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Life in a city courthouse is ripe for a reality TV program, and it showed no better than today in Youngstown Municipal Court when families on opposite sides of a teen-age murder met in the hallway.
Click here to watch the raw, unedited footage.
Veteran Vindicator photographer Bob Yosay was in the middle of the Wednesday morning melee. The video and still images you see on our site are both from Bob — one hand running video, the other hand clicking photos.
According to Yosay, here’s how the scene played out:
The incident happened after a bond hearing for Melvin Shaw II, 18, who is charged with the murder of Tracee Banks, 17, and the attempted murder of Jamel Turner, 18.
In the tiny courtroom, all was quiet as 25 people from both sides of the incident packed the tiny room. Shaw was appearing via video from the county jail.
Afterward, media members were in the hallway asking if family members wished to talk. No one was interested.
The public exits down a long hallway toward the elevators.
From that area came the noise of a scuffle and yells of “We need police. We need police.”
Yosay said about 10 to 12 police officers arrived in the course of a minute or two, and various city workers are also seen trying to manage the scene. The municipal court is separate, but adjacent to police headquarters.
At the start of Yosay’s video, there’s an image of a man with an arm around his neck being dragged into an office. That is Banks’ father, who was part of the initial scuffle. He was pulled into the clerk of courts office and can be seen later composing himself at a counter in that office.
Not seen in the video is the man he was scuffling with, Wade Shaw, of unknown relation to Melvin. He was on the ground in the area behind the “exit” door after a Taser was applied to him. He was charged with three crimes from the incident.
Yosay said in all his years doing this work, it was the craziest scene he’d witnessed.
The area in question has long been cited by municipal court judges Elizabeth A. Kobly, Robert A. Douglas Jr., and Robert P. Milich as a security concern.
There’s pretty good proof here. Vindy staffers said as bad as the office configuration is, it’s a miracle this type of skirmish does not happen more often.