A man is facing charges for an assault downtown just moments after getting out of jail on another case. A Cleveland judge says this case puts a spotlight on a larger problem.
Last week, Jerome Hickman went to Cleveland Municipal Court on a disorderly conduct charge from 2010. He'd been wanted since then. The court says he acted up in a holding cell, too. Yet from there he went right back on the streets. Investigators say he then immediately sucker punched a court official.
Hickman went before Judge Pauline Tarver. His punishment turned out to be credit for his short time in jail waiting for his court hearing after he finally got caught, credit for 3 days.
Again, moments later, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's deputies, arrested Hickman for an assault outside the justice center. We're told deputies couldn't even take a mug shot since Hickman was difficult with them.
Judge Tarver says this case highlights the problem of getting mental health treatment to people like Jerome Hickman. The judge wanted to give him more time, but the case was a minor misdemeanor. The maximum penalty was 3 days or a $150 fine.
The judge tells 19 action news, she couldn't order mental health treatment. She said, "people facing minor misdemeanors often fall through the cracks."
Hickman is now being held in the county jail facing felony charges. This time, it may not be so easy to get back on the streets. It also may not be quite as hard to get him help.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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