CHICAGO, June 24, 2016 —David Rucki reportedly threatened two people in one courtroom last week, even as his ex-wife is on trial for keeping his kids away from him in another courtroom in the same courthouse.
Rucki, who was in court fighting off contempt of court charges stemming from his divorce, allegedly threatened a process server and his ex-wife’s divorce attorney on Wednesday.
The process server, Michael Rhedin, who is his ex-wife’s former boyfriend, served Rucki with a subpoena to force the testimony of his daughter, Gianna, who is a minor.
Rhedin said he served Rucki to compel Gianna’s testimony because Rucki’s oldest daughter, Samantha, could not be found and her work told him she was off for the duration of the trial.
When Rhedin served Rucki, he said Rucki threw the subpoena back at him and followed him out of the courtroom.
Rucki then demanded that Rhedin come closer to him and threatened to start a fight.
“What are we, in grade school?” Rhedin said he responded and walked away.
Rhedin filed harassment charges with the Hastings, Minnesota, police department later that day.
Though Rhedin knew Grazzini-Rucki and her five children well and was subject to repeated stalking incidents involving David Rucki, he’s been barred from testifying by the judge, Karen Asphaug.
Rucki then walked back into the court, approached Michelle MacDonald, the divorce attorney of Rucki’s ex-wife, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and made a circling motion with his hand.
“Cops are circling you, cops are circling you,” Rucki repeated, according to a statement filed by MacDonald.
Shortly thereafter, David Rucki continued with threatening language, “I’m going to destroy you; I’m coming for you.”
MacDonald filed harassment charges with the same police department the same day.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is on trial for eight felonies for her alleged role in the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna, who disappeared April 19, 2013.
Her daughters disappeared months after she was forced out of her home and not allowed any contact with them, though each of her children had lived with her their entire lives, by an order by the judge in their divorce, David Knutson.
The case became the fodder for local reporters and culminated with a “20/20” episode, which CDN then poked holes in.
The defense is putting on an affirmative defense, meaning that Grazzini-Rucki will admit to helping her daughters escape but argue they were escaping an unsafe environment.
CDN has learned that Asphaug has excluded nearly all of David Rucki’s extensive criminal record, which includes multiple convictions for disorderly conduct, numerous violations of orders for protection, and allegations of stalking.
David Rucki and his attorney, Lisa Elliott, didn’t respond to an email and voicemail asking for comment.
MacDonald told CDN that she was told she would not be called as a witness; however, she was on the witness list at the time Rucki made the alleged threat, meaning the threat could be construed as witness intimidation.
Both David Rucki’s contempt of court proceeding and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial are going on in the Dakota County Courthouse.