There’s always a cost involved in stepping in to stop someone trying to do bad things. Usually, though, when we think of those costs, we tend to think of injury or death. To be fair, those are the big ones, but they’re not the only ones.
A California man is now looking at some of those ramifications after he stopped a would-be armed robber recently.
In the video, Jerri picks up a chair and hits Flores before the two start fighting.
Police said Jerri was stabbed in the neck during the violent encounter, but managed to wrestle away the knife and stab Flores multiple times.
Flores remains in jail as he awaits his October court hearing.
His mother, Pamela Chimienti, told KGRE that she does not condone her son’s actions, but thinks Jerri used excessive force when trying to stop him.
“The guy, in my opinion, went from Good Samaritan to vigilante,” she said. “Stabbing somebody that many times — it doesn’t take that many stab wounds to get somebody to succumb to you.”
Chimienti said her son was stabbed 17 times, and plans to sue Jerri for his injuries.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer commented, “To say that Cregg Jerri is going to be sued for intervening in an armed robbery and being stabbed in the neck, that’s ridiculous!”
I couldn’t agree more.
For the mother, it’s worth noting that her son was involved in an armed robbery, stabbed the man to stop him at least once, and was clearly not showing a lot of interest in vacating the premises when Jerri responded. In other words, it’s entirely possible that it took that many knife wounds to force Flores to submit.
And that’s the basis of what we’re looking at. Did Jerri use the force necessary to defend himself? While we don’t know everything about what happened, we do know a few things.
First, we know Flores allegedly brought a knife and a toy gun to the robbery attempt. It was apparently realistic enough that the robber felt it would pass as a live weapon.
We also know that in many places, defending yourself or someone else is justifiable. Since Jerri isn’t charged with any crime, we have no reason to assume that California views his actions as criminal.
It’s not difficult to imagine countless ways Flores could have continued to move, thus potentially threaten Jerri in the process. Such threats, even if unintentional, would be grounds for using potentially lethal force.
Frankly, the idea of Flores suing the guy who interrupted his alleged (yes, I have to use that word) crime is proof that our society has grown way too litigious. Someone breaks the law, gets hurt in the process, and wants to sue someone else–often someone who is ultimately the victim in these cases, mind you–for a payday. It’s a plan “B” option to still get paid for their crime.
Unfortunately, it works often enough to encourage this behavior. Absolutely pathetic.
This is something to bear in mind as you go forth with a weapon on your person, or when keeping a weapon close at hand in case someone breaks in your home. Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws help, but it’s also a good idea to speak with state and local lawmakers about making sure good people trying to do the right thing don’t get sued into poverty by thugs looking to cash in through the legal system after their criminal enterprises fail.