Charges pile up when man disrupts court

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — A man who was in court Wednesday for cocaine possession was sent to jail after he failed a drug test and was held in contempt.
Bruce Wayne Arquette, 30, came into a district courtroom making a ruckus. When his disturbance continued, District Court Judge Charlie Brown ordered him to sit on a bench normally reserved for inmates.
Arquette was held in contempt for the disturbance. Brown asked the man if he was impaired. He denied being intoxicated or under the influence of a substance.
Arquette was immediately ordered to take a drug test, which he failed. He tested positive for opiates and THC, the main ingredient found in marijuana.
Arquette explained he is prescribed Lorcet and Percocet by a doctor to relieve pain. He said when he was 15, he was hit by a car, and since about two years ago that pain has hindered his ability to walk.
He told the judge he self-prescribes the marijuana.
“I know it’s illegal,” he said.
The judge also held him in contempt for being late. Arquette said he had a flat tire and his spare was flat as well. Arquette also said he was outside talking to a friend, who’d been in court, about his own bond.
Brown told Arquette that he was being loud and disruptive outside. Brown said he observed Arquette trying to talk with one of the attorneys during court and biting his nails, and that he appeared to be grimacing in pain.
A bailiff noted Arquette had bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils, court documents said.
Brown told Arquette he exercised poor judgment during court.
Arquette has pending charges of felony cocaine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon.
He apologized for the disturbance, but was sentenced to five days in jail.
In 1998, Arquette was found guilty of misdemeanor simple assault. In 2001, he was found guilty of driving after consuming an alcoholic beverage by a person younger than 21. Four years later, Arquette was convicted of being intoxicated and disruptive.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.