Defendant throws chairs at judge, court staff during courtroom outburst

Posted at 12:42 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 12:42:56-05

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. - A court hearing in Indiana spun out of control when a defendant started throwing chairs at the court staff on Thursday morning. according to WXIN.

Footage from cameras inside Superior Court II in Bartholomew County show 20-year-old Jordan Rhoades’ outburst as he sent chairs flying.

“I honestly don’t even remember what I was thinking. It was not something I had ever experienced before,” said Jeremy Fisk, a Bartholomew County deputy prosecutor.

Rhoades showed up to his probation violation hearing an hour and a half late. According to officials, Rhoades told the judge he wanted to be sentenced.

After Rhoades was given his one year sentence, court officials say Rhoades’ behavior and language became "unruly." Judge Kathleen Coriden held Rhoades in contempt of court and then leveled a second contempt charge.

Rhoades’ verbal attacks quickly turned violent. Courtroom footage shows Rhoades losing his temper and launching chairs from the back row of the courtroom.

“One of the chairs he threw landed right where a couple of the people had been sitting but they had gotten out of the way, so I was glad for that. I was glad there was no one else in the courtroom that got hurt,” said Fisk. The judge and two other court staff members were not injured.

A computer monitor was also damaged. From a different camera you can see Rhoades sitting on a bench outside of the courtroom. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Rhoades on a lower floor as he was trying to leave the courthouse.

“(I was) just really surprised. It’s something no one has ever seen before especially since he was the one that requested to go to jail. Nobody was expecting it to escalate to that,” said Fisk.

Rhoades is now facing battery and attempted battery charges on a public official.

"The Sheriff’s Office is responsible to secure our Courthouse and we take this incident very seriously,” said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers.

A safety committee will review policies and procedures and make any changes if necessary.