When Joseph Bray failed to acknowledge his wife’s, Sonja, birthday, all hell broke loose. After getting in to a scuffle that could have resulted in jail time, Joseph was ordered to treat his wife to an evening of bowling topped off by a romantic Red Lobster dinner by a Florida judge on Tuesday.
After Joseph dismissed Sonja’s birthday, their argument turned ugly fast. Reportedly, the 47-year-old man wound up shoving his wife against their sofa and then grabbed her neck. Joseph then allegedly put his fist up to his 39-year-old wife’s face, threatening to hit her.
Police were called to the couple’s Plantation, Fla., home and Joseph was taken into custody.
When Joseph appeared before Judge John “Jay” Hurley during his hearing, instead of setting up a bond or keeping the suspect behind bars, he ordered conditions that some might consider to be rather frivolous:
“He’s going to stop by somewhere and he’s going to get some flowers,” the Judge Hurley said according to the Sun Sentinel. “And then he’s going to go home, pick up his wife, get dressed, take her to Red Lobster. And then after they have Red Lobster, they’re going to go bowling.”
The judge’s reason for not giving Joseph, who has no prior arrests, a more stricter punishment is that he felt the case was not serious enough to warrant it and he determined that Sonja was never in real danger.
“It was a minor incident, in the court’s opinion,” Judge Hurley said. “The court would not normally do that if the court felt there was some violence but this is very, very minor and the court felt that that was a better resolution than other alternatives.”
Sonja also told the judge that she was not fearful of her husband nor had she been hurt by him. When the judge asked Sonja if there was someplace she had wanted to go for her birthday, she said that she wanted to go bowling and to Red Lobster.
Judge Hurley then ordered that Joseph give his wife flowers, a birthday card, dinner at Red Lobster, and bowling. He also mandated that the couple must attend marriage counseling sessions within a week.