A Florida man is being charged with a hate crime after an unprovoked attack against a vehicle operated by three Black teens. According to law enforcement, the man broke the vehicle’s windows, shouted racial slurs, and then attempted to pursue the teens on foot. All three teens were high school students aged 17 and 18. They were filling up on gas when the man confronted them at the gas station. The man used a pipe from his vehicle to smash the vehicle’s windows, damage the door, and frighten the young men. The teens left the gas station, but the defendant pursued them for two miles before giving up.
The man told police that the teens had threatened to kill him and attacked him with an airsoft gun. However, authorities revealed discrepancies in the man’s story and found no evidence of an airsoft gun. The man will be charged with one count of criminal mischief causing property damage of more than $1,000, three counts of aggravated assault (one for each teen he threatened), and all of those charges will be intensified by hate crime accusations.
Analyzing the defense
These white idiots want to be cops so bad but would likely never make the cut in the police academy. They have some idea about what their rights are and a very strong understanding of self-defense. Their main strategy will always be to accuse the victim of initiating the confrontation. This allows them the right to respond aggressively under the law. However, if someone threatens to kill you, you generally do not pursue them for two miles or smash up their vehicle. Instead, you either remove yourself from the situation or contact the police.
However, Florida law allows individuals who “feel threatened” to claim self-defense under “stand your ground”. While the law makes it possible to use lethal force against someone who is attacking you, you must have a reasonable suspicion that you are in serious danger. In this case, the man said he was being attacked by an airsoft gun. Since you can’t prove that he wasn’t being attacked by an airsoft gun, it becomes difficult for the prosecutors to prove that the man wasn’t reasonably in fear for his life. Nonetheless, claiming you are under threat when you aren’t is a tried-and-true strategy for both police officers and those who wished they could have been one, but aren’t.
Even if the man was under threat, he would not have a right to smash windows or destroy property as that is more likely to provoke further threat and is not considered an act of self-defense. You can’t say that someone threatened to kill you so you, therefore, decided to smash their windows. It won’t work. However, assault charges would not be appropriate if the man was threatened first. Is there enough evidence to prove that the man was not provoked? The police, at this point, simply don’t believe his story, so he will face all charges related to the incident. The prosecutor will then decide what is provable and what isn’t and pursue charges they believe are provable.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents the interests of those charged with crimes. Call our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing defense strategy immediately.