A brief blurb from the smoking gun website shows that literally anything can be used in a fight. As a result, a Florida man has been charged with a battery by striking another person with a Taco Bell burrito…
“Fourth Meal” or Felony?
36 year-old Eric Brown smashed the beef and bean concotion into a 16 year-old boy during a domestic violence incident in a Port St. Lucie household on February 15.
The juvenile victim told police that he was having an arguement with his mother when the defendant, his brother-in-law, asked the mother to bring him the burrito.
The defendant then proceeded to throw the burrito with force, striking the teenager in the face with the quasi-food item. The police report dryly noted that the victim had “burrito cheese, sauce and meat all over his clothing and face.”
The battery suspect told the police that while he “delivered” the burrito, it was deserved because the victim was cursing at and being rude to his mother.
The newly arrested defendant then unwisely told the police that he was going to “knock the victim out” and “take care of him” when he got out.
The charge of battery is found under Florida statute 784.03. It is basically defined as an unlawful touch or strike against another person. In this case, the suspect appeared to have committed a battery by throwing the burrito at the kid. This is because the statute reads that thowing an object that hits the victim can also be a battery. Just because no part of his body made contact with the victim would not allow him to escape this charge.
The article does not say if the defendant had any prior battery convictions. If he did have at least one prior conviction after July 1, 2001 or two prior convictions before that 2001 date, the suspect could now be facing a third degree felony, felony battery. A normal battery as described above (no permanent or severe injuries and no use of a weapon) would qualify as a misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in a county jail). A third degree felony would mean the suspect is now facing up to five years in prison for the crime.
Finally, if the victim heard the defendant’s threats to “take care of him” and that was construed as an attempt to intimidate or influence the victim, the suspect could be facing a Tampering with a Witness charge. Tampering with a witness, Florida statute 914.22 is also a third degree felony with the same potential of a five year prison term.
Have you or a loved one been arrested for battery or domestic violence? Then call the Saint Petersburg battery defense lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys. The Pinellas domestic violence defense attorneys at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handles all criminal and auto accident cases throughout the Gulf coast of Florida including Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, Gulfport, Pinellas Park, Kenneth City, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Indian Rocks Beach, Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach.
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