2 Lawyers Tackle Defendant Attempting Getaway in Fort Lauderdale Courthouse

The scuffle happened as a judge was getting ready to revoke the man's bond, one lawyer said

Two lawyers helped tackle a defendant who made an abbreviated attempt at a getaway in the central Fort Lauderdale courthouse Thursday.

Ernest Burch, 32, was in court Thursday morning to be arraigned on five charges for a domestic violence case, according to court records.

He ended up getting four more charges as a judge ordered him into custody for violating the terms of his pretrial release for contacting the victim in the domestic violence case, authorities said.

Assistant State Attorney Andrew Newman, who was not a prosecutor in the case, said that as the hearing was going on, “I could see that the judge was getting ready to revoke his bond. And I like to watch their hands,” he said of defendants, “because if they’re going to resist, you can see it right when the deputies go to take their hands from behind.”

“Sure enough, his hands were not going into the cuffs, so I could see that he was getting ready to resist,” Newman said.

A court deputy started to get Burch one-on-one, but he was having trouble with him, Newman said.

A new complaint affidavit filed against Burch said that he pushed the Deputy Gerald Crowther with both hands on his chest, and struck his hands as he repeatedly tried to pull away, giving Crowther several cuts and abrasions.

As they struggled, Newman said, "I jumped up quite frankly and tried to tackle him into the side of the courtroom."

Newman said that he, defense lawyer Nirav Jamindar (who also was not involved in the case) and Crowther eventually “secured” Burch, who faces charges for an incident from Christmas Day. Newman showed a small scratch he received on his hand.

During the encounter Burch kept trying to talk with the woman he is barred from contacting, telling her at one point, "Baby, just give me a kiss," the affidavit said.

Burch is being held in Fort Lauderdale's Main Jail, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Jamindar said he has been working in Fort Lauderdale for over a year and had not seen anything like what transpired Thursday.

“As soon as I saw him try to pull away, I put my cell phone down and I just ran after him and tackled him into a corner along with Mr. Newman,” he said. “He was extremely agitated, he was resisting arrest, he was not putting his hands in his cuffs.”

“This was just one of those things where the client … just didn’t want to go into custody, and he tried to make a break for it,” Jamindar added. “Unfortunately he was out of luck, because we got him.”

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