DALLAS -- Sheriff's deputies said a man assaulted a female bailiff and attempted to flee the Dallas County courthouse on Monday.
Deputies said Melvin Wayne Richardson overpowered Deputy Nancy Beggs while she was bringing him before a judge and escaped from a courtroom on the fifth floor of the courthouse. Richardson, who was facing drug and assault charges, knocked Beggs over, punched her in the face and kicked her and then fled.
Defense attorney Peter Shulte spotted Richardson running for an open elevator.
"I identified myself as a reserve police officer with Murphy, Texas -- even though I'm a defense lawyer -- and I told him to stop. He ignored me," Shulte said.
Shulte, who said he has been a peace officer for 10 years, said "instinct kicked in."
"I just kind of grabbed him as a bear hug and took him to the ground, and a few seconds later, sheriff's deputies came and got on top of him and handcuffed him," Shulte said.
Beggs was taken to the emergency room at Baylor Medical Center at about 1:45 p.m. Doctors were still running tests on her Monday night. NBC 5 was told she was expected to make a full recovery.
Richardson, who was out on bond, was taken into custody and remained in jail on Monday night. He will face charges related to Monday's incident in the courthouse.