By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It’s mid-morning and court has already been in session for some time at the South Padre Island Municipal Court Tuesday. On the bench, Judge Edmund K. Cyganiewicz makes his way through a docket filled with the names of Spring Breakers whose vacations have not quite gone according to plan. So many defendants are brought before him that they are brought into the courtroom in batches, quickly filling the small gallery and even the jury box.
Two rows of defendants sit quietly in the dimly lit courtroom — two rows of bare feet twitching nervously on the carpeted floor. The judge goes through the cases quickly, reading each defendant’s charges to him before asking for their pleas. Many of the defendants plead guilty. Some plead no contest. One asks to have the charge of public intoxication explained to him. The judge obliges before reading portions of the arresting officer’s report aloud.
A single defendant — a much older man compared to the mostly 20-somethings in the room — asks to speak freely. “This whole thing is such a crock of baloney,” he said while insisting he must have been drugged.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.