Mich. attorney accused of punching cop in court

The officer sustained several loose teeth, a fat lip and a bloody nose from the attack

Christina Hall
Detroit Free Press

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. — A Macomb County defense attorney now needs an attorney himself after he was accused of punching a Roseville police officer during a confrontation in district court.

Nijad G. Mehanna, 41, of Roseville was arraigned today on charges of assaulting, resisting, obstructing a police officer, a two-year felony, and misdemeanor assault, Roseville police said. Mehanna stood mute to the charges and was released after posting  $10,000 cash or surety bond, police said.

A probable cause conference was set for March 30 and a preliminary examination is scheduled for April 6, according to the court.

Mehanna was in 39th District Court in Roseville about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday representing someone in a drug case when he had words with the detective lieutenant in charge of the case over his access to a codefendant of his client, police said.

The two exchanged insults when witnesses in the courtroom said Mehanna walked up to the officer, pushed him in the chest and tried to push past him into a restricted office area, police said.

They said when Mehanna found his way blocked into the office area, he allegedly, without warning, struck the officer in the face with his fist. Then, police said, Mehanna threw several more punches before being wrestled to the ground by the officer and district court officers.

The officer sustained several loose teeth, a fat lip and a bloody nose from the attack, police said. Mehanna was not injured.

Mehanna was taken into custody and held without bond at the police lockup pending arraignment.

Neither Mehanna nor an attorney listed for him with the court could be immediately reached.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said police had no prior incidents involving Mehanna, which is why the incident took everyone back a little.

Berlin said people have lost their tempers in court before.

"We've had some pushing matches and shouting matches, but no punches thrown," he said.

Mehanna is an attorney in active and good standing, according to the State Bar of Michigan website, which lists him as being admitted in November 2000.

He was recently in a high-profile case in Macomb County in which he represented the mother of an 11-month-old girl who died in 2013 after she ingested a prescription morphine pill.

Copyright 2016 the Detroit Free Press

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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