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Thread: Guy in S.F. tries to help woman now facing felony assualt

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    Regular Member Yaki's Avatar
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    Guy in S.F. tries to help woman now facing felony assualt

    I saw this story posted but can't recall where so here it is.
    A man saw a woman pushed to the ground. He jumped out of his car and chases the man with gun in hand. He almost became a shooting victim when police arrived and he has a gun in his hand.

    Today it was report on the radio that he is being charged with a felony assault. Police determined he fired at the guy but there wasn't a round in the chamber.
    I guess he will never be able to own a gun again.

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    He has to be convicted to not own a gun. They're probably hoping he will plead to something else, but if there wasn't a round in the chamber and they can't recover a spent casing or a bullet lodged into a building or something then they will likely have a hard time convicting him if their only "evidence" is simply them saying he fired a round.

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the story.

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/28356926/detail.html

    Apparently they claim he tried to fire at the man who pushed the woman to the ground.
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    Another reason to burn SF to the ground. Man they keep stacking up

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    Regular Member Yaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    He has to be convicted to not own a gun. They're probably hoping he will plead to something else, but if there wasn't a round in the chamber and they can't recover a spent casing or a bullet lodged into a building or something then they will likely have a hard time convicting him if their only "evidence" is simply them saying he fired a round.
    That's what iw as refering to if he's convicted. Even a violent misdemeanor will cause him to lose his gun rights. They say the gun wasn't loaded because he was open carrying and i guess he forgot to load so no one is looking for a bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaki View Post
    That's what iw as refering to if he's convicted. Even a violent misdemeanor will cause him to lose his gun rights. They say the gun wasn't loaded because he was open carrying and i guess he forgot to load so no one is looking for a bullet.
    If they can't produce a casing or bullet fragments/hole then I think they will have a hard time convicting him. Though even with them they might have a hard time convicting him (if, for example, he had fired at the start before the guy ran off, but then only chased after him once the man fled).

    Without knowing more but given big-city cops general attitude to harass LACs who have a gun it sounds like the various other cases of abuse of power to try and intimidate a LAC.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    "Police who responded almost shot Viola before he surrendered."
    Of course THAT would have been "okay" and no charges would be filed.


    "San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe says there are concerns about Viola's mental health."

    And the DA is qualified to make this statement? Oh yeah, the guy had a gun, he must be a nut. Riiiiiiight


    Not saying he was right or wrong, not enough facts.....but we all know this is how LAC's are treated when they have the audacity to carry a gun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckinchico View Post
    Another reason to burn SF to the ground.
    It's been done before, and they didn't learn their lesson. This is inevitable.
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    Regular Member Deadscott's Avatar
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    Whoa here fellas............. He jumped out his car to assist what he believed to be an assault, with his gun drawn. Then he chased the assumed assailant and tried to shoot him.

    This is so wrong on so many levels.

    Unless he's a LEO, his first action should have been to dial 911 from the safety of his car. His second move should have been to verbally challenge the assumed assailant from the safety of his car if possible," Hey you! I'm calling the cops!".

    If the assumed assault continued then he should have intervened to stop it. If the assumed assailant flees he should not have pursued, he should have stayed to assist the victim.

    Once the situation changes from life threatening defense to pursuit of a criminal, your actions change from justifiable defense to murder unless your a LEO.

    Be very careful in your attempts to save Jane/John Doe. If you see a someone assaulting someone else and you shoot who you assume to be the assailant, then find out the person you shot was already stabbed/shot/punched by the other person and the person you shot was just trying to defend himself, your life my friend is now what we use to call FUBARed.
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    Whether or not you fault the guy for trying to stop the assault before calling 911 (I'd need more information on the "assault" before passing that judgment), but continuing to chase the perp after the assault had been quelled, and then attempting to shoot him, is questionable at best, and likely illegal, depending on how CA defines defense of self and others.

    I think any claim of defense of another was gone, and the chase and attempted shooting amount to he's-not-gonna-get-away-with-this, which is likely not justified under CA law.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Well I can't find a cite but it seems to me that pursuing the perp was lawful, whether the smaratan had a weapon with him or not, and he is allowed by PC 837 to make a citizens arrest for the crime that was commited in his presence. It would not be smart, is likely to cause problem, but 837 does allow him to make the arrest and I know there's a PC (just can't find it) that allow him to use necessary force as well as enlist as many citizens to help as necessary. Not knowing if the violent perp is armed and not having a way to safely secure the weapon in the heat of the moment, having the weapon with him should be okay (by law, not the system).

    Now if he's shooting at a fleeing felon.....BAD BAD BAD. But we haven't seen anything to indicate that beyond suposition right?

    Now is "the system" going to be happy? Well we all know the answer to that.

    Can anyone point out the use of force PC for affecting citizens arrests and the general use of force and deadly force PC?
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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    So here's the pertinent paragraph from the linked story regarding the "shooting at the perp". Notice that there is no indication that he fired any rounds, it reads as though he FIRST tried to shoot the guy (and wasn't chambered....poor training/practice), which may have well been during the assault by the way it's presented, AND THEN gave chase. Nothing indicates that he did indeed fire ANY shots. Is there newer or more detailed information?

    OPINION: "With his gun drawn" is anti speak for he wasn't stupid enough to reholster while pursuing a violent criminal.


    Prosecutors say he tried to shoot the man who allegedly pushed the 57-year-old woman Wednesday afternoon, but didn't have a bullet in the chamber. According to police and witnesses, Viola began chasing the man with his gun drawn after witnessing the alleged assault.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Whether or not you fault the guy for trying to stop the assault before calling 911 (I'd need more information on the "assault" before passing that judgment), but continuing to chase the perp after the assault had been quelled, and then attempting to shoot him, is questionable at best, and likely illegal, depending on how CA defines defense of self and others.

    I think any claim of defense of another was gone, and the chase and attempted shooting amount to he's-not-gonna-get-away-with-this, which is likely not justified under CA law.
    And just how do you convict a man of "attempting to fire?" I mean really what law does that break and how do you prove that he "attempted" to fire his gun? No bullet was actually fired, no casing was recovered, there's no bullet hole in any of the buildings, etc. It would amount to a he said/she said case unless someone has video proof that he aimed his (empty) gun at the perp.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    And just how do you convict a man of "attempting to fire?" I mean really what law does that break and how do you prove that he "attempted" to fire his gun? No bullet was actually fired, no casing was recovered, there's no bullet hole in any of the buildings, etc. It would amount to a he said/she said case unless someone has video proof that he aimed his (empty) gun at the perp.
    OR....someone didn't understand the importance of the FIFTH amendment and opened his pie hole.

    At his point, with nothing other than the one news story....it's ALL supposition. For all we know the reporter got it all wrong, in either direction, and the facts are nothing like the story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    And just how do you convict a man of "attempting to fire?" I mean really what law does that break and how do you prove that he "attempted" to fire his gun? No bullet was actually fired, no casing was recovered, there's no bullet hole in any of the buildings, etc. It would amount to a he said/she said case unless someone has video proof that he aimed his (empty) gun at the perp.
    I am not going to get into an argument about whether they can prove he committed a crime. The fact remains that, if shooting someone would be a crime, then so would attempting to shoot the person but failing only because pulling the trigger failed due to the unknown lack of a round was in the chamber.

    Once the threat was over, shooting (or attempting to shoot) the fleeing perp is immoral--and likely also illegal. (I don't know CA law.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by We-the-People View Post
    "San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe says there are concerns about Viola's mental health."

    And the DA is qualified to make this statement?
    No, but if he can have the guy slapped with an involuntary temporary psych hold the guy loses his right to own a firearm for 5 years. If he gets a "5250" hold, he essentially loses his right to own firearms for life (since nobody who has been hit with a 5250 has been able to get their gun rights restored). That's probably where the DA is going with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I am not going to get into an argument about whether they can prove he committed a crime. The fact remains that, if shooting someone would be a crime, then so would attempting to shoot the person but failing only because pulling the trigger failed due to the unknown lack of a round was in the chamber.

    Once the threat was over, shooting (or attempting to shoot) the fleeing perp is immoral--and likely also illegal. (I don't know CA law.)
    But the issue is that there are no facts to back up the claim that he tried to shoot the man. It is still just the cops stating it. Now it's possible that he tried to shoot him, but it is also possible that he didn't. Given the "innocent until proven guilty" and the fact that no facts were submitted in the article to show he tried to shoot the man, one cannot say that what he did was wrong. The "supposed" action would be wrong, but then again look at all of the false charges that cops throw at people. Feel free to use the charges against the woman taping the cops from her yard or the sudden charges in the Philly OC incident as to recent examples.

    Without more information we simply can't say what really happened, but at the same time given what has been released and the actions of cops across the country it is reasonable to say that potentially nothing illegal was done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    But the issue is that there are no facts to back up the claim that he tried to shoot the man. It is still just the cops stating it. Now it's possible that he tried to shoot him, but it is also possible that he didn't. Given the "innocent until proven guilty" and the fact that no facts were submitted in the article to show he tried to shoot the man, one cannot say that what he did was wrong. The "supposed" action would be wrong, but then again look at all of the false charges that cops throw at people. Feel free to use the charges against the woman taping the cops from her yard or the sudden charges in the Philly OC incident as to recent examples.

    Without more information we simply can't say what really happened, but at the same time given what has been released and the actions of cops across the country it is reasonable to say that potentially nothing illegal was done.
    I am reacting to the fact that some here think it is OK to chase after the suspect and shoot him (or attempt to shoot him) after the threat has ended, not to whether or not he actually tried to shoot, nor to whether or not it could be proved in court.

    However, I do have to say something about the picking and choosing of the portions of news stories that will be accepted without question and the portions that will be dismissed. As the story stands now, the man who "helped" the lady was reportedly trying to shoot the perp, but no round was chambered. If he denies that accusation, then the story is different. I am reacting to what has been reported, and commenting on that.

    Please note that I have not passed judgment on the man's actual actions. I am passing judgment on the reported actions. I will say it again: Chasing after the bad guy and shooting at him, regardless of the level of success of the trigger-pulling, is immoral. It likely is illegal. That an action is hard to prove to have happened does not change the illegality of the action, just its prosecutability. My comment was reserved to the morality and likely illegality of the reported action, not the truth of the report or the prosecutability of the action.
    Last edited by eye95; 06-28-2011 at 01:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadscott View Post
    Whoa here fellas............. He jumped out his car to assist what he believed to be an assault, with his gun drawn. Then he chased the assumed assailant and tried to shoot him.

    This is so wrong on so many levels.

    Unless he's a LEO, his first action should have been to dial 911 from the safety of his car. His second move should have been to verbally challenge the assumed assailant from the safety of his car if possible," Hey you! I'm calling the cops!".

    If the assumed assault continued then he should have intervened to stop it. If the assumed assailant flees he should not have pursued, he should have stayed to assist the victim.

    Once the situation changes from life threatening defense to pursuit of a criminal, your actions change from justifiable defense to murder unless your a LEO.

    Be very careful in your attempts to save Jane/John Doe. If you see a someone assaulting someone else and you shoot who you assume to be the assailant, then find out the person you shot was already stabbed/shot/punched by the other person and the person you shot was just trying to defend himself, your life my friend is now what we use to call FUBARed.
    this is wrong on so many levels, yet can't be helped because of gov indoctrination and statist mentality of US subjects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadscott View Post
    Whoa here fellas............. He jumped out his car to assist what he believed to be an assault, with his gun drawn. Then he chased the assumed assailant and tried to shoot him.

    This is so wrong on so many levels.

    Unless he's a LEO, his first action should have been to dial 911 from the safety of his car. His second move should have been to verbally challenge the assumed assailant from the safety of his car if possible," Hey you! I'm calling the cops!".

    If the assumed assault continued then he should have intervened to stop it. If the assumed assailant flees he should not have pursued, he should have stayed to assist the victim.

    Once the situation changes from life threatening defense to pursuit of a criminal, your actions change from justifiable defense to murder unless your a LEO.

    Be very careful in your attempts to save Jane/John Doe. If you see a someone assaulting someone else and you shoot who you assume to be the assailant, then find out the person you shot was already stabbed/shot/punched by the other person and the person you shot was just trying to defend himself, your life my friend is now what we use to call FUBARed.
    Without the article it's hard to say, but going off of what the OP posted you're pretty wrong. From the OP the MWAG saw the woman get pushed down and the start of the assault. Given that he saw it from the beginning he knew who initiated the physical contact and could see the woman starting to get beat. Now I don't know about you but I'm not going to sit there and call 911 and wait for the to answer and explain everything, etc. That can easily be a minute or more while the other person is getting beat. As for chasing after the person, I don't agree with it but one is allowed to make a citizens arrest and if it's a felony it gives the citizen even more power to stop the perp (at least in some states, I can't speak for CA).

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckinchico View Post
    Another reason to burn SF to the ground. Man they keep stacking up
    If we stack those reasons in the form of a bonfire...
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I am not going to get into an argument about whether they can prove he committed a crime. The fact remains that, if shooting someone would be a crime, then so would attempting to shoot the person but failing only because pulling the trigger failed due to the unknown lack of a round was in the chamber.

    Once the threat was over, shooting (or attempting to shoot) the fleeing perp is immoral--and likely also illegal. (I don't know CA law.)
    If all the perp did was push someone down, it is simple A&B, a misdemeanor. Deadly force cannot be used--especially when the subject is fleeing. Cops cannot use deadly force in that case, so Dudley Do-right certainly can't. As to he attempted to shoot, but no round chambered, how do they know that? If he shot, a parafin test would show it--to say nothing of powder residue in the pistol. If he didn't shoot, he still violated the law by running around with a loaded gun in his hand with no legal authority to do so in the PDR. I have to do an eye thing: sounds like the guy over-reacted and the cops did the right thing. At least no one was killed.
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    In Oklahoma, the use of deadly force is authorized in a Citizen's arrest of a known felon whether fleeing or not.

    Now, the operative words here is "known felon" which means you (the citizen) have to know that the bad guy has been convicted of a felony in the past. This can be the case ... recognition of prison tats, recognition of a well publicized felony conviction, etc.

    As for the assault on the lady, and has been stated in other threads here, age and physical condition of the victim can make an unarmed physical assault a matter of life or death, or grave physical harm, which would (in OK) make the assault a felonious assault rather than a misdemeanor.

    I agree that there is not enough info in the article to allow us a good idea of the level of assault. However, The tenor of the statements by the authorities does give us a good idea of the focus of the investigation. And that is definitely cause for discussion.

    As for whether or not an attempt to fire was made, it is now his word against the officer. And we know which side the DA is going to come down on. And I know for a fact that not all officers are truthful in what they put in their reports. These guys have a hard job to do.

    I have personally been the focus of a PD and a DA that do NOT believe average citizen's need to carry. The DA started out telling my attorney he was considering which of 4 felonies to charge me with. In the end, he was forced to drop all charges because I stood my ground. Within 2 weeks of that, 4 little teenage hoodlims decided for some reason to hang out on my corner lot while waiting for their drugs to be delivered. When we called the cops, they were more interested in hasseling us about calling them than the 4 kids and the dope car the cop pulled up on (which peeled out in front of the cops.)

    After that, when I was in a fender-bender, the cop that showed up was surprised that I was laughing and joking with him about the wreck. Excuse me? Just who would have told him I was such a rude individual that he expected to roll up on a knock-down-drag-out??? Hmmm, maybe another cop, because I didn't know him and had basically no other contact with LEO for the previous 20 years I had lived in that town.

    We are not in a contest with LEO, but in some regards, we most definitely are. And the local DA has a lot to do with the attitude of LEOs.
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