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Defendant lunges for officer's gun in courtroom

Defendant lunges for officer's gun in courtroom

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NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) – Officials with the Lincoln County Sheriff's office say a man tried to grab a police officer's gun in a Newport courtroom this week and that a year-old federal appeals decision contributed to the near-disaster.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a judge had denied a request by deputies to restrain 27-year-old Scott Lemmon in court Wednesday.

In a scuffle caught on courtroom video, a man identified by authorities as Lemmon stands up and lunges for a gun worn by a Newport police officer sitting at the counsel table nearby.

The officer turned away and a courthouse deputy tackled Lemmon to the floor.

Authorities say this is the first case of a Lincoln County defendant grabbing for a gun since the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2017 to allow judges to decide if defendants are restrained when escorted into the courtroom.

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