A magistrate judge in Hamilton County, Ohio is stepping down after video of him chasing after a woman and grabbing her by the neck went public.
Former Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Magistrate Michael Bachman said he was forced to resign after the bizarre courtroom incident, WCPO Cincinnati reported. It was either “resign for be terminated,” he said.
“I think the video speaks for itself,” Bachman told the station in his defense. “I didn’t choke her or manhandle her. I merely put my hand up to guide her to the courtroom.”
Critics of the video thought otherwise.
The drama unfolded Sept. 4 as Kassandra Jackson, 28, was trying to file for a protection order. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, staffers told her that she’d missed the 8 a.m. deadline to do so, after which the young woman became visibly angry and began arguing with them.
In the video, Jackson is seen storming from the courtroom into the hallway, after which Bachman rushes from his bench to go after her. He finally catches up with her near the elevators but as they walk back to the courtroom together, Jackson tries fleeing down a side hall. That’s when the magistrate grabs her neck and then her shoulder, leading her back to the courtroom before sitting her down in the jury box.
Surveillance video, released last Wednesday, showed Bachman pointing at Jackson from the bench before finding her in contempt of court for her “disrespectful and disruptive behavior.” In his contempt citation, the judge wrote that Jackson was “witnessed becoming belligerent and screaming loudly in the hallways.”
“I wish there was sound with the video so you can hear how she yelled at the top of her lungs,” he told WCPO. “I could not hear the defense attorney questioning a witness.”
Not only was Jackson found in contempt of court, but was also sentenced to three days in jail. The three-day sentence turned into one week, however, after Jackson resisted two deputies Bachman had ordered to arrest her. Video shows the young woman struggling as multiple officers drag her to an elevator leading to a holding area.
Jackson was eventually strapped to a restraining chair, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Jackson wasn’t locked up for long, thanks to Presiding Judge Kim Wilson Burke, who freed her after two days. Burke ordered that the contempt charge and the remainder of Jackson’s 10-day sentence be tossed.
As for Bachman, the former judge said he would’ve defended himself if he’d known the incident would be made public.
“I resigned in order to save the court further consternation,” Bachman said of the ordeal. “But had I known it was going to become public, I would’ve defended myself in the investigation.”
Watch more in the clip below.