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Misdemeanor Battery

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Ray H

Rialto, California
On 08/23/00 I was issued a misdemeanor citation for "P.C. 242 - Battery", with an appearance date of 11/09/00. As briefly as possible, on the evening of 08/23/00 I undertook sprinkler system maintenance and a neighbor girl (~10 or 11 yrs old) on her bicycle forced me off the public sidewalk in front of my home. I verbally reprimended her about pedestrian rights on sidewalks, upon which she returned two more times in intentional provocation. On the third (final) event I repelled her forward advance by nudging her down my driveway into the (clear) street. I did touch her left shoulder. She did not fall, lose her balance, or dismount the bicycle. She immediatley rode all the way home in the street (about 175' away) and told her parents. Her parents returned to confront me verbally with their assertion that their children have the right to ride their bicycles on public sidewalks, and her father threatened physical violence against me personally ("If you ever touch my daughter again, I'll beat your ass."). I contacted the Rialto police department. The investigating officer listened to my complaint and then contacted the girl's parents (seperately at each residence), and returned to issue the citation (according to the officer at the insistance of the girl's parents) on the basis of an allegation that I had grabbed the girl's neck. The officer did state that the girl had not been hurt, and that she [the officer] did not believe that the matter had to go this far - but I don't know whether she meant my initial complaint or the arrest. When I questioned the arresting officer about the legality of using a public sidewalk as a bike path, she offered no opinion, but a backup officer who arrived to assist in the arrest did acknowledge that under California state law bicyclists are not permitted to ride on public sidewalks, but indicated that the Rialto police department does not enforce that provision in the interests of safety for young riders. I do not have the backup officer's ID or badge number. Subsequently, the girl and her two younger brothers have periodically repeated the bicycle harrassment during my weekly yardwork, and this has been witnessed by my live-in girlfriend of 13 years on several occasions. I've maintained a strict attitude of nonresponsiveness to these provocations in spite of occasional verbal taunts from one of the younger boys. I'd appreciate advice as to my best course of action in this matter.



Set up a video camera & tape the kids dive bombing you. This will be good evidence to use to claim lawful defense of self. It will also allow you to obtain a restraining order against the kids & their parents. Show it to the prosecutors & file an assault complaint against the girl & her brothers. The cops will try to talk you out of it, but insist on your rights to file. Continue not to physically engage the children, but set yourself out as a target. If you can, get yourself telling the kids to stop attacking you (& their subsequent escalation of the interaction) on the tape.

You could sue the partents for assault. Parents are liable for the intentional torts of their children.

This is not legal advice and you are not my client. Double check everything with your own attorney and your state's laws. [email protected] - please include some facts so I know who you are!

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