Artifact: Whereupon There Is Screaming

Photo: Alamy

Events at the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn took an ugly turn recently when defendant Victor Wright, faced with a life sentence for his third drug conviction, lunged at prosecutor Carolyn Pokorny with a contraband razor. He was tackled first by court reporter (and Vietnam vet) Ronald Tolkin, who later reconstructed the incident based on digital recordings. His unofficial transcript, first leaked to, is excerpted below.

(Time noted: 3:30 p.m.)
(Whereupon Judge Block takes the bench.)
Ms. Pokorny: Hello.
Court Reporter: Good afternoon, Your Honor.
Mr. Rabkin: How are you? How are you, Judge?
The Court: Fine, and you?

The Court: Is [defense attorney] Mr. Batchelder here?
Courtroom Deputy Clerk: Yes. He is in with Mr. Wright.
The Court: All right.
(Whereupon Mr. Batchelder, the defendant, and Deputy U.S. Marshal Alvarez and Deputy U.S. Marshal Vavasis enter the courtroom.)
Courtroom Deputy Clerk: Well, Mr. Wright looks better today. He looked like he was depressed and a broken man the last time.
(Whereupon the defendant turns toward Ms. Pokorny and attacks her.) (Whereupon there is screaming.)
Court Reporter: You cocksucker, get off of her. Get off of her. Get off of her. You cocksucker, get off of her.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Get off of her.
Court Reporter: I will beat the shit out of you, you motherfucker. You cocksucker. Who the fuck do you think you are?
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Get off.
Court Reporter: Try it on me, man. I’ll kick you in the fuckin’ balls.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Get off her.
The Defendant: I apologize.
Court Reporter: You apologize, you piece of shit.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Get off of her.
The Defendant: They are choking me.
Court Reporter: You fuckin’ put your hands behind your back, you cocksucker.

U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Move your hands behind your back. Move them now.
Court Reporter: I got one. I got one hand. I got one. I got one.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Put your hands behind your back.
Court Reporter: Get the other one. Cuff from the other.
U.S. Marshal Vavasis: You fuckin’ asshole. You motherfucker.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Leave him there now.
Court Reporter:: You cocksucker.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Leave him there.
Court Reporter: Fuckin’ shit. Son of a bitch. I’m all right. Where is Carolyn?
Courtroom Deputy Clerk: I told her to leave.

Female Court Security Officer: 10-4 control, we need an ambulance. 10-4. In 10-C we need an ambulance to be called, please.
Control: 10-4.
Court Reporter: Is she all right, Carolyn?
Female Court Security Officer: She wants an ambulance.
Court Reporter: Good. All right. You will have to put this over.
Courtroom Deputy Clerk: No shit, Sherlock.
Court Reporter: Yeah.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: She is feeling okay but she got like some bruises.
Court Reporter: You better get an ambulance.
U.S. Marshal Vavasis: We are just going to take this guy in the back—
Control: 10-4.
Court Reporter: This is going to be put over anyway.
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Yeah, I know.
Court Reporter: It can be put over because we are not doing nothing today. I have it on audio. I have it all on audio. That fuckin’—
(Telephone ringing.)
The Court: The Marshals are here?
Court Reporter: Two Marshals are here. They took him down. They took him down, Judge. Carolyn is going to have an ambulance to go to the hospital.
The Court: What happened to her?
Court Reporter: She got all bruised, Your Honor. She wants to go to the hospital. I guess we are going to put this over?
The Court: Yes, it is going to be put over.
Court Reporter: Yes.
The Court: But why didn’t the Marshals respond? [The panic button] did not work, Mike? I am terribly concerned about this.
Courtroom Deputy Clerk: All right. In the old building we had to press it in.
(Telephone ringing.)
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: Look what I found.
(Whereupon the Marshal picks up a razor blade.)
Court Reporter: What is that, a razor?
U.S. Marshal Alvarez: It is a razor blade. He was going to cut her.
Court Reporter: Great.

Court Reporter: Let me turn this off.
(Whereupon the digital recording is concluded.)

Artifact: Whereupon There Is Screaming