You are never too old to get arrested!
News agencies recently reported on the arrest of a Bay Area – Santa Rosa man following a road rage incident. This would typically not be very newsworthy except that in this situation the man arrested was eighty one.
According to news reports, Harry Edward Smith, 81, was arrested for assault and battery as well as hit-and-run after he allegedly drove unto a golf course path and hit a cyclist. The victim reported that just prior to the collision, the man behind the steering wheel was yelling, apparently angry that the victim was riding his bicycle without his hands on the handlebars. The victim yelled back and veered his bicycle into a golf cart path just before he was struck by Smith’s car from behind.
Police identified Mr. Smith as the suspect after he had another verbal altercation with a cyclist. According to reports Mr. Smith was again yelling at a cyclist, a Bay Area attorney, who then tried unsuccessfully to engage him in a conversation. The cyclist noted down the vehicle license plate number and later picked Mr. Smith out of a photo lineup. Investigators also found damage to Mr. Smith’s car. The damage was consistent with the collision described by the first victim. The vehicle also had debris from the golf course stuck to the undercarriage.
Harry Edward Smith’s bail was set at 100,000.
The prosecutor’s office will review the case and decide what charges Mr. Smith will ultimately face. Given the reports of Mr. Smith’s statements prior to the collision and the path his vehicle took in order to collide with the cyclist, Mr. Smith could face felony assault with a vehicle charges. If someone is convicted of assault with vehicle they face a lifetime drivers license revocation in addition to considerable jail or prisontime.
It is unclear if Mr. Smith will put up a defense in the case but given the reported facts and his age, a Bay Area criminal defense attorney would likely explore Mr. Smith’s state of mind at the time of the incidents. The state of mind of a defendant is a fundamental part of a criminal case and many times can be an important factor in reaching a fair resolution.
If you ever find yourself facing an angry driver, the best advice is to avoid engaging the person. This may mean taking the first exit, slowing down to let the driver pass, or sometimes even speeding up to remove yourself from the situation. If you find yourself a bit flustered by others’ driving behavior, pull over and try to clear your mind, take a different road home or do what you know prevents you from getting your emotions too hot.
If you ever find yourself in trouble with law enforcement as a results of a road rage incident, call an experienced Bay Area criminal defense lawyer right away. Many times we are able to do an extensive amount of damage control early in the process. Call us today at 415-946-4020 or 925-335-6444.