Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

UF student arrested because someone got scared at the sight of a gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Zen21Tao, May 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,960
    Location:
    Gainesville, Fl
    http://www.examiner.com/a-684794~Man_with_pellet_gun_arrested_on_UF_campus.html


    and

    http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070420/LOCAL/704200356/1078/community



    That's right, a female student saw what she thought was part of a gun protruding from this kid's pocket and because this scared her he was arrested for "aggravated assault." I know this happened right after the VT massacre but still, this is complete non-sense. "Assault" means someone made a direct threat to commit harm to another person NOT that some other person got scared at something they observed.

    This is a case of charging someone based solely on what they "could" or "might" do not on what they have threatened to do. What's next, a woman sees a very large scary looking man walking down the street towards her so she runs off and has him charged with "attempted rape"?

    Also, what if this was a case where a legal CCW permit holder accidentally and momentarily exposed a small part of his carry gun while brushing his coat aside to get his wallet from him back pocket and some anti-gun tree hugger saw a small part of the gun? :fire: :cuss:
     
  2. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,802
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    People who get scared and cause people like me to get charged with felonies scare me... CHARGE HER!
     
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,817
    If he had a CCW permit, and was carrying in an area where carry was legal, he wouldn't have had a problem.

    (I suppose in some states you might be required to conceal to the point where you aren't allowed to let your gun "print" or accidently be exposed, but that would be a different set of circumstances.)

    As it is, if he was carrying a pellet gun in a pocket with part of it sticking out where other people thought it was real, I'm not surprised he was arrested. If the situation was different and the police had arrived when he was still out and about with the pellet gun, he would have risked being shot.

    A pellet gun *is* a gun in many circumstances. For instance, if you rob someone while armed with a pellet gun, it's "armed robbery" because the victim believes you are armed. The same sort of thing is happening here.

    We could quibble over the exact charge. Why "aggravated assault" and not "carrying a concealed weapon," for instance? But, I can understand the general reasoning behind the arrest.
     
  4. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,960
    Location:
    Gainesville, Fl
    http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0784/titl0784.htm

    From a strictly legal aspect, it doesn’t matter here if the person was legally carrying the gun or not. What is at stake here is whether or not a person’s response to mealy seeing a gun satisfies the necessary requirements to support a claim that an “intentional threat to commit harm” was conveyed.

    Again, assault requires the conveyance of an "intentional" threat to commit harm. Even if you could say that the display of the (pellet) gun conveyed a threat of harm, there was no intent, on the part of the person having the gun, to harm to anyone. If the law is allowed to be interpreted such that someone’s fear of seeing a gun is enough to convey an “intentional threat to commit harm” this would apply equally to those legally licensed to carry a gun in the same way that someone legally license to carry a gun would be committing “aggravated assault” if they pull out the gun and threaten to shoot someone.

    More disconcerting is that the very concept of "intent" is being shifted from interpreting the words and actions of the person being charged to the reaction of the victim. This poses a pronounced problem if we are to retain the "'innocent before proven guilty" component of law. Now a person being charged would have the burden to prove he didn't intend the harm a victim suggests he did rather the state having the burden to prove he did intend harm.
     
  5. ingram

    ingram Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Vancouver/Seattle, WA
    Ridiculous.

    To some people, having a gun period is a proof of intent. There is probably not much we can do to change that.
     
  6. Trebor

    Trebor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,817
    I disagree with your assement based on the law you cited. If the student would have been a CCW permit holder, carrying legally in all aspects, I believe the accidental exposure of the gun would not have been "... an intentional, UNLAWFUL threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another."

    To me, it looks like the illegal carrying of the pellet gun is what they are using to fufill the "intentional unlawfull act" part of the requirement for assault.

    Now I'm not an attorney, so this is just my opinion. YMMV. Personally, I think a "carrying a concealed weapon" type charge would have been more appropriate than an assault charge, but I'm not up on the nuaces of Florida law.

    I still maintain that a CCW holder, legally carrying, whose gun was accidently (not deliberately) exposed would probably not have been charged based on the bare facts as reported.
     
  7. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,983
    If you're near Gainesville I'd appreciate it if you would file a complaint for me because that news story scares hell out of me.

    Aggravated assault seems all right for the moment, I guess, but I'd also like a restraining order issued against the police department so they don't scare me again.

    In case you don't mind spending a few extra minutes, how about getting the charges and the restraining order to cover the newspaper also. Can't be too careful nowadays.
     
  8. Caimlas

    Caimlas Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,690
    Location:
    SD
    What?! This happened in Florida?!

    How in the WORLD can someone be charged with aggravated assault when nobody was hurt and nobody was attacked, let alone alone aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when the weapon in question isn't really a weapon at all, because it isn't even capable of causing deadly harm?!

    This is nothing more than political prosecution. This young man has committed Thoughtcrime and is therefore guilty of all possible charges associated with what could have happened were it a real gun. Had there been the political atmosphere for it, I have no doubt that this young man would be destined for an extended stay in a prison sell, and he'd have had the "without intent to kill" left off his charge.

    Either way, doesn't this shackle this guy with a felony? As far as I know, "aggravated assault" is an automatic felony. He just had his life ruined by a vengeful, fearful bitch he'd never met before in his life.
     
  9. Caimlas

    Caimlas Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,690
    Location:
    SD
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a pellet gun isn't a firearm. It's not even a weapon in the strictest sense. Maybe it's a state law thing, but I can't see how a law regarding firearms would apply to a child's play thing. Would the same thing have applied if he had a squirt pistol in his pocket?

    If the law can possibly interpreted in this fashion, it's too permissive and needs to be rewritten to be specific. This person having his life ruined for this asininity is unacceptable.
     
  10. shc1

    shc1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    197
    This isn’t the first time an innocent person has been charged.
    The Salem witch trials come to mind.
    Night of the long knives to name another.
    History repeats, we’re on a roll…
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Pellet Gun

    Another typical overreaction after the horror at Va Tech. Expect more of the same in shopping malls, grocery stores, parks, etc. It's a form of mass hysteria that often follows things like that, and any sighting of a gun...or even what is thought to be a gun...will result in the observer assuming that the presence of a gun means that another mass killing is about to transpire.

    Sad. I remember an America in which the sight of a firearm openly displayed only drew passing attention...or even sparked gun/hunting-related conversations between strangers. I miss that.
     
  12. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    3,808
    duplicate. I posted about this when it happened. But that's ok.... it's probably best to have a separate thread about it anyways because I don't think many people noticed when I posted it.

    Just so you guys know though - this happened a few weeks ago. The scariest part is "aggravated assault".

    Can you even wrap your head around that?
     
  13. wally

    wally Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    12,138
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Maybe gun enthusiasts on campus need to start calling the cops everytime someone starts smoking dope.

    --wally.
     
  14. MilsurpShooter

    MilsurpShooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Under a rock somewhere
    So someone saw a gun and got scared... Later found out it's a pellet gun... But because she was scared he get's charged? Oh c'mon, I'm hoping this goes to court and I hope the defense rakes the prosecutor over the coals.
     
  15. CWhitt

    CWhitt Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Messages:
    14
    I just graduated from UF over the weekend, and I read of this story in the school's daily newspaper on campus the day after it occurred.

    Surprisingly, "word of mouth" about this incident did not spread like I thought it would have....other incidents (non-crime or non-gun related) spread like wildfire.

    As far as the location, and therefore, the attitude towards a gun sighting:
    UF is not true Florida. UF is located in Alachua county, one of the bastions for Liberals in Florida (Alachua, Broward, Palm Beach, Leon, Gadsden counties are all "blue" counties).

    Plus, the college atmosphere tends to draw hippies and activists that want to save the world, one canned good/gun/tree/animal/[insert cause of the day here] at a time.

    It also seems to draw a ton of student wannabe-hippies and pseudo-activists that want to yell, protest, or sign petitions to save the world...until it's time get in their BMW or large SUV and go home to the condo their parents own in Gainesville.

    So I'm (sadly) not surprised at the reaction that someone freaked over the sight of a gun-like object of any sort. However, I am surprised that anyone actually even NOTICED it in his pocket. I CCW in town and, sometimes, on campus. I sometimes carry a full-size M&P .40 and I don't think I've ever had anyone even notice that I'm carrying. Most students around here are oblivious to the world outside a 2-foot perimeter around their self...and that perimeter tightens as soon as they get their iPod earphones in.
     
  16. Notch

    Notch Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Florida takes one more step to becoming what it is destined to become. The east coasts **********... With their attempt to expand the meaning of AWs and the recent "gun in car at the workplace" it is clear that the shift is steady and fairly swift. Too bad, I always thought I would nd up there some day.
     
  17. FortyCalGlock

    FortyCalGlock Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    The Gunshine State
    A: Mr. Young was 19. You cannot get a CWP in FL unless your 21.

    B: A pellet gun is only a firearm in the country of New Jersey(that I know of)

    C: This case will be dropped by the prosecutor. They would have to prove intent. They would also have to prove the pellet gun was a deadly weapon. A police officer can charge with whatever he wants. It's up to the prosecution to prove it. However, Mr. Young will still need to have the arrest expunged from his record.

    D. I believe the UF police dept. should be sued for all court costs, legal fees, and a little anguish too. They admitted in their statement that the crime Mr. Young is charged with didn't happen and its very obvious they were overzelous in their arrest.
     
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Given the recent incident at V.T., I don't think the young lady overreacted. The possibility of a copycat attack is real. The ones who went overboard are the police, and other authorities that brought the charges after the facts were known.

    The Old Fuff finds all of this to be an unfortunate statement about how things are in parts of our country, and like 1911 Tuner observes that things didn’t used to be this way. It seems the further away we get from the pre-World War Two era, and the years that followed the war, the more “sheep like” we have become.

    That said, as a matter of recognizing reality, those that transport a firearm, especially a handgun of any form in a public place, would be well advised to carry it in some kind of case or cover – even a paper bag will do – to avoid the expense and trouble this sort of thing can cause. I suppose that in some places that could get one arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, but having one in a pocket is likely to bring even worse consequences than having one that’s cased. It is also advisable to pick something that doesn’t say, “Smith & Wesson,” “Glock,” or “Beretta” etc. on the outside.
     
  19. mlandman

    mlandman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    S. Fla
    In Florida, "concealed" is defined as follows:

    790.001 Definitions.--As used in this chapter, except where the context otherwise requires:

    (2) "Concealed firearm" means any firearm, as defined in subsection (6), which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.

    and further more:

    790.053 Open carrying of weapons.--

    (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device.

    (2) A person may openly carry, for purposes of lawful self-defense:

    (a) A self-defense chemical spray.

    (b) A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.

    (3) Any person violating this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.


    ...so therefore if it has been a side arm, and he had a CWL, he would have been in violation of Chapter 790

    but it wasn't because the "weapon" did not qualify under :

    790.001 Definitions.--As used in this chapter, except where the context otherwise requires:
    3)(a) "Concealed weapon" means any dirk, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person.
    is excluded by
    (4) "Destructive device" means any bomb, grenade, mine, rocket, missile, pipebomb, or similar device containing an explosive, incendiary, or poison gas and includes any frangible container filled with an explosive, incendiary, explosive gas, or expanding gas, which is designed or so constructed as to explode by such filler and is capable of causing bodily harm or property damage; any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled; any device declared a destructive device by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; any type of weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any explosive and which has a barrel with a bore of one-half inch or more in diameter; and ammunition for such destructive devices, but not including shotgun shells or any other ammunition designed for use in a firearm other than a destructive device. "Destructive device" does not include:

    (a) A device which is not designed, redesigned, used, or intended for use as a weapon;

    (b) Any device, although originally designed as a weapon, which is redesigned so that it may be used solely as a signaling, line-throwing, safety, or similar device;

    (c) Any shotgun other than a short-barreled shotgun; or

    (d) Any nonautomatic rifle (other than a short-barreled rifle) generally recognized or particularly suitable for use for the hunting of big game.

    and is not a "firearm" as defined by

    (6) "Firearm" means any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun. The term "firearm" does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime.

    A sad state of affairs...
     
  20. Seminole

    Seminole Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Where the west begins
    Bingo.

    You took the words right out of my mouth.
     
  21. scurtis_34471

    scurtis_34471 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,014
    Location:
    Ocala, FL
    Wow, you really don't pay attention to the details. The only thing Florida did was fail to pass a law that would have prevented employers from searching employee cars on employer property. There is no law in Florida against guns in cars or guns in the workplace, but if you violate company policy on company time or company property, the company can fire you. A lot of the people that voted against the law were pro-gun, but came down on the side of property rights. I happen to disagree with them, but I don't think that makes them anti-gun.

    The "attempt to expand the definition of assault weapon" was a bill put forth by one liberal crackpot from Miami that gets proposed every year and has absolutely zero chance of passing. You can't paint the state anti-gun just because we have a few anti-gun politicians. Florida has some of the strongest self-defense statutes in the entire country and was one of the first states to move to "shall issue" concealed carry licenses. There are no high-cap mag limits or banned weapons in this state.

    These police were acting on their own stupidity and there is no way those charges will stick.
     
  22. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,902
    Location:
    Texas
    Send them all to the ministry of love.
     
  23. gripper

    gripper Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    818
    Location:
    Nashua NH
    I swear ...they are breeding stupid LEO's in greater numbers than they used to.What happened to "mens rea"????Criminal intent????This is like the "hostile workplace environment" concept that started out with a good intent( to stop worklace @ssholes from being @ssholes) tand changed into "well,I FELT offended..".Next thing you know,it will be "officer ,there is a man with a dog in his fenced in yard and I FEEL like it may bite me someday..."
     
  24. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,849
    The reason he got charged could be 1) she filed a complaint and the police are letting the prosecutor catch the heat for dropping it or 2) the police decided to charge him with something in order to show they hadn't wasted time and effort just on a pellet gun.

    I'm betting the latter. And from reviewing the Florida statute, I'm thinking that unless the female student is willing to testify he pointed the pellet gun at her, this will get tossed.
     
  25. SkiLune

    SkiLune Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    NH: Live Free or Die
    They won't show up with 24 cops, thats for sure. College kids usually have no assets to seize.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page