An administrative law judge with the New York Department of Parole sucker-punched a Legal Aid lawyer at a party filled with colleagues in the criminal justice system last week and left him unconscious on a Chelsea, Manhattan sidewalk, screaming in public that he's someone who "do[es] justice."
The judge, 53-year-old Robert Beltrani, fled from the scene in his car after punching 48-year-old lawyer Sam Roberts, but not before declaring that he "fucking kill[s] people," according to the New York Daily News.
"The judge is so fat and drunk that he falls on top of [Roberts],” a witness told the Daily News. “It looked like Sam was dead ... It was a complete sucker punch. I think in a fair fight, Sam probably knocks this guy out.”
Roberts suffered a black eye and a separated shoulder from the attack, and was taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for his injuries. He told the Daily News that felony assault charges were possible.
Beltrani, meanwhile, has been placed on administrative leave.
“I can definitely say there was no physical provocation and I was completely cold-cocked and taken by surprise by this,” Roberts told the Daily News. “He didn’t like me ... There were definitely no threats or anything like that, [no] fight or altercation. I do remember him saying that he knew a lot. He would be able to teach me a lot [...] I wasn’t really interested in talking to this guy or having much communication with him. Maybe I wasn’t polite to him. I don’t know.”