Simple Assault Charge Reduced to Misdemeanor

Client, cameraman for a local television station, was charged with simple assault for physically beating teenagers who had trespassed on his property and vandalized his home. For years the client’s home would be vandalized around Halloween by teenagers who were seeking to discover the “Goonies” (large headed creatures who, according to folklore, lived in wooded areas surrounding the client’s home only to appear around Halloween). After coming home in the early evening, the client discovered a dozen teenagers breaking his windows and otherwise mistreating his property. The client chased the teens down, wrestled with one of them and physically dragged the teenager back to his property to summon police. The client was charged with simple assault. Prosecutors demanded that the client spend ten days in jail as his penalty.

Marein and Bradley countered that the client’s actions were justified, but to resolve the case would accept a minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct and pay a $100 fine. The case proceeded to trial by jury in the Chardon Municipal Court where, during jury deliberation, the prosecutor offered to reduce the charge to a minor misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. The client received a penalty of $100.