Articles Posted in Assault Crimes

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cigarette-sticks-1394750-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, two teenagers were arrested this past week after allegedly robbing a gas station in Marlborough. The article states that two men wearing masks entered a Shell gas station on Lincoln Street shortly after 3am this past Thursday. One of the two men reportedly approached the clerk, pointed a handgun at him, and demanded cash while the other stood as a lookout at the door. The two men walked away with $340 in cash, several boxes of Newport cigarettes, and the clerk’s cellular telephone. Witnesses and the clerk provided a description of the two men to police – one was described as 6’ tall and the other as slightly shorter, both with thin builds.

Several hours after the robbery, the Marlborough police served a warrant for a parole violation on a seventeen year-old juvenile at an apartment on Lincoln Street. While serving the warrant, officers noticed that the juvenile matched the description of one of the two robbers. Additionally, officers observed several boxes of Newport cigarettes in plain view. Another man inside the apartment reportedly matched the description of the second suspect. Both the juvenile and the other man were arrested for armed robbery under G. L. c. 265, § 17.

Fortunately, both the juvenile and the other man appear to have strong arguments that they were not the people that were involved in the robbery. In particular, the suspects were masked and the only description provided was height and build. There does not appear to be any further information provided by witnesses documenting the suspects’ race, age, clothing, hair color, eye color, or facial features. In light of the lack of detail in the descriptions provided, it will likely be difficult if not impossible to argue that the two men arrested were in fact the individuals involved in the robbery. Continue reading →

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street-fight-379259-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, two men were charged with assaulting each other during a fight this past Wednesday in Framingham. The article states that the men work in the same building on Concord Street. One of the men (defendant number one) reportedly bumped into an antique porcelain sink sitting outside of the business owned by the second man (defendant number two) and, according to defendant number two, knocked the sink over. Defendant number two yelled at defendant number one about the incident. When defendant number two then went to pick the sink up, defendant number one reportedly attacked him. Specifically, defendant number two claims that defendant number one hit him in the back of the head with a serving tray. Defendant number two then swung a broomstick at defendant number one – reportedly to defend himself – but missed. The two men fought for about five minutes before defendant number one left the building. Defendant number one told police that defendant number two had threatened him by saying, “I know where you live, I know where you work” and that he had only used the serving tray in self-defense. Both men were summonsed to court to face charges – Defendant number two was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and defendant number one was charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 (defendant number two is 63).

The defendants are considered cross-complainants. This means that while they are both charged as defendants in the alleged incident, they are also both the alleged victims. Prosecuting cross-complaints may be challenging for the Commonwealth because there are Fifth Amendment implications. The Fifth Amendment states that a person cannot be compelled to testify against himself if that testimony is potentially incriminating and/or could result in criminal prosecution. In this case, the Commonwealth would need to call defendant number two to the stand to testify against defendant number one, as defendant number two is the sole witness to the assault against him, but because defendant number two is also facing criminal charges himself, he clearly has a Fifth Amendment privilege and could refuse to testify. Similarly, the Commonwealth would presumably seek to call defendant number one to the stand to testify against defendant number two, but because defendant number one is also facing criminal charges, he likewise has a Fifth Amendment privilege and could refuse to testify. Continue reading →

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sad-snot-nosed-kid-1062449-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Framingham man, was arrested after physically disciplining his son. The child, who is seven years old, bit one his teachers at his school. Following the incident, the defendant, the child’s father, reportedly destroyed the child’s video game system. The child’s mother tried to intervene and prevent the defendant from breaking the system. When she did so, however, the defendant reportedly hit her and shoved her away. He then reportedly hit his son and kicked him twice in his buttocks. Approximately two hours after the alleged incident, the defendant presented himself at the police station. While there, he acknowledged that he had hit his son twice in the rear, but denied kicking him. As a result of the incident, the defendant was charged with (1) assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot); (2) assault and battery on a child; (3) domestic assault and battery; and (4) malicious destruction of property over $250.

Despite the fact that the defendant was charged with these offenses, he does appear to have a legitimate defense. In relation to the charges in which the defendant’s son is the alleged victim, the defendant can argue that he was simply using reasonable physical force to discipline his child. While the Massachusetts legislature does not specifically allow for the use of physical discipline by a parent, Massachusetts case law alludes to the ability of a parent, or one acting in position of a parent, to use physical force to discipline a child. For example, in Commonwealth v. Rubeck, the Supreme Judicial Court appears to recognize the parental right to discipline as a legitimate defense to the use of physical force against a child as long as the physical force is for the specific purpose of discipline, is conducted in a controlled manner rather than the result of an emotional outburst, and does not result in bruising or significant injury. Given the fact that it is undeniably inappropriate for a seven year old child to bite a teacher, the defendant can argue that he was within his rights to put his hands on his child for the purpose of disciplining him. Continue reading →

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camera-monitoring-488734-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a German au pair who has been charged with assaulting the three year old boy that she cared for has filed a criminal complaint against the child’s father. The au pair was reportedly caught on camera shoving the boy to the floor. The camera recorded both audio and video footage and it appears that the defendant was unaware that any sort of recording device had been put in place to monitor her.

The article indicates that the child’s father had had some concerns regarding the care that the defendant was providing. He then set up a “nanny cam” to record her activity within the home. The appearance of the recording device is not entirely clear – the article does not indicate whether the camera was in plain view and/or whether it was obviously a recording device. Regardless of the appearance of the device, however, it is undisputed that the father did not tell the defendant about the camera and/or that it was recording both audio and visual surveillance. After installing the device, the father apparently watched the footage and observed the incident in which the defendant appears to have shoved the child. Specifically, the video reportedly shows the boy in a living area of the home. the defendant can be heard off camera telling the child to take off his clothes and put his pajamas on so that he can go to bed. Several minutes later, the defendant reportedly enters the room and knocks the child to the floor. He immediately begins crying. the defendant then appears to leave the room but comes back shortly thereafter, sits on the floor with the boy, and tries to comfort him.

Under G. L. c. 272, § 99, it is a crime to record a person’s voice without obtaining his or her permission. As a result, the defendant applied for a criminal complaint against the father, accusing him of violating the wiretapping statute. The defendant’s lawyer is also seeking to have the video excluded from evidence at the trial. Continue reading →

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commuter-station-906664-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a man was arrested for assaulting and attempting to rob another man at the West Natick MBTA station this past Thursday. The article states that the police went to the station for a report of fight. When they arrived, they saw the defendant, who told the officers that another man had punched him in the face for no reason. He further stated that he and the other man were talking about God when the man punched him. The police located the other man, who was on the train and he admitted to punching the defendant. The man further claimed that the defendant had attacked him. He stated that the defendant had approached him, began talking about religion, and “aggressively asked for money.” The man reportedly told the defendant that he did not have any money and the defendant reportedly pulled the man into a “bear hug” and was yelling at him. It was at this point that the man punched him. The defendant released the man, but then allegedly threatened to stab him. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the police determined that the man should be credited over the defendant and they arrested the defendant on charges of assault and battery, attempted unarmed robbery, and threatening to commit a crime.

While the other man’s account, if credited, does appear to make out the elements of assault and battery and threats, the defendant may have a motion to dismiss the attempted unarmed robbery charge. To prove that he attempted to commit an unarmed robbery under G. L. c . 274, § 6, the Commonwealth would have to demonstrate the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant had the specific intent to commit an unarmed robbery; and (2) that he took an overt act toward committing that crime, which was part of carrying out the crime, and came reasonably close to actually carrying out that crime. Under G. L. c. 265, § 19, the elements of unarmed robbery are: (1) that a defendant either applied actual force and violence to the body of the victim or put the victim in fear by threatening words or gestures; (2) that the defendant took money or other property with the intent to steal it; and (3) that the defendant took the money or other property from the immediate control of the victim. Continue reading →

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at-the-mall-5-363181-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, two men arranged a drug deal with a third man – the alleged victim – and then reportedly robbed and beat him. The article states that one of the defendants (defendant number one) and the alleged victim met up in Lynn and then drove to Hudson to buy marijuana. Once in Hudson, defendant number one and the alleged victim picked up the second defendant (defendant number two) at a Rite Aid pharmacy and the three of them went to a parking lot near 25 South Street. According to the article, the defendants then pulled out a gun and threatened the alleged victim, took $300 in cash from him, and physically assaulted him. After the assault, the defendants left the scene. It is not clear how the police were notified of the assault, but they did ultimately arrive at the parking lot following a call about a “fight” and found the alleged victim there, injured and bleeding.

After the alleged victim provided his account of assault to the police, they arrested the defendants. Defendant number two made a statement indicating that he was the one that had been assaulted by the alleged victim rather than the other way around. He specifically stated he had tried to buy drugs from the alleged victim and that the deal “went bad.” Defendant number two also had visible injuries, including a welt under his eye and a bite mark on his back. As a result of the incident, both of the defendants were charged with armed robbery, conspiracy, threats to commit a crime, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon with substantial injury to the victim. Continue reading →

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gun-1213609-mOdin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was found murdered in an industrial park in Attleboro in June 2013. Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was ultimately charged with Lloyd’s murder. Three other individuals were also arrested in connection with Lloyd’s death: Carlos Ortiz, Ernest Wallace, and Tanya Singleton. Prosecutors have alleged that Wallace and Ortiz were with Hernandez when he allegedly killed Lloyd. Specifically, prosecutors allege that on the night of June 16, 2013, Hernandez summoned Ortiz and Wallace to his home, that the three of them drove to Dorchester and picked up Lloyd, and that they then returned to North Attleboro. There, shortly before 3:30 a.m. on June 17, 2013, prosecutors allege that Hernandez shot and killed Lloyd. Singleton allegedly drove Wallace to Georgia in the days after Lloyd’s murder.

Ortiz cooperated with investigators, laying out a detailed story about the murder. Ortiz’s story, however, changed in relation to a key detail. Initially, Ortiz told investigators that Hernandez drove him, Wallace, and Lloyd to an industrial park in North Attleboro. Ortiz had insisted that Hernandez, Wallace, and Lloyd got out of the car while he stayed behind. He had said that he heard gunshots, and that only Hernandez and Wallace got back in the car. This past summer, however, Ortiz’s version of events changed: he told investigators that Wallace did not get out of the car. Additionally, a white towel was found on the ground near Lloyd’s body, and surveillance footage from a gas station taken about 90 minutes before the murder shows Ortiz with a light colored towel around his neck, leading some to question Ortiz’s claim that he remained in the car during the shooting.

In addition to these inconsistencies, an article in The Boston Globe indicates that Ortiz failed a lie detector test. During the test, Ortiz told the examiner that he was sleeping in the car when Lloyd was killed. After the examiner told Ortiz that the test results indicated that he was lying, Ortiz maintained he didn’t see the shooting but had seen Hernandez and Lloyd get out of the car. Ortiz then told the examiner that he and Wallace stayed in the car, heard the gun shot, saw Hernandez run back to the car, and that Lloyd didn’t return. The report from the test also indicates that Ortiz twice denied shooting Lloyd, but that the examiner scored his answers to those questions as “Deception Indicated.” Continue reading →

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clubs-4-969861-mAccording to an article in The Boston Globe, a captain in the Revere Fire Department got into a scuffle with trick-or-treaters on Halloween night and was arrested as a result. The article indicates that the defendant was out with his wife and their six-year old son in Revere. Around 7:30pm, the family encountered a group of ten to twenty teenagers who reportedly began harassing the six-year-old and allegedly threw items at him. After the initial encounter, the group left but soon returned with more kids. The group then reportedly “taunted” the six-year-old and told the family that they were going to “mess” him up. According to the defendant’s wife, the group then turned on the defendant. There was some sort of physical altercation and the defendant was reportedly knocked to the ground. At some point during the scuffle, the defendant swung a golf club that he happened to have with him and struck at least two of the kids, who were injured. The defendant’s wife called the police to report the incident, but it was the defendant who ended up being arrested – specifically, he was charged with three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault and battery on a child. He is scheduled to be arraigned this coming week.

For the Commonwealth to prove that the defendant committed the crime of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon under G. L. c. 265, § 15A(b), it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant touched the person of the alleged victims, however slightly, without having any right or excuse for doing so; (2) that he intended to touch the alleged victims; and (3) that the touching was done by means of a dangerous weapon. For the Commonwealth to prove that the defendant committed the crime of assault and battery on a child under G. L. c. 265, § 15A(c), it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant touched the person of the alleged victims, without having any right or excuse for doing so; (2) that he intended to touch the alleged victims; and (3) that the alleged victims were children under the age of fourteen. Continue reading →

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more-questions-1238452-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, two women in Framingham were recently arrested for separate assaults against each other. One of the women called police and reported that her ex-girlfriend had assaulted her at her home and stolen several items. A warrant was issued for the ex’s arrested, but the police were unable to locate her at the time. Several days later, the police were called to the ex’s apartment for a report of a loud argument between two women. When the police arrived, they found both the woman and her ex. Police arrested the ex on the existing arrest warrant, which charged her with one count of larceny and two counts of assault and battery. When she got to the police station, however, the ex told police that the woman had come to her house and punched her in the face. Following these allegations, the police arrested the woman on one count of assault and battery.

Whether one or both of the women is telling the truth, it is unlikely that the Commonwealth will be able to successfully prosecute either of them.  The women are considered cross-complainants. In other words, they are both charged as defendants in the alleged incidents, but are also the alleged victims. Prosecuting cross-complaints can be a somewhat complicated process because there are potential Fifth Amendment issues for both of the involved parties. Continue reading →

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knife-1197069-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Framingham woman was arrested for assaulting her husband last week. The article reports that the wife came home drunk and screamed at her husband. She then reportedly left the room, got a kitchen knife and returned, waving the knife close to her husband and continuing to scream. The husband told police that the wife then went into a room with the couple’s children and locked the door. It was at this point that the husband reportedly called the police. When officers arrived, they could not locate any knife, but arrested the wife anyway and charged her with assault with a dangerous weapon.

For the Commonwealth to prove that the wife committed an assault with a dangerous weapon under G. L. c. 265, § 15B(b), it would have to show the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the wife intended to put her husband in fear of an imminent battery; (2) that she engaged in some conduct toward her husband which her husband reasonably perceived as imminently threatening a battery; and (3) that the assault was done by means of a dangerous weapon.

While the husband’s allegations in and of themselves are enough to satisfy each of these elements, the wife appears to have a few potential defenses. First, there appears to be some question as to the husband’s credibility. He claims that the wife came at him with a kitchen knife and swung it at him repeatedly. He further claims that she then locked herself in a room with their children. The article appears to indicate that when the police arrived, the wife was still in the room with the children, yet when they entered the room, they were unable to locate any weapon. In light of the fact that the police did not locate the knife, and the fact that the husband was unable to provide the police with some alternative explanation as to where the knife might be, the wife could argue that her husband’s version of events was simply not true, and therefore that the Commonwealth has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Continue reading →