Articles Posted in Assault Crimes

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bed-1230897According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a teenager from Framingham allegedly assaulted his girlfriend this past week. The article states that the alleged victim accused the defendant of cheating on her at approximately 4am. After the accusation was made, the defendant reportedly began hitting and kicking the alleged victim, who claimed that she did not recall the number of punches and/or kicks because there were “too many” to count. The couple reportedly went back to bed after the defendant apologized. When they woke up again, the conversation resumed and the defendant allegedly dragged the alleged victim by the hair and spat in her face. The defendant also allegedly put his hands around the alleged victim’s neck and applied “slight pressure.” At some point after this second alleged assault, the alleged victim called the police and made a report. She claims that she was too afraid to call the police immediately. The defendant was charged with two domestic violence offenses: one count of assault and battery on a household or family member and one count of strangulation.

To convict the defendant of assault and battery on a household or family member under G. L. c. 265, § 13M, the Commonwealth would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant touched the alleged victim, without having any right or excuse for doing so; (2) that the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim; (3) that the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm to the alleged victim, or was done without her consent; and (4) that the defendant and the alleged victim are “household members.” Under the law, people are household members if they are or were married, they have a child in common, and/or they have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship.

To convict the defendant of strangulation under G. L. c. 265, § 15D, the Commonwealth would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant applied substantial pressure on the throat or neck of the alleged victim; (2) that he interfered with the alleged victim’s normal breathing and/or circulation without having any right or excuse for doing so; and (3) that he did so intentionally. Continue reading →

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child-1437361According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Holliston man was recently arrested for slapping his four year old son. The article states that the defendnt was on a supervised visit with his two children – the alleged victim and his older brother, who is seven years old. During the visit, the defendant reportedly slapped the four year old in the head because he refused to stay in his time out. The child apparently fell backwards as a result and hit his head on a doorframe, which caused a lump to form on his head. After this occurred, the defendant spoke with the children’s mother and relayed what had happened. As a result of the incident, the defendant was arrested for assault and battery causing injury to a child under fourteen.

For a jury to convict the defendant of assault and battery causing injury to a child under fourteen under G. L. c. 265, § 13J, the Commonwealth would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the alleged victim was under fourteen years of age; (2) that the defendant touched the person of the alleged victim, without having any right or excuse for doing so; (3) that the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim – in other words, that the defendant touched his son deliberately rather than accidentally; and (4) that the alleged victim suffered bodily injury.

A second way in which a person may be guilty of an assault and battery under the statute is if the person engaged in reckless rather than intentional conduct. In order to prove that the defendant is guilty under a theory of reckless conduct, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the alleged victim was under fourteen years of age; (2) that the defendant intentionally engaged in actions which caused bodily injury to the alleged victim; and (3) that the defendant’s actions amounted to reckless conduct.

Under either theory, bodily injury is defined as a substantial impairment of the physical condition, including: a burn, a fracture of any bone, a subdural hematoma, any injury to any internal organ, any injury which occurs as the result of repeated harm to any bodily function or organ including human skin, and/or any physical condition which substantially imperils a child’s health or welfare. Continue reading →

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According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Littleton man was recently arrested for assaulting his step-brother. The article states that the defendant was arrested in Ashland following a family argument. The defendant and his step-mother reportedly got into a verbal argument. During the argument, the defendant yelled at the step-mother. The defendant’s step-brother, who  allegedly suffers from developmental disorders, was present and reportedly became angry with the defendant for raising his voice. The step-brother then allegedly grabbed his belt, making motions as if he was going to hit the defendant. It was at this point that the defendant allegedly struck the step-brother. Following the incident, the defendant called the police. Once officers arrived, they spoke to the defendant who reportedly acknowledged that he hit the step-brother a total of five times. The defendant was subsequently charged with assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person.

To prove that the defendant committed an assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person under G. L. c. 265, § 13K, the Commonwealth would have to show the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant touched the alleged victim, without having any right or excuse for doing so; (2) that the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim; (3) that the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm to the alleged victim, or was done without his (her) consent; and (4) that the alleged victim was either elderly (over sixty years old) or disabled (a person with a permanent or long-term physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts the individual’s ability to provide for his own care or protection). Continue reading →

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fist-1488296According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a thirty-two year old Milford man got into a physical altercation with his eighteen year old niece earlier this week. The article states that the niece had been kicked out of her mother’s house and was staying at her grandmother’s house. At some point during her stay, the niece began yelling at her grandmother and her uncle, who was present during the argument, stepped between the two in an attempt to diffuse the situation. According to the uncle, the niece punched him twice in the face and he then reportedly punched her once. The niece allegedly had a broken nose as a result of the incident. It’s not clear whether the uncle had any injuries. Police arrived on scene and arrested the uncle, charging him with domestic assault and battery. The niece was summonsed to court on the same charges that same day.   Continue reading →

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police-car-1515955According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a twenty-three year old Groton woman was recently charged with attacking her boyfriend. According to the article, the defendant was traveling in a car with her boyfriend on the Mass Pike. The boyfriend was talking on the phone with another woman and was planning on driving to this other woman’s house. The defendant allegedly became angry about the fact that the boyfriend was speaking with the other woman, grabbed the boyfriend’s cell phone, and threw it in the back seat of the car. The defendant then allegedly slapped her boyfriend in the face and hit him repeatedly. The boyfriend reportedly began hitting the defendant back and bit her left pinky finger. The boyfriend claimed that he struck the defendant in self-defense because he was traveling at approximately 55-60 miles per hour and was concerned he might crash. The boyfriend ultimately pulled over and state police troopers found the couple, both with visible marks and scratches on their faces and arms, standing around the car in the breakdown lane at roughly 1:48 a.m. The defendant admitted to police that she started the fight. The boyfriend, however, denied biting the defendant’s finger. The defendant was arrested and subsequently charged with assault and battery.

Fortunately for the defendant, there do appear to be some questions as to whether the Commonwealth will be able to prove the case against her. Although the boyfriend was not arrested and the article indicates that he was “acting in self-defense,” he could still be criminally charged for assaulting the defendant.  Specifically, the fact that he may have been acting in self-defense and could therefore raise that issue as a defense at trial does not mean that the he could not be criminally charged and potentially prosecuted for his conduct.  In light of the fact that he could potentially face criminal charges, he may decline to testify and choose to exercise his Fifth Amendment privilege, which states that a person cannot be compelled to testify if his testimony is potentially incriminating and/or could result in criminal prosecution.  The privilege is not limited to circumstances in which the Commonwealth has specifically sought charges or indicated that it intends to do so – a person can assert his Fifth Amendment privilege as long as he could face criminal charges, regardless of whether he actually will. Continue reading →

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mouth-1437756According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Framingham man allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend after he found out that she was dating someone new. The article states that the man and the alleged victim were romantically involved but that the relationship had ended. According to the article, the man reportedly appeared at the alleged victim’s workplace (Shopper’s World) and asked to speak with her. They then drove away in the alleged victim’s car. After some period of time, the alleged victim dropped the man off and went to the police station. Once there, she claimed that she was the victim of a domestic assault. Specifically, the alleged victim told the police that she and her ex-boyfriend had gotten into an argument when he found out that she was dating someone else. The alleged victim claimed that the man grabbed her by the throat and choked her. The police then approached the man, who was outside a convenience store, and arrested him based on the alleged victim’s allegations. The man was subsequently charged with strangulation.

To convict the man of strangulation, the Commonwealth would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the man applied substantial pressure to the alleged victim’s throat or neck; (2) that he interfered with the alleged victim’s normal breathing or circulation of blood without having any right or excuse for doing so; and (3) that the man did so intentionally. Continue reading →

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hand-emotion-3-1468947According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, an Ashland woman was arrested earlier this year after allegedly threatening and assaulting a man. The article states that the woman and her boyfriend were staying at the alleged victim’s house in Framingham. The alleged victim reportedly noticed that his prescription Klonopin was missing and blamed the woman. The woman’s boyfriend then got into a fist fight with the alleged victim. During the fight, the woman allegedly went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and threatened to stab the alleged victim. She also reportedly threw a fan at him and hit him with it. The police were ultimately called and found three Klonopin pills in the woman’s purse. The woman was subsequently charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the fan), assault with a dangerous weapon (the knife), possession of Klonopin, and larceny under $250.

Although the charges against the woman are serious, she appears to have a strong defense to at least some of the allegations. Specifically, as to the assault charges, the woman may well be able to argue that she was acting in defense of another: her boyfriend. Massachusetts law allows people to come to the aid of each other when such action is necessary. Specifically, Massachusetts law allows a person to use reasonable force when it is necessary to do so to help another person. In other words, if it reasonably appears that the person being aided is in a situation where the law would allow him to act in self-defense himself, then a third party can lawfully come to his aid in his defense. The law states that if there is evidence that a defendant may have been coming to the aid of another person, then the defendant must be acquitted of the charges unless the Commonwealth proves at least one of the following to things beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would not have believed that her use of force was necessary in order to protect the third party; or (2) that to a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would not have believed that the third party was justified in using such force in his own self-defense. Continue reading →

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woman-walking-a-dog-27207-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a 23 year-old Framingham woman attacked a former co-worker in Wayland earlier this year. The defendant is a professional dog walker. The alleged victim in the case was reportedly a former employee of the company, but was laid off because of a broken ankle. Following her recovery, the alleged victim began walking dogs again, but not with the same company.

According to the article, the defendant encountered the alleged victim while both were on the job in the Loker Conservation. The defendant reportedly noticed that the alleged victim was walking two dogs that belonged to former company’s clients and became upset. The alleged victim specifically reported that she and the defendant got into a verbal exchange during which the defendant accused the alleged victim of depriving her of her livelihood by stealing clients. The two women then walked away from each other, but crossed paths again in the parking lot, where the defendant allegedly accused the woman of having “no morals” and then physically attacked her. The alleged victim claimed that the defendant punched her several times, scratched her, and then knocked her to the ground. The alleged victim also reported that, at one point, the defendant had her legs around the alleged victim’s neck, cutting off her airway. The alleged victim stated that the defendant flipped her over with her legs and kicked her body, including her recently broken ankle, several times. Continue reading →

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black-and-white-crime-1-1115700-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a man was recently arrested in Framingham for allegedly assaulting three other individuals in alley behind the Tedeschi’s on Waverly Street. The article states that the man reportedly lunged at one of the alleged victims while armed while a knife. At some point, the police were contacted and arrived on scene. When the got there, they reportedly ordered the man to drop the knife. Although the man approached the officers before doing so, he ultimately dropped to his knees and put the knife on the ground. The man was taken into custody and brought to the police station where he was booked. At the arraignment, his attorney told the court that the other individuals involved in the incident had in fact attempted to rob the man and that he had simply been acting in self-defense. It is also of note that the man’s nose was broken when the police arrived on scene, and that the police report failed to include any statements from the alleged victims, or any motive as to why the man would have assaulted them.

For the Commonwealth to obtain a conviction against the man for assault with a dangerous weapon under G. L. c. 265, § 15B, it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: that (1) the man intended to commit a battery – that is, a harmful or an unpermitted touching – upon the alleged victims; (2) the man took some overt step toward accomplishing that intent; (3) the man came reasonably close to doing so; and (4) the assault was done by means of a dangerous weapon.

Continue reading →

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high-school-woes-1173688-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a group of ten freshman and sophomore students got into a “brawl” at Framingham High School last week. School officials stated that they did not know what led to the fight and insisted that there was no longstanding feud between the students who were involved. Four of the students were injured, including one who was taken to the hospital to the hospital as a precaution. A Framingham police officer indicated that the police were reviewing surveillance footage as well as cell phone videos taken by others in an attempt to determine who or what caused the fight. Although criminal charges have not yet been issued, the police department indicated that the incident was still under investigation and that “it could possibly lead to criminal charges.”

If the students are indeed criminally charged, it seems likely that they will be charges of simple assault and battery under G. L. c. 265, 13A, as the article makes no mention of any weapons being used. For the Commonwealth is issue charges and ultimately convict the student(s) for assault and battery, it would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) that the student(s) touched the person of the alleged victim(s) without having any right or excuse for doing so; (2) that the student(s) intended to touch the alleged victim(s); and (3) that the touching was either likely to cause bodily harm to the alleged victim(s) or was done without the alleged victim or victims’ consent. The touching must be intentional in the sense that the student(s) consciously and deliberately intended the touching to occur and that it was not merely accidental or negligent. However, the student(s) need not specifically have intended to cause injury to the alleged victim(s).

While the details of the incident are still not entirely clear, it seems the Commonwealth may have difficulty proving its case. Assuming that this was a mutual fight in that the students were all fighting against one another, as opposed to certain parties simply being assaulted and certain parties doing the assaulting, all of the students involved would presumably be cross-complainants and have 5th Amendment privileges against self-incrimination. Continue reading →