Intervening on Behalf of Others

Someone pointed me to this story describing a sorry situation that a Pennsylvania LTC got himself into:

Mr. Gittens said the fight started at Tink’s Night Club in Scranton, where Mr. Padilla was fighting with a woman and Mr. Gittens thought he was not treating her with enough respect.

A group of people left Tink’s and traveled to Denny’s. About 3 a.m., Mr. Gittens and Mr. Padilla began to argue in the parking lot. Blows were exchanged and Mr. Padilla lunged at him with a screwdriver, Mr. Gittens said.

“He stabbed me in the arm; there was blood,” Mr. Gittens said. “I couldn’t believe he stabbed me. So I went after him again.”

Pretty soon, others stepped in and separated them. Mr. Belmonte was holding Mr. Padilla back, and pulled out his .40-caliber Glock pistol when Mr. Padilla took another swing, Mr. Gittens said.

Looks like this guy stepped in to separate his friend and Mr. Padilla.  His friend was the aggressor in the situation, having initiated the confrontation.  This was bad move number one.  I don’t like my friends this much.  If I were out with a buddy and he got himself into a fight, at worst it wouldn’t be the other guy I’d be restraining.   At best I’d call the police and let them deal with his sorry ass.

Charges have not been brought against Mr. Padilla, because “it was pretty clear he was not the aggressor in all this,” Ms. McCambridge said.

There’s a lot of missing information here.   Was someone restraining Mr. Gittens as well?  Had Mr. Gittens broken off the fight when Mr. Padilla resumed it and was shot?   Was he armed with the screw driver when he was shot?

Mr. Belmonte is claiming self-defense, which it could be, depending on whether hostilities had broken off and Mr. Padilla resumed them, and whether he was still armed with the screwdriver.  But I can see why the ADA would bring charges in this case.  There are probably multiple stories in this altercation and alcohol was supposedly involved, so she will leave it up to a jury to decide whether this was justifiable self-defense.

This illustrates the dangers of getting involved in the affairs of others.  This is really a matter that Mr. Belmonte should have stayed out of.  He definitely shouldn’t have been drinking and carrying, if that turns out to be the case.  Even if he is found not-guilty on these charges, he’ll probably never get another LTC in Pennsylvania.

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