct contempt on Friday after a courtroom outburst.

When he tried to speak in court and was told to stop talking by Judge Brian Telander, the 50-year-old lost his temper, began shouting, leaned over the bench and yelled a profanity as a deputy led him from the courtroom, the Chicago Tribune (reg. req.) reports.

Outside in the hallway, Pollara repeatedly shouted, “Help me! Police brutality!” as the deputy held him against a wall. Pollara loudly complained, “This is all a malicious prosecution for two paintbrushes!”

Pollara hails from Florida but faces a felony burglary case in DuPage County, Illinois, after being charged with shoplifting two paintbrushes and some pencils from a Hobby Lobby store in Lombard during a vacation.

Since he was already on probation in his home state for stealing some $2 million worth of Legos and other merchandise from retailers, his case was taken more seriously, resulting in a high bond after he was arrested last July, as an earlier post details.

Before Friday’s outburst, Telander set a June trial date for Pollara, after assistant public defender Mark Lyon said the defendant had rejected a plea offer.

Heavily guarded, Pollara apologized for his outburst after a recess. The judge gave the defendant six months for contempt, then recused himself from the case, saying that he did not want to risk the appearance of a conflict.

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