Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

North Of Boston, Halloween Celebration Leads To Charges Of Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest And Assault On A Police Officer

In today’s daily blog we continue our Halloween Theme Week with a salute to the festive spirit…including those who do not even wait for the holiday they are celebrating to arrive.

‘Tis the season for Halloween celebrations! Parties are almost mandatory for some good old fashion evil-tinged fun. What better place than Lynn for a backdrop of such a party. After all, you have heard the old saying, “Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin…!”

And so it was that various Halloween revelers partied hearty this past Friday night and into Saturday morning. By 1:00 a.m., the crowd had apparently thinned out to an intimate group of between 60 and 70 people.

In these troubled times, one just cannot have too much fun…so they wanted the party to continue. They just did not want to leave. Somebody somewhere disagreed, however, and the police were called to disperse the crowd.

Did I mention that the crowd did not wish to be dispersed?

And so it was that a disagreement of sorts took place between the police and the dispersement-challenged in West Lynn, Massachusetts.

Well, kind of a physical disagreement.

Alright, it was a fight.

Three men in particular, Socheat S., Savuthyna C. and Lee C. (hereinafter, “Defendants 1 – 3″ respectively”) became embroiled in the conflict with officers after which one officer was taken to the hospital.

While the police were trying to disband the crowd, Defendant 2 and several others ignored them. Before you knew it, the police were chasing Defendant 2 down the street for some reason. Once catching him, they say they stopped him and began “searching” him.

“He struck an officer in the chest with his right elbow. A black Escalade stopped and three parties (including [Defendants 1 and 3]) exited the vehicle and charged police,” according to the police report.

As Defendant 2 allegedly continued to struggle and shout, Defendant 1 assumed a fighting stance and punched police who used batons and pepper spray to subdue him. Then, Defendant 3 is said to have run up behind an officer who ordered him to leave the area. Defendant 3 is said to have raised his arms before running down the street. No good. The police subdued him with baton blows and pepper spray.

One of the officers was treated at Union Hospital for a right knee injury. It is unknown if this was due to the elbow to the chest or Defendant 1’s assaulting the officers who were using the batons and pepper spray on him. No information is listed about injuries to the two Defendants who got sprayed and batoned.

On Monday, the terrible trio were arraigned in Lynn District Court. They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer.

But their tale of woe does not end there. Wouldn’t you know it…they had been on probation at the time. So, they are now treated to two cases for the price of one.

There are, of course, more sides than one to any given story. Defendant 2’s attorney argued that his client did not exchange words with police before he was “pushed down on a cruiser.” Attorneys for the two compatriots indicated that the Escalade’s passengers asked police why they were detaining Defendant 2 but did not rush police.

“Contact was incidental, not intentional,” Defendant 1’s attorney said.

The three Defendants are due back in court on November 20th. Given their bail conditions, I would not expect to see them out and about in costume this Friday night.

Samuel’s take:

Just because we are starting a holiday season does not mean that the “Hey, I’ll Bet I Can Make This Situation Just A Wee Bit Worse” club is not in session. Its three new members are proof of that.

First, a word to the wise among this week’s party-goers. To put it bluntly, when the police show up at the party and tell you that the party is over…the party is over. You can argue, even fight, about it if you wish…but your podium for that debate is likely to be behind bars. In such situations, the police are very seldom swayed with arguments like, “It’s not fair”, “We’re just having fun” and “Go to hell, I am not listening to you”. They also tend to bristle at “You can’t tell me what to do”. They tend to think they can.

The police do not deal well with having their authority challenged, particularly out in the field. There are many reasons for this, chief among them being the need to be in control of a situation for the sake of their own safety. Arguing, ignoring, running, skipping, jumping and hiding (or, apparently, raising one’s hands up over one’s head) do not go over very well. The customary result is the tight-fitting Commonwealth bracelets of shame.

These Defendants also deserve a “gold card” membership to the HIBICMTSJAWBW. It takes special kind of member to actually do all this while you are on probation.

While one is on probation, one has diminished rights. Basically, one has to do what the probation officer and the courts tell you to do. Getting arrested for a new offense violates probation. Violating probation means a surrender hearing. A surrender hearing often means jail.

No, they do not typically delay the surrender hearing to see how the new case turns out. Yes, that means that you could be awaiting trial in a matter for which you are “presumed innocent” behind bars because simply being arrested for the offense violated your probation.

Yes, I agree with you that this seems unfair and unConstitutional. It is the state of the law, however. The courts have disagreed with us.

We will pick up on that semi-loose end on Friday’s blog which will deal with how much we have changed since the old-time witch-hunts. In the meantime, the advice is still the same. When the police come a-calling, do not speak, argue, fight or run. Comply. After the dust settles, get an experienced defense attorney to help you out of the jam.

Who knows…if you follow this advice…you may not even need one!

The full article of this story can be found at :
http://www.itemlive.com/articles/2008/10/28/news/news01.txt

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