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Video shows Florida massacre suspect attacking jail guard

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Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz speaks to defense attorney Gabe Ermine during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauder...
Judge Elizabeth Scherer holds a photograph of the hands of Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran after a November 2018 altercation between Beltran and P...
A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is escorted into the courtroom for a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,...
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz sits in court during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday, Ju...
Defense attorney David Wheeler speaks with his client, Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthou...
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz sits in court during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday, Ju...
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz speaks to defense attorney Gabe Ermine during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauder...
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is escorted from the courtroom following a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale,...
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, right, speaks to defense attorney Gabe Ermine during a pre-trial hearing  at the Broward County Courthouse in Fo...
Assistant Public Defender Jaclyn Broudy and defense attorney Gabe Ermine listen during a pre-trial hearing for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at...
A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...
Judge Elizabeth Scherer looks towards Prosecutor Maria Schneider during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,...
Defense attorney David Wheeler and prosecutor Maria Schneider confer during a pre-trial hearing for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Browar...
A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...
A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...
Judge Elizabeth Scherer holds a photograph of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz showing an apparent injury to his elbow stemming from a November 20...
Prosecutor Maria Schneider,right, and defense attorney David Wheeler are shown during a pre-trial hearing for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at ...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz speaks to defense attorney Gabe Ermine during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauder...

Judge Elizabeth Scherer holds a photograph of the hands of Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran after a November 2018 altercation between Beltran and P...

A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is escorted into the courtroom for a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz sits in court during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday, Ju...

Defense attorney David Wheeler speaks with his client, Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthou...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz sits in court during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday, Ju...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz speaks to defense attorney Gabe Ermine during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauder...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is escorted from the courtroom following a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale,...

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, right, speaks to defense attorney Gabe Ermine during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fo...

Assistant Public Defender Jaclyn Broudy and defense attorney Gabe Ermine listen during a pre-trial hearing for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at...

A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...

Judge Elizabeth Scherer looks towards Prosecutor Maria Schneider during a pre-trial hearing at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,...

Defense attorney David Wheeler and prosecutor Maria Schneider confer during a pre-trial hearing for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Browar...

A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...

A November 2018 video is shown in court of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz in an altercation with Broward jail guard Sgt. Ray Beltran during a Cr...

Judge Elizabeth Scherer holds a photograph of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz showing an apparent injury to his elbow stemming from a November 20...

Prosecutor Maria Schneider,right, and defense attorney David Wheeler are shown during a pre-trial hearing for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at ...

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz rushed at a jail guard and was briefly able to wrestle him to the ground during a 2018 altercation before he was subdued, according to a video shown in court.

Cruz, making his first in-person court appearance since before the pandemic, sat quietly in an orange jump suit and shackles during the 30-minute hearing over battery and assault charges stemming from the Broward County Jail altercation. It happened nine months after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.

The Nov. 13, 2018, jail altercation is being tried separately from the first-degree murder case, and Wednesday's hearing was to determine whether prosecutors should have access to Cruz's medical records. Prosecutors say they need to review the records as Cruz's attorneys have indicated their defense will be that Sgt. Raymond Beltran mistreated Cruz previously and provoked the attack.

In the video shown in court Wednesday, which doesn't have sound, Cruz is seen walking alone in circles with his head down around some benches in a small indoor recreation area at the jail. He is dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, a white long-sleeve undershirt and sandals. Beltran is sitting at a table in the corner.

After several minutes, Cruz stops about 10 feet (3 meters) from Beltran and the two appear to exchange words — Beltran told investigators he asked Cruz not to drag his feet and damage his sandals. Cruz flips both middle fingers at Beltran and then charges the guard, who stands up to defend himself. Cruz, who weighs about 130 pounds (60 kilograms), is able to throw the larger Beltran to the ground briefly, before the guard is able to flip him over and briefly pin him.

Cruz escapes Beltran's grasp and the two get into boxing stances. Cruz hit Beltran in the shoulder before the guard hits Cruz in the face, staggering him.

Beltran then arms his stun gun and points it at Cruz, who gets on the ground and is handcuffed. The fight lasted almost exactly a minute.

Prosecutor Maria Schneider told Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that her team needs Cruz's complete medical records from the time he arrived at the jail shortly after the shooting because if Beltran previously mistreated him, any injuries might have been documented.

David Wheeler, Cruz's attorney, argued that Cruz's medical records are private under state and federal law and at most prosecutors should only be allowed to see records of any examinations that happened within a day of the fight. Neither Cruz nor Beltran appeared to suffer any serious injuries.

Scherer said she would rule on the prosecution's request by Friday.

No trial date has been set for either the assault or murder cases. Cruz, 22, faces a possible death sentence if convicted on the murder charges. His attorneys have said he would plead guilty to the murder charges in exchange for a life sentence, but prosecutors have refused.


Updated : 2022-05-25 15:50 GMT+08:00