Crime and courts

'MasterChef' finalist charged with attacking police officer

Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM ET

Image: Joshua Marks
Cook County Sheriff's Office

"MasterChef" season three runner-up Joshua Marks was arrested and charged with aggravated battery against a police officer after a bizarre run-in with University of Chicago police on Tuesday.

Marks, who is 7 foot, 2 inches and weighs 260 pounds, was taken into custody at 3:50 a.m. after he attacked and attempted to disarm an officer at a nearby apartment complex, according to Jeremy Manier, news director for the university.

The 26-year-old, who finished "MasterChef" in second place behind Christine Ha (the show's first blind contestant), is currently in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, a representative for the police confirmed to However, Marks is not currently behind bars, and is instead being held at a nearby medical facility. The spokesperson did not say what Marks is being treated for.

“We are working closely with medical professionals to determine if Josh's behavior could be related to mental health symptoms," Marks' attorney Lisa M. Butler told "Our primary concern is Josh, his health, well-being and getting him proper treatment. Josh is an amazing, gentle and talented young man. He comes from a very close-knit family; is a cum laude college graduate and very involved in the community. His family is at his side to give him any support that he needs right now. 

"To the extent an illness may be involved, we hope that this incident will be handled by the media with the sensitivity and respect due to any person dealing with any health concern," Butler said. "The Josh that you are hearing about in police reports this morning is not the spirited Gentle Giant that we know.” 

The former reality show contestant is currently being held on $150,000 bail. His next court date is set for Aug. 5 in Chicago.

Before he appeared on "MasterChef," Marks was a contract specialist in the U.S. Army. He grew up in Chicago, and moved to Jackson, Miss., to attend Tougaloo College on a basketball scholarship. He graduated in 2009.