Well, well – here we are: Black Friday, that ignominious day in the American calendar when otherwise (and I use this term liberally) “normal” people, turn into openly aggressive, violent, even maniacal individuals – all in the name of scoring a few less dollars on the latest wide screen TV or pair of sneakers. To quote an aphorism that has become quite true, “Because only in America, do people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.” How bad is this problem? In just the past eight years, from 2006 to 2014, the total death count involving Black Friday shopping incidents has reached seven deaths. Visually, try to think of being in a cemetery and seeing seven gravestones, each reading “Killed in a store by other shoppers the day after Thanksgiving.” Two of those deaths were the result of people actually being “trampled” by aggressive shoppers. Two more were shooting deaths, and the remaining fatalities were due car crashes that were directly related to Black Friday shopping. Continue reading
As I write this post, Thanksgiving Day is winding down. Another exercise in mad dashes and massive traffic jams, to get together to give thanks for what we have. (Though most people use it as an excuse to gorge themselves, watch football, and avoid arguments with family members.) Regardless, if you got through this day unscathed from any of the above risks, I’m afraid you may not be in the clear just yet.
Not if you plan on joining the mad throngs descending on the retailers who run “Black Friday” sales. Black Friday, of course, is so named for the fact that the sales volumes typically racked up at large retailers on this day, create large profits leaving these stores “in the black” –earning profits – instead of “in the red” – losing profits. But aside from accounting jargon, this day should be called black for another good reason: The dark, disturbed impulses it brings out in so many people – in the name of “getting a good deal” on some ridiculous material purchase (did someone say the latest iPhone? 60” Flat screen TV?) Continue reading
If you’ve ever wondered just how easy it is to get yourself arrested, and might need the services of a Norfolk County criminal defense attorney, wonder no more.
This past week, a 26-year-old man was arrested, for allegedly throwing hot McDonald’s French fries at his young stepdaughter. The alleged incident occurred in Lowell, where James Hackett allegedly had an argument with his wife. When his stepdaughter chimed into the conversation, Mr. Hackett allegedly threw the hot French fries at her. At this writing, the stepdaughter is not seriously hurt. No real surprise there.
Mr. Hackett pleaded not guilty to Lowell assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and is free on bail. How Lowell police concluded that a french frie was a dangerous weapon, is a stretch to say the least.
Have you ever had the experience where someone you know of is said to have done something very surprising and seemingly out of character? Well, this past week, the police chief of Waltham, Thomas M. LaCroix, was arrested and charged with two counts of Middlesex County assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was held without bail.
It just goes to show that none of us is immune to having bad things happen in our lives. But as a Norfolk County assault & battery lawyer, let me say upfront that the law makes it quite clear that all people charged with an alleged crime are innocent until proven guilty. This post doesn’t in any way say that police officers are bad people; in fact it says the exact opposite: These types of criminal charges can happen to anyone.
Chief LaCroix, the Police Chief of Waltham, is alleged to have first assaulted his wife Andrea, who afterward left their home in Maynard, and then returned with a friend. According to prosecutors, at that time, there was alleged to be yet another altercation in which Chief LaCroix allegedly struck the two women with a bicycle rack and also with a countertop. He is also alleged to have threatened to kill both people. Few details have been released about the alleged Maynard assault and battery. A dangerousness hearing is set for him this coming Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Concord District Court.
Hey, sportsfans. File this under “Now You’ve Really Gone Too Far.”
If you thought you heard it all when the Red Sox won the World Series, and fans went berserk in the streets, you actually haven’t. It was reported that this past Thursday night a Boston Celtics fan was attacked with a kitchen knife by a fan from the opposing Miami Heat. The victim, 22 years old, is a local college student who does not want to be identified.
The victim reportedly walked out after the game when the Miami Heat beat the Celtics. A group of fans wearing Miami Heat T-shirts allegedly started yelling at him. When he yelled back, he told police that a Miami Heat fan rushed into him, and stabbed him in the thigh, requiring 10 stitches at a local Boston hospital. The assailant has not been found or identified. He is said to be short and Hispanic. Police are asking the public’s help for information. If he is found, he will likely be charged with Boston Assault and Battery With A Dangerous Weapon.
Aren’t weddings fun?
There’s always love, romance, and best wishes for the happy couple.
But what typically goes hand-in-hand at many weddings, and wedding functions such as bachelor parties, is criminal behavior. It’s almost always because alcohol is involved, which lowers people’s inhibitions, and also tends to make them violent. This is the “dirty little secret” that few bridal magazines will tell you about.
When I was in college, I had braces, and my orthodontist, in Brookline, was a brilliant guy. During my visits every three weeks to adjust my braces, we’d always talk about a number of interesting things, usually historical or political. I’ll never forget one such conversation, because it made such an overwhelming impression on me. We were having a discussion one day in his office about anthropology and human behavior, and he very reflectively commented that people’s civility towards each other exists in direct proportion to the amount of scarce resources around them. This, of course, is an analogue to the law of supply and demand in the field of economics, and merely says that when resources amidst a population are plentiful, human behavior will generally be absent of aggression, but when those resources become scarce or limited, the degree of civility exhibited among human beings will decrease in direct proportion to the amount of scarce resources present.
Translation: When people are competing for a fixed number of goods or resources, and there’s not enough to go around, their civility towards each other dwindles as a result.
I believed this principle as a young man, and as an adult, I still do. It’s sad, but true. As Dedham, Massachusetts assault and battery attorney, I’ve heard all the stories about people getting into fights over a variety of things – and this post has to do with that most coveted of scarce resources in Boston and many communities. Yes, it’s the proverbial parking space. In January 2010, a fight over this prized possession developed after a snowstorm in Boston. But it turned into more than just an argument.
Readers of this blog may remember that three years ago I posted a blog about a football player at Arlington Catholic High School, who faced Massachusetts assault and battery charges after he allegedly “head-butted” a football player at an Abington High School footbal game, In that case, I saw the defendant as possibly exhibiting the specific intent required to commit the crime charged.
Just a few days ago, there was a similar case in Duxbury, in which a high school student filed charges of assault and battery against a hockey player at Scituate High school. The victim, Tucker Hannon, filed the charges against Alex Way, charging him with needlessly “checking” him – hockey parlance for slamming into him. It resulted in Mr. Hannon experiencing a concussion and missing five weeks of school. He was also forced to sit in darkness for two weeks while recovering, as exposure to light can aggravate such a head injury.
However, yesterday, at a Massachusetts Clerk-Magistrate hearing in Plymouth District Court, the Clerk Magistrate, Philip McCue, found no probable cause for the complaint. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that the Clerk-Magistrate determined that there was no “probable cause” to find that young Way posessed the specific intent to commit an assault and battery against young Hannon. The legal elements of assault and battery can be found by clicking here. As a result of the Clerk-Magistrate’s findings, no charges were brought against young Mr. Way.
On this blog, one of my goals is to educate the general public about the law and how it can affect them. As a Dedham, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, I know that most people have a lot of misconceptions about certain laws.
For example, most people think that “assaulting” someone, in an assault-and-battery charge, means hitting or striking them. Not true. In general, “assault” means a threat of violence, and not the actual bodily contact itself. Furthermore, a “battery” refers to the actual physical contact of another person — without his or her consent. The upshot? No actual physical harm has to result for a Massachusetts assault and battery charge to be filed.
Here is an interesting twist on how assault and battery charges can be brought in Massachusetts. There was a recent development last week in which a Franklin High School student videotaped an assault by one student on another. It resulted in not one, but two students being charged with assault and battery – the one who actually carried out the assault, and the accomplice student who made the videotape of it. This can serve to illustrate that you don’t necessarily have to be the actual assailant– in order to be charged with the underlying offense.
It seems that we, as a nation, are never going to be able to forget the tragedy of Columbine.
A few weeks ago, on Fox-TV 25, I spoke to anchor Maria Stephanos about an Attleboro, Massachusetts student who had just posted on Facebook his plans for a Columbine-style attack at his high school – for which he was arrested. At that time, and on that broadcast, I stressed the need for parents to monitor their kids. It’s one thing for a student to complain to his fellow student about his teachers, but it’s entirely different when you tell the world, on Facebook, about your specific plans to seriously harm your teachers and kill them.
Earlier this week, another student, this time at Stoughton High School, was also arrested for alleged plans for yet another Columbine-type attack. Specifically, the student, Sean Ivaldi, 18, was charged with causing a school disturbance, four counts of threatening to commit Massachusetts crimes — some of which will doubtless involve charges of threatened Massachusetts gun and firearms violations – along with threatened Massachusetts assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charges, and a felony charge of making a terrorist threat. It ha been reported that Ivaldi had outlined a devastating attack on the school in his journal, which was discovered by a school administrator.