On Friday afternoon a judge sentenced lawyer Mickey Mantle to 24 hours in jail for contempt. Mantle had just won a lawsuit against a man who had struck Mantle's client. The client had accidentally spilled a diet soda onto the defendant's new sneakers, so he broke the client's jaw. The judge sentenced the defendant to two years in jail for assault and battery. But after handcuffing the defendant, the sheriff's deputy also handcuffed Mantle. "What the heck do you think you're doing?" Mantle shouted.
"Sorry. Judge's orders," replied the deputy, as he escorted Mantle and the defendant out of the courtroom. "She said to throw you in jail overnight for contempt of court." Because the judge had already left the courtroom, Mantle had no one to protest to.
Mantle and the convicted man were put in the back of the same van and driven five miles to the city jail. When they were taken out of the van, Mantle had a black eye and a bloody nose. He told the deputy that the defendant had head-butted him. The defendant called Mantle a liar. He told the deputy that Mantle had gone flying when the van made a sharp turn and banged his face on the defendant's knee.
The deputy took Mantle to the jail emergency room. Mantle couldn't believe what was going on. He was a respected lawyer about to spend the night in jail with violent criminals, some of whom he'd helped to convict. He'd be lucky to get out alive. And all because of a stupid cup of coffee.
Mantle was in jail because he had displeased Judge Brown. Brown had asked Mantle to bring her a caffe latte from Moonbucks on Mantle's way back from lunch. Mantle had had previous run-ins with Brown. He didn't like Brown, and refused to be her errand boy. When Mantle returned from lunch, she asked him where her coffee was. Mantle said, "They ran out. They said to come back tomorrow."