He planned to sucker punch a Pierce County judge instead of shaking his hand, charges say

A man who allegedly planned to punch a Pierce County Superior Court judge during court has been charged, records show.

The 30-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday at arraignment on a charge of intimidating a judge.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

A mental health counselor called Judge John Hickman’s court last week and said the 30-year-old had threatened to punch the judge in the face during the man’s next hearing.

The man had been part of Family Recovery Court, which Hickman was assigned to, since March and had stopped drug treatment.

Superior Court Judge John Hickman after court in his chambers, May 27, 2008. PETER HALEY THE NEWS TRIBUNE

The man blamed the judge for a no-contact order that prevents him from seeing his girlfriend, and that meant he couldn’t see their children.

“He said he could not understand how to comply with the court’s orders to be able to see his children,” the charging papers state.

The man told the counselor Hickman usually comes down from the bench to shake his hand during court sessions, and “that is when he would give the judge a piece of his mind and then punch him in the face,” according to the charging papers.

After the threat was reported the man was arrested and never met up with the judge.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell