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Happily ever after ended with a stun gun Friday morning for an ex-Marine who attacked and beat his wife in a judge's chambers during their final divorce hearing.
Fort Lauderdale resident Paul Henry Gonzalez Jr., 28, beat Catherine Ann Scott-Gonzalez so severely that, according to her boyfriend, she was held overnight in intensive care at Holy Cross Hospital to monitor brain swelling.
The 23-year-old mother of two, also a former Marine, suffered a broken nose, torn lip, and facial fractures, boyfriend Brennan Worsencroft told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The shocking scene unfolded when Gonzalez balked at paying child support and disagreed with Judge Ronald Rothschild's visitation ruling. Angry, he stormed in and out of chambers, before suddenly re-entering, grabbing his estranged wife around the neck, and repeatedly punching her in the side of the head.
The first blow knocked Scott-Gonzalez unconscious, Worsencroft said, and after the assault she collapsed into the arms of a courtroom clerk as a pool of blood grew near the judge's chair.
Her divorce attorney, Michael Dunleavy, wrapped his arms around Gonzalez to restrain him until police arrived.
But still the angry dad did not go quietly: when officers attempted to handcuff him, he fought back before eventually being shocked twice with a stun gun and pinned to the judge's conference table.
"He was punching with a true vengeance. It was vicious," Dunleavy told the paper, noting that "to see that violence play out in a judge's chambers is somewhat surreal."
Gonzalez is charged with felony battery, domestic violence and resisting arrest without violence.