It's understandable that an employee in a district attorney's office might feel some kind of way about a guy who works on the same cases as a defense lawyer, but it's insane to imagine him beating the living hell out of that defense lawyer in the middle of the day in a busy courthouse. 

That's what the Orange County Sheriff's Office is saying happened today at a courthouse in Santa Ana, California, according to the Los Angeles Times. The photo above shows defense attorney James Crawford's mangled face after the unnamed investigator for the D.A. went wild on him in the hallway. 

The Times reports that the incident started when the investigator made a comment about sleazy defense attorneys, which led Crawford to reply that the D.A.'s office was just as sleazy. When crawford went to walk away, the investigator flicked a paper clip at him. Crawford flicked it back at the investigator, and then...

“The investigator then grabs [Crawford's] head and slams it into the bench and then punches him like 10 times in the face and head,” a sheriff's spokesman said, adding that sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Santa Ana Police Department had to remove the investigator.

Investigators think that the investigator was already pissed off about a high profile victory that Crawford had recently won against prosecutors to secure a new trial for a client who was an alleged gang member and convicted murderer. That conviction was thrown out when a judge ruled that the D.A.'s office had improperly used a jailhouse informant as a witness against Crawford's client.

No arrests were made, but the beating is under investigation.