The family of a murdered Texas teenager physically attacked the suspect inside a San Antonio courtroom after he made a “gesture” at them.
Victor Nathaneal Rivas, 18, is accused of murdering 15-year-old Ethan Soto in May 2022.
Rivas allegedly shot Soto as an act of revenge over a drug robbery.
According to a report from the San Antonio Express-News, Rivas was in the courtroom waiting for his case to be called when he made an unspecified gesture toward the shooting victim’s family.
In response, several of Soto’s relatives hopped over the bar separating the gallery from the suspects and began assaulting Rivas.
Family of murder victim Ethan Soto attacks suspect Victor Rivas in Texas courtroom after alleged provocation.
The incident led to the arrest of four individuals, including two adult males and two juvenile males, on charges of assault and disrupting court proceedings. pic.twitter.com/vz06UBRiw8
— BoreCure (@CureBore) October 21, 2023
The fight did not end until a stream of police officers flooded in to help the bailiffs, who were outnumbered at the time.
“Two sheriff’s bailiffs who were inside of the courtroom immediately responded to break up the fight,” Deputy Johnny C. Garcia said in a statement to the newspaper.
The report explains, “More family members, including women, became disruptive. Officers pushed them back, handcuffed at least one of them and escorted Rivas and the other jail inmates out of the courtroom.”
A handcuffed murder suspect was viciously beaten by the family of his alleged victim after he appeared to make a gesture at them in a Texas court.
Victor Nathaneal Rivas, 18, was inside the Bexar County courtroom where he is on trial for murder over the death of Ethan Soto, 15,… pic.twitter.com/2JH1Q8QHQf
— Johnny (@tallyman2023) October 21, 2023
“Responding deputies were able to break up the fight and placed into custody four individuals involved in the incident,” Garcia said.
Rivas’ attorney, Adam La Hood, told the paper that his client is going to be “bruised and swollen.”
“I’ve never seen this happen in a court,” La Hood said. “It all happened in the flash of eye.”
The relatives, two men and two teenagers, will now be charged with assault and disrupting court proceedings. Their names have not been released to the media at time of publishing.