There's a really bizarre criminal trial outside of South Beach in Miami. Nachem Gross, 72, is charging with a heavy battery For an attack on Gerald Steiglitz (86) in an elevator. Aside from the fact that both are older, the battery was an attempt by Gross to maintain social distance to avoid Covid-19. The incident was recorded on video. The world has gone completely crazy.
In the video of the 44-story Portofino Tower in South Beach, Gross successfully waves to a young woman who has tried to enter the elevator. When it comes to ejecting or blocking Steiglitz, Gross seems to have difficulty pushing the man back in a Covit-19 manner. In the end, he uses his elbow like a variation of a Covit handshake.
Gross, who is older, faces severe charges because the victim is older. Probably the same behavior would not have been charged as an aggravated battery if he had pushed the young woman upstairs.
The concept of a battery to maintain social distance may seem a bit strange, but Gross's lawyer, Michael Grieco, says: "This is a direct self-defense case from Stand Your Ground." This has to be unpacked somewhat. The idea is that you can assert yourself to prevent the statistically low likelihood of contraction (for all masked people) by physically attacking a person to maintain social distance. This logic, by the way, sends you to a police station with a far greater chance of being exposed to the virus.
If the virus does not do permanent damage, this logic is worked through.
The shock is not powerful, but it was enough to send the 86-year-old to a hall table where he was bruised. In his honor, Gross climbs out of the elevator to see Steiglitz.
Gross is now facing a third degree crime.
The relevant provision seems to be:
784.08Bodily harm or battery in people aged 65 and over; Reclassification of crime; Minimum penalty.– –
(1)A person convicted of an attack or a serious battery against a person 65 years of age or older will be sentenced to a minimum of 3 years in prison and a maximum fine of $ 10,000 to refund the victim of such a crime and performing up to 500 hours of community service. Refund and community service is in addition to and does not replace a fine or penalty that can be applied.
(2)Whenever a person is accused of having committed physical injury or serious physical injury or a battery or serious personal injury to a person aged 65 years or older, regardless of whether they know the age of the victim or have a reason to know the victim is reclassified as follows:
(a)In the case of an aggravated battery, from a second degree crime to a first degree crime.
(b)In the event of a serious attack from a third degree crime to a second degree crime.
(c)In the case of a battery, from a first degree to a third degree crime.
(d)In the event of an attack from a second degree to a first degree.
(3)Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 948.01, the decision to blame or impose a penalty may not be suspended, postponed or withheld.
It will obviously not result in probable prison time and could be dropped entirely if the leveler heads prevail. It seems to me that Gross was physically wrong to push Steiglitz, but the push was relatively modest and the intention was not to harm. Steiglitz's age undoubtedly contributed to the instability, but this hardly seems to be a question of the Criminal Code.