Things get re­ally batty for county judge

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL - By JAMES HALPIN Staff Writer jhalpin@cit­i­

WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Court­house is go­ing batty.

Court pro­ceed­ings in progress in court­room 4 were briefly in­ter­rupted Fri­day when a bat fell from above and landed on the floor be­hind Luzerne County Judge Tina Po­lachek Gart­ley, court­house sources con­firmed.

“The judge said ‘Oh my God, it’s a bat’ and left the bench,” said As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Jill Matthews, who wit­nessed the or­deal. “If it landed next to me, I don’t know that I would have been as com­posed as ev­ery­one else in the im­me­di­ate area.”

The judge was in the midst of hear­ing a civil pro­ceed­ing Fri­day af­ter­noon when a ju­di­cial as­sis­tant heard some­thing hit the floor be­hind her. At first it ap­peared the winged ap­pari­tion was dead. Then it be­gan mov­ing.

“That’s when she said, ‘Judge, don’t move. There’s a bat be­hind you,’” said a source who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the per­son was not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss fly­ing mam­mals ap­pear­ing in the court­house.

Sher­iff ’s Deputy Mark Sencza­kow­icz scooped the an­i­mal up with a wa­ter cup and re­leased it out a win­dow, Matthews said.

The hear­ing re­sumed with­out fur­ther ado.

“She went right back on,” Matthews said. “As soon as the sher­iffs took it away, she went back and re­sumed the hear­ing.”

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