Washington (News21USA) — A physical altercation broke out during a hearing Monday in the case of Vitali GossJankowski, a defendant convicted of several charges related to the which resulted in tables being knocked over and multiple federal agents subduing the defendant to the ground.
Judge Paul Friedman of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered GossJankowski jailed for a series of recent doxxing threats directed at federal agents. Moments later, GossJankowski stood up and fought with officers who attempted to handcuff and detain him.
GossJankowski, who appears to be at least 6 feet 3 inches tall and exceptionally muscular, pushed, pulled and tackled officials before rushing toward a podium and nearby tables.
Agents from other parts of the courtroom rushed into the courtroom to help four U.S. Marshals and FBI personnel corral GossJankowski, who is hearing impaired.
GossJankowski was found guilty of several charges in his Jan. 6 case earlier this year, including assaulting police.
Prosecutors had asked a judge to jail him immediately before sentencing over a series of threatening Instagram posts in which GossJankowski allegedly attacked and disclosed private information about FBI employees.
Just before GossJankowski’s outburst and fight, Friedman ruled that the social media posts were “extremely troubling and dangerous.” Echoing recent arguments over gag orders in former President Donald Trump’s cases, the judge said it is rarely “people in public life” who pose a threat to judges and officers, but rather “their followers.”
Friedman said threatening posts are not protected by the First Amendment. He alluded to other federal judges in Washington who have recently been attacked and needed 24-hour security.
GossJankowski was eventually removed from court and taken to the DC jail. His sentencing date has not yet been set.