ROCKLAND (AP) – A man was being held without bail after attacking a prosecutor in a Knox County courtroom, authorities said.

Steven Clarke, 38, of Rockland, was in court Friday to ask for changes in his bail conditions to allow contact with his girlfriend. Clarke faces a domestic assault charge.

A shackled Clarke lunged at Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald when Justice S. Kirk Studstrup denied Clarke’s reqeust, according to Chief Deputy Todd Butler of the sheriff’s department.

The prosecutor was knocked into the railing and Clarke was wrestled to the floor by a corrections officer, Sgt. James Merrifield, Butler said.

Fernald was in some pain but was not seriously injured, District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said.

Clarke then made a comment to the effect that he didn’t realize what he had just done, Butler said.

Butler says Clarke was then taken by ambulance to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport for what he described as seizure-like symptoms.

Clarke was treated and returned to the jail, where he remains a maximum security inmate.

In February, Clarke escaped from a second-floor holding cell in the courthouse while one guard went to the restroom and the other one was reading, according to Maj. Richard Robbins, the jail administrator. The door was left unlocked from a meeting between Clarke and his lawyer. Clarke was found two days later.

In that incident, Clarke faced charges of assault, terrorizing, criminal trespass and a violation of conditions of release stemming from a domestic dispute.

AP-ES-04-08-03 1422EDT

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