INDIANAPOLIS — Serious safety concerns are being raised at the Marion County Criminal Justice Center after a brawl broke out in a courtroom during a paternity suit.
The fight ended with two family members being arrested. And the Marion County Sheriff's Office says more arrests could be coming in the future.
A video of the incident was taken and sent to 13News. In it, what appears to start with a heated argument quickly turns violent, with a fight breaking out among family members inside paternity court. The video shows the brawl wasn't immediately stopped by either courtroom staff or sheriff's deputies in the courthouse.
This all happened Thursday morning, according to the sheriff's office..
The video was sent to 13News Friday afternoon. We've chosen not to show the whole video. It lasts 56 seconds and in it, a heated argument quickly turns to screaming and then an all-out brawl with one person throwing a chair and another person throwing a computer monitor.
13News reached out to the sheriff's office to ask how this fight was able to happen at all. The sheriff's office says it's an open investigation but said lack of staffing has been a challenge.
MCSO spokesperson Lt. Tom Koppel sent this statement to 13News:
"It’s no secret that the Sheriff’s Office has been and continues to be seriously short-staffed. Fortunately, we have recently won our lawsuit against the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board (ILETB). Thus, in the future the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) will be providing standardized training for our Deputies. This, coupled with obtaining pay increases will hopefully address our understaffing.”
The sheriff's office reports two family members were arrested and criminal charges are being recommended for at least two more family members in the fight.
13News reached out to the Marion Superior Court Administrator about potential safety concerns for judges and courtroom staff following this incident. They said the responsibility for courtroom security falls to the sheriff's office.
Chrisean Holloway and Mercedes Beck are facing preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement. They were booked into the Marion County Jail.
Jail records show Holloway is expected in court on these charges Monday morning. Beck is due in court March 23.