Crime - Sacto 911

Attorney knocked down during fight outside Sacramento courtroom

An attorney was injured Friday outside a Sacramento Superior Court courtroom when he tried to break up a fight between a testifying witness and others outside a preliminary hearing.

Defense attorney Alan Whisenand was knocked to the floor about 11:30 a.m. outside Judge Maryanne Gilliard’s third-floor courtroom, where a preliminary hearing continues in a May 2014 shooting at Natomas’ Peregrine Park that killed a man and wounded six other people, including a 7-year-old.

An unidentified woman had just completed her testimony and left the courtroom during a break when looks, then words, were exchanged with several other women, Sacramento County sheriff’s court security officials said. When Whisenand tried to intervene, he was knocked down. It is unclear who hit the attorney. Officials do not believe he was the intended target.

He was treated for a cut above one eye that he sustained after he tumbled onto a chair in the hallway outside the courtroom. Court security deputies quickly restored order. It was unknown immediately whether charges were lodged in the incident.

Whisenand declined to discuss the incident, but attorney Jeffrey Fletcher was in the courtroom for the hearing and witnessed the fracas, calling it “pandemonium.”

“I turned (toward the hallway) and saw Alan go down,” Fletcher said. “I’m glad it’s over.”

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith