Thanks to John Richardson for letting everyone know about The Polite Society Podcast’s Paul Lathrop’s legal troubles. Go read John’s post about it, but to make a long story short, Paul’s real world profession in trucking. While instructing a student, he seems to have gotten into a confrontation with another driver who went back to his truck, called 911, and accused Paul of threatening him with a gun. Paul denies the charge, and Paul’s student claims he never saw a gun.
I know it’s always been a big fear of mine that someone will get pissed off at me on the road and call in a false report of me threatening them with a gun, then have the police stop me only to find, surprise, a gun. Paul is not the first instance I’ve heard this happening. I seem to recall, though I can’t find a link, of someone beating a brandishing charge because the alleged victim described the gun as being silver, and the gun found on the accused was black. But you can’t always count on being that lucky, or have cops who will arrest first and let a judge sort out the he said, she said.
I’ve always heard lawyers say, “The first person to call 911 is generally presumed to be the victim.” Being the first to call and conflict deescalation is something to keep in mind out there. But sometimes trouble manages to find you, even if you did everything right.