An Akron woman seeking a protection order against her former boyfriend was left alone with the man, who then attacked her in the Domestic Relations courtroom.
The attack, captured on a court security camera, has Summit County judges considering ways to increase the number of deputies who patrol the courthouse.
Meanwhile, the victim, 28, is wondering why she was left alone with the man despite telling Magistrate Tracy Stoner of his history of violence. The woman was treated for a head injury following the attack.
“I went there, I told [the magistrate] I was in fear for my life and that I had children to take care of. I just wanted her to see,” the woman said Monday.
Her former boyfriend, Rashad Greene, 30, is jailed on domestic violence charges.
The two were in court Friday for a hearing before Stoner. The victim had filed papers Jan. 16 requesting the protection order against Greene. She alleged Greene had made threats and was abusive toward her.
Greene was there to tell his side of the story. At one point during the hearing, Stoner exited the courtroom, leaving Greene and the victim alone.
The victim said she was surprised to find herself alone with Greene.
“Once the judge walked out, I was in fear,” the woman said.
The video shows Greene and the woman arguing after Stoner leaves. The video does not contain audio. They are alone in the small courtroom for about 40 seconds before Greene’s grandmother enters.
Greene grows more animated, and at one point strikes the table while looking at the victim. Suddenly, he springs from his chair and chases the victim around a table.
Greene shoves his grandmother out of the way and into a wall as she tries to intervene. The victim slips and falls while attempting to run away, giving Greene a chance to catch her.
Just before the actual assault begins, Stoner returns to the courtroom, quickly followed by a deputy. Greene can then be seen on the video taking several swings, unabated, over nine seconds while the woman cowers on the floor.
“I felt my life was in danger and I just got through telling [Stoner] that,” the woman said. “I thought he was about to kill me. ... I was just thinking about my life and [how] I wanted to go home with my children.”
The assault ends when the deputy deploys a Taser weapon into Greene’s body.
Stoner did not return a call for comment Monday.
Susan Tucker, the court’s community outreach director, said judges cannot comment on pending cases.
Tucker said the woman had come to court alleging domestic violence and seeking a civil protection order because she felt she was in “imminent danger” of attack from Greene.
Tucker said Stoner left the courtroom to determine if Greene had any pending warrants for his arrest. Out thousands of similar cases, she said, no one has attacked a victim in the courtroom.
“The reality is, and I think most of us in the domestic violence field know, that anything can happen at any time,” Tucker said. “And even if the magistrate had been there, if he had decided to do this, he would have done it anyway.”
Tucker said protection orders have increased in recent years and the court would “love” to have more deputies in the courthouse. However, she said, funding is not available.
There is one deputy assigned to each of the court’s two floors. Other deputies are stationed on the opposite side of the courthouse, where criminal cases are handled.
Because of the incident, the court will re-examine policies and potential funding for more security, Tucker said.
“We are certainly going to look at what we need to do in order to keep everyone safer,” she said. “Everyone is vulnerable. We seem to be living in a society where there’s a lot fewer boundaries on appropriate behavior.”
Phil Trexler - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services