Tag Archives: battery

Beauty Queen Exonerated by Stand Your Ground Law

vanessa barcelo.jpgVanessa Barcelo, the 2017 Miss Miami Lakes that competed in the Miss Florida pageant, had been charged with battery from an incident that occurred at a party at her home several months ago. She hosted a party to promote her baking business, One Love Cakes, and her cousin over-indulged. She and other party-goers became concerned that the DJ was going to take advantage of the cousin, and grouped together to escort him out. That’s when the real trouble started…

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Vanessa Barcelo, via facebook

Barcelo said she took an aluminum baseball bat and brandished it to intimidate the DJ, though she never touched him. She says he proceeded to grab the bat out of her hand and swing it around, before he handed it to a community security guard. A friend of Barcelo’s then struck the DJ, knocking him to the ground, at which point Barcelo jumped on top of him and slapped him. She testified in court that she did not know if he still had the bat, and she was afraid for herself and her guests. The court found her actions to be reasonable, and dismissed the battery charges against her.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law gives the Defendant a chance to have their charges dismissed at a hearing prior to having to go to trial. Governor Scott recently signed a new law that shifts the burden to the State to demonstrate they are justified in going forward at that hearing, a change opposed by prosecutors, for obvious reasons. A judge in Miami found the law change to be unconstitutional, but that won’t affect other cases until it is subject to appellate review.

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Remember When the Mall Easter Bunny Got Arrested?

The scene, Edison Mall, 2006. They have an Easter Bunny area where families could come and get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny. 27 parents were lined up when the Bunny-manager decided to shut down for the day, 15 minutes early. One of the parents approached the manager and asked why, to which the manager replied, “because I felt like it”, and punched the mom in the face. When the bunny saw the manager involved in a fight, he jumped in and started punching the mom in the back of the head.

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Arthur McClure, the Rogue Rabbit

The Bunny, Art McClure, claims that he and the manager, his girlfriend, were acting in self-defense when the “mob of angry soccer moms” came after them. Ultimately, McClure was charged with misdemeanor battery and breach of the peace, and pled out ¬†to time served on the charges a couple weeks later. The responding officer got statements from half a dozen of the parents, who all indicated McClure and his girlfriend were the aggressors. It’s like Bad Santa for another season!

It’s too bad that cell phone cameras were not as common then, and even the snapshots that were taken don’t seem to have made it to the internet. McClure’s listed occupation on the arrest report is “Easter Bunny”, though this was his last day on the job.

Man Beaten to Death with Fire Extinguisher

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Laciana Tinsley

This one leaves me speechless. Normally our weird battery stories don’t involve significant injury (excepting the death by wedgie), but this one tragically ends in death. Laciana Tinsley, a 42-year-old woman from New Jersey, beat her elderly husband to death with a fire extinguisher. She has been charged with murder, after he died as a result of multiple blows to the head.

Her attorney has indicated that she claims to have been acting in self-defense. He says there was a history of violence, and that the alleged victim was trying to suffocate her when the killing occurred.

#weirdbattery

Man Arrested for Attacking Man with Ramen Noodles

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Michael Herrick mug shot

We’ve had a lot of #weirdbattery cases that we’ve covered on Crimcourts, and quite a few of those have involved food. TSG reports a new one, as Michael Herrick was arrested this week for battery with ramen noodles. Apparently he’ll be claiming self-defense, as he told officers that his boyfriend threw water at him, first.

For the record, throwing water on someone could also be charged as battery. In Florida, battery is any unwanted, unlawful touching.. be it, food, drink or shopping cart.

Sadly, even though The Smoking Gun tracked down the police report, it doesn’t tell us what kind of ramen noodles were involved. I suspect Cup Noodles, but I’ll confess to being a Top Ramen guy…

ramen.jpgonly in Florida…

Florida Man Arrested for Shuffleboard Fight

  • It was a real Shuffle-scuffle!
  • 81-year Old charged with Battery
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Herbert Hayden- 81

Herbert Hayden, 81, a resident of St. Petersburg, got in an altercation at the Pinellas Park senior center over a game of shuffleboard and was charged with battery. Police allege Hayden struck another man, and that both of their sticks, or cues, as they are known amongst shufflers, were¬†damaged. Unfortunately for prosecutors, officers indicate the “weapons” were not seized for evidence. I do not know how old the victim was, but if he is over 65, Mr. Hayden could potentially be facing a felony for battery on a senior citizen. I have seen prosecutors charge the felony on other senior citizens, but hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

This is the first charge I have seen using a shuffleboard cue as a weapon! #weirdbattery #graymenace

Man Accused of Beating people with his Prosthetic Arm… AGAIN!

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Joshua Stockinger

Talk about armed and dangerous… (sorry, couldn’t help myself). A Missouri man has been arrested and charged with multiple felonies after he took off his prosthetic arm and beat a couple during a road rage incident. Remarkably, he is already facing charges for doing the same thing to a law enforcement officer back in May.

This attack sounds serious, as one of the victims suffered broken legs from the incident. Bond has been set high this time, and hopefully he sits in jail long enough to learn a lesson this time around.

Hey Lawyers, Never Talk $#!t About Your Clients

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Former Browns QB Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel, who’s facing charges in Texas for allegedly striking his former girlfriend, was in court for a preliminary hearing. A reporter texted his attorney for a comment, and received a text back that appears kind of incriminating. The lawyer has indicated the text was meant for another attorney. Oops.

It’s bad practice to bad mouth your own clients… thought the temptation can be great on some criminal cases, but it’s a bad idea. It’s an even worse idea if you don’t pay attention who your texts are going to. Suggesting, say, that your client may have been doing something illegal might end up prejudicing your client if they decide to have him submit a pee test. That could be bad for the client, and for you.