A man's profanity-laced tirade at Miami-Dade Judge Ellen Sue Venzer is just the latest in a series of vulgar court appearances in South Florida. Retired Miami-Dade Judge Juan Ramirez Jr. comments on the appearances of Jodel Leveille and Penelope Soto.
A man facing a battery charge cursed out a Miami-Dade judge in a second court appearance Wednesday, hours after he gave a profanity-laced tirade when he first appeared in bond court.
Judge Ellen Sue Venzer increased Jodel Leveille's bond by $5,500, to $17,000, jail records showed.
Venzer kept her cool when Leveille, 24, repeatedly cursed her out, gave her the middle finger and grabbed his crotch during his initial bond court appearance. Leveille faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and criminal mischief, according to jail records.
Clad in orange prison garb, Leveille appeared calm until Venzer ruled there was probable cause for the battery charge, when he began his tirade.
"F--- you judge," Leveille yelled, before flipping the judge the bird, grabbing his crotch and telling her to die.
Leveille claimed he was stabbed by a woman he had a restraining order against and when officers arrived they beat him. Venzer asked him to calm down but Leveille refused.
"I ain't gonna calm down, they beat the hell out of me," he said. "You can't judge me."
"You know what I'm gonna do Mr. Leveille," Venzer said.
"I don't care what you do, you can go to hell for what I care," Leveille replied.
Venzer reset the appearance to the afternoon.
"I'm gonna give you an opportunity to calm down Mr. Leveille," she said.
It was unknown whether he has an attorney.
According to arrest affidavit, Miami Police responded to his home at 5455 NW 5th Avenue on Monday because of a domestic dispute. The victim told police that Leveille attacked her during an argument, punching her in the face and head, police said.
"The victim attempted to flee from the area while the defendant chased her," the arrest report stated.
Authorities said Leveille pulled away from the officer responding to the incident and pushed him with both hands on his chest. He then spit on that officer's face.
After the judge gave Leveille time to cool off, he returned for round two. Leveille was unapolegetic, and told the judge as much.
"I don't care. Go to hell judge. Go to hell I don't want to hear it. You and all the officers, go to hell. I don't have any apologies for anyone. F- all of you," Leveille said.
The judge ordered that he undergo a psychological evaluation.
He was asked to take a seat on the bench. As the judge increased his bond amount for prior battery on law enforcement charges, Leveille shouted back.
"Put it at a million dollars! I don't give a f---."
The incident was reminiscent of 18-year-old Penelope Soto's infamous appearance before Miami-Dade Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat in early February, where she was sentenced to 30 days for flipping him the bird. The sentence was later reduced after Soto apologized.
Retired Miami-Dade chief judge Juan Ramirez Jr. has seen it all when it comes to court shenanigans. But he said judges can't take it personally.
"Sometimes you get upset — you’re a human being and somebody gets under your skin, the first thing you want to do is lash out at the individual,” he said.
Ramirez said that in spite of the bad behavior Venzor dealt with in her court, she behaved exactly as a judge should – staying calm, but firm.
"You have to keep a balance between overreacting and just totally ignoring and let everybody else think that they don't have to respect the office,” he said.
More Local Stories: