Reader questions police charges

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A concerned neighbor phones LAPD because a man appears “suicidal.” The man does not (at first) answer when five officers ring his bell.  He does answer a call from the police dispatcher, saying that he has no intention of hurting himself or others, but he does not want to meet the officers.
They persist. The man goes to his garage and starts his car. An officer commands him to stop.  He warns them not to follow, and backs out a few yards, then pulls back into his garage.
So this is supposed to be an “assault on police officers,” and “driving” (ten feet on his own property) “under the influence of drugs,” not merely evading arrest. The legal standard of “assault” in cases where there is no weapon and no fisticuffs is “Would a reasonable person fear an attack?”  Were the five officers scared?
Dr. Mourachov, the son of Russian immigrants and, incidentally, a fine urological surgeon, could be excused, I think, for wondering in his cell why a bit of rude behavior should call down all these imaginative extra charges upon his head, especially in Los Alamos, U.S.A.
James H. Cooke
White Rock


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