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Topic: Better to hit & run?!
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 8, 2014 03:05PM)
Although I consider myself a pretty strongly law & order type (apart from so-called "victimless crimes"), I have always had a certain sympathy for hit & run drivers in certain circumstances: "bad" neighborhoods + people around (so that the victim will not lack for medical attention). For the first time, though, yesterday I heard about a story that was pretty much exactly what's always been at the back of my mind:
http://www.modvive.com/2014/04/03/driver-hit-child-severely-beaten-vigilante-mob-detroit/

I kind of think there should be some sort of amnesty for someone who leaves the scene in certain circumstances, such as the above conditions + immediately calls 911 (to ensure help is on the way) + identifies himself and stays at a nearby location (for interrogation, blood alcohol testing, etc.)
Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 8, 2014 03:09PM)
Thoughts? Train wreck.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 8, 2014 03:11PM)
This is probably a good case for having a concealed carry permit for self defense purposes. The mob could have easily killed him and the pistol could have leveled the playing field and deterred the mob until the police arrived to assess the situation and make an arrest decision and also render aid to the child. The world is a crazy and unpredictable place and living in certain places I think justifies having a concealed weapon permit for self defense.

Mobs and the mentality that comes with the mob is dangerous and life threatening, so to me, given that a mob is unpredictable and are capable of killing, it justifies the possibility for the use of deadly force to protect one's self from the mob. One would be a fool not to protect themselves from death via mob. Not to mention, their is no excuse for a mob taking the law into their own hands. I am sure once the mob sees that the person they are targeting is armed, they will think twice before taking matters into their own hands.

If the person ran in the face of the mob, the law would have charged him with leaving the scene of an accident. So the best choice for such a scenario is to have a concealed weapon permit and to carry a firearm concealed until it is necessary to protect one's self from death or great bodily harm. However, if the law permits the person to leave the scene of the accident in such circumstances, then I think deadly force becomes unjustified and in such case even if the person is armed, should leave the scene of the accident without worry of facing criminal charges or escalating the situation and then notify the authorities of what happened and circumstances surrounding why one left the scene of the accident.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Apr 8, 2014 06:21PM)
Lobowolf, you hit and run, and you are scum. There are no circumstances in which it is okay to hit someone with a vehicle and keep going about your business.

What happened to the man in this case was terrible. But it does not alter the fact that hit and run is wrong in all circumstances.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 8, 2014 06:53PM)
[quote]
On Apr 8, 2014, TonyB2009 wrote:
Lobowolf, you hit and run, and you are scum. There are no circumstances in which it is okay to hit someone with a vehicle and keep going about your business.

What happened to the man in this case was terrible. But it does not alter the fact that hit and run is wrong in all circumstances.
[/quote]

Ok, but why? The accident wasn't the guy's fault, and there were plenty of people around to make sure the kid got medical aid, so why does he have a moral obligation to be there?
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 8, 2014 07:37PM)
I don't think the law in this case should require the guy to stay at the scene given that if he does he could potentially be killed by a mob. The law should be more flexible and permit somebody to run without fear of prosecution in cases that meet this specific criteria. Obviously, it's unfortunate that a child was hit and the guy was trying to do the right thing, but as Lobo said, it doesn't appear to be this guy's fault from the article and the mob had no right in taking matters in their own hands and beating him. The guy is lucky to be alive.
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Apr 8, 2014 08:21PM)
When the story came out I was sad for the driver and his family. At first, I thought that perhaps it was the man's family that attacked the driver. When I was a Criminology student I remembered hearing about "Automatism Defense".The example given at the time was if a parent and child were crossing the street and the child was killed before their eyes. The parent wracked with grief could attack the driver and claim Automatism as they were unable to control their emotions. However, they could only be allowed one punch or else than it would be assault. I know the law as described sounded silly to me back then as a parent in grief is not going to stop and think I only am allowed one punch.

I looked up the term (as I wasn't sure if my memory was correct) and it claims it's rarely used and in some court cases it's been a defense for those that sleepwalk.

However, in this case news reports that I've read it states the family of the child were informed by his friends and raced to the scene. They claim they did not know the men who attacked the driver. So why did they? I'm not sure and even the authorities claim they don't know why he was targeted. The article did say the man was clinging to life and is suffering from brain injury (another report I read).

So back to your question....did the man have a right to drive away and then report? I don't think he or anyone would have foreseen the danger he was in. I think this was such a strange incident that it probably wouldn't happen again. Those are all my thoughts.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 8, 2014 08:25PM)
[quote] I don't think he or anyone would have foreseen the danger he was in. I think this was such a strange incident that it probably wouldn't happen again. Those are all my thoughts. [/quote]

I wasn't surprised by this incident and this type of incident has happened before in other parts of the country (and I am sure in other parts of the world). The law needs to be reformed, otherwise, I feel that the only recourse for somebody who ends up in this situation is lawful use of deadly force to prevent a mob from killing somebody before law enforcement arrives to assess the situation and render any necessary aid. The mob mentality is very dangerous and irrational.

The law should not be punishing somebody for running in the event that they are threatened with death or great bodily harm nor should the law force somebody to choose between death for himself or death for others (having to use deadly force to protect one's self) when he could have simply ran from the mob and prevented more death in the first place. It makes more sense for the law to permit somebody to run in this specific case and report after their is no further danger of death or great bodily harm. The law should not be inflexible in such cases and forcing people to make such serious, life altering choices.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 8, 2014 10:43PM)
It's probably a good idea if somebody chooses to obtain a concealed weapon permit for self defense purposes to also see about getting a liability insurance policy that covers cases where deadly force has to be used to prevent death or great bodily harm. Even if somebody is not held criminally liable for the use of deadly force, he or she could still be potentially held civilly liable, even if deadly force was justified in the eyes of the law from a criminal law stand point. Ideally, it's best to avoid and prevent situations all together in which you could find yourself in a situation where you might have to use a firearm to protect yourself from death or great bodily harm. However, that's not always possible, even for the most careful, responsible person. The NRA recommends such liability insurance policies here: http://www.locktonrisk.com/nrains/defense.htm . Heck, some of these policies might not be enough to cover all the legal costs, but it's better than nothing and it's certainly better to be judged by 12 rather than carried by 6.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 9, 2014 02:59AM)
I suppose that most of you don't share my hobby of baseball rules, so no one probably understood what I meant by "train wreck".

This story is, in baseball terms, a train wreck.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 9, 2014 05:28AM)
I think I sort of agree, except, I think, people would take advantage of it and it would it lead to more hit and runs. I think on balance it is best to leave it and keep it simple, that you must stop.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Apr 9, 2014 09:55AM)
I heard it was a woman with a gun who stopped the beating. I don't know if she actually pulled it, but apparently she shielded the victim and said she was "willing to shoot anybody who hit that man again". The Chief of Police has called her a "Detroit Hero".
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Apr 9, 2014 07:50PM)
This disagreement is moot in Canada as we don't carry guns but protect ourselves with hockey sticks. If you get 8 or more carrying them , then we start a game.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Apr 9, 2014 08:48PM)
If the guy fled the scene because he was being attacked by a mob, I'd have been happy to defend him on a leaving the scene charge, and am pretty sure that my argument of exigent circumstances would persuade the court to dismiss the charge, if not at trial, then certainly on appeal.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 9, 2014 08:54PM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
If the guy fled the scene because he was being attacked by a mob, I'd have been happy to defend him on a leaving the scene charge, and am pretty sure that my argument of exigent circumstances would persuade the court to dismiss the charge, if not at trial, then certainly on appeal.
[/quote]

I would hope the court would dismiss the charge of leaving a scene of an accident under circumstances like this, but you never know what a court will do. It would be helpful if their was a law that would permit leaving a scene of an accident under exigent circumstances that way their is no uncertainty in what a court would decide because then it would be spelled out and enshrined and law and their would be no surprise decisions by the court to not dismiss such charges under such circumstances.

When I listen to people who have experience working in the courtroom say "if you leave a scene of an accident you are scum" that's not very re-assuring to me that a court would dismiss such charges under exigent circumstances.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 9, 2014 09:38PM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
If the guy fled the scene because he was being attacked by a mob, I'd have been happy to defend him on a leaving the scene charge, and am pretty sure that my argument of exigent circumstances would persuade the court to dismiss the charge, if not at trial, then certainly on appeal.
[/quote]

The problem is that if you wait until the mob attacks, it may be too late to flee the scene. See also Denny, Reginald.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 9, 2014 09:55PM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, LobowolfXXX wrote:
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
If the guy fled the scene because he was being attacked by a mob, I'd have been happy to defend him on a leaving the scene charge, and am pretty sure that my argument of exigent circumstances would persuade the court to dismiss the charge, if not at trial, then certainly on appeal.
[/quote]

The problem is that if you wait until the mob attacks, it may be too late to flee the scene. See also Denny, Reginald.
[/quote]

That's right. You have to follow the law because if you don't you could land in prison or find yourself with a criminal record that will follow you the rest of your life. In such cases, you have to make quick decisions in order to save your own life while staying in compliance with the law and you can't hesitate or become overly concern with liability issues when making those decisions, because if you think too much and hesitate, you are dead.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 9, 2014 10:43PM)
Would you be the type of guy, Landmark, who would freeze up in a situation like that, wanting to ask questions to a mob who has no interest in debating with you or answering your questions? It's not uncommon for people in some circumstances who ask questions first and shoot later end up 6 feet under. Do you think if you said to the mob "hey time out guys, I didn't mean to hit this kid, it was an accident!" Do you think they would just all the sudden decide to listen to reason?

Or would you freeze up and take a beat down that would most likely end your life? Or would you flee the scene of the accident and get criminally charged by an inflexible judicial system and a courtroom that does not always see things through lens of common sense and then end up having a criminal record follow you around the rest of your life? And remember, if you leave the scene of an accident you stand a very good chance of being branded a scum by the courtroom. The people that judge you in the courtroom in many cases do not see nor understand the reality you were facing.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Apr 9, 2014 11:01PM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, General_Magician wrote:
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
If the guy fled the scene because he was being attacked by a mob, I'd have been happy to defend him on a leaving the scene charge, and am pretty sure that my argument of exigent circumstances would persuade the court to dismiss the charge, if not at trial, then certainly on appeal.
[/quote]

I would hope the court would dismiss the charge of leaving a scene of an accident under circumstances like this, but you never know what a court will do. It would be helpful if their was a law that would permit leaving a scene of an accident under exigent circumstances that way their is no uncertainty in what a court would decide because then it would be spelled out and enshrined and law and their would be no surprise decisions by the court to not dismiss such charges under such circumstances.

When I listen to people who have experience working in the courtroom say "if you leave a scene of an accident you are scum" that's not very re-assuring to me that a court would dismiss such charges under exigent circumstances.
[/quote]

Tony said that. To the best of my knowledge he is not a lawyer and doesn't work in a courtroom. No lawyer here said that.

Whether or not circumstances are exigent is a matter that has to be decided on a case by case basis. A law such as you suggest would result in many simply leaving the scene of an accident because they were frightened.

Exigency is determined by the "reasonable man" standard. Whether or not a defendant acted reasonably under the circumstances is a matter for the trier of fact to decide.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Apr 9, 2014 11:08PM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, LobowolfXXX wrote:
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
If the guy fled the scene because he was being attacked by a mob, I'd have been happy to defend him on a leaving the scene charge, and am pretty sure that my argument of exigent circumstances would persuade the court to dismiss the charge, if not at trial, then certainly on appeal.
[/quote]

The problem is that if you wait until the mob attacks, it may be too late to flee the scene. See also Denny, Reginald.
[/quote]

I didn't suggest that he had to actually wait for a physical attack. Whether or not he had a reasonable belief that the mob would attack would simply be a question of fact for the jury (or judge if it was a bench trial, which is likely).

My only point was, that given the facts of the present case, I believe that a charge of leaving the scene would be dismissed.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 9, 2014 11:10PM)
Well if that is the case Bob, then I would say it would be best to flee the scene and hope that the law would cut you a break under exigent circumstances. I would also hope that some level of common sense would prevail in the courtroom that in cases such as this, it's OK to flee the scene of the accident under these type circumstances where stopping would cause death or great bodily harm to somebody who stops.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 9, 2014 11:14PM)
Yes, I think (as Bob suggests) the biggest problem with what I'm saying is a practical one (and not a moral one) - a slippery slope issue. Maybe the current framework is best on balance, but it does seem like in some cases, people will be left choosing between prison and coma. I hope that mob realizes they increased the odds that the next driver chooses hit & run over good Samaritan.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 9, 2014 11:17PM)
[quote]
On Apr 10, 2014, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Yes, I think (as Bob suggests) the biggest problem with what I'm saying is a practical one (and not a moral one) - a slippery slope issue. Maybe the current framework is best on balance, but it does seem like in some cases, people will be left choosing between prison and coma. I hope that mob realizes they increased the odds that the next driver chooses hit & run over good Samaritan.
[/quote]

It definitely caught my attention. I would definitely take a good look around if I ever found myself accidentally hitting somebody before getting out of my vehicle to render aid. If I felt it would be too dangerous then I would just take off. Hopefully the guy I accidentally hit in such hypothetical situation would be alright. That's pretty messed up when you can't stop to render aid in such situations. It's not uncommon for some neighborhoods to over-react to something like that.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Apr 9, 2014 11:22PM)
I would make it a point in court to characterize the case as protecting ones self from an imminent attack rather than fleeing the scene of an accident.

And a lot would depend on what the defendant did AFTER he left the scene. If he just went home and waited for the police to find him his case would be considerably weaker than if he went to a safe place and immediately called in the accident and gave the police his location.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 10, 2014 12:44AM)
[quote]
On Apr 9, 2014, General_Magician wrote:
Would you be the type of guy, Landmark, who would freeze up in a situation like that, wanting to ask questions to a mob who has no interest in debating with you or answering your questions? It's not uncommon for people in some circumstances who ask questions first and shoot later end up 6 feet under. Do you think if you said to the mob "hey time out guys, I didn't mean to hit this kid, it was an accident!" Do you think they would just all the sudden decide to listen to reason?

Or would you freeze up and take a beat down that would most likely end your life? Or would you flee the scene of the accident and get criminally charged by an inflexible judicial system and a courtroom that does not always see things through lens of common sense and then end up having a criminal record follow you around the rest of your life? And remember, if you leave the scene of an accident you stand a very good chance of being branded a scum by the courtroom. The people that judge you in the courtroom in many cases do not see nor understand the reality you were facing.
[/quote]
I would be the type of guy to shoot first in all circumstances as I have been studying Bob Cassidy's books and can predict all outcomes with assurance--down to the very color of marker used on the birth certificate of the man who would have slugged me had I not shot him first.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Apr 10, 2014 12:46AM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2014, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I hope that mob realizes they increased the odds that the next driver chooses hit & run over good Samaritan.[/quote]
That hope, and $3.50, will buy you a cup of Starbuck's. Unfortunately, not much more, I suspect.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 10, 2014 01:25AM)
[quote]I would be the type of guy to shoot first in all circumstances as I have been studying Bob Cassidy's books and can predict all outcomes with assurance--down to the very color of marker used on the birth certificate of the man who would have slugged me had I not shot him first.[/quote]

You mean you would be the type to freeze up when the crap hits the fan and wouldn't be able to do what you needed to do to survive. Their are no assurances of anything in those type of situations and looking for any could earn you a coma or worse. I really believe you would freeze up in a crazy situation. I mean that when I say that too. Aside from that, I would follow the legal advice that Bob provided and simply flee the scene in such circumstances, given that a court would consider exigent circumstances. At least I hope it would.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 10, 2014 02:06AM)
I posted the wisest post in this thread, but y'all don't listen.

When someone says, "baseball", there should be a hush in the room.

Now, I ain't a lawyer, but I know a train wreck when I see one.

The point of a train wreck is that it can't be sorted out by rules. This story sets no precedents, gives us no examples to follow, establishes no guidelines. Good umpires (who are holier than judges, yet get less respect) know this: you sort it out the best you can (according to the rules), then say "Play ball!", and you don't look back on the train wreck as having set a precedent or given an example to follow or established a guideline. It was just a wreck.

Baseball is truer than law.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 10, 2014 02:11AM)
[quote]
On Apr 10, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
I posted the wisest post in this thread, but y'all don't listen.

When someone says, "baseball", there should be a hush in the room.

Now, I ain't a lawyer, but I know a train wreck when I see one.

The point of a train wreck is that it can't be sorted out by rules. This story sets no precedents, gives us no examples to follow, establishes no guidelines. Good umpires (who are holier than judges, yet get less respect) know this: you sort it out the best you can (according to the rules), then say "Play ball!", and you don't look back on the train wreck as having set a precedent or given an example to follow or established a guideline. It was just a wreck.

Baseball is truer than law.
[/quote]

I didn't understand it when you posted it. Now that you elaborated, I agree, it's a train wreck. I liked your post because I feel you are correct, it is the wisest post in the thread.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 10, 2014 07:10AM)
[quote]
On Apr 10, 2014, General_Magician wrote: I really believe you would freeze up in a crazy situation. I mean that when I say that too.
[/quote]
Wait, *you've* been taking mindreading lessons from Bob also! How are you coming along?
I'm thinking of a red court card.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Apr 10, 2014 07:27AM)
Bob, I am not a lawyer as you pointed out. But I have worked ten years in the courts, as a court reporter. So I am not an ignorant commoner either. In the particular circumstances of this case you could make an argument that the guy had to run when the mob turned on him. You would likely win. But Lobowolf's initial post is asking is it all right as a general principal to hit and run if there are dodgy people there who can render aid, so that you can go about your day undisturbed.

The answer to that is no. It is not all right to hit and run, until the mob actually turns on you. If you hit and ran, then claimed after the fact that you did not like the look of the people at the scene, you and I both know that a court is very unlikely to accept that.

Making law and setting precedent based on one case is rarely a wise move. Just because we can find one case where it might be wise to hit and run does not mean that we can extrapolate and make it a general rule.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Apr 10, 2014 11:28AM)
I agree with you completely, Tony.

Particularly with your last paragraph. Exigent circumstances need to be determined on a case by case basis. (As in Jeff's train wreck analogy)
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 10, 2014 03:49PM)
[quote]
On Apr 10, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
I posted the wisest post in this thread, but y'all don't listen.

When someone says, "baseball", there should be a hush in the room.

Now, I ain't a lawyer, but I know a train wreck when I see one.

The point of a train wreck is that it can't be sorted out by rules. This story sets no precedents, gives us no examples to follow, establishes no guidelines. Good umpires (who are holier than judges, yet get less respect) know this: you sort it out the best you can (according to the rules), then say "Play ball!", and you don't look back on the train wreck as having set a precedent or given an example to follow or established a guideline. It was just a wreck.

Baseball is truer than law.
[/quote]

I guess you could also say, that their are no rules in this case, accept to escape from the mob if possible to best preserve as much life possible for all parties. However, if it proves impossible to escape, fight dirty, their are no rules and your life is at stake. But it's also important to remain calm and not freeze up when the reality hits you that your life is in very real danger. Freezing up or trying to rationalize in your head not doing what you need to do to survive or second guessing what you need to do to survive will simply get you killed. Mobs are not rationale, are mad and will kill you and they certainly won't follow any rules or fight fair while they are doing it. When you are outnumbered like that, use every weapon you have available and escape as soon as possible.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Apr 12, 2014 05:59AM)
[quote]
On Apr 12, 2014, General_Magician wrote:
Fortunately, the law has something called exigent circumstances to hopefully give people who find themselves in such an unfortunate situation to flee with the possibility of getting any sort of hit and run charges dismissed against them in court. I mean their no guarantee they will dismiss any charges, but I suspect the court can be reasonable about a situation like this and I think the odds are highly in favor of getting such hit and run charges dismissed in this specific situation if somebody chose to flee to avoid being killed by an angry mob.
[/quote]
If you don't even get out of the car to check the condition of the kid you hit, then I suspect any chance of an 'exigent circumstances' defense would be flushed down the toilet.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Apr 12, 2014 06:06AM)
That's just a nightmare situation for anybody to find themselves in. I can just see it now, somebody accidentally hits a child, an honest mistake and the person is a law abiding citizen, pays his taxes, does the right thing, lives a clean life but just had the misfortune to accidentally hit a child. He is about to get out of the car and check on the child but sees an angry mob approaching him and he remembers reading this article about how this one guy who found himself beat nearly to death, so he doesn't get out of the car and he flees. He calls in the accident and the cops show up at the place he called in the accident, arrest and charge him for leaving the scene of an accident.

In court, the prosecutor demonizes him as a callous coward who has no heart or morals and the jury convicts him. He then has a criminal record following him around the rest of his life and his life pretty much stinks from their...all because of an accident and an angry mob. I mean, he would have otherwise gotten out and helped the kid, but because of the angry mob and what happenned to this guy in the article, he decided to play it safe and flee because he didn't want to get killed and/or be forced into a situation where he might have to take extreme measures to save his own life but such measure could very well escalate racial tensions and now he has a criminal record. An otherwise upstanding citizen getting screwed because of an angry mob and inflexible legal system. Where is the justice in that?