Maybe rum punch, too?

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Richard A. Molea had a fantastic suggestion for beating the heat in his courtroom today, even if he was only kidding. I’m not talking about beating the heat of criminal prosecution here, but about it being 81 degrees (!) in his third-floor courtroom this morning.

“We’re going to serve pina coladas,” Molea said, causing a few lawyers to chuckle. But I thought … frozen drinks certainly would lubricate the wheels of justice, wouldn’t it? It would give new meaning to “passing the bar.”  And it certainly would make those long court calendar days a much more pleasant experience.

While it was roasting in the courtroom, there was no fire, even though dozens of members of the Yonkers Fire Department were present, They came en mass to stare down Rafael Roldan, who is charged with setting a revenge fire in a multi-family house that killed Yonkers firefighter Patrick Joyce. Roldan, 33, faces a six-count felony indictment that includes second-degree murder, second-degree arson, first-degree assault, second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief.

Roldan is due back in court April 22. And that’s no joking matter.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.