A war of words between a judge and attorney in Florida ended after the judge allegedly punched the attorney in the head.
Judge John Murphy of Brevard County, Florida, challenged veteran public defenderAndrew Weinstock to a fight on Monday, and it was all caught on tape and obtained by WFTV.
The station reports that Murphy pressured Weinstock during court proceedings to make his client waive his right to a speedy trial.
“I’m not waiving,” Weinstock can be heard telling the judge.
The two men, seemingly frustrated with one another, start to get heated.
“You know, if I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now,” Murphy shoots back. “Stop pissing me off!”
Murphy tells Weinstock to sit down.
“I have a right to be here,” Weinstock says to the demand.
“If you wanna fight, let’s just go out back and I’ll beat your ass!” Murphy can be heard saying. Weinstock then walks away from the camera.
In the hallway and out of view from the courtroom cameras, Murphy allegedly grabbed Weinstock by the collar and punched him in the head, according to WGHP.
“You want to f**k with me?” one of the men is heard shouting during the brawl.
Two deputies broke up the altercation. Murphy then returned to the courtroom to applause, saying, “I will catch my breath eventually. Man, I’m an old man.”
Public Defender Blaise Trettis told Florida Today that Weinstock did not return to the courtroom, and that criminal charges won’t be pursued.
Weinstock was reassigned to another area so he and Murphy wouldn’t interact with one another.
The public defender’s office told WFTV that the incident will be reported to the Florida Bar.