Last Updated on June 26, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
One punch causes coma
You may recall the highly publicized case involving Oscar Fuller’s one punch knock-out of Lana Rosas because Rosas was trying to save a NYC parking space for a friend. Fuller, in the dark trunks, stands 5’7” tall and weighs in at 150 pounds. Rosas’ tale of the tape reveals a height of 4′ 11″ and a weight of less than 100 pounds. The force from Fuller’s fist striking Rosas’ face caused Rosas to fall backwards, and hit her head against the pavement.
Rosas remained in a coma for one week, and suffered brain damage. She needs to wear a helmet to protect her from further injury to this day.
A conviction for second degree felony assault against defendant Fuller was a slam dunk, right? The only serious issue should be how long he spends in jail, correct?
Nothing is a slam dunk in court
If your answers to the two previous questions was a resounding, YES, well, you’re wrong. The trial recently ended in a mistrial. The 12 person jury was hopelessly deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction. The lone holdout didn’t believe the facts of the case fit the definition of the crime of felony assault in the second degree. Was she correct?
In my humble opinion, the lone ranger was right. Kudos for her integrity, courage, and strength to fight for what she believed was right.
Now, your saying to yourself, are you crazy, Larry? How can you let Fuller get away with this horrific assault, over a parking space? I agree, wholeheartedly. There is no excuse for his dastardly, cowardly deed; but there was a defense.
The crime of felony, second degree assault is why this guy remains free to punch smaller women in the face
Fuller’s defense was he never intended to cause serious bodily injury to Rosas. When Rosa began pummeling him, he defended himself by throwing one punch.
Here’s the problem with the charge of second degree assault. According to Article 120, Section 120.5 of the NY State Penal Code:
“A person is guilty of assault in the second degree when: 1. With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or 2. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument;…”
The culprit is “intent.” Did this guy intend to put Rosas in a coma? Did he really intend to seriously injure his poor victim?
There are a number of state assault laws defining “intent” to include a “reckless disregard for a known risk.” Fortunately for Fuller, NY State does not include this definition. Otherwise, Fuller is toast because a grown man, striking a much smaller and lighter woman in the face with a closed fist, is a reckless act. And totally disregarding the risk of injury to his victim.
This is both a valuable and horrifying example of why you never, ever try to save an NYC parking space. Forget about the fact it’s prohibited. You only have to remember how emotionally charged finding parking and parking tickets are in NYC.
This is a tragic, extreme, result of terrible judgment on the part of Fuller and Rosas. C’mon now.
The prosecutor is requesting a do-over. I’m wondering, how is he going to get over the definition of intent?
What do you think? If you were a juror, would you follow your heart or the judge’s instructions on the law?