What do you think about this scenario: Deputy goes out on call and makes contact w/suspect. Suspect, refusing to stop, pushes officer hand away. As deputy tries to stop the suspect by taking him to the ground, deputy breaks his ankle. Suspect did not kick or otherwise touch Deputy's ankle. I looked up cases on lexis and didn't find anything like this. I feel like we've got resisting arrest/detention. I just don't think we can show Suspect acted intentionally, knowingingly or recklessly. All these definitions talk about causing and foreseeing the result. Of course the Sheriff wants blood. What do you think?
This past week, I served as a faculty advisor at the Prosecutor Trial Skills Course (aka "Baby Prosecutor Course"). During our table discussion of a hypothetical on Resisting, I used almost this exact same set of facts as an example of how some officers will try to make a decent Class A Resisting case into a 1st-degree felony that doesn't pass the giggle test (in my hypo, the officer stepped off a curb during the arrest and broke his ankle).
Mad sheriff or no, this sounds like a misdemeanor all the way.
Shannon is right. You have injury but no direct causation.
My attitude is, if the injury is due to something the defendant did to the cop, you've got the agg. assault. If, however, the injury is incidental to the event (like stepping off the curb, or tackling defendant & falling to pavement), then I don't file agg. assault.
I think it's a plain old common-sense evaluation: could the defendant have intended this to happen? Could the defendant foresee his actions causing the result?
Do you think your juries will go for this? I don't think mine would.
The restitution amount will likely be enough to seem like a felony to the def.
I remember explaining to an officer that, while his finger did get broken by an impact from the defendant's head pinning the finger against concrete, since it was because the officer was taking the defendant to the ground (which knocked out two of defendant's teeth), I did not envision a jury convicting the defendant of "causing" the injury.
Next time he should keep his finger out of the way; better still - do not slam the defendant down quite so hard.
It sounds like in your post that the suspect may have committed the offense of evading arrest.
If that is the case considering the fact that the officer broke his ankle don't you possibly have a shot at a 3rd Degree Evading Arrest/Detention.
Just a thought.
I was at the adv crim law course & didn't have a chance to look at the responses until now. I hadn't thought about the 3rd degree resisting, but I think it just might work. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts.
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