Updated: District Court Judge Restrains Man After Assault in Courtroom


Lewis County District Court Judge R.W. Buzzard physically restrained a man Thursday morning accused of assaulting the opposing attorney during a civil court proceeding, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. 

Edward L. Danzer, 63, of Tenino, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault, a class C felony. He was granted $10,000 bail at his first court appearance Friday afternoon. His arraignment is scheduled for May 3.

Any assault in the courtroom is charged as a felony in Lewis County.

The incident was reported at 9:35 a.m. on Thursday. Deputies from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, located on the first floor of the Lewis County Law and Justice Center, responded to the third floor of the building for a reported assault in District Court. The Chehalis Police Department also responded. 

According to court documents, Danzer was in a civil court hearing and “became agitated” when Buzzard ruled in favor of the other party. 

Danzer allegedly walked toward the bench, where the judge sits, and Buzzard told him to back to his table. 

“When Judge Buzzard ruled in favor of (the victim) Mr. Danzer stated, ‘so that’s how it’s going to be,’ then turned and punched (the victim) in the back of the head,” according to court documents. 

Lewis County District and Superior courts do not have courtroom security in civil matters. 

“At that point the district court judge intervened and was able to physically restrain the individual with the help of bystanders until law enforcement personnel arrived on scene,” Chief Dusty Breen of the sheriff’s office reported. 

Danzer had what appeared to be a fresh injury to his face in court Friday. Court documents do not include information about how it was sustained.