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.

HATFIELD ELDERLY MAN IS ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT WITH A GUN

The holidays can be a stressful time.

There are certain do’s and don’ts that we have many times discussed as to ways in which one can release the pressure.

For example, going to a therapist or a close friend to discuss the emotional turmoil you are facing is a good one.

Taking out a handgun in public and pointing it at someone’s head tends to be a bad one.

However, John Kolosewicz (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), of Hatfield, allegedly did it anyway.

According to the Boston Herald, the 87-year-old Defendant was in a bar when he got into a disagreement of some kind with another gent about a woman.

At some point, according to the story, the defendant decided to do a little less “tell” and moved on to “show” mode when he pulled out a pistol and pointed it at his opponent.

The police responded to the scene at Hotel Warren in Deerfield early Monday morning after getting the call from the complainant, a patron who said a man had just held a gun to his face.

During the arrest, the Defendant apparently told the officers that the gun was licensed and that the gun was not loaded. Further, he explained that he was defending the honor of a friend.

“Defending a friend’s honor” is not generally a defense in such cases.

Police seized an unloaded .22-caliber pistol and two full magazines as evidence.

At arraignment, the Defendant was released to the custody of his daughter after pleading not guilty in Greenfield District Court.

The Defendant faces criminal charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Assault, Battery And Guns

Actually, while the above charges are from the Herald, the Defendant is likely to be facing a change in those charges.

On the bright side (for him), it does not seem like the Defendant actually touched the complainant. If not, then there is no “battery” as that requires contact.

“What if it was just a tap or laying the gun barrel against the guy’s head?”

It would not matter. The touching can be extremely slight…as long as the complainant found it to be offensive.

Most people find having a gun touching their head by an angry stranger rather offensive.

The bad news for the Defendant is that a felony charge may be added to the present charges. That charge would be assault with a dangerous weapon.

Clearly, the Defendant is said to have pointed the gun right at the complainant. A gun is a dangerous weapon…sometimes known as a deadly weapon in fact.

The Commonwealth takes Assault With A Dangerous Weapon very seriously. For example, one of the very few criminal trials I have lost was in such a case.

My client had no prior record. He was intimidated by someone, went and got his gun and pointed it at the complainant.

At least, so the jury found.

He was sentenced to jail time.

Apparently, like my client, the gun was legal. As a result there is no charge of illegal possession of the handgun. In fact, it would seem that the Defendant likely had a license to carry that gun.

Key word in that sentence….had.

There will likely be no more gun possession, at least legally, for the Defendant in the future.

“What about the Defendant’s age, Sam? Do you think the prosecutors will drop the charges because of the age?”

Probably not drop the charges, but, if handled right, he might get a break. What we usually do in such cases is write up a profile of the Defendant to flesh him out…show that he is someone other than “The Defendant”.

In these types of cases, the defense is often self defense. It is also possible that, if that were the defense, the Defendant’s advanced age might make such a defense easier.

One thing for sure, though.

He should recognize that this is a serious case and take that into account when choosing a lawyer.

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