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Attorney Does Good or Oversteps His Bounds?

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Purse Snatcher in Grand Rapids Raises Controversy

You may have heard about the purse snatcher in Grand Rapids, 24-year-old Mikayla Hull, who grabbed the purse off of a 75-year-old woman on September 17 and bolted.  John Damon, an attorney in West Michigan, was initially hailed as a hero for his assistance in stopping Hall, who he chased, straddled, and punched three times in the face before authorities arrived.  Although police did not charge Damon because they said his actions were justified given the situation, others feel differently.  Local activist Robert Muhammad started a petition because he believes Damon, a 250 pound man, went too far when he punched Hall in the face three times.

MLive and The Grand Rapids Press Catch Saga on Video

In the video, caught by MLive and The Grand Rapids Press, Damon is seen sitting on top of the purse snatcher.  The purse snatcher pleads with Damon to allow her to get up so she can lie on her stomach with her hands behind her back.  Another man is also seen holding down the purse snatcher’s arm so that she cannot get up while they wait for police to arrive.  Damon tells the woman that she is not getting up repeatedly as she attempts to cajole him to let her up, and she proceeds to bite him.  It is at that point that Damon hits the woman three times in the face.  The other man holding her arm says “hey, hey, hey” to Damon, and Damon says “but she’s biting me!”  Indeed, Damon says he went to the hospital where he received a tetanus shot and antibiotics for his bite wounds.  Hull has been charged with aggravated assault and larceny.  You can watch the video for yourself:

Character Witness, But What Do you Think?

Damon is actually an old friend of mine, and we’ve tried cases together for over 30 years.  While I understand what the people who want him charged are saying, knowing Jon, it’s hard for me to conclude that he should be prosecuted.  Damon was also recently interviewed and stated that he “was taught never to hit a girl”.  However, I’m interested to hear what other people think.  So, tell me, what’s your take on this scenario?

Image Source: flickr/Matt Perich

2 Comments

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    […] Attorney Does Good or Oversteps His Bounds? Posted 10/04/13 by David_Mittleman and filed under: Blog […]

  2. She Deserved It says:
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    It’s not like he was going to hurt her in any way until she bites him. And his punching is essentially a natural reaction and an attempt to get her to unlatch from his arm. She’s lucky he didn’t hit her harder.