Miami-Dade judge returns to bench after attack in courtroom

Judge Robert Luck on the bench in October 2014.
Judge Robert Luck on the bench in October 2014. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

A Miami-Dade judge returned to the bench Friday one day after a defendant suddenly attacked him during a court hearing.

Circuit Judge Robert Luck on Thursday afternoon had been presiding over the case of Ricardo Garganelly when the man charged him from the audience.

In the scrum, Luck suffered a scratch to his neck and a laceration to the back of the head but declined medical attention from paramedics, according to an arrest report.

Garganelly, 57, had been in court after being declared mentally competent to proceed to trial on a charge of battery on an elderly person.

The defendant had been out of custody but was ordered to be committed to a state psychiatric hospital just before the attack. Court officers rushed in and pulled him off the judge.

After the attack on the judge, Garganelly was re-arrested and charged with battery on an elected official. Judge Luck has recused himself from the original case, according to the court docket.