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  • PC 240 question

    So I'm walking my dog the other day. We get out in the middle of a T intersection, and the dog chooses that moment to fidget with her Gentle Leader and try to paw it off of her face, so I'm stuck in the middle of the intersection for a few seconds. This guy comes roaring up, slams on the brakes, and starts screaming at me to get the eff out of the road you stupid SOB, etc. Without thinking (literally), I tell him to go eff himself. He flips out, makes a U turn, and jumps out of his car. He's walking towards me telling me how stupid I am. I reply, "I'm not the one running up to a stranger over some silly nonsense!" He stops about three feet away and tries to intimidate me (which doesn't really work, since I'm 20 years younger than him ). After a few more seconds, I finally realize that I am being a dumbass by keeping in contact with him, so I tell him he should just get on with his day and walk away.

    At the time, I was thinking "If he tells me he's going to (insert euphemism for causing physical injury here), I'm gonna call the cops and let them haul him away for assault". But looking at the statute, I don't think he has to verbalize or articulate an intention to cause harm... his "intent" could be shown by turning his car around, getting out, and walking towards me. And the "present ability"... well, he has two arms and two legs and I have every reason to believe he could punch or kick me. So... did he commit an arrestable offense? Or would my initial respone have been an "aggravating factor" that would have made a scuffle between us "mutual combat"?

    I already know I was an idiot for having responded to him We don't need to discuss that

  • #2
    PC 415.(3) Any person who uses offensive words in a public place which
    are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.

    This is about the most you got. Although you responded in kind. In short, you have a big nothing on your hands. California peace officers are obligated by law to accept a citizen's arrest, even if the arrest is unlawful and does not meet any specific criteria. The citizen who makes the unlawful arrest is civilly liable (you can be sued by your arrested person.) Turn the other cheek next time. To many wackos out there.

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    • #3
      Hmmm, I think it's also a misdemeanor, so they wouldn't go to jail (maybe with SDPD) just get a notice to appear.
      Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jnojr
        So I'm walking my dog the other day. We get out in the middle of a T intersection, and the dog chooses that moment to fidget with her Gentle Leader and try to paw it off of her face, so I'm stuck in the middle of the intersection for a few seconds. This guy comes roaring up, slams on the brakes, and starts screaming at me to get the eff out of the road you stupid SOB, etc. Without thinking (literally), I tell him to go eff himself. He flips out, makes a U turn, and jumps out of his car. He's walking towards me telling me how stupid I am. I reply, "I'm not the one running up to a stranger over some silly nonsense!" He stops about three feet away and tries to intimidate me (which doesn't really work, since I'm 20 years younger than him ). After a few more seconds, I finally realize that I am being a dumbass by keeping in contact with him, so I tell him he should just get on with his day and walk away.

        At the time, I was thinking "If he tells me he's going to (insert euphemism for causing physical injury here), I'm gonna call the cops and let them haul him away for assault". But looking at the statute, I don't think he has to verbalize or articulate an intention to cause harm... his "intent" could be shown by turning his car around, getting out, and walking towards me. And the "present ability"... well, he has two arms and two legs and I have every reason to believe he could punch or kick me. So... did he commit an arrestable offense? Or would my initial respone have been an "aggravating factor" that would have made a scuffle between us "mutual combat"?

        I already know I was an idiot for having responded to him We don't need to discuss that
        As stated above, this is barely above a civil matter, and without an independent witness "there are two sides to every story". Also as stated above, I think you realize the danger of the f-bomb, and also were reminded that it is always better to silently walk away (unless turning your back/cheek puts you in imminent danger), as difficult as that is when you feel threatened. In this case, it is really a non-event legally (I've been there though, so BELIEVE me I feel for you). I've had people decline to press charges (because both would have gone to jail) covered in each others injuries and blood, so you get the idea. These were potential custodial arrest 242 batteries / 415s, and everybody walked away without even a citation, after refusing medical treatment (no reason to get blood all over the backseat anyways).

        Too many psychos out there looking for a fight, and there was adequate provocation from both parties here. If you had been threatened by him using the car, different bucket of chicken (PC 245 ADW), but without an independent witness, you got nada. Just exercise that duty to retreat next time, unless it's impractical or unsafe to do so; maybe write down his license plate and description in case this becomes a series of encounters, and you have a log of events.

        Did the dog finally cooperate?
        In Vino Veritas

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