Judge calms man holding gun to himself

Jan. 14, 2011 at 1:00 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A man pointed a gun at himself inside a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., courthouse Friday morning but surrendered without injury, police said.

Marin Stroia, 59, of Oakland Park walked into the Broward County Courthouse through an exit at 9:25 a.m., the sheriff's office told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. As deputies approached, he sat on the floor and pointed a gun at his chest and demanded to see a judge.

Retired Judge Joel Lazarus, who was filling in at bond court, came downstairs but told Stroia, "I won't go down there until you put the gun down."

Once deputies secured the gun, Lazarus said, he spoke to Stroia for 10 to 15 minutes about his divorce case.

"He was ranting and raving about his divorce situation, but not incoherently," Lazarus said. "He needed to vent; he needed someone to listen to his problems."

Lazarus told Stroia to write to him about his situation and promised to pass his concerns to Chief Judge Victor Tobin.

Stroia was taken into custody peacefully.

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