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Defense attorney Donald Papcsy, of Norwalk, Conn.’s DiScala, DiScala & Papcsy, doesn’t deny his client’s sudden bout of belligerence in a Norwalk courtroom was inappropriate. But the defendant’s actions didn’t justify Assistant State’s Attorney Michael DeJoseph allegedly punching Papcsy’s client twice in the face, Papcsy said June 2. “It was just a matter of time before [DeJoseph] lost his head in a courtroom,” Papcsy said. “He lost his cool and let his violent tendencies come out.” DeJoseph declined to comment on the May 27 incident when reached last week. Chief State’s Attorney Christopher Morano did not return telephone messages by press time. Defendant Anthony Rogers was representing himself when Norwalk Superior Court Judge William P. Hickey Jr. denied his request for a continuance so he could hire Papcsy’s firm. Rogers became agitated and cursed while the judge was speaking, prompting Hickey to order he be jailed for 30 days for criminal contempt, according to a state police incident report. Rogers then picked up a metal box containing court files, threw it toward the judge and was subdued by court personnel, according to the report. While he was being removed from the court, Rogers allegedly spat blood toward DeJoseph. An associate in Papcsy’s firm, former state prosecutor Michael Colombo, was in the courtroom on other business and told Papcsy that DeJoseph punched Rogers twice after judicial marshals had subdued the defendant, Papcsy said. That information could not be independently confirmed. The state police said Rogers had a small cut on his lower lip. “It is not the job of Michael DeJoseph to run over and punch somebody in the face,” Papcsy said. “Would he have punched a CEO from Westport in the mouth? Or is it just because it was an underprivileged South Norwalk citizen?” Papcsy said his client wasn’t throwing the file box at the judge. “To say he was … is ludicrous,” the attorney said. “If he was going to throw it at the judge, it would have happened.” He said his client merely knocked the box to the ground. At the time of the incident, Rogers was free on $256,000 bond after being arrested for assault and weapons charges, interfering with police, engaging in pursuit and several other charges. State Police Sgt. Paul Vance Jr. said, as of June 2, that the incident was still under investigation. “There’s no rush to judgment,” Vance said. “We intend to determine what happened and take the appropriate action.” Detectives from the Major Case Squad are conducting the investigation and will be talking to all the witnesses. Vance said he did not know how many people were in the courtroom at the time. A spokesperson for the state Judicial Department could not determine before deadline if any incident reports had been filed by judicial marshals in the courtroom.

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