Hair fuss leads to arrest for witness

By Joe Beck

FRONT ROYAL — A dispute with bailiffs over his hair and a baseball cap kept Aaron Bridges out of a Warren County courtroom Tuesday — until he was arrested hours later and forced to appear.

The trouble began when Bridges, who was subpoened as a defense witness at a friend’s sentencing hearing, insisted on wearing a baseball cap into Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp’s courtroom.

Hats and caps are banned in the courtroom, but Bridges, 21, of 1201 Happy Creek Road, was worried his hair wouldn’t look right with the cap off. He refused to comply with the bailiff’s orders to remove the cap and left the building.

Meanwhile, the sentencing hearing was temporarily thrown off schedule by Bridges’ absence until Hupp agreed to postpone the hearing until Oct. 21 for other reasons. But Bridges’ actions led Hupp to also issue an arrest order.

Authorities tracked down Bridges during the day and by 4 p.m. he was back in the courtroom wearing an RSW regional jail uniform.

“I am told you refused to remove your cap before entering this courtroom,” Hupp told Bridges. “Don’t you think that’s kind of stupid?”

Hupp asked Bridges if he disagreed with the account of the incident reported to him by the bailiffs.

“I don’t disagree,” Bridges replied.

Hupp ordered Bridges to appear at the rescheduled sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. Oct. 21 and he told the defendant he would “dispose of the (arrest warrant) at that time.”

Bail was set at $250 unsecured bond.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com