HOUSTON — There was extra security in a Harris County courtroom Thursday morning as a man accused of attacking a bailiff and punching a judge made an appearance.
Bail was denied for Joseph Catarineau on three new felony assault charges.
Catarineau was much calmer this time around. On Tuesday, prosecutors say he attacked a bailiff, who is also a Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy, by pulling her to the ground by her hair. They say he started punching her. Two prosecutors who were in the courtroom intervened, and the judge in the case even left the bench to try to get Catarineau under control. Catarineau allegedly punched all of them.
“If you can’t behave and not be violent in one of the most secure locations in Harris County, meaning a courtroom, and not strike and assault a peace officer, a prosecutor and a judge, then you’re probably not going someone who’s going to be very safe out in public,” said Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. “That was our argument, and the judge granted it.”
Authorities used a Taser on Catarineau to get him under control during the Tuesday incident. One of the prosecutors, who was trying to help subdue Catarineau, sustained a secondary shock because he was touching him when he was hit with the Taser.
Officials said Catarineau did not have a history of violence before Tuesday’s incident.