Defense against HIV
This summer, while working the graveyard shift as a gas station attendent (stupid college jobs!), I had my share of regular bums and panhandlers harassing myself and the customers.
One of these regulars used to insist that he wasn't harrasing anyone, he was entertaining them and they would voluntarily give him money in return for his stupid card tricks and 'dissapearing coin'.
This guy was permanently intoxicated with cheap liquor always kept in one of his cargo pockets and an obvious heroin abuser (visible train tracks on forearms).
One time, when I was mobbing the floor he came up to me and asked for free hot dogs. I told him to go (edited) himself and get out. He spit at me, and it landed on my pants. He attempted to walk past me and grab a hot dog. I wasn't carrying at the time (stupid of me considering the clientele of this store), so I gave him a good jab to the solar plexes with the mop. He tried to get up and I smashed him in the face with the end of the mop.
Filed a police report, no legal recourse against me, no permanent damage to the bum.
Could someone who is likely to be HIV-positive spitting at you considered assault with a deadly weapon even though they are unarmed? Could I have shot this guy?
EDIT: Btw, this happened in Florida, not California despite what my location says.
Some one who is HIV positive , yes it can be considered assault. However did you know he has HIV? From your post it seems you do not.
Can you shoot him? You could , but most likely , with out prior knowledge or other circumstances you will be headed to prison. Transmission of HIV is less likely thru spit , ect and shooting is way over the top without justification.
I suggest you think long and hard over your choice to carry until you understand the responsibility that comes along with carrying a gun.
Rocky is one wise obsidian. Not for sure that you could get away with it, even if you knew he had the HIV. Doesn't transmit too readily that way. Now if he threatens you with w/ a needle, then he has to go down.
Originally Posted by LBrombach
I find it ironic that transmission is less likely through spit, but HIV tests take a swab of someone's mouth (where the spit is).
Originally Posted by rocky
My understanding of it(compared to thru blood). I'm sure someone with more medical background can cover this much better.
Originally Posted by sojourner
Yes, my mistake for sounding overly aggressive in the original post. I'm no hot-head, and the additional commentary was absolutly unnecessary. For that I apologize.
I am unaware of the probability of transmission of HIV through saliva or blood, but now that I think about it, confronting the guy even with the mop was a bad idea considering how easily some of his blood could have ended up on me. Especially since I quit that low-paying job at the end of the shift.
Perhaps I should rephrase my question to how would you deal with someone thought to be HIV positive at close range? I'm at a loss for this one, hand to hand is too risky as is running away. Drawing a weapon implies use, and use would result in infected blood splatter that could very likely end up on you.
Pepper spray is a good option to have with you.
... for your fear of his having a deadly virus? I am guessing that it would almost certainly be seen as an unreasonable fear, legally.
Originally Posted by credy
Depends on how you manage the situation. Imagine a car theft from your driveway. You approach the person breaking into your car. You ask what's going on. You get attacked. You draw, fire and wound or kill your attacker. You are NOT shooting a car thief. You are, simply shooting to stop a violent attack against your person. Using the same sort of judgment and the same standards for reasonable fear of injury or death, there will exist a point at which you're perfectly justifiable. But that point, of course, exists somewhere far beyond someone merely walking up to you and possibly carrying a virus.
I'll try to dissect this scenario for you but, I can only do it based on the information as you have posted it.
Actually, in this instance (in the legal sense) you escalated this situation.
He asked you for free hot dogs which is not an illegal act to ask somebody for a free hot dog.
You then reacted with aggressive and inflammatory language.
Is that what provoked him to spit on you?
At that point you should have the Police and reported a trespass and an Assault VIA Bodily Fluids.
Then as you have stated he attempted to walk past you.
Walking past another person is also not an illegal act in itself.
Your reaction to that was physical violence AKA assault on his person.
Which was probably justified as he had already committed assault. But, remember that it could be said that you probably provoked it.
You put a hurting on the guy and that was cool but, had you shot him I could see that being a possible nightmare for you in the media.
Store Employee Murders Hungry Homeless Man Begging For A Hot-Dog To Eat.
That is probably exactly how the news media would put the story out there.
BTW: ~ If you knew that he had AIDS and you shot him there could be blood spatter and fine mist blood blow~back that would be potentially a lot worse of a viral contamination hazard for you than him just spitting on your pants.
This situation is tailor made for Less Than Lethal Fox Labs OC Spray.
Spitting on a person is battery. It becomes ag battery if they are a carrier of HBV or HIV. I have even heard of cases being filed as attempted murder for intentional contact with another and being a known carrier of HIV.
Hit With The Spit would be considered to be Battery.
Your correction appreciated.
Good looking out. Thanks Sarge45.
Spit is not a "rich" source of HIV. The "swab" or oral HIV test actually gathers tissue cells from the cheek and gums, not from saliva. And since HIV does not live in open air well at all, being spit on by an infected person is not very dangerous (although I have no desire to be the receipiant of an hiv spit/sneeze/loogey projectile.) If you had an open wound and an carrier spit or bit into the wound, that would not be good but probably would not be that bad either. Infection from bacteria in their dirty mouth would be much more likely than contracting hiv. HIV needs a protien rich environment to survive and thrive, thus semen, vaginal fluids and blood are the most likely places to find a high enough concentration of hiv to cause infection of another person. I have heard it said that hiv is so fragile in open air that a person has to really work hard or be really stupid or both to become infected. HIV is some scary stuff. It is not that easy to become infected. Of course, shared needles can get you infected pretty quickly also.
In my ongoing EMT training we have had a lot of discussions over the years abouts HIV transmission. It would be highly unlikely to catch it from being spit upon. Usually some sort of accidental cut with an infected object (usually a needle or scalpel) is required. (Or sexual contact of some sort.) Same is true for hepatitis, but hep is much more common than HIV, and potentially just as hazardous. Best way to avoid these things is to always carry some gloves and remember to put them on if you find yourself in a contact situation. That wouldn't have helped in the situation you described.
You can't kill people who get in your space because they might be sick.
I personally am more concerned about hepatitis and drug resistant TB than HIV. One can be infected with Hep C that has lived on a door knob for 2 years or with TB just by breathing. HIV is much more difficult to contract.