'Lego Bandit' gets more jail time after court outburst
Florida's notorious "Lego Bandit" earned himself six additional months of imprisonment after a violent outburst Friday morning in DuPage County court.
Judge Brian Telander ordered Ignatius Pollara, 50, in direct criminal contempt and then recused himself from the case.
The move followed an earlier outburst that saw Pollara cursing at Telander, making what Telander called "reprehensible comments" about the judge's family, and accusing Telander of improprieties before deputies forcibly led Pollara from the courtroom.
Telander then sentenced Pollara, who was returned to the courtroom in heavy shackles and wearing a spit hood, to six months in jail in addition to any other sentence imposed should Pollara be convicted on the burglary charge he is facing.
When given a chance to speak, Pollara apologized.
Pollara initially was due in court to discuss a possible plea agreement on a burglary charge.
He is being held on $125,000 bail, accused of stealing several paintbrushes and a box of pencils last July from a Lombard Hobby Lobby store. If convicted, he faces three to seven years in prison.
Pollara's outburst began when Telander announced the parties were unable to reach a plea agreement and set a June 21 trial date.
"I'm done here," Pollara said as he stormed away from the bench before being returned by deputies. "I'm in here on a misdemeanor in your state, buddy! I'm in here on two paint brushes."
Telander advised Pollara to stop talking when Pollara began cursing at him.
"Who's paying you? (Hobby Lobby Founder) David Green?" Pollara shouted.
As he was led from the courtroom and into a nearby hallway, Pollara could be heard screaming "Help me! Police brutality!" and calling the deputies "(expletive) animals."
Telander ordered Pollara to be held in the detention cell through the lunch break so he could "cool down."
In Florida, Pollara is known as the "Toys 'R' Us Kid" and the "Lego Bandit" after he was convicted in a 2012 burglary spree in which he stole more than $2 million in Lego sets and toys from the Toys "R" Us chain.
Authorities say he used the proceeds of his thefts to travel to exotic locations.
Pollara is next due in court at 9 a.m. Monday to have his case assigned to a different judge.