Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Your Honour, my client requests an adjournment of this lousy hearing because he has bedbugs ..... Judge, why are you running from the courtroom?"

Chaos at Manhattan Criminal Court after bedbugs seen crawling up defendant's neck

Spectators and court workers alike dashed from an arraignments court inside Manhattan Criminal Court

By Rick Schapiro
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Spectators and court worker alike dashed from an arraingments court inside Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday when someone spotted bedbugs up the neck of a man who was there to answser a desk-appearance ticket

Everyone would have been better off had this man not been given a ticket.

Pandemonium erupted inside Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday after panicked spectators said they spotted bedbugs crawling up the neck of a man who was there to answer to a desk-appearance ticket.

The sickening sight sent court observers scrambling out of their seats, a witness told the Daily News.

“People started bolting,” added the witness, a 49-year-old Manhattan woman. “Even the court officers were freaked out. It was disgusting.”

Courts spokesman David Bookstaver confirmed the insect-fueled ruckus, but said “no evidence of the alleged bugs was uncovered.”

The icky incident happened about 11:30 a.m. A court officer assigned to one of the courtrooms designated for arraignments saw a commotion in the back and asked what was going on, the witness said.

A woman stood up and announced that a man sitting near her was covered with the creepy crawlies, sparking chaos in the benches.

Several observers raced out of the courtroom. The apparent offender also sprinted away from the scene, the witness said.

The court officers emptied the three final rows, and the proceedings continued, the witness said.

After about 20 minutes, an exterminator arrived and the courtroom was evacuated.

When the room was reopened, yellow police tape was cordoning off the three final rows.

“People were scratching themselves,” the witness said. “Everyone in the courtroom was uncomfortable.”

“I’m still scratching myself,” added the witness. “Just telling the story I get itchy.”

Bookstaver said the incident started after “spectators thought they saw bugs jumping from a defendant.”

“Court personnel were notified and immediately inspected the courtroom,” Bookstaver said, noting that there was no sign of the bugs.

But the court workers weren’t going to take any chances, Bookstaver said. “As a prophylactic measure, the courtroom was sprayed,” he said.

rschapiro@nydailynews.com

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