Lawyer defending arson suspect flees court with pants on fire

His own, that is...

gushing fire hydrant, photo via Shutterstock

Following the heat of a courtroom battle a lawyer defending an alleged arsonist was reportedly forced to flee proceedings temporarily after his own pants* caught fire.

Miami-based legal eagle Stephen Gutierrez was in the midst of contending that his client’s car had spontaneously combusted and had not been deliberately set on fire, when smoke started to emerge from his right pocket.

Gutierrez fled the courtroom, but when he returned he had a single charred pocket. He claimed the interruption was not part of his defence strategy and blamed a faulty e-cigarette battery, the Miami Herald reported.

“A lot of people could have been hurt,” one person who witnessed the debacle told the paper.

Police officers that were present took hold of several frazzled e-ciggie batteries that could be used as evidence, and are understood to be probing the events.

Miami Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman may decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court, the paper reported.

A vaping treat turned really nasty for an American man earlier this year, when Toyota salesbod Andrew Hall claimed his e-cig had exploded mid-puff – which blew out seven teeth, caused second degree burns and led to a stint in intensive care. ®

Pants-note

Simmer down, Brits. We mean trousers - as is the common usage among our American cousins. (FYI Americans, Limeys call their underwear pants.) ®

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