Security at the main Chesterfield County courthouse was tightened Thursday after an attorney was severely beaten early Wednesday evening in a nearby office building where he works.
The victim was a Chesterfield attorney who handles primarily divorce and traffic cases and had represented a client in Circuit Court earlier Wednesday, according to two local lawyers who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard confirmed that security at the courthouse was bolstered.
The sheriff’s office deployed its tactical team outside the courthouse and additional deputies were positioned at various locations inside.
County police said the victim was found in a central hallway in a common area of the building in the 10100 block of Krause Road by a person who had arrived about 6 p.m. for an appointment at another business within the building. The police did not release the victim’s name.
“Right now we believe he was working—not coming or going—and at some point got assaulted,” said Chesterfield police Lt. Brad Conner. “We’re still trying to track down a time frame to narrow our focus a little bit more.”
The office building is just off Iron Bridge Road and about 2 miles south of state Route 288. It is located about 1 1/2 miles from the county courthouse and is a short distance from Chesterfield Police Headquarters.
Conner said they believe the victim will survive but he remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, including significant wounds to his face.
Due to the extent of the man’s injuries, detectives have not been able to learn anything from the victim about the circumstances or the identity of his attacker. Police don’t know whether he was randomly targeted or whether his assailant was someone he knew, Conner said.
Conner said there is no surveillance video that “actually captured the incident.”
Conner said a detective on Thursday canvassed the building where the assault occurred, as well as adjacent buildings, “to locate surveillance video to try and see what we can find.”
Conner said it doesn’t appear the man was robbed. “But because we still haven’t been able to do a full interview with him, we’re unable to determine if, in fact, anything is missing from his person or his office.”
Conner said detectives are looking at whether the victim had any negative interactions with customers or other people that may have led to the attack.
“We’re really still in the preliminary stages” of the investigation, Conner said.
After learning of Wednesday’s attack, several local lawyers recalled a case seven years ago in which an aggrieved computer security analyst struck fear into dozens of law office employees after showing up with a gun. He attempted to kill his ex-wife’s attorney after learning he was on the losing end of a child custody decision.
Mark Lowe, 42, was convicted by a jury the following year of attempting to murder the attorney and abducting his administrative assistant during a June 21, 2012, rampage near the courthouse.