Hempstead - (WALK) Eleven court officers are recovering from injuries and five defendants will be arraigned for rioting and contempt following a brawl among an estimated 100 people at First District Court in Hempstead Friday.
The row took place as murder suspect Pedro Merchant, 20, was arraigned at about 11:00 a.m. Merchant is accused of shooting-to-death Dante Quinones, 17, on September 11. Family-members of Merchant and Quniones reportedly exchanged words, then punches as the altercation spilled out of the court house and into the street.
The court was locked-down after the fight, and remained closed for about an hour before order was restored and business could resume. One court officer was takent to an area hospital for treatment, two other people injured in the melee were treated at the scene, according to Nassau police.
The defendants in Friday's brawl are scheduled to be arraigned Saturday, Merchant is being held without bail, and is scheduled to return to court next week.