Video shows judge tossing robe, helping restrain defendant in courtroom scuffle

JACKSON, Mich. -- A Michigan judge who threw off his robe and helped restrain a defiant man in his courtroom says he was concerned about the safety of the man and a court officer.

The incident involving Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John McBain took place last December during a hearing about a personal protection order violation.

Gloves come off as judge joins courtroom scuffle by MLive on YouTube

In the video, the judge grows increasingly agitated as he orders the man to stay away from the former classmate who had filed a protective order request against him.

“You know what, I told you to leave her alone, and apparently that didn’t get through loud and clear,” McBain says.

McBain tells the man he has a “bad attitude” and orders him to serve a three-day jail sentence, which quickly increases to 93 days as the man refuses to stop talking. 

The man is then seen resisting efforts by the court officer to handcuff him. McBain is heard shouting, “Tase his a** right now,” as he rushes toward the man. The officer said he removed his Taser from his holster, but didn’t have to use it.

McBain told the Jackson Citizen Patriot that the man was “totally disturbing the decorum of the court.” The newspaper published video of the confrontation online.

Jackson County Chief Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson says McBain’s actions were allowable. Wilson says: “A judge has the power to take whatever action is necessary to maintain order in the courtroom.”

It was the first time McBain could recall leaving the bench to help restrain a person, the paper reported.

“There is one thing I don’t tolerate is disruptions in my courtroom,” McBain said.