What can a drunk homeless guy teach you about the law?
If you follow me regularly you know I’m not an attorney. Nothing here is legal advice. But it is an interesting thing if you work as a Private Investigator, Loss Prevention Officer or Security Guard you may occasionally have the experience where someone spits at you.
Now, there’s a difference between people spitting at you and people spitting on you.
While it makes a huge difference to us, interesting thing is it also makes a big difference in the law sometimes. So what you’ll see is a drunk homeless person or somebody who’s trying to avoid apprehension will spit at you very specifically trying not to hit you but only to threaten you so he can get away. What’s he doing here? He’s trying to avoid a felony.
He’s decided to risk being charged with Menacing Threats by spitting at you. Whereas if he spit on you, it’s usually considered Assault. So they’re going for a misdemeanor charge versus a possible felony.
It’s the same reason you’ll see some diehard gang bangers who will shoot someone in the leg rather than shoot them above the waist. They don’t necessarily care whether the person lives or die. Maybe he even has a preference that the victim dies. But if it ends going to court, they can always claim they weren’t trying to kill the person. They get charged with Felonious Assault verses an Attempted Murder and that can make a huge difference in sentencing. That smart little move on the street can save the bad guy 20 years or more of prison time!
Now, how does this help you? What does this mean for you?
Number one, if you have somebody who’s spitting at you and you can tell they’re not really trying to spit on you then they’re making threats (including talking about the diseases they have)… this means a couple of things. It means one, they’re not really at the end of their rope yet. They haven’t pulled out the big guns of really trying to hurt you to get away with whatever they’re doing.
Number two, this means is they’re still looking for a way out. Which means there’s still a little bit of reason going on in the spitter’s mind and sometimes you can still handle this with words or it means you’ve got a little bit of time if you’re calling for backup or if you’re calling the police.
This does not mean you can drop your guard or that it’s not a dangerous situation! But it lets you know that they’ve not gone as far as they might go to get away from you or get away with what they’re trying to do.
In Part 2 of this video (bookmark my blog and check in next week), I’ll give you a real world case study on how to use this concept if you’re trying to make an apprehension so that you can do it with a lot less physical force and sometimes avoid physical force all together.