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.

BRISTOL WOMAN IS CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING AN INVESTIGATING POLICE OFFICER

No, this is not a re-posting of my previous blog. This case is from Bristol, Connecticut, and the officer was allegedly assaulted by a woman in the field while in mid-investigation.

Just to show that these dangers do not just face officers in the Bay State.

Stashia M. Luddy, 27, of Bristol and hereinafter, the “Defendant” is that woman. She is accused of attacking a police officer after refusing to obey orders.

You see, authorities were investigating the report of another alleged attack at West End Café on 8 Divinity Street in Bristol that had left a man bleeding earlier.

The officers report that they responded at about 1:45 a.m. to investigate a report that the man had been assaulted. When officers arrived, they noticed large groups of people in front of the bar. There was a man bleeding inside the business.

As they were investigating the scene, the officers, as well as members of the staff, say that they asked the Defendant to leave.

She refused to do so.

Details of what happened next seem to be a bit fuzzy, but officers say that the Defendant, instead of leaving, attacked one of the officers and threatened “bodily harm” to another police officer.

It took 10 officers to diffuse the disturbance, police said.

Police charged the Defendant with first-degree criminal trespass, assault on a police officer, interfering with a police officer, second-degree breach of peace and second-degree threatening. She also faces a separate charge of assault on emergency personnel
Officers also say that the bar’s permit holder blocked their investigation into the assault. As a result, he has been awarded with charges of interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Police Victims And Unruly Civilians

There are still some folks out there who believe that professional police officers, trained for the dangers and rigors of fighting crime, should expect that, in the line of duty, they are going to face a certain amount of harassment and disorderly conduct.

Maybe so. But that does not make it any less illegal.

The fact is that assaulting a police officer, at least in the Commonwealth, is a more serious crime than assaulting a mere citizen. It is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.

“Well, shouldn’t it be even worse when a police officer assaults a civilian?”

I think it should. But, I have found that the results of that situation usually include charges of “Assault and Battery on a Police Officer” against the civilian. Or…at least a charge of resisting arrest.

“What’s the difference?”

The answer that most defense attorneys will tell you is that the difference is how badly the accused civilian defendant is beaten up.

But I digress.

The important part for you to remember is that interfering with an arrest or noncompliance with police officers’ orders during an investigation (if not in simple daily life) will likely bring you a forced visit behind bars.

By the way, there are reasons for this. We hire and pay law enforcement professionals to keep us safe and protect us. For the most part, they do and should not have to deal with harassment or assaults while doing so. In my opinion, not that you asked, the problem comes when they engage in rather unprofessional conduct themselves and then part ways with the truth to explain it.

But I digress again.

There are all kinds of statutes under which one may be charged for such conduct, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Further, when the case comes to court, who’s word do you think the prosecutor (at the very least) is going to believe?

Right.

“What if it is a clearly obvious situation? What if the officer who claims he or she was attacked is simply one of several officers who are at the scene and clearly in charge?”

Worse yet. All those officers will end up agreeing and the Commonwealth will simply have an even stronger case against you.

So, it goes to one of the chief messages I have oft-repeated to you. When investigating officers come to call, comply. If it is something like you being questioned or asked if they can simply enter your home or vehicle without a warrant, you can politely indicate that you wish to have a lawyer present first to advise you. But, should they force their way in, you should step aside and stay out of their way and not answer interrogations.

These days, invoking your rights is dangerous enough. Insisting upon them when it is just you and law enforcement is simply fool-hardy.

For the original story upon which this blog is based, please go to
http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Woman-Accused-of-Attacking-Police-Officer-During-Bar-Disturbance-Bristol-281184281.html

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