Joshua Marks, MasterChef Runner-Up, Ordered to Get Mental Health Assessment

By Erin Meyer and Tanveer Ali  on August 31, 2013 12:32pm

 Joshua Marks, who appeared on the Fox show starring hot-headed chef Gordon Ramsey in 2012, was charged with aggravated battery against a U. of C. campus police officer.
Joshua Marks, who appeared on the Fox show starring hot-headed chef Gordon Ramsey in 2012, was charged with aggravated battery against a U. of C. campus police officer.
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Cook County judge ordered a mental health assessment for Joshua Marks, a one-time contestant of the reality show "MasterChef" who was  accused last month of attacking a University of Chicago cop, according to court records.

Marks appeared on the third season of Gordon Ramsay's reality cooking show in 2012. In late July, he was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer in what sources say was very uncharacteristic behavior.

The actions of the "Seven-Foot Chef" — the Cook County Sheriff's Office pegs him at 7-foot-2 — might be attributable to mental health problems, according to Marks' social media accounts and his lawyer, Lisa Marie Butler.

"The Josh that you are hearing about in police reports this morning is not the spirited Gentle Giant that we know," according to a statement posted on his Facebook page last month.

Judge Carol Howard ordered a behavioral fitness exam for Marks on Thursday when he last appeared in court, according to records. Marks also pled not guilty to the charges.

Behavioral fitness exams can be used to help determine whether a defendant is mentally fit to stand trial and, in some cases, represent themselves in court. 

"Essentially, we're working with medical professionals to see if there was a correlation with what happened," said his attorney Lisa Marie Butler. "The person we are hearing about is not the Josh we know."

On July 30, the night Marks was arrested, he allegedly called university police from a campus blue light phone around 4 a.m.

An officer got out of his squad car in the 5400 block of South Kimbark Avenue and noticed injuries on Marks' face, according to court records. After the officer asked about his emergency, "Marks immediately attacked [the officer], taking him to the ground."

Marks, who said he is a self-taught chef who can do wonders with "average everyday Hamburger Helper," allegedly hit the officer in the face several times and tried to take a weapon from him when another officer arrived.

That officer hit Marks in the leg with a baton several times. After Marks failed to "stop fighting," he was doused with pepper spray, according to court records.

Marks was arrested after he ran and hid in a nearby backyard.

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