As the saying goes, anyone who represents themself in a courtroom has a fool for a client. Case in point: 43-year-old Jeffrey Cofield, a multiple felon who acted as his own attorney at his trial for assaulting a police officer. His “weapon”: a pit bull.
The result: a 12-years-to-life prison sentence.
Cofield’s case dates back to August 2010, when he ordered his pit bull to attack a cop who was pursuing a drug suspect in a building at 14-34 28th Avenue in the Astoria section of Queens.
As the narcotics team was chasing the suspect, Cofield was seen holding the dog by the collar. When the the cops entered the room he was in, he released the dog and said “get him.”
The dog then attacked NYPD Sergeant Craig Kearney, biting him on the face.
Authorities presume Cofield was trying to prevent the police from apprehending the man they were after.
After the dog bit the sergeant’s face, Cofield grabbed the dog by the
collar and put him in a bathroom to keep him from attacking anyone else.
At the end of the day, Cofield was convicted of two counts of
second-degree assault and one count of obstruction of governmental
“The defendant used his pit bull as a
four-legged weapon to attack a police officer,” Brown says. “This case once again
underscores the serious and dangerous nature of police work and the
sacrifices that our police officers make in serving and protecting our
As for the lengthy sentence, Brown says “given the violent nature of the attack, and the fact that the
defendant is a persistent felony offender, the lengthy sentence meted
out by the Court is more than justified.”