Tourist Avoids Simple Assault Conviction for Defense of Others
A tourist retained the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team after his arrest on simple assault charges. The charges arose out of an incident in which the tourist had punched a youth in the face, causing police and an ambulance to respond. Our tourist client maintained that he, his wife, and their two children had been walking through a Philadelphia historical market when a youth gang accosted them. Our client maintained that gang members had shoved his wife and threatened their children, to which our client had reacted by punching the gang leader. The police who arrested our client maintained to the contrary that the youth was not a gang but a group walking home from school through the market to buy after-school snacks, as was their daily habit. Police concluded from interviews of the youths and other witnesses that one or more of the youths may have bumped into the wife in the crowded marketplace, or the wife had bumped into them, but that the youths had not acted in a threatening manner. One of the youths admitted smiling at the children and attempting to joke with them. The police reconstruction of the event suggested that our client had overreacted. Our client acknowledged that he had been tense and worried about his family's safety. On our advice and information about the police witness statements, our client offered to apologize to the youth and accept cultural education, which the youth accepted. The prosecutor requested the dismissal of the charge in response to the apology and our evidence that our client had acted in defense of his family.
College Dean Successfully Defends Aggravated Assault Charge with Property Defense
A college dean retained the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team after his arrest on aggravated assault charges. Our client explained that he had been sitting in the airport awaiting a flight when someone picked up his computer case from the chair next to him and walked off with it. Thinking that the individual was stealing his computer, he ran after the individual, spun him around, and grabbed the computer from his arms. In the course of doing so, the individual, who turned out to be elderly and unstable, fell, requiring emergency medical services for what turned out to be a broken hip. The elderly individual had mistakenly believed the computer to be his and had no intent to steal. Our trial presentation raised our client's reasonable defense of his property and further pointed out that our client had not intended any injury or even acted recklessly with respect to causing injury. The jury acquitted our client.