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View Full Version : iPad snatched from shopper, man loses finger in process... What if questions:


Window_Seat
04-21-2010, 12:23 PM
I hope this is in the right place, if not, I support it be moved elsewhere, but I thought this was the best place for it considering the main question.

Questions for the esteemed expert council (and others): So, this guy is shopping, and buys one of those new Apple iPads. He is walking out of the store, and some thief is walking up behind the man. The thief follows the man to the entrance/exit, snatches the iPad, and in the process, part of the man's finger is severed.

It looks on video as if the man is getting ready to try to go after the thief, but then "hangs around", while someone else comes to his aid.

My question (with a statement prior) is this:

Now this thief likely didn't intend to take part of a person's body with him in his planned act, but now the guy has his finger, and he's running from the scene.

We've heard of all kinds of weird things involving crimes, and body parts are no exception in some crimes. I would think that in some cases, something like this could be potentially life threatening, especially if the severed part cannot be recovered. Infections have been known to run rampant around severed body limbs, parts, etc. The Medical Pro's would like to have the "parts" if possible. I would too.

In this case, could a person lawfully carrying be justified with deadly force if the suspect is running off with a victim's body part, and is told to "drop it", but doesn't? What about a case where I'm the bystander, and there is a victim screaming "he has my finger/hand/"other":eek:"? Sorry, I want my finger/hand/"other":eek:", and will do what I can to get it back, or should I? Anyone? Caselaw anyone?

Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3tGp9mrSQE

Erik.

artherd
04-21-2010, 12:31 PM
Very interesting case - I would argue in court that technically I was not chasing, rather he abducted me.

I'd aslo argue that as long as he had part of my body, the assault was ongoing.

Doheny
04-21-2010, 12:49 PM
The right to use deadly force stops when the threat stops. Re: the BG having his finger, that's not what the video says. If you listen 1:00 - 1:15 you'll hear that the flesh was torn off and the doctor is the one who amputated the finger.

Barabas
04-21-2010, 1:53 PM
Doheny, are you familiar with the legal definition of causation? If the flesh is ripped off of your finger as a result of criminal intent, the doctor is not the one liable for the amputation when he must do so to save the patient's life. You can't walk around indefinitely with a degloved finger, ask my grandfather how well that works.

Doheny
04-21-2010, 4:55 PM
/\/\ You missed my point. The OP was implying that the the victim's finger was amputated during the robbery and was asking if that would be a basis for a SD shooting as the BG was fleeing. The victim suffered an avulsion injury, but the finger was not amputated during the robbery. The doctor amputated the finger.

ETA: As usual, I likely did a poor job of getting my point across.

.

tyrist
04-21-2010, 5:06 PM
While the crime you are stating did not occur (mayhem). If you saw somebody removing a part of persons body intentionally then use of deadly force would be justified. You can use deadly force to stop serious bodily injury/death.

snobord99
04-21-2010, 5:55 PM
Nope, can't chase the guy and claim self-defense. You can use deadly force to stop serious bodily injury or death. If the guy is running away, that threat is (theoretically) over. Even if he already chopped off your arm, assuming that it's a fact that the threat is no longer there, legally, you can't claim self-defense. Self-defense is for when you have an imminent fear of death or great bodily injury. Saying "I might get an infection later" is not going to cut it because it's not imminent. Think about it, if you allow the "I might get an infection later" defense, then there really is no limit to self-defense.

Window_Seat
04-21-2010, 6:48 PM
I state in the OP that "part of the man's finger is severed."

If I were cutting oranges (I got some really good ones yesterday, man were they good), and I completely cut off a portion of skin just above the fingernail and I still have mass remaining above the fingernail, it is partially severed, no? Why am I wrong on that? The victim states that he lost flesh & tendons. This would not be a partially severed finger?

And Doheny, we are here because we can't get our points across.:p

Erik.

f33dback
04-21-2010, 8:17 PM
You really want to kill someone over an iPad and a cut finger?

snobord99
04-22-2010, 8:44 AM
You really want to kill someone over an iPad and a cut finger?

I don't think that really describes what happened (assuming the media was accurate). It wasn't just a "cut finger." The bag supposedly ripped the flesh from his finger down to the bone.

f33dback
04-22-2010, 8:54 AM
double post sorry.

f33dback
04-22-2010, 8:56 AM
I don't think that really describes what happened (assuming the media was accurate). It wasn't just a "cut finger." The bag supposedly ripped the flesh from his finger down to the bone.
OK, you really want to kill a man over an iPad and a the flesh ripped from your finger?

Now I know at the time it happens you would want to, but after it was all said and done and he was dead, what then?

I watched the video, another clueless mall-walker, pretty clear (clear to me) the culprit was watching for a target and picked him...guess why.

What happened was wrong, but pay attention, look at peoples eyes, try and maintain and idea of what's around you, if he had been doing that the thief would've picked someone else.

Just my opinion, and it's always easy to second guess with hindsight, but killing a man would've made it a lot worse for him than losing a finger.
Do we really want someone this inattentive carrying a firearm?

Flopper
04-22-2010, 9:20 AM
Nope, can't chase the guy and claim self-defense. You can use deadly force to stop serious bodily injury or death. If the guy is running away, that threat is (theoretically) over. Even if he already chopped off your arm, assuming that it's a fact that the threat is no longer there, legally, you can't claim self-defense. Self-defense is for when you have an imminent fear of death or great bodily injury. Saying "I might get an infection later" is not going to cut it because it's not imminent. Think about it, if you allow the "I might get an infection later" defense, then there really is no limit to self-defense.

Even if a citizen did not witness this criminal act, a citizen's arrest could be affected because there were several felonies which took place.

If the criminal resisted and the arresting citizen were in danger of death or great bodily injury, deadly force could be used.

limitdown
04-22-2010, 9:33 AM
You can chase him down, subdue him and put him under citizen's arrest.
However, you can't shoot a man in the back if he's running away.....