Using a car as a weapon and a chair as a burglary tool got Florida lawyers disciplined

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Trying to attack another driver’s body with a car during a road rage episode and trying to use a chair to get into a woman’s apartment earned two Orlando metropolitan area lawyers suspensions from the state Supreme Court.

In alphabetical order…

READ MORE: Problems with drinking and divorce get Miami and Fort Lauderdale lawyers suspended

Christopher Dudley, Maitland

On Feb. 9, a New Smryna Beach woman told a 911 operator that a shirtless man was “beating on her door,” trying to get in, an arrest report said.

The arrest report said one neighbor heard what sounded like someone trying to get in a glass door and called another neighbor to check on her. Neighbor No. 2 confirmed she was OK, but looked out the window and saw, she told police, a young, thin male persistently trying to break a glass door with a chair.

Christopher Dudley

While they talked to police, when three officers and a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office deputy found Christopher Dudley next to the apartment building. Dudley invoked his right to remain silent.

Dudley, 32, pleaded no contest to attempted burglary of an occupied dwelling and criminal mischief (police estimated he did about $500 of damage to the fence on his way to the house). Dudley officially got adjudication withheld and a two-year probation on Sept. 8.

Christopher Whittington Dudley, who joined the Florida Bar Oct. 5, 2021, was suspended on Sept. 18. The length is to be determined, but that might be irrelevant — Dudley told the state Supreme Court “he is not (nor has been) practicing law, has no clients, cases or other legal obligations.”

Mark Heimendinger, Oviedo

An investigation that started out like “Rashomon” revealed an incident that was more like “Duel.”

When Oviedo police officers answered a call in the 1000 block of Long Branch Lane on Dec. 17, they found Mark Heimendinger, a backpack and a Glock 9 mm with a full 24-shot magazine in the gun.

An arrest report said Heimendinger told police that Edgar Lutz was blocking the street with his truck while loading a trailer. The two exchanged words, Heimendinger claimed Lutz walked over to his car and threatened to kill him. Once Heimendinger told Lutz about the gun, he claimed, Lutz backed down without Heimendinger pulling out the gun.

Lutz’s version were similar in that it involved he and Heimendinger, and dissimilar in every other way. He told police Heimendinger “drove into the area brazenly and stopped 20 feet from him. Mark began flaying his arms around and shooting him the finger.”

Lutz said Heimendinger got out of his car and chest bumped Lutz while slinging a sexist slur and threatening to kill him. Lutz said he called Heimendinger on his threat. Then, Lutz said, Heimendinger not only pulled the gun out but pointed it at Lutz’s head and smacked Lutz in the head with it.

“Mark then jumped into his vehicle and attempted to hit him with it,” the report said. “Edger jumped out of the way but was struck by the vehicle mirror.”

An Oviedo police officer viewing video shot from a nearby home’s surveillance camera said it was “too far away to see the weapon, but does clearly show Mark attempting to strike Edgar with the vehicle.”

Mark Heimendinger

On Aug. 25, Heimendinger pleaded no contest to aggravated assault, carrying a concealed firearm (Heimendinger’s concealed weapons license was suspended), misdemeanor improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor battery. Though he received withheld adjudication on the felony charges, he’s under Florida Department of Corrections supervision on a five-year probation.

Heimendinger’s suspension began Saturday. The length will be determined after 19th Judicial Circuit Judge Charles A. Schwab hears this discipline case as referee and makes a recommendation to the state Supreme Court.

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