The fight ensued shortly after the arraignment of Pedro Merchant, a 20-year-old who is accused of shooting 17-year-old Dante Quinones to death last week, according to Inspector Kenneth Lack of Nassau County Police. Families and friends of both men were present at the arraignment in Hempstead First District Court when the fight broke out.
Six people were arrested and charged with riot in the first degree and contempt of court.
Eleven court officers were injured, none seriously. One was transported to a hospital with knee pain. Two of the six defendants were sent to the hospital complaining of assorted pain.
Merchant is charged with murder and pleaded not guilty Friday, according to Shams Tarek, a Nassau County District Attorney’s Office communications officer. Merchant is due back in court on Tuesday.