A Michigan judge who threw off his robe, came down from the bench and helped subdue an unruly defendant scuffling with an officer in his courtroom. He told ABC News that he doesn’t regret his actions.
"I would hope any other judge would say, if my court officer is in trouble, I am going to go down there and do what I can," Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John McBain said in an interview yesterday, adding that this was the first time he's had to do that in court.
Video of the incident, which took place in December, was released by MLive.com on Wednesday.
The defendant -- who was in court for violation of a personal protection order -- talks back to the judge, who was ordering him to stay away from the woman he was accused of harassing.
"I told you, just leave her alone ... she clearly has no interest in seeing you," McBain said to the defendant, identified by ABC affiliate WLAJ in Lansing, Michigan as Jacob Larson.
"I want her to tell me to leave her alone," Larson said in response to the judge’s order.
But his defiance, speaking out of turn in court, came with a stiff penalty.
"You know what? I told you to leave her alone and apparently that didn’t get through loud and clear, so today you’re going to jail for three days," McBain said.
Larson continued talking back to the judge, who responded each time by extending the sentence, first to 45 days, then to 93 days and then to 365 days in the county jail.
When a courtroom officer ordered Larson to stand up and put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed, the two scuffled. The judge then stripped off his robe, ran to the officer’s aid and pounced on the defendant.
"Tase his a** now!" the judge said.
Despite the high emotion moment, the officer did not used his taser on the defendant and the judge later changed the sentence back to 93 days.
Court officials reviewed the video and came to the decision that McBain did nothing wrong and was trying to maintain order in the court.