Officer Slugged During Wild Overcrowding Condition at Bronx Housing Court

Officer Slugged During Wild Overcrowding Condition at Bronx Housing Court
by David Greene

A wild, convoluted scene unfolded during what officials are calling an “overcrowding problem” on the second floor of the Bronx Housing Court, that resulted in uncontrolled chaos as several hundred visitors were trapped on the second floor –causing at least four injuries, 2 assaults and one arrest.

According Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the state’s unified court system reported “a severe crowding condition,” at the court building, located at 1118 Grand Concourse at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 16.

EMS reported 3 victims removed from the Bronx Housing Court after an overcrowding problem on the second floor.–Photo by David Greene

As the gridlock on the second floor continued, Chalfen explained, “Evidently DCAS (Department of Citywide Administrative Services) shut down one of the two escalators for service preventing the public from utilizing the other to exit the 2nd floor. In addition two of the four building elevators were in service and they did not go down to the lobby.”

Chalfen continued, “The overcrowding caused a chain of events to occur which led to two litigants needing medical attention and an individual causing a disturbance resulting in his arrest and a court officer being injured effecting that arrest.”

Chalfen then detailed the civilian injury as, “a female litigant became non-responsive and was removed to a local hospital by EMS.”

One witnesses reported that one court officer was punched in the face and officials confirm that one court officer suffered a broken ankle during the arrest outside of room 220.

A Bronx Housing Court officer is removed after suffering a broken ankle during an overcrowding condition inside the court building.–Photo by David Greene

The second victim, believed to be Joachim Antoine, 47, who reportedly also suffered a foot injury as was taken to a local hospital for treatment and later charged with felony assault, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

One pregnant young woman accompanied by her two young children claimed she was walking past the man being arrested, when she was assaulted and threatened with arrest by a court officer.

A cellphone photo shows several hundred people pack the second floor at Bronx Housing Court as (not shown) a police officer sits on the ground, waiting for paramedics.–Photo by David Greene

The woman charged, “The police officer grabbed me in the middle of my armpit and the side of my breast.” She continued, He got in my face and a female officer came up behind him and threatened to take my kids.”

The woman was escorted from the building, despite a 72-hour notice of eviction. She also claimed that court officers and police refused to make a police report or call an ambulance for her. The woman later stated she was contacted by detectives.

Chalfen declined to comment on the woman’s claim.

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