A Calverton man accused of assaulting court security officers at the Central Islip federal courthouse in August pleaded guilty Wednesday in Brooklyn.
Robert Wilson, 63, entered his plea during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano to a single charge of assaulting a federal officer. Wilson acknowledged that he attacked a security officer in a courthouse elevator on Aug. 11, and then resisted other court officers who attempted to subdue him.
“It was a regrettable incident that happened in Central Islip,” said Wilson’s attorney, Evan Sugar of the Federal Defenders.
The maximum sentence for the charge is 20 years in prison, but federal prosecutor Andrew Reich said the government expects a probation report to recommend a term of 18 to 24 months. Vitaliano did not set a date for sentencing.
Sugar said after the hearing that he hopes the judge will sentence Wilson to a less severe sentence because of the traumatic brain injury his client suffered while serving in the military. Wilson told Vitaliano he fell 65 feet from the wing of a C-130 Hercules transport plane while serving in the Air Force. Wilson said he continues to struggle with pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
“The brain injury can sometimes make me, you know, delusional,” Wilson said in court. “I sometimes have a problem separating reality from nonreality situations.”
According to authorities, Wilson visited the courthouse on Aug. 10 to file papers connected to ongoing civil litigation. Records show he previously filed a lawsuit against former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and several Suffolk County officials regarding what appears to be a dispute involving a home improvement contractor license.
While at the courthouse in August, Wilson told employees that if the judge did not “follow the rules,” he would return with “armed troops” to “arrest the judge for treason,” according to a criminal complaint.
The complaint alleged that Wilson returned to the courthouse on Aug. 11. A court security officer escorted Wilson to the elevator bank, and Wilson attacked the officer behind the closed doors of an elevator a short time later, the complaint says.
The officer put out a distress call with his radio and several court security officers then tried to detain Wilson, the complaint said. Wilson injured two other officers before a group of them took him into custody, according to the complaint.