Should the man who threw a swearing argumentative 19 year old fare dodger off a train in Scotland be charged with assault? Train vigilante
It would appear that the young man sustained injuries to his face as a result of his ejection from the train. As a former Police officer if you had attended this incident and the young man had made a complaint what action would you have taken?
There's no doubt that it'll go to court. But the judge should take into account the grief that foul language in a public place causes to the vast majority of us and also the action of then trying to turn around the offence to an assault on himself, that frankly was caused by his own actions in the first place.
My Judge Dredd verdict:
Slap the vigilante on the wrists and tell him not to do it again.
Place the public nuisance in a pillory for 28 days in his home town.
As you will note, this is just an exact reversal of what will probably happen...
Should he be charged? IMO no.
Will he be charged is another question.
If he is charged they would also have to charge the lad.
Well it certainly looks like an offence; it is however unclear whether the ticket inspector had the power to enlist another person to eject the individual.
I imagine the transport police would normally be called who would then do the ejection. It does have the look of excessive force and therefore consideration should be given to prosecution. Is it in the public interest to do so, probably not which would leave the individual to pursue a civil case which I think he could win.
It is at the very least Common Assault; A person commits an assault if he does an act by which he intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate unlawful violence and looking at the cuts on the lads face, I would say he committed common assault, I would charge him and fine him (and the fare dodger). British Transport Police are there for the Guard to evict passengers and they are but a radio call away.
I think that this is another instance of modern technology being used to provide evidence of an incident that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. If not for the prevalence of smart phones and their ability to record these incidents then this incident as well as the previous incident of the woman shouting racist abuse on a Croydon tram would probably go unremarked with no action being taken.
It is the same as these phones being used to record alleged Police malpractice in public order situations, we all need to be aware that whatever we do in public is liable to be recorded and posted to the internet without any recourse by ourselves.
Because of this should we involve ourselves in situations like this, for fear of the possible repercussions?
These incidents do strike a chord with me, as twenty years ago I was involved in one myself. I was just about to start a night duty and was queuing for a fish and chip supper in a local takeaway. Ahead of me there was a very drunken man verbally abusing the lady serving in the shop, other people in the queue were tut tutting but otherwise doing nothing.
I assumed that the other shop workers would call the police, but they seemed very cowed by this man's behaviour. I was in uniform and felt I ought to intervene which I subsequently did after the man spat across the counter at the lady serving.
Long story short, I confronted the drunk and asked him to leave, he refused so I manhandled him out of the shop and sat him on the pavement outside. The Police arrived about five minuets later called by the shop owner and arrested the man. I received thanks from the police and the shop owner and went about my business.
If that had been today, there is the very real possibility of this incident appearing within hours on the internet, involving me and my family in unwanted publicity and possible repercussions from the LFB as I was in uniform, also the possibility of being sued by the drunk!
I didn't think twice before intervening then, I certainly would think very carefully before doing so today!
Forget all the rhetoric about vigilantism.
He was assisting a public official, on request (he asked first if the official was having trouble) with the execution of his public duty..
So far as could be ascertained from the video, only the minimum amount of force necessary was used.
I would prosecute both the ticket inspector and the man who threw this lad off the train, ticket inspector for inciting some one else to commit an offence and the man for assault.
The lads story is that he was given 2 identical tickets by mistake, this could have been checked at a later time and in the meantime his name and address could have been taken pending enquiry's.
The rail police could have been called who I suppose could have been there in a matter of minutes to sort any problems if it was decided to ask the lad to leave the train.
It looks like another of those many cases of what actually was or will be, with the public jumping to all sort of various conclusions and solutions.
In the reports that I have read and seen, all seem to have confusing statements.
(1) The incident was going on for 5/10 minutes, with the train stationary at the platform. The person who published the video on youtube, was apparently going to pay for a ticket for the youth, but then decided the incident was getting out of hand, mainly by the youths action (He had no knowledge that someone would remove the youth, on the approval of the ticket inspector)!.
(2) The youth was stated to be diabetic, and his medication was in his bag still on the train. Yet the next thing the bag was with the youth on the platform?.
(3) The youth states that he had not slept for a day or more, and had nothing to eat in that time, due to studying hard for an exam. Yet at the same time admits to drinking alcohol. Perhaps not a very good solution or action for a diabetic?.
(4) It was then stated that a radio interview was an 'exclusive', as the youth had not approached any media, and the media had not approached him. Yet the were photographs in media reports of slight facial bruising?.
(5) There is also confusion as to how and why the 'incorrect issued' tickets came about. It apparently was something to do with cheaper fare rates?.
Whatever the case, it will now be a case of whether the police on information gathered, intend to go any further. For everyone concerned, it will be a waiting game, with the public having their say about what is correct in this modern day and age, and what is not.
Personally, I am getting very fed-up, with seeing the same scenes of disruption, on a daily basis, and the victims are having to suffer the consequences in most cases. Official 'public management training' can only survive so far, its when incidents 'in the field' occur, matters can change very rapidly, as per the incident in question?.
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