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Posted: 12/10/2003 6:22:18 AM EDT
ST. PETERSBURG -- A 71-year-old man was arrested for firing a gun at three men beating up his 63-year-old friend, striking one of the men in the arm, deputies said.

Melvin B. Spaulding held up his .22-caliber pistol and told the men to stop hitting and kicking his friend George Lowe. When they didn't listen, he fired the gun, Pinellas County Sheriff's spokesman Tim Goodman said.

``I'm sure he was concerned for his friend's safety...,'' Goodman said. ``The use of a weapon to stop a confrontation is not the right way. He would have been better off calling 911.''

James T. Moore, 20, was treated for the gunshot wound at Bayfront Medical Center and was arrested for an unrelated battery charge earlier the same night.

Lowe said the altercation began Sunday night when he heard loud noises outside his home and discovered a group of young men pounding on cars and shouting. When he told them to stop, they attacked him, he said.

Spaulding, who had no criminal record in Florida, acknowledged firing the gun, according to sheriff's records. He was being held without bail in Pinellas County Jail.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's office would carfully investigate the case before deciding whether to file an attempted murder charge against Spaulding, prosecutor Bruce Bartlett said.

``As far as I'm concerned, he's my hero,'' said Lowe, who suffered a torn leg muscle, bruises and a sore back in the fight. ``He's my friend, but he's also my hero.''
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:24:14 AM EDT
I normally never want to armchair quarterback on something that might have more to the story. But just something about this just pisses me off and the comment from the sheriff's dept spokesman pisses me off to no end. WTF...I'm supposed to call 911 as 3 men beat up my elderly friend and I'm an old man too. That's just BS
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:28:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jadams951: ST. PETERSBURG -- A 71-year-old man was arrested for firing a gun at three men beating up his 63-year-old friend, striking one of the men in the arm, deputies said. Melvin B. Spaulding held up his .22-caliber pistol and told the men to stop hitting and kicking his friend George Lowe. When they didn't listen, he fired the gun, Pinellas County Sheriff's spokesman Tim Goodman said. ``I'm sure he was concerned for his friend's safety...,'' Goodman said. ``The use of a weapon to stop a confrontation is not the right way. [red]He would have been better off calling 911.''[/red] James T. Moore, 20, was treated for the gunshot wound at Bayfront Medical Center and was arrested for an unrelated battery charge earlier the same night. Lowe said the altercation began Sunday night when he heard loud noises outside his home and discovered a group of young men pounding on cars and shouting. When he told them to stop, they attacked him, he said. Spaulding, who had no criminal record in Florida, acknowledged firing the gun, according to sheriff's records. [red]He was being held without bail in Pinellas County Jail.[/red]
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I dont even know where to begin CH
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:28:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jadams951: ``The use of a weapon to stop a confrontation is not the right way. He would have been better off calling 911.''
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Sure, and 20 minutes later when the cops get there all they will need to do is call for a body bag! How fu@#ing ludicrous!![cuss]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:33:07 AM EDT
I live here and its the first I've heard this story. I can't find it in the local rags or websites. Where did you find the article? Makes me sick... and why no bail? I have a buddy who is a Pinellas Co Deputy, I gonna ask him WTF this is about.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:50:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BayEagle: I live here and its the first I've heard this story. I can't find it in the local rags or websites. Where did you find the article? Makes me sick... and why no bail? I have a buddy who is a Pinellas Co Deputy, I gonna ask him WTF this is about.
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[url]http://www.sptimes.com/2003/12/02/Southpinellas/Man_jailed_after_guns.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:56:12 AM EDT
There is no way this guy can possibley be prosecuted for this. He needs to be let out of jail right now and given a medal for heroism and be recognized for the hero he is. The only gripe I have with the guy is he used a .22, too bad he didn't put something a little more hefty into these thugs.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:59:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 7:00:58 AM EDT by Old_Painless]
Bartlett was not familiar with the case. He said if his office's investigation confirms that three young men were attacking a 63-year-old man, it's possible a case could be made that the force was justified. "On the other hand, if it wasn't a life-threatening or great bodily harm scenario, then the intervening party had no justification to use the force," Bartlett said. George Tragos, a defense attorney, former prosecutor and current vice chairman of the Florida Bar's criminal rules committee, said a key point to consider is whether Spaulding used greater force against Moore than Moore was using against Lowe. You can't use deadly force to stop a simple fistfight, he said.
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There it is boys. Read carefully. You [u]can[/u] shoot to save life or prevent "great bodily harm". You [u]cannot[/u] shoot to break up a fist fight. That's the law. What happened here? I don't know. But when the facts are known, the result will be based upon the law.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:02:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Bartlett was not familiar with the case. He said if his office's investigation confirms that three young men were attacking a 63-year-old man, it's possible a case could be made that the force was justified. "On the other hand, if it wasn't a life-threatening or great bodily harm scenario, then the intervening party had no justification to use the force," Bartlett said. George Tragos, a defense attorney, former prosecutor and current vice chairman of the Florida Bar's criminal rules committee, said a key point to consider is whether Spaulding used greater force against Moore than Moore was using against Lowe. You can't use deadly force to stop a simple fistfight, he said.
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There it is boys. Read carefully. [red] You [u]can[/u] shoot to save life or prvevent "great bodily harm". You [u]cannot[/u] shoot to break up a fist fight. [/red] That's the law. What happened here? I don't know. But when the facts are known, the result will be based upon the law.
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Since when was getting the shit kicked out of you by 3 men not "great bodily harm"????
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:03:54 AM EDT
Sounds like to me if he holds tight to his contention his friends life was in danger, he will get off. Finding a jury to convict on this will be hard and most likely this is a waste of tax payers money. Still given the facts, the LEO had no choice in the matter. Now if there had been a knife and three dead assailants, different story. Tj
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:04:26 AM EDT
OP are you having a blue-line moment? 3 against one and you don't support the shooter....what if he were a cop...I bet you be all over that..
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:30:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hound: OP are you having a blue-line moment? 3 against one and you don't support the shooter....what if he were a cop...I bet you be all over that..
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"Blue-line moment". That's a good one, hound. [:D] Didn't say that I didn't "support the shooter". If he feared for his friend's life, I think this will be ruled justifiable.
lvgunner777 posted: Since when was getting the shit kicked out of you by 3 men not "great bodily harm"????
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Sure sounds like it to me. But I wasn't there. Were you? Maybe it wasn't 3 against one. Maybe he hit one of the guys first. Maybe the others were only watching and not kicking him. I've made calls where a beat-up guy told me three guys beat him up and kicked the ever-loving crap out of him. After taking his report, I talked to several witnesses who lived in the neighborhood and weren't involved. They all said that he started it, only fought with one guy, and got his butt kicked. The moral of the story? You never know what happened unless you saw it yourself or have talked to uninterested witnesses that did see it. If it turns out like the shooter said, he did the right (and legal) thing. All I'm saying is, it depends on what actually happened. Is that an unreasonable position to take?
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:53:53 AM EDT
OP---it is only unreasonable in the light of the recent Police bandwagon group discussions. If this were a cop, everyone would be saying "good shoot". Not wait and see.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:04:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hound: OP---it is only unreasonable in the light of the recent Police bandwagon group discussions. If this were a cop, everyone would be saying "good shoot". Not wait and see.
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I would only point out that in recent "Police bandwagon" posts, my position remains the same. As stated above: "You never know what happened unless you saw it yourself or have talked to uninterested witnesses that did see it." and: "All I'm saying is, it depends on what actually happened." My memory, as pitiful as it is in my advanced age, is that this is the position taken by the vast majority of LEOs on this board. I, in fact, can't remember any LEO taking a different position. I will freely admit that I tend to [b]hope[/b] that the police will be vindicated in a shooting incident. But if they are wrong, I believe that they are to be held responsible.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:05:55 PM EDT
ive been in enough fights and i avoid them at all costs, at this stage in my life i believe that any fight is a fight for survival. even a "simple fistfight"
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:19:11 PM EDT
[b] three [red]young men[/red] were attacking a 63-year-old man[/b] and we get a "lets wait and see" .? I dont get it.. ok.. if it was [b]one[/b] young man attacking the living shit out of a 63 y.o. they still get the bullet .
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:31:02 PM EDT
I cannot see how he could get arrested for this in florida. Espcally since they are claiming it was for the shooting, there was clear disparity of force. They could of gotten him for not having a permit but that isn't mentioned. Is this bad reporting or?
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 2:27:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DvlDog: ive been in enough fights and i avoid them at all costs, at this stage in my life i believe that any fight is a fight for survival. even a "simple fistfight"
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Yep. There is no such thing as a simple fistfight. Take the MF'r out. You will LIVE to deal with the consequences. You might not otherwise.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 3:14:32 PM EDT
The real buzz word here would be the age of the victims,71 or even 63 is way too old to be getting into a ass kicking contest(unless you are Chuck Norris)! The damage to a man at that age is deadly,and deadly force should be waranted,in their response to the attack! I'm still in fair shape at 58 but think not enough to hold off a couple of young bucks with evil in their heart! So I quess I would do the same only with an Ultra Compact! Shame on the law when it protects young sharks from the wrath of its older Herd bulls that can no longer run within the protection of the herd! Bob [:D]
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 2:11:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cluster: [b] three [red]young men[/red] were attacking a 63-year-old man[/b] and we get a "lets wait and see" .? I dont get it.. ok.. if it was [b]one[/b] young man attacking the living shit out of a 63 y.o. they still get the bullet .
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Yep, between the eyes....... "Look at that knife in his hand, I feared for my friends life, and I want a lawyer." Tj
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 2:42:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless: "You never know what happened unless you saw it yourself or have talked to uninterested witnesses that did see it." and: "All I'm saying is, it depends on what actually happened."
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Sounds reasonable to me....
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 2:44:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Originally Posted By cluster: [b] three [red]young men[/red] were attacking a 63-year-old man[/b] and we get a "lets wait and see" .? I dont get it.. ok.. if it was [b]one[/b] young man attacking the living shit out of a 63 y.o. they still get the bullet .
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Yep, between the eyes....... "Look at that knife in his hand, I feared for my friends life, and I want a lawyer." Tj
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Now, reasonable questions aside, this sounds like a workable solution. [}:D]
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:47:01 AM EDT
The vigilante was wrong and all you boys should get a friggen clue. He should've capped [b]all three[/b] of the mutherfvckers.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:59:04 AM EDT
officer i was afraid for my life, officer i was afraid for my life, please i am too shaken up right now to give any other statement i need to talk to a lawyer. no disrespect to you officer but i was afraid for my life all you ever need to aay in a shooting. period
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:09:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tequilabob: officer i was afraid for my life, officer i was afraid for my life, please i am too shaken up right now to give any other statement i need to talk to a lawyer. no disrespect to you officer but i was afraid for my life all you ever need to aay in a shooting. period
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That, and use "old faithful," cops say it all the time: I thought he was going for a gun.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:37:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2003 4:55:51 AM EDT by RjSteed]
Just so everyone knows, I congradulated the man.Funny thing both Spaulding and Moore showed up on my wing that night... Spaulding, was given extra care and attention for his good deed, and Moore was made to do carry his stuff all himself even with his boo boo. He told me I cant carry that. I told him "tuff shit", next time you'll think twice before you jump the elderly. To my knowledge, the charge of attempted murder won't stick, Spaulding has to many problems to have been able to call the Police in time. "He is 70yrs old." Dont give up on the system just yet guys. I would have let him go personnaly. At the same time Im sure he was brought in to protect him. Not really to charge him. Spaulding understands what is going on and seems ok with it. He'll be OK. Moore will get his,one way or the other... I know some will say, I could have done something. But yall dont wanna read about me losing my job over this schmuck do you.... There have to be certain circumstances, certain people. I also met a JIT(Jitter-bug, for thise who dont know) friend of Moores the next night, who "WAS" a trustee in the kitchen. Saying how Spaulding was a mean old man. I told this kid,the same thing I told Moore. That he should have aimed higher and used a better gun. Life is a circle, What goes around come around. "We" just have to make sure it comes right.At the right time, cause people do watch.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:16:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Bartlett was not familiar with the case. He said if his office's investigation confirms that three young men were attacking a 63-year-old man, it's possible a case could be made that the force was justified. "On the other hand, if it wasn't a life-threatening or great bodily harm scenario, then the intervening party had no justification to use the force," Bartlett said. George Tragos, a defense attorney, former prosecutor and current vice chairman of the Florida Bar's criminal rules committee, said a key point to consider is whether Spaulding used greater force against Moore than Moore was using against Lowe. You can't use deadly force to stop a simple fistfight, he said.
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There it is boys. Read carefully. You [u]can[/u] shoot to save life or prevent "great bodily harm". You [u]cannot[/u] shoot to break up a fist fight. That's the law. What happened here? I don't know. But when the facts are known, the result will be based upon the law.
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I believe it is called disparity of force. 3 on 1 is not a fist fight it is a brutal assault in which grave bodily harm can occur. Now add the fact that at least one is 20 years old, and the victim was in his 70's. Unless the Vic was chuck norris or pat morita (however you spell hs name) this was not a fist fight but a life and death struggle. The police are going to eat crow on this one.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:21:25 PM EDT
I want all to know that the Man Spaulding is being set free, with no Charges....It was found that what he did was ok......
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:46:15 PM EDT
Well the justice system isn't completely broken.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:50:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Synister1: Well the justice system isn't completely broken.
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But he shouldn't of had to spend a single night in jail for that
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:50:27 PM EDT
Old man - NO Bail Young Kid - $1,263. The old guy is correct. Don't wait and die. In Chicago when two guys ran their van into the front steps of a Chicago home and struck a girl a bunch of young kids drug the men out and beat both of them to death with their fists and stones and anything else they could find before the cops got there. No guns but they are dead.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:53:20 PM EDT
Interesting point: From the Florida Statutes. 776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, [i]the person is justified in the use of deadly force[/i] only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another [i]or to prevent the imminent commission of a [b]forcible felony.[/b][/i] 776.08 Forcible felony.--"Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and [i]any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.[/i] 784.08 Assault or battery on persons 65 years of age or older; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentence.-- * * * (2) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older, regardless of whether he or she knows or has reason to know the age of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: * * * (c) In the case of battery, from a [b]misdemeanor[/b] of the first degree to a [b]felony[/b] of the third degree. Technically, from the first blow, these yahoos were committing a forcible felony. That is a complete defense to any charge arising from use of force against them. In this jurisdiction, a prosecutor is called out to any "Joe Citizen vs BG" shooting if there is any thought that the citizen might be arrested. Either they don't do that in Pinellas county, or they got a dumbass.
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