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shooting an unarmed attacker....

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Koda, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I almost posted this in the TnT section but this is really more of a legal question. Recently in the news a man brutally attacked a person for no reason at all and broke his nose and appeared to knock him out in the video provided. In the following story (see link) the question I have is what are the legal ramifications if the victim had shot the suspect in self defense before the suspect could attack? You would have an unarmed dead attacker and an untouched "victim"... how would that play out? Before you answer that read on to the 'big' question...


    to elaborate, IMO, the suspect clearly had violent intentions (based on what little info the story provides) is that opinion enough to use deadly force? According to the article the suspect "faces second-degree felony assault", under ORS 161.219 the victim can lawfully use deadly force in self defense. The big question however is where is the fine line between "just" a physical confrontation and a felony attack, or is there? ...and how to identify that?


    http://www.katu.com/news/local/Poli...ideotaped-beating-in-Milwaukie-265130861.html
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    "I feared for my life, officer"
     
    mjbskwim, Riot, The Heretic and 2 others like this.
  3. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    you mean "members of the jury"?
     
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  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather take a few punches and pay a doctor or dental bill than spend the next year of my life trying to defend shooting that POS. The kid is getting charged with a measure 11 violent felony. I doubt there will be any trouble getting the conviction. Good outcome IMO.
     
    MikeE likes this.
  5. Scvette

    Scvette Olympia Active Member

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    Or be like the guy in Dutch harbor last month,gets punched by a 28 yr old guy,falls hits his head and dies,leaving a wife and kid back home in Wa.
     
    ZigZagZeke likes this.
  6. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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    A fit 26 year old male hit, knocked to the ground and continued to beat a 59 year old man. This is a clear case of justification due to the disparity between the two people. Sounds like someone fired three shots or set off firecrackers to persuade the attacker to leave.
     
    orygun likes this.
  7. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Using deadly force when there is a genuine fear of grave bodily harm or death is justifiable pretty much anywhere on the map. Oregon and Washington apear to have pretty good self-defense statutes. Had the victim in this crime rolled over like that fellow in Seattle's Westlake Mall in October 2006 and put a round from a .357 upwards through this kid's torso, killing him, that would have been a justifiable homicide based on the circumstances as described, and not likely to result in any criminal charges.

    I wrote a book that is updated aboiut every two years on Washington state gun laws and self-defense.
    I think Kevin Starrett at OFF has written a similar book. Depending upon which side of the river one lives on, both books are worth reading.
     
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  8. DeanfromOregon

    DeanfromOregon Wilsonville Amateur Ascended Master Platinum Supporter

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    Where can I get that book Dave?
     
  9. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've seen that video several times in the news and have thought about that very question. First off, if you check the reports, they are saying the victim was knocked unconscious with the first punch, then the waste-of-air loser starts wailing on the now unconscious victim. So in reality, this guy didn't even get a chance to try and defend himself.

    But, if he had, and if he were armed, I'd say it's not very likely that the victim would be charged with a crime. The law tends to work in the victim's favor in a case like this. Consider that the victim would have no way of knowing the intent of the attacker, or if the guy had any other weapons. Remember that plenty of people have been killed by simply being punched with bare hands. As the victim, it's your call as to whether or not your life is in danger. If the attacker does something that makes you truly believe your life is in danger, then you most likely have the law on your side. But that said, I'd prefer, if possible, to try and end it without a firearm if possible. Too bad someone near by didn't have pepper spray to disarm the attacker until the police could get there. Too bad too that this little punk could only think to solve his personal problem by sucker punching someone else who called him on his bad behavior in the first place.

    So that brings up another question - what if a bystander had used a gun to protect the unconscious victim who was still being assaulted? What then?
     
  10. Mbeef61

    Mbeef61 SW PDX Active Member

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    It also happened on the victims property. I think he entered his property with the intentions to commit a felony. I would have shot him. For sure my dog would have gone nuts on him too.

    I do think you need to prove your danger. I think he easily could have, he was on his own property, had family present to protect, he was much older, and didn't know the guys intentions. At least draw on him. If he keeps coming his intentions are clear at that point, if not your point was made. I think the only question is that could him going out to the street and yelling slow down make him be considered the intial agessor. Not if I am on the jury. But that is where there may be another grey area.

    Also, as far as being a bystander, I was specifically told in class by a multnomah country sheriff that hitting or kicking someone on the ground while they are unconscious especially in the head is a deadly threat and use of deadly force is justified. If I was the victim, I would have shot him before or during the altercation if I was conscious. If I was a bystander I would have shot him also.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Here I'll fix that "Officer, Feared for his life and emptied his magazine"
     
  12. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Mine or Starrett's?

    Mine is available from
    D&D Enterprises
    P.O. Box 1638
    North Bend, WA 98045

    $10.95 plus $4.50 for S&H. No sales tax for out-of-state sales.

    I'm not sure how to get the Oregon book. Try the OFF website for starters.
     
  13. DeanfromOregon

    DeanfromOregon Wilsonville Amateur Ascended Master Platinum Supporter

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    I have two copies of the Oregon book already.
     
  14. balaperdida

    balaperdida eastern idaho Well-Known Member

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    Can't get the video to display. Who was the videographer? Was (s)he with the perp? Not that it would have helped, but did anyone promptly call 911? Just asking.
     
  15. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    According to the news report I heard yesterday, one of his buddies took the video with his phone. Don't know how quickly anyone called 911 since he did get away soon after. There was a gal that stepped in to try and stop it, but I'm not sure if she knew the victim or the loser punk.
     
  16. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    How many punches (blows) does it take to kill someone?
    One.

    Convincing a jury of that - when you have to defend having killed someone will take an expert.


    If you think you need to be hit - bludgeoned - etc first, how many blows must you accept before using force, or potentially deadly force to make it stop?
     
  17. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This ^^

    If you can show that a reasonable person could expect serious bodily harm or worse to themselves or some other innocent, then they are legally justified in using lethal force to stop that person - unarmed or not. Doesn't mean they won't wind up in court though.

    As to my own personal justification.

    I am 6'6" and 250#, so I am not entirely defenseless. That said, I also have a bad back that sometimes goes out if I so much as sneeze (literally). My neck is even worse - the right blow to my head could conceivably paralyze me, even if it only meant a black eye to most people. I am also 60 years old and not in the best of shape - if a strong young man wanted to he could possibly kill me with his bare hands.

    I have been in a few fights - had my nose broke, two black eyes. If someone came at me today I would back away but if I was armed I would be drawing and getting ready to shoot.

    There is this case:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10662826/The-price-of-just-one-punch.html

    One sucker punch to the head and the guy is dead the next day.

    IIRC, the attackers mother made excuses for him (as is usual).

    He got four years for the murder.
     
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  18. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    It seems to resonate through this thread that a physical attack (assault) is enough for lawful use of deadly force so would it be safe to say assault is a felony offense? Clearly it can be proven that in some cases a simple punch has resulted in death (see link). Also, in the story I posted couldn’t one claim even a broken nose to be permanent bodily harm or does the potential injury have to be a threat of “grave” bodily harm? What’s the definition of “grave" bodily harm”?





    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-michigan-referee-punched-during-soccer-game-dies/







    Also, Dave thanks for the work on the book I will look into buying one
     
  19. BigStick

    BigStick Sherwood, OR Well-Known Member

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    Seems like overall poor sittuational awareness by the victim. To let someone stand that close to you after aggressively coming on your property after a verbal altercation, and not be ready for a physical assault. The haymaker that guy threw would not have been hard to block, deflect or see coming.

    If you are going to run your mouth, be prepared to deal with the consequences. That just being a tactical critique, in no way blaming the victim for the actions of the attacker. Just saying he needs to wake up a little. Probably will after this.

    But if you handled it properly, you could be totally justified. Tell him to get off your property, keep your distance and draw. If he keeps coming his intent is clear. Would you be ok to just whip it out and shoot him while they are standing there like at the start of the video? No, but if he had handled the whole sittuation better, he could have been.
     
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  20. richdav

    richdav oregon Member

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    ^^^^^^^What he said!