Court Security

New York man arrested and charged with assault after attack at courthouse

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A man who had previously threatened a federal judge attacked a court security officer in the elevator at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, according to a criminal complaint made public Monday.

Robert Wilson, who is 63 and from Calverton, New York, was arrested and charged with assaulting a federal officer after the incident Thursday. He was ordered detained without bail at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene Lindsay of the Eastern District of New York, Reuters reports.

Wilson first entered the courthouse for the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday and went to the clerk’s office to file documents in connection with pending litigation, according to the complaint, which was dated Aug. 11 and signed by Paul Brunhuber, a deputy U.S. marshal with the U.S. Marshals Service. While in the office, Wilson allegedly said if “the judge” did not “follow the rules,” Wilson would return with “armed troops” and “arrest the judge for treason.”

Reuters reports that Wilson filed a lawsuit against state and local officials over issues involving home improvement contractor licensing and previous prosecutions. The case is before U.S. District Judge Gary Brown of the Eastern District of New York.

Since May, Wilson has made similar statements to the courthouse’s staff and another judge, and as a result, court security officers have been directed to monitor his activities while in the building, the complaint said.

He returned to the courthouse Thursday and asked court security officers at the main entrance to direct him to a judge’s office, the complaint said. After the officers refused, Wilson allegedly took an elevator to the fourth floor, where he remained for a short period before returning to the elevator.

After the doors closed, Wilson allegedly attacked a court security officer, who had been escorting him. According to the complaint, Wilson grabbed the officer by the back of his neck, forced him to the floor and punched him in the side rib cage area.

The court security officer made a distress call to other officers, who came to the seventh floor, where the elevator had stopped. Two other officers were injured while attempting to detain Wilson, the complaint said. All three officers were taken to the hospital.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Congress needs to enact legislation and provide funding to ensure the safety of our judges” “Bill to expand Supreme Court security heads to Biden for signature” “ABA House urges Congress to pass judicial security bill” “An attack on a judge’s family is putting judicial security center stage”

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