NEW PORT RICHEY — Pascual Pietri wore handcuffs, but he didn't remember why.
He was in Circuit Judge Daniel Diskey's courtroom, for a hearing on a protective injunction a man named Jason Dowd had filed against him, for an incident involving a pink bat and a tree on the eighth of July.
The judge asked Pietri whether he objected to the injunction, and Pietri held out his cuffed hands and pointed.
"I have no conflict with him. I don't even know who he is," he said.
"Well apparently he knows who you are," the judge said.
"Can you tell me who he is?"
"Mr. Dowd has requested a court order, an injunction, prohibiting you from ever making any contact with him," Diskey said. "Telephone, letter, come by the house, carrier pigeon, anything."
"From where?" Pietri said. "I don't even know him."
"Listen," the judge said.
"I never seen him in my life," Pietri interrupted. "I don't know who he is. Where does he live?"
"Do you want to listen to me?" the judge asked.
Listen to the judge, a bailiff said.
Pietri told the judge he "most definitely" wanted a hearing to "resolve this situation."
Dowd told the judge his side. Pietri thought Dowd's wife told someone he was a thief. He wanted to talk to her, and Dowd refused. A few days later, there was a "big scat" outside the house, and Pietri started banging on his door, with a bat in hand. Then, someone ran over Pietri's stuff in the street, so he ran out and hit a tree with the bat.
"Let me stop you there," the judge said. "You say he pulled a bat out?"
Pietri shot up with a furrowed face.
"I don't believe that," he said. "Objection! Objection!"
"Sit down," the judge said. "Shut up."
"Sit down," the bailiffs said.
Pietri explained that he was taking a lot of psychiatric medication at the time of the incident. He had been having trouble getting his pills, and when he finally got them he "might have overdone it."
"I don't remember pulling a bat out," he said. "I don't remember the cops. Alls I remember (is) waking up in the jail with a black eye all bruised up, everything scraped up. I don't remember nothing."
"One of your charges, sir" the judge said, "one of your charges is battery on a law enforcement officer and threat against a public servant. I don't want you to make statements about that, but I'll tell you that's probably how you got your black eye."
"I don't believe I did."
Pietri then addressed his petitioner directly.
"I don't even know who you are," he said. "If you're the neighbor across the street that I met that one time, I do remember meeting a neighbor across the street when I was playing basketball ... that his house did get robbed."
"Yeah, I know it did," Dowd said.
Pietri stood and raised his voice again, insisting incoherently he wasn't the robber.
"Sir, sit down," the judge said.
Pietri yelled, "I didn't rob no house in my life!"
A bailiff put his hands on Pietri's back to sit him down. Pietri continued to talk, but Diskey tried to ignore him and addressed Dowd.
He explained that a repeat violence injunction requires two acts, and this only alleged one. Injunction denied.
Pietri kept talking.
Mr. Pietri," the judge said, "in spite of yourself you've won the case. (Bailiff), you can take him out."
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