It was hard to tell who won in the case of an irate senior citizen who assaulted a peaceful, sign-carrying demonstrator in Santa Fe.

Defendant Gary O’Brien, 72, walked out of a courtroom Friday with a smile. The victim, Brent Lambert, was incensed, especially at defense lawyer Tom Clark’s misstatements of what happened.

O’Brien pleaded no contest in Santa Fe Municipal Court. Judge Spence Pacheco fined him $300 and placed him on unsupervised probation for 90 days.

Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at or 505-986-3080.

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