Sunday, 4 February 2018

Father who lunged at Larry Nassar comforted by deputy who pinned him down: 'I understand'

After an enraged father tried getting vigilante justice by lunging at former Olympics gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom Friday morning, he was comforted by one of the sheriff's deputies who pinned him down and cuffed him.
Randall Margraves was in a raging fit, flat on his stomach while it took three uniformed deputies and one plain-clothes officer to detain him.
"Let me at that son of a b----," Margraves shouted in court.
One of the deputies disarmed the father by repeatedly saying: 'I understand.'
After Margraves shouted, "Give me one minute with that bastard, one of the deputies talked him down, saying, "Relax sir. Take it easy, buddy. Just relax.... I understand. I understand, but stay down."
After the officers tackled and pinned Margraves down to the courtroom floor, the officers again, asked him to relent and quit resisting once they raised him upright.
"We're going to let up," one of the deputies said. "But you're going to have to let up too."
Before he was led out of the courtroom, Margraves asked the officers, "What if this happened to you guys?"
The father apologized for his actions but made it clear that he wishes the worst for Nassar.
"I believe in God almighty. I believe in heaven and hell, and I can only hope that when the day comes that Larry Nassar has ended his days on this Earth that he will be escorted to one of the deepest, darkest, hottest pits in hell there is for him and people like him. I hope there's a lot of pain attached to it because he certainly left a lot of pain on this Earth," Margraves said at a news conference this evening.
Margraves has three daughters who have now given victim impact statements about how Nassar assaulted them.
After two of his daughter's delivered statements in court, Margraves at first tried to ask the judge if he could spend time alone with Nassar. When that request was denied, Margraves lunged at him.
"I did not know the content of the impact statements. We went to the podium... in support of the two daughters [who addressed the court today] when I had to hear what was said in those statements and I had to look over at Larry Nassar shaking his head, that's when I lost control," Margraves said today.
"I feel very remorseful... this cannot be a lawless society, I know that. I lost control but I regained control later in a holding cell," he said.
PHOTO: Randall Margraves appears with his attorney and apologizes to the court for his outburst during the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar in the Eaton County Court in Charlotte, Mich., Feb. 2, 2018. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
Afterward, Margraves was restrained by court security personnel and led out of court.
He was later held in contempt of court. The same judge who was handling Nassar's case pertaining to sexual assault charges also handled Margraves' subsequent sentencing hearing, and Margraves was not arrested and will not face any fines.
In a statement from the sheriff's office, Judge Janice Cunningham declined to sentence him to any jail time.
"I can’t say I understand what it would be like to stand there as father and know that three of your girls were injured physically and emotionally by somebody sitting in the room," Cunningham said.
"I don’t disagree that as a parent and the victims that you want people held accountable. I don’t disagree with that. Use the legal system to do it. Use the system of justice that is here. And there will be the proper punishment. But as for the direct contempt of court there is no way this court is going to issue any type of punishment given the circumstances of this case," she said.
Margraves offered an apology to Cunningham and everyone in the court, which the judge accepted.
"I have the highest and utmost respect for the justice system. I’d like to apologize to everyone in the courtroom and all the officers, they are fine upstanding officers who had to deal with my outburst," Margraves said in his sentencing hearing.
"I came here to support my daughters, I knew they were going to read a statement, I did not know what was in it, they would not let me see it ahead of time. I’ve got to hear that and have Larry Nassar shaking his head no, like it didn’t happen," Margraves said.
"I lost control, I apologize 100 times," he added.
Hours earlier, a dramatic scene unfolded after two of Margraves' daughters spoke at Nassar's sentencing hearing.
"I'm asking you as part of the sentencing to grant me five minutes alone in a locked room with this demon," Margraves told Cunningham.
Cunningham said that she would not do that, so Margraves asked again, this time for just one minute alone with Nassar. Cunningham reiterated that the answer was no. Margraves then charged toward Nassar in the courtroom.

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