CLEVELAND – Video obtained by WJW shows a suspect attacking his attorney during a court hearing on Tuesday.
The incident happened in a Cuyahoga County courtroom. David Chislton, 42, was sentenced to 47 years in prison on nearly two dozen charges.
Chislton pleaded guilty to holding his girlfriend hostage at gunpoint, then setting the Miles Landing apartment complex in Warrensville Heights on fire in 2017, displacing dozens of families.
After he was sentenced, Chislton apparently sucker-punched his attorney. Defense attorney Aaron Brockler told WJW the punch came out of the blue.
“I went to go turn to tell him ‘I’ll come and see you privately to discuss what your options are,’ and before I could even get the words out, I just got sucker-punched right in the side of the head,” Brockler said.
Brockler said he believes the attack could have been prevented.
“He had the handcuffs around the front of him, so that means he had a full range of motion – down, in, sideways; typically the inmates are restrained behind their back, but from the minute he came out, he had his hands in front of him,” Brockler said.
Cuyahoga County Administrative Judge John Russo released a statement:
“We thank the deputies and others who responded during the incident for their quick actions, and we encourage the sheriff’s department to fully review safety protocols for Court proceedings.”
A Cuyahoga County spokeswoman said deputies will complete the paperwork to file additional charges against Chislton related to the attack.