A Rutherford County judge came face-to-face with an angry man who had previously appeared in his courtroom. The man had lost his home in foreclosure and blamed the judge in the confrontation at a Hobby Lobby store.
Judge Larry Brandon has worked in the Rutherford County Civil Court for seven years, overseeing civil collections and probate matters, but he said never in a million years did he ever expect to be attacked by someone who appeared before him in his courtroom.
"After I give him all those breaks, he gets mad," Brandon said.
Brandon and his wife, Kathy, were shopping Tuesday evening at the Hobby Lobby in Murfreesboro, and once they paid for their merchandise, a man walked up asking if he was the judge.
"I responded that I was, and then he looked at me and said, 'You foreclosed on my house,' and apparently proceeded to kick me and start swinging," Brandon said.
The judge wasn't having it, and he fought back.
"I put my hands up to block the swings, and then I immediately kicked him in the groin," Brandon said.
That's not all. The judge also picked up a shopping basket and bashed the man over the head.
"I wanted to make sure he didn't have access to a knife or some other kind of weapon that would do harm to me," Brandon said.
The other man, 43-year-old Gary Gregg Moncier, later surrendered to police. He said the judge was smiling at him in the store, and he couldn't take it, especially since he has lost his dream home.
"It was solely about the fact that he foreclosed on my home, and he didn't have to," Moncier said.
Brandon said Moncier's home was foreclosed by Wells Fargo Bank, not him.
"Regardless of the level of hurt, I didn't miss his payments on his home. I didn't put him in foreclosure," Brandon said.
Moncier said he now fears he has little to no chance in court.
"I'm afraid it might be a problem for me in court. He is a judge, and I fear the retaliation part," Moncier said.
Brandon said he has a permit to carry a gun in his courtroom and in public, but he didn't have a weapon on him last night.
"You're responsible for the bullet that leaves your gun. If, yesterday, I shot him or I missed him and shot an innocent person, I would have been responsible for that," Brandon said.
Moncier works a bus driver with the Boys and Girls Club of Rutherford County. Officials with the organization released a statement Wednesday, saying Moncier is a contracted employee, and as soon as they found out about the alleged incident, he was immediately placed on administrative leave and removed from bus duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
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