When you read a story recounting an alleged crime, you’ll often see that a single act leads to not one, but a host of charges against the defendant. You may wonder how one theft, or a single altercation, can have a person facing a number of different felony and misdemeanor offenses. A recent example occurred in Phoenix this month.
According to reports from witnesses, an Arizona man was riding in a light rail car. Also in the car was a woman in a wheelchair. The man, whose actions were not only witnessed by onlookers, but also videotaped by a surveillance camera, apparently decided to steal the woman’s wheelchair. But these things have a way of mushrooming.
The video appears to show that in order to take the wheelchair, the defendant found it necessary to remove the woman who occupied it. She resisted, trying to hang on to one of the poles in the rail car, and when she did, the defendant turned the wheelchair over. The woman was dumped out of the wheelchair, and the defendant appears on the video grabbing the chair and trying to take it with him. Other passengers got involved, and overpowered the man, at least to the extent of getting control of the wheelchair, at which point the man took off.
After the incident, the video was posted online, and apparently went viral. A man fitting the description was arrested, and while you might think that the charges against him might be limited, perhaps to a theft charge and perhaps simple assault, the man’s actions brought him numerous charges, some of them quite serious. Here is a partial list, at least, of what he is facing:
- Outstanding Warrants. First, it was found that the man had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The reports we read were not specific about the warrant, which could be for serious charges, or simply failure to appear to answer a minor charge.
- Robbery. Since the woman was present during the snatching of her wheelchair, the man is charged with robbery, a class 4 felony.
- Attempted Kidnapping. This apparently has to do with the fact that the defendant initially tried to remove the wheelchair with the woman in it, prior to dumping her on the ground. This could be as serious as a class 3 felony.
- Assault. Dumping the woman out of the wheelchair was charged as assault. The seriousness of the charge will depend, among other things, on whether the woman was injured.
- Vulnerable Adult Abuse. This could be charged as a class 2 felony and involves injuring or endangering a vulnerable adult.
So the result of this alleged act has resulted in at least four serious charges, most of them felonies.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004