Man punches, bites detective during shooting trial

KENT, Wash. -- A criminal trial in Kent erupted in violence Monday morning when a friend of the defendant allegedly punched a Seattle Police officer and kicked a prosecutor.

The trial, which has to do with a 2012 drive-by shooting in Seattle, had just adjourned for recess at 9:30 a.m. when an argument began outside a third floor courtroom at the Maleng Regional Justice Center, according to Kent Assistant Police Chief Pat Lowery.

Among those involved in the disturbance were witnesses, victims and supporters of the defendant, Lowery said.

An on duty gang detective with the Seattle Police Department stepped in and convinced several of the people to leave the area, but one man refused to calm down and got physical with the detective. Lowery said the man, a 23-year old from Renton, grabbed the detective and punched him in the face.

During the melee, a King County prosecutor tried to help the detective and took a kick to the chest.

Within moments, Lowery said court security and a corrections officer arrived and were able to restrain the assailant, who was then taken into custody.

The Renton man was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and malicious mischief. He was treated for a facial laceration and taken to the Kent Corrections Center.

The detective was treated at the scene for multiple cuts to his face and a bite on his arm. The trial resumed a short time later.