Fight at Regional Justice Center in Kent injures three

A fight broke out Monday at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent during a criminal trial recess. - Kent Reporter, file photo
A fight broke out Monday at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent during a criminal trial recess.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

A criminal trial stemming from a 2012 drive-by shooting in Seattle was interrupted Monday morning when a fight broke out outside a third-floor courtroom at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the trial was adjourned for a short recess. Several persons in attendance including witnesses, victims, and supporters of the defendant moved to the lobby where a verbal disturbance started, according to a Kent Police media release.

An on-duty Seattle Police gang detective intervened, convincing several of those involved to calm down and leave the area. A 23-year-old Renton man associated with the defendant in the trial continued to escalate his behavior and when contacted by the detective, grabbed the officer by his clothing and punched him.

As the scuffle continued, a King County prosecuting attorney came to the aid of the officer whereupon he was grabbed by his jacket and kicked in the chest by the man, temporarily disabling him. Within moments a King County corrections officer and staff from Regional Justice Center security arrived. They were able to restrain the man and take him into custody without further injury.

Police arrested the Renton man for investigation of third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and malicious mischief. He was treated for a facial laceration and transported to the city of Kent jail where he is currently being held.

In addition to multiple facial cuts from the attack, the detective also sustained a bite to his arm during the fracas. Both the police officer and prosecutor were treated at the scene for their injuries. The trial resumed later in the morning.

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