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Can I Charge for Assault and Battery?

 
 
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:57 am
I live in NYC and on the subway, this guy is playing his music aloud right next to me and a few others (we are all seated). I tell him to stop playing the disturbing music, he refuses, and a verbal altercation ensues. We insult each other, he calling me “pussy” and I calling him “uncivilized trash". His stop comes, and before he leaves the car, he spits at me. I am held back by others on the train, but eventually I follow after him up the stairs, finding him at the upper platform. We both exit the turnstile and soon after I shove him. He punches me, I fall down, and while on the ground I grab hold of his leg. The details afterward are unclear. He punches me either two or three times afterwards. I might have fell to my knees and then he punched me for the second time, or perhaps I fell straight to the ground and the punches after the first were all while I was on the ground. I am sure that afterwards when I was on the floor and holding on to his legs, he punched me at least twice, one of which was definitely to the back of my head. People nearby in the station immediately separate us, and in the midst of this I throw my only punch at him, which is powerless, and I don’t recall if it connects.

Afterwards, I talked to the police and they told me that both of us would get arrested. He mentions the following charges but doesn’t to specify for which of us it is: “provoking, stalking, assault.”

My physical situation from the incident is as follows. I was bleeding profusely from my right nose for a long time, and it is diagnosed as a nasal fracture. My left cheek is severely swollen. There is a swelling bump on the back of my head now, and I am not sure if it’s from falling on the back of my or because of his punch.

My main questions are as follows. What legal action can I take against the man? (I am thinking battery for spitting, assault for punching me over a shove, which I believe is not self-defense, especially for pummeling my head even after I was on the ground) In turn, what legal action can be taken against me? (Provoking? Stalking?) Ultimately, with these two in mind, is it a good idea for me to attempt to take legal action?

A secondary concern I have is this. The officer mentioned that I can be arrested too if I wanted to take legal action, and they couldn’t find the man. If I want to call the police now and create a report or case of the incident or to press charges, then, even if the man isn’t pressing charges against me, could I still be arrested or charged?

What motivates me to call the police now is mainly out of concern for the future. If I see the man again in the future, I can potentially press charges against him. Or, if he harasses me or does anything, having this case documented now will be helpful for then.
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 09:14 am
@Able2Spare,
These are awesome questions for you to ask a criminal defense attorney.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 09:30 am
@Able2Spare,
You can not charge someone for assault and battery. These are criminal charges. Individual citizens can't file criminal charge, they have to be filed by the DA. I am reading between the lines here... but I think the police were telling you to just drop it.

Think of this from the DA's perspective... two guys on a train get into a stupid fight because neither one of them can just walk away. They see this happen all the time. They don't want to deal with this crap.

You picked a fight with this guy. Don't do that again, not with this guy... not with anyone else. Don't even start. There is no reason to be getting into shouting matches with people on the train. And there is no reason to be escalating them into shoving matches.

There were several places in this fight where you could have simply walked away. Learn from your mistakes.
kk4mds
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 12:25 pm
@Able2Spare,
I can only speak to the law in Florida.

You shoved him without justification. You committed a battery.

There have been some cases in which spitting at someone has been considered assault and spitting on someone has been considered battery. However, there is no justification for following someone after the incident is over and committing a battery.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:14 pm
@maxdancona,
Just for what it's worth, in New Mexico, a citizen could prosecute misdemeanors. I don't know if that's still the case, but it sure used to be.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:31 pm
@roger,
Judges must have loved that. There is nothing they love more than dealing with amateur lawyers in their courtrooms.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:42 pm
@maxdancona,
In practice, it was a rare occurrence. I know a few oddities of NM law because my instructor in business law was also the county district attorney at that time.
0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 05:30 pm
@roger,
Citizens in all states can file charges against someone. Whether the police or the DA will find due cause is another question.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 05:54 pm
@emmett grogan,
To clarify, at the time I was in that class and it was a misdemeanor charge, the citizen could prosecute the case. He would be the prosecutor - no DA required. We have other parts of the law which are considered at least quirky in other states.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:34 pm
I apparently have fans now who are following me from thread to thread to downthumb random posts I make!

All this attention is going to go to my head Wink.

roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:35 pm
@maxdancona,
You are not the only one, but I bet you knew that.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Aug, 2017 08:34 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I apparently have fans now who are following me from thread to thread to downthumb random posts I make!

All this attention is going to go to my head Wink.

Upped your posts on the principle. What you're posting seems relevant to the thread ... so... there you go.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Aug, 2017 08:37 am
@tsarstepan,
Don't do that Tsar!!! Wink

You are ruining my score.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Aug, 2017 08:50 am
@Able2Spare,
Re: Does spitting on someone = assault or other offense?

This would be considered a civil battery and you could sue for damages including punitive damages for this action. As far as criminal action you will have to contact the police.

https://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-criminal-law/spitting-assault-offense-recently-acquaintance-200913383/
________________________________________________

However, you should not have pursued him and then shove him. That made you a willing combatant after he spit on you.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 14 Aug, 2017 09:33 am
@Able2Spare,
It seems your primary opportunity for satisfaction and remedy has passed, eh? You should have kicked his ass, instead of getting yours kicked, know what I'm sayin?
0 Replies
 
Linda 2017
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Aug, 2017 09:11 pm
@Able2Spare,
I think you should consult your lawyer.
0 Replies
 
 

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