Saturday, October 29, 2016

Billings courthouse security officer tackles fleeing suspect

Lawrence Demarais
Billings MT Oct 29 2016 After being ordered to spend 30 days in jail, a man ran from the courtroom Friday but was tackled in the lobby by a security guard.
Lawrence Michael Demarais, 39, appeared in court Friday for sentencing on a traffic ticket from February. He had failed to appear for sentencing on Sept. 29, and faced a felony charge of criminal endangerment and two misdemeanor charges for fleeing from a traffic stop on Sept. 1.
Demarais appeared in court as a walk-in after posting a $7,500 bond for the felony charge and a $1,000 bond for failing to appear at sentencing.
Yellowstone County Justice of the Peace David Carter continued the $7,500 bond. On the failure to appear for sentencing, Carter ordered Demarais to serve 30 days in jail.
Demarais tried to negotiate the sentence, but Carter told him to gather his things and get ready to be taken into custody immediately.
Instead, Demarais left the courtroom.
A court clerk alerted Guardian Security Guard Pete Lundberg in the lobby, who tackled the running Demarais as he burst through a stairway door.
Demarais was returned to the courtroom and charged with contempt of court. Demarais said he was just trying to call his wife before he was taken into custody.
"You fled," Carter responded. "That's how people get hurt, and they can get hurt really, really bad."
Carter sentenced Demarais to an additional 30 days in jail. He also ordered Demarais' felony bond increased to $50,000. Demarais can argue for a lower bond when he appears for arraignment in Yellowstone County District Court.
As Demarais left the courtroom, he said goodbye to his wife, who arrived after he was tackled in the lobby.
"Come see me through the glass," Demarais said.
Billings Gazette 

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