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.

Attorney Sam’s Take: Excitement With Assault, Battery And Weapons On A Fine Boston Evening

Hey, the weather this weekend is supposed to be really nice. Are you looking for a fun activity for a summer’s evening here in Boston? Well, might the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog suggest an evening at the fights?

No, I am not referring to wrestling or boxing or even a movie like “The Boxer” or “Rocky XVI”. Given the popularity of reality television, it is more in that vein. Sort of like a cross between that and watching some domestic violence…without the domestic.

If you would like a sample, just tune in to YouTube, Boston.com, or any one of a variety of websites sporting a video of a recent performance in Boston’s own Chinatown.

In watching it, you will be joining with Boston’s Finest. Currently, Boston police are reviewing a video that is circulating on-line of a violent altercation in Chinatown. Interest aside, there is apparently no investigation being conducted into the melee.

The 2-minute, 33-second video shows a group of seven gentlemen who appear to be harassing drivers and assaulting cars as they pass on Tyler Street in Chinatown.

Well, everybody has to have a hobby…!

During one particular occasion, one of the gents climbs atop a car before getting off and punching one of the vehicle’s windows and demanding the driver exit the sedan. The driver declines, at first, and pulls away. Then, he stops at the intersection with Beach Street, emerges armed with a baseball bat and then attacks the group.

There is a standoff as the driver strikes at the men with the bat. However, finally, he loses control of the bat and one can hear it hit the ground.

Uh-oh.

Realizing that discretion is the better part of valor, he runs back to his car, followed by the disgruntled gentlemen whom he had now confronted.

As he drives away, several of the gents are still trying to get at him and are hanging off and out of the car. Then, the car is gone and the gents, still yelling, go on their merry way, perhaps to so entertain another driver.

End of show.

We know that the event was a thriller given the reaction of the narrator taking the video. He even announces the scene with, “Things are about to get rowdy.”

Apparently, the narrator is somewhat used to violence because I would have classified the attacking of various cars by a group of around seven men somewhat “rowdy” behavior. But then, I don’t get out very much.

Then, as the action continues, we hear him exclaim “Yes!” as if finding some lustful satisfaction in the action.

“But, Sam, you said the police are not investigating the incident despite the video. Why is that?”

Well, they say that there is not much information to go on. They do not know how old the video is and are not able to identify anyone in the video. The incident was never reported.

Here’s a surprise for you…one might imagine that if there were an investigation, the seven gents would be the only ones arrested. This is probably not the case.

Police would probably also arrest the driver…and for the more serious charges. While the gents might be charged with malicious destruction of property and assault, the driver would be prosecuted for, at least, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (to wit: the baseball bat). He might also face charges of assault with the motor vehicle (dragging them off) and even assault with intent to murder!

“But, Sam, wouldn’t this be a case of self-defense?”

Nope. He had gotten away from the gentlemen who had damaged his car and assaulted him. Then, armed with the bat, he came back to take them on again.

People have been successfully prosecuted for such things…and, even with no prior record, found themselves serving time for it.

And so, all sarcasm aside, there is a serious message to today’s posting. Sometimes, doing what comes naturally (or what you might think is legal) can land you in trouble with the criminal justice system. It can happen to anyone who has such a bad moment.

If that happens, do not scoff at the potential outcome, figuring that logic and justice is on your side.

At least one of them may not be.

Whether you have made a mistake or simply allegedly broke the law, you want to have an experienced defense attorney with you to at least minimize the damage. Should you like to look into the possibility of that lawyer being me, please feel free to call me at 617-492-3000.

In the meantime, have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!

To view the original story upon which today’s blog was based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/08/police_review_v.html

Contact Information