05/08/2008

Handcuffed inmate jumps out court window

The Denver Post

DENVER — A man charged with attacking a stranger at a bus stop dived through a third-floor courtroom window today and was seriously injured when he landed on the metal grate below.

Josephus Haynes, 41, is in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center after jumping through the closed window.

He was in Judge Doris Burd's courtroom at the Denver City and County Building to be advised of the charge against him, third degree assault, a misdemeanor.

Police don't know whether he was trying to escape or commit suicide, said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

He had pled not guilty on the assault charge, and was scheduled to go to trial on July 28.

He was brought to the courtroom in shackles.

A witness, Ty Berrien, said Haynes was sitting in court when he was told to go before the judge. "And he was just sitting there, turned around and he went headfirst out the third-story window," Berrien told KCNC-Channel 4.

A pair of black sneakers and a crumpled white sock remained on the grate, which faces Colfax Avenue, shortly after he jumped.

He was arrested late last Wednesday night after an attack on a man at a bus stop at Colfax Avenue and Downing Street.

According to a police report of the incident, Haynes was riding a bicycle and wearing a reflective vest when he approached the victim. ""The victim asked "do I know you?" The suspect, later ID'd as Josephus Haynes replied "yeah, you owe my sister 25 (cents).""

"Suspect then forcefully shoved the victim into the bus and down to the ground."

The unnamed victim required stitches in his forehead and left elbow.

Haynes, who is identified in the report as a transient, was booked several hours later and has been in jail since then.

There was no indication in the paperwork filed at the jail that he might be mentally ill, said Denver County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Gale.

Haynes has a lengthy police record dating back to March 1987,when he was arrested for making a false report.

His offenses include trespassing, disturbing the peace and urinating in public, second degree assault, parole violation and larceny.

Last November he was sentenced to 300 days in jail after pleading guilty to third degree assault.

Copyright 2008 The Denver Post

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