Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crime logs...

It's amazing what you can find out by reading crime logs in local newspapers.  Not all towns run a crime log.  I think it's the kind of thing one usually sees in smaller cities and towns.  The town I grew up in does run one and, since I lived there for years and it's a relatively small, close-knit community, I still know people there.

Sometimes, when I'm bored, I Google people I used to know.  Last night, as I was watching the rolling credits of Tom Hanks' 1986 film Nothing In Common, I looked up someone I've never met.  You may be asking yourself why I would look up someone I don't know.  It's because he's married to someone who played a significant role in my childhood.  I don't know this guy, but I know his wife and her family.  I lost touch with them several years ago, but still think of them sometimes.  I do have a curious mind and a penchant for being nosey.

Anyway, when I was still in touch with these folks, I heard stories about the man I Googled last night.  I heard he was an abusive drunk.  In fact, while I don't know the guy at all, the way he was described to me, I'd guess he has issues with Histrionic Personality disorder.  He was described as attention seeking to the point of being toxic.  None of his wife's children liked him.  However, I have to consider the source of the information, since the person giving me the information admitted to pretty much hating the guy.

Well...  according to my Google search last night, the "abusive drunk cluster B" guy was arrested a few years ago for assault and battery on a family member.  It happened a couple of days after New Year's, which makes me wonder if the stress of the holiday season, along with potential alcohol consumption, got to everybody and led to a fight.

Naturally, I wasn't there when the incident occurred and I don't even know the arrestee.  However, I do know most of the other people involved.  I can just picture the scenario in my mind, adding that the people I knew are now older and perhaps more rigid in their thinking... or perhaps even suffering from medical issues themselves.

A few years ago, I might have found out about this incident from my former contact within the family.  She probably would have told me about it.  I wouldn't have had to read about it in the crime log.  We aren't in contact anymore and I'm not wanting to re-establish contact with her.

I looked up Virginia's laws on assault and battery on a family member.  In Virginia, it is a class 1 misdemeanor to commit assault and battery against a family or household member.  In Virginia, a person who commits a class 1 misdemeanor can be sentenced to spend up to a year in jail and fined up to $2500.  Assault and battery against a family member consists of a person in the home injures or pushes another household member.  Slapping, spanking, punching, and pushing are all forms of battery.  Police usually only pursue charges when there's compelling proof that injury occurred, whether physical or emotional.  A person can also be charged if he or she threatens someone in the household and there is a reasonable expectation that the threat is credible.  Threats constitute assault.

If they come to a person's home on a domestic violence call, the police will arrest someone.  Generally, it's the person who appears most likely to inflict damage.  Oftentimes, it's males who end up in the pokey, whether or not they were the actual aggressor.  Knowing the female half of the couple involved in this case, my guess is that when pushed, she might give as good as she gets.  She can be manipulative and is not averse to resorting to emotional blackmail to get her way.  She has even been known to lash out physically on rare occasions.  However, from what I've heard, her husband is a drinker.   Alcohol abuse can cause some people to lose control of themselves.  I saw it firsthand growing up with my dad.  Fortunately, my dad didn't often become violent, but when he did, it was truly scary.  He wasn't in control.

Even if someone says something provocative, is rude, or insulting, that's no excuse for physical violence.  However, if it can be proven that the attack is provoked by insults, that can be used as a mitigating factor in the defense.

Out of curiosity, I looked up local court cases in the area where I grew up.  I didn't find anything related to this case, so my guess is the charges were eventually dropped.  That doesn't surprise me.  Anyway, I should probably mind my own business.  But I will admit that sometimes Googling can lead to surprising discoveries.    


  1. I wonder if the guy could have been wrongly accused in the first place. it seems like the wife may have been a piece of work as well unless I'm confusing her with someone else.

    1. Yeah. I was talking to Bill about it and figured that may have happened, too. I didn't see her listed, either... But it's possible she could have been the assailant and the cops hauled him away, anyway.


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