Confessions Of A Bailiff

Ronald Brotz, bailiff for the Chatham County Courthouse

Behind the Scenes Before Going Behind Bars.

20 years in law enforcement, and Ronald Brotz, a bailiff at the Chatham County Courthouse, has seen it all. A calm, yet determined man, his presence lets you know he isn’t cruel, but he’s not backing down either. Brotz can handle people and get them to do what needs to be done, with or without force.

“Folks don’t like going to jail,” chuckles Brotz, “the wildest times are when people just refuse to face reality.”

“I had a Spiderman on my hands once. We had him handcuffed, hands behind his back. The whole time he was twisting and fidgeting.”

“We walk out the courtroom and get to a doorframe. The guy jumps straight up, his feet hit the frame, and he starts walking up the wall! Like a spider. He falls down hard on his back. Howling and throwing a temper tantrum.”

“Two backups arrive and help us get him into the lock up. Sometimes, it’s just all about patience.

Brotz pauses, a smile spreads across his face, “You ever hear of Charlie Sanders?” He asks. “That guy was famous. A street preacher that would get so wound up in his message he’d take his clothes off.”

“He ended up in a jury trial with three bailiffs to make sure he stayed clothed. When Sanders addressed the judge, he started speaking about serving all his enemies in hunger, thirst and nakedness.”

“And like in one motion, his button up shirt, elastic pants slid right off him. The three of us had to get this guy cuffed, out the courtroom and into the holding area.”

"Ever try handcuffing a naked guy wiggling around on the floor?"

“Ever try handcuffing a naked guy wiggling around on the floor?” Brotz asks. “It’s not pleasant. We did it though. And Sanders got his own tight fit jumpsuit for the rest of the trial.” Brotz chuckles, pauses again. A glint in his eye reveals his turning mind.

“In this state courtroom a woman had a DUI charge. Early 30s, wearing a nice-fitting black tank dress that tied around her neck. When she approached the bench, she put her hands in her dress and pushed up her breasts. In front of everybody. There were some gasps, people laughing. Didn’t help her though, she still got the full sentence.”

To read more about Bailiff Brotz, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine.