HEMPSTEAD - Six people who were arrested during a melee inside a Hempstead courtroom Friday faced a judge this morning.
The brawl broke out yesterday during the arraignment of 20-year-old Pedro Merchant. He was arrested on murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Dante Quinones. Merchant is accused of shooting Quinones seven times last Wednesday on Dartmouth Street in Hempstead.
The melee, which started in the courthouse and spilled out onto the street, broke out between families of the victim and the suspect in First District Court, which lead to the six arrests.
Attorney Anthony Colleluori, who represents Abdul Rahim Robinson and Aaron Munlin, says his clients were in court Friday seeking justice in the death of their cousin, but instead were assaulted by friends and family members of Pedro Merchant.
The six have been charged with rioting and criminal contempt. They are due back in court on Sept. 24.
Eleven court officers were hurt in the melee.
Merchant is being held without bail and is due back in court next week.