Man convicted of eluding police takes off during court hearing

TACOMA, Wash. -- Leroy Scott had just been convicted of eluding police when he took off again, this time from the courtroom.

The Tacoma man fought with a Pierce County sheriff's deputy before fleeing through an emergency exit on Wednesday. It happened just moments after Scott was found guilty of felony eluding.

"At first, I thought the officer had him under control. But then I could see that things were getting out of hand," said court reporter Karla Johnson.

Johnson said the incident was the culmination of a three-day trial during which Scott had been free on bail. But with the guilty verdict, the judge ordered Scott back into custody with a low bail amount of $10,000.

That's when Scott apparently panicked.

"I'm so nervous. Now I'm scared," he said.

Officials tried to calm Scott, as did his family who told him they'd bail him out within a couple hours. But Scott, who could not be assuaged, smashed through the exit, breaking the glass.

The jurors were in the jury room instead of the courtroom when the incident occurred.

"All of a sudden, we just heard a lot of crashing sounds, yelling, a lot of profanity," said juror Lisa Saavedra.

Saavedra said the jurors huddled in fear Scott might get the deputy's gun and come looking for them.

"We all huddled back in the corner and so we were all quite frightened. We didn't know what was going on," she said.

Deputies used a Taser on Scott to no avail.

"I mean, it was just a matter of a few seconds and then he was gone," said Johnson.

Scott was last seen running up South 11th Street, missing one shoe.

The county says the emergency door in the courtroom can't be blocked in case of emergency. But officials said they plan to tighten security around Scott in the future.