An accused heroin dealer is being forced to wear a “spit shield” at the defendants’ table — because he has a history of splattering his attorneys with saliva during court appearances.
Brooklyn native Tyson Poulos was ordered to don the Hannibal Lecter-style headgear following two surprise sprayings in upstate Warren County Court — and after a letter revealed his plans for hocking on the judge’s face.
The 33-year-old loogie man’s latest lawyer this week tried and failed to convince the judge to have the facial contraption removed — arguing that it makes his client look guilty, and that his predecessors are just full of spit.
“He completely denies that he ever spit on these attorneys,” defense attorney Norman Steiner told The Post.
“I meet with him all the time. I sit a foot across from him. I have no fear of him. I don’t think he’s ever going to spit on me.”
But that’s what the last guy said.
Poulos was first fitted with the facial contraption in 2014 — after he reportedly spat on an attorney and claimed he had hepatitis, according to local paper The Post Star.
After he was found guilty in May 2016, he waited until the court officers took the mask off at the end of proceedings and asked to speak with his next target-cum-lawyer — then let the expectorant fly, that attorney says.
“I thought we were doing pretty well until he decided he wanted to testify,” his then-attorney Garfield Raymond told the paper at the time.
Poulos’ slobber attacks became so notorious that Judge John Hall had to ask 20 different lawyers to rep him at his sentencing the following month, before finally finding someone brave enough to face the risk,
In addition to the spit shield, his wrists and legs were both shackled, and he was guarded by no fewer than 12 officers thanks to other previous courtroom outbursts — which Hall said included hitting his head against the wall and deliberately falling out of his chair, the Post Star reports.
“I have been blatantly stripped of every one of my relevant constitutional rights in this courtroom,” Poulous moaned.
Both spat-upon lawyers showed up to watch the sentencing, where prosecutors also revealed a letter they said Poulos had sent to a relative saying he would spit in Hall’s face if given the chance, the local paper noted.
Hall sentenced him to 32 years in prison, ripping into him for his disgusting courtroom antics.
“It is clear to me you have no respect for the laws and court,” he said.
But the verdict was overturned on appeal in November, after a panel found he should have been able to represent himself at his trial.
Spit isn’t necessarily Poulos’ preferred bodily fluid projectile — while behind bars, he’s been known to splash guards with urine and kick feces.
He’s currently serving up to 10 years for that predilection, per court papers.
By EMILY SAUL
Source: NY Post