FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When she punched the bailiff, she couldn’t even remember how it happened.
That’s what Ana Maria Gomez Nolasco told Magistrate Sam Keirns Monday morning when she agreed to a plea deal on a charge for battery to a public safety official and resisting arrest.
Still grieving, the diminutive 41-year-old Gomez Nolasco was trying to hold her emotions in check as she recounted in Spanish why she took such an action. She was trying to punch Tre Zwieg, now 20, who is charged with the shooting homicide of her son and another on Dec. 2, 2021.
On April 1, Gomez Nolasco waited outside a third-floor courtroom, then charged at Zwieg who was being escorted by courtroom bailiffs after a pre-trial conference. She missed and struck the bailiff instead.
Gomez Nolasco was charged with Felony 5 battery to a public safety official and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Her bond was $50,000. With a trial scheduled for the end of January, Gomez was facing between one and six years in prison.
On Monday, the battery charge was dismissed in an agreement to which she pleaded guilty to Level 6 felony resisting arrest. Gomez received a suspended one year sentence and a year’s probation. She also agreed to grief counseling and anger management counseling. Through an interpreter, Gomez Nolasco said she’d already started anger management classes.
Gomez Nolasco explained to the court it wasn’t her intent to punch or hurt the officer and she was sorry for that. Not only was she unsure how it happened, but couldn’t remember how she got out of court, she said through an interpreter.
Her attorney, Bart Arnold, said the Allen County Prosecutor’s office and the bailiff, identified as Office Blake Reed in a probable cause affidavit, were “kind,” and accepted Gomez Nolasco’s apology.
“She was stricken by grief when she appeared in court and lost control of her emotions and went to confront the person who is alleged to have killed her son,” Arnold said after the sentencing on Monday. “In attempting to get to him physically, (she) ended up striking a police officer.”
He called the sentencing fair. “The state was very kind, understood the grief she was going through and the police officer was very kind about it as well. It (the resolution) takes into consideration the courts do have an interest in keeping people safe in the courthouse and keeping order in the courthouse,” said Arnold, who has been practicing law here for more than 25 years.
“I do know that things have happened here where people get upset and that physical things happened, but to say that I’ve heard of one where an officer got struck when they were attempting to get to someone else, I haven’t heard of that,” Arnold said.
Zwieg was charged a week and a half after he was accused of shooting Juan Ramirez Jr., 16, and Brendan Cole, 19, who were both found dead in a garage on Cumberland Avenue. Zwieg faces two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, burglary and using a firearm in the commission of an offense. Although no motive has been given, the felony murder charge indicates he was committing another crime when he allegedly shot them.
His three-day trial is scheduled to start May 9 in front of Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.