Judge Sucker-Punched Lawyer After Party: Complaint

'I do justice and I f---ing kill people!' Robert Beltrani allegedly said before altercation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Yikes.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A party in October ended with a Legal Aid lawyer lying unconscious on a New York City sidewalk, and on Tuesday, a state parole judge who handles Rikers Island cases was charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment in the case, the New York Daily News reports. Robert Beltrani, 53, was said to be at the same Oct. 20 party as attorney Sam Roberts, 48, per the New York Post, and an allegedly intoxicated Beltrani reportedly said some inflammatory words to Roberts just after 11:30 that night as they stood outside the venue. "Yeah, I'm the judge," Beltrani said, per the complaint against him. "I do justice and I f---ing kill people!"

Beltrani then allegedly sucker-punched Roberts as he tried to walk away, then fell on top of him on the sidewalk. Roberts was knocked out and suffered a separated shoulder, a black eye, and other injuries. He told the Daily News in October that Beltrani just didn't seem to like him after they were introduced, that he tried to disengage and may have been impolite to Beltrani, and that at one point the judge warned him, "Don't disrespect me. Watch out." The Post, which noted Beltrani showed up to court Tuesday with a "quarter-size lump on his forehead," adds that he left the courtroom without comment, "[mumbling] profanities under his breath." He was released without bail; Roberts received an order of protection against him. (An Iowa man died over the summer after being sucker-punched.)

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