How can anyone not sympathize with the judge, even if he did sort of go off his nut?
Judge Robert Restaino, 48, was hearing a domestic violence case in Niagara Falls on 11 March 2005 when he heard the offending phone and “snapped”, as the BBC puts it.
According to the commission’s report, he told the courtroom: “Every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now. If anybody believes I’m kidding, ask some of the folks that have been here for a while. You are all going.”
After security officers unsuccessfully tried to find the device, Restaino ordered a short recess. When he returned to the bench, he asked the phone’s owner to ‘fess up. Receiving no reply, he “ordered that the entire courtroom audience of 46 people be taken into custody and set bail at $1,500”.