Sunday, October 07, 2007

Defendant Does Push-Ups In Court; Charges Against Him Dropped

A defendant dropped down and performed 50 push-ups in court Friday, and a prosecutor dropped the charges against him. The dismissal of Chase C. Allen's misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct charges apparently helped smooth the way for the 20-year-old Marine recruit to report to boot camp. The unusual resolution during a morning session in Marion Superior Court prompted applause from the gallery, Judge Barbara Collins said later. But the judge was quick to point out that she had taken no part in the informal deal. "It was an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant," Collins said. In Allen's case, she said, she simply accepted the dismissal form submitted to her by Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Cavallini. Observers said a uniformed Marine recruiter attended the hearing and gave Allen encouragement while he was doing the push-ups. Allen made it one or two push-ups past 50, they said. Cavallini said he couldn't comment; on Friday afternoon, a spokesman for Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said he was not able to reach Cavallini or his supervisor."We're looking into it," Matthew Symons said, adding that the arrangement appeared odd. The charges stemmed from Allen's April 28 arrest inside Wishard Memorial Hospital's emergency room. After his discharge, he refused to leave his hospital bed and repeatedly told an off-duty sheriff's deputy to arrest him, saying he was homeless, according to a police report. Allen appeared to have suffered injuries in a fight, the report said. In July, Allen missed a court hearing, and the judge issued a warrant; Allen turned himself in late Thursday, court records show. The jail still was processing his release Friday evening. Collins says she's seen strange arrangements in her courtroom, but never push-ups. "It wasn't anything this court would require anybody to do."