Often, when crimes or “incidents” make the news, there is a discernable sequence of action, reaction, arrest.
As a lawyer with a considerable background in law enforcement, I often field questions about such videos that make the news.
What I have noticed in the videos it is the reaction that gets criticized most. It is also my experience that regardless of the criminal nature of the action, an overreaction will surely get you arrested. The good news is that reactions are controllable where the actions of others are not.
Two recent local incidents come to mind.
The video of the Brickell Avenue Bridge confrontation and the guy getting punched by the Mexican actor. In both cases, there was questionable conduct by the victim or victims and then a reaction that landed the reactor in jail. Both were avoidable incidents. But I get it, emotions are running high, and things can quickly get out of control.
The incident on the Brickell Avenue Bridge involved a bunch of kids harassing Mark Bartlett’s girlfriend after she got out of her car to yell at them for blocking the road. Bartlett comes to her defense with a pistol in hand, nasty words get exchanged, and everyone eventually moves on. Bartlett gets arrested for carrying a concealed firearm, the video makes the news, and Bartlett picks up four additional felonies, all avoidable.
It is not what could or might have happened that counts. What counts is what did happen.
Do not pull your pistol if you are not facing deadly force, doing so will almost always land you in jail. Be aware of the action, reaction, arrest sequence.
Pablo Lyle’s incident, the Mexican actor, was even more ridiculous as most road rage incidents are. A 63-year-old man gets tweaked because he was cut off and got out to pound on the car Pablo is in. Who cares, drive away, let it go. Do not ever get involved in road rage, drive away as quickly as possible and call the police. Nothing good has ever come from being involved in road rage, no matter how egregious the infraction is.
In the end, Pablo gets out of the car again and punches the guy, the guy falls. hits his head, and later dies, and Pablo gets arrested. It is the reaction that always gets people arrested.
There is a saying we have in police work, “You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride!”
Not only do these two guys face jail or prison time but look at the ride they took. As if getting arrested is not enough. Bartlett is facing five gun-related felonies, he had to post a $32,500.00 bond, he had to hire a lawyer, and he hired an EXPENSIVE one. Not to mention he is forever on YouTube. And who wants a truck driving around the courthouse with your picture on it?
Pablo is only facing felony battery at this time, had to post a $45,000.00, surrender his passport and he too has hired an expensive lawyer. Lyle is on house arrest. UPDATE: In court today, May 1st, Lyle was charged with manslaughter.
I do not know about you, but I could not afford the fare for the ride these guys had to take. Learn to control your reactions to all things in life, it will save you loads of grief, aggravation, and most importantly, money.
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