Spokane man shoots at snow plow driver Bad? Good?

Spokane man shoots at snow plow driver Bad? Good?

This is a discussion on Spokane man shoots at snow plow driver Bad? Good? within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A few days ago, there was some sort of "plow" rage incident here in Spokane: KXLY.com: News, Weather and Sports for Spokane, WA and Coeur ...

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Thread: Spokane man shoots at snow plow driver Bad? Good?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Spokane man shoots at snow plow driver Bad? Good?

    A few days ago, there was some sort of "plow" rage incident here in Spokane:

    KXLY.com: News, Weather and Sports for Spokane, WA and Coeur d'Alene, ID | Plow driver packing a pistol for protection

    SPOKANE -- A Spokane plow driver who dodged a bullet on Monday says he's now carrying a gun to protect himself.

    Steve Smith has joined a growing list of plow operators who say they've become victims of people afflicted with snow rage.

    The man accused of shooting at Smith, Zachary Hunt, was in court Tuesday where a court commissioner found probable cause to hold Hunt on a 1st Degree Assault charge after Hunt allegedly pointed a loaded gun at Smith and fired a shot at him.

    "I had no idea that I brought my fists to a gunfight, it's just not something that crossed my mind at the time," Smith said.

    Steve Smith was back at work Tuesday after mixing it up with an angry driver in a North Spokane industrial park Monday. Smith says he was plowing snow when Zachary Hunt almost backed into him.

    The two men hopped out of their trucks and squared off in the parking lot.

    "I was ready to fight, I was ready to box the guy, I was mad, he was mad, I felt that after he went after my truck the only way to solve it was for somebody to be laying in the snow," Smith said.

    But instead of resorting to fisticuffs Hunt allegedly pulled a .45 caliber pistol.

    "I pushed him and drew back to punch him and as soon as I did that the gun came out, he came right up on me and I stepped back and he said ‘Now you've got a problem' and as soon as I saw the barrel of that gun I ducked my head and as soon as I ducked he shot and I was back in my truck and on the phone," Smith said.

    Hunt, whose parents are retired law enforcement officers, says he only fired the gun into this snow bank as a warning shot.

    "He pointed it at my face and as soon as he did that I ducked," Smith said.

    Smith says he heard the bullet whiz by his ear and was glad a gun he usually has stashed in his plow was in a different truck the day of the shooting.

    "I'm not looking to shoot nobody, that's not a life's experience I'm looking to chalk up on my board but yeah, yesterday if I would have had my gun it would have been a different situation," he said.

    Smith says he's not the only driver worried about getting hurt and wishes motorists would give plows a little more room to work in the future.
    This case just took an interesting turn, (did you catch it!?), the plow driver confessed to assaulting the man:
    "I was ready to fight, I was ready to box the guy, I was mad, he was mad, I felt that after he went after my truck the only way to solve it was for somebody to be laying in the snow," Smith said...I pushed him and drew back to punch him and as soon as I did that the gun came out..."
    What an idiot! I think the police just lost their case. People need to learn to keep their mouths shut. If I were the prosecutor, I would charge the plow driver with assault too. Two idiot hot heads in the snow...

    Washington State law has some fairly wide allowances for personal defense and this case is getting more and more murky.

    here is one of the State statues:
    RCW 9A.16.020: Use of force ? When lawful.
    Use of force — When lawful.
    (3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;

    RCW 9A.16.050: Homicide ? By other person ? When justifiable.
    Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:

    (1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
    Does a fist fight in the snow amount to "imminent danger of great personal injury"? Is drawing and firing a handgun a necessary amount of force? That is certainly up for debate.

    DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT YOUR LAWYER. DO NOT TALK TO THE MEDIA. DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE (even defensive carry...)


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed, and I too caught that slip-up as well...before you pointed it out.

    Mr. Snowplow Driver 'victim' is not so innocent.
    Further to my eye he could be seen as the antagonist again per his own statements about how when dude _"almost"_ backed into his truck to which he then jumped out of his truck mad (!) ready to fight and it not finish untill someone was left "laying in the snow".

    Who the hell talks like that? Who thinks like that? Over a non event parking lot miss?!
    Sounds to me like Mr. Snowplow Driver is a hothead antagonist who per his own _deposition_ is a the type who generally is and that night was spoiling for a fight.

    If I were judge or jury I'd assess them both with assault charges, and I'd drop the unlawful use of a firearm charge if there was any to simple assault or discharging a firearm within a city/residential area or some light duty type charge as that.

    Professionals on the job don't act like Mr. Snowplow Driver did.
    and sane sensible people don't get all hot around the collar over non-events, especially not to the point that they want to knock people down and out in the streets.

    Mr. .45 should have instead of engaging this fool simply turned and got back into his car, lock the door!, and driven away as he was initially in the process of doing.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    +1 Janq. Snow plow driver was definitely the aggressor in this case, and now he's back in his snow plow armed. How long do you think it will be before he's in another confrontation and uses his gun!

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Snow plow driver did not present a lethal threat to Hunt. There is no justification for the shot being fired. The plow driver never even got around to throwing a punch:
    "I pushed him and drew back to punch him and as soon as I did that the gun came out [...]"
    I don't think that pushing somebody during a verbal altercation is going to be a felony---misdemeanor battery at best---so there isn't even a justification for drawing to effect a citizen's arrest, as no felony was committed.

    I think they're both idiots, and they should probably both be charged, but there's only one felon here, and that's the guy with the gun.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    +1 Janq. Snow plow driver was definitely the aggressor in this case, and now he's back in his snow plow armed. How long do you think it will be before he's in another confrontation and uses his gun!

    Good post.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    They are both deserving of some quality time behind bars together.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    TOF
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Snow plow driver did not present a lethal threat to Hunt. There is no justification for the shot being fired. The plow driver never even got around to throwing a punch:
    Lethal Threat is not necesary for justification in Arizona. It requires fear of severe bodily injury. You don't have to wait till you have been shot and are dying before shooting nor should you have to wait for a knockout punch before drawing your weapon.

    I do not intend to wait til I am a bleeding pulp pile before defending myself and don't believe that to be necessary in this case.

    I live in snow country and know you don't always see things as clearly during snow storms ( storm implied by need to plow ) as in clear weather.

    We don't know what if any disparity in age size etc. exists. The plow driver admits to being a hot head and till evidence to the contrary surfaces I consider him to be the culprit.

    The shot would have been warranted if the plow driver was charging at the guy with the gun. We will probably never know for certain. He does need to either quit firing warning shots or practice his aim a bit more as appropriate.
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." - Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOF View Post
    Lethal Threat is not necesary for justification in Arizona. It requires fear of severe bodily injury. You don't have to wait till you have been shot and are dying before shooting nor should you have to wait for a knockout punch before drawing your weapon.

    I do not intend to wait til I am a bleeding pulp pile before defending myself and don't believe that to be necessary in this case.

    I live in snow country and know you don't always see things as clearly during snow storms ( storm implied by need to plow ) as in clear weather.

    We don't know what if any disparity in age size etc. exists. The plow driver admits to being a hot head and till evidence to the contrary surfaces I consider him to be the culprit.

    The shot would have been warranted if the plow driver was charging at the guy with the gun. We will probably never know for certain. He does need to either quit firing warning shots or practice his aim a bit more as appropriate.
    .... this is Washington.

    You have a right to protect yourself from bodily harm with the minimum amount of force necessary. That includes deadly force, if such force is the least amount necessary.

    Does this circumstances meet such criteria? Not in my opinion. That said, the snow plow driver did escalate the situation to use of force. But I don't think any reasonable person would believe that there was no option less than lethal force that would have protected the shooter.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Snow plow driver did not present a lethal threat to Hunt. There is no justification for the shot being fired. The plow driver never even got around to throwing a punch:

    I don't think that pushing somebody during a verbal altercation is going to be a felony---misdemeanor battery at best---so there isn't even a justification for drawing to effect a citizen's arrest, as no felony was committed.

    I think they're both idiots, and they should probably both be charged, but there's only one felon here, and that's the guy with the gun.
    Not justifying the guy shooting at the snow plow driver. But we don't know anything about the 2 guys. Snow plow driver could be 6'5" and 300+ lbs, driver of the car could be 5'6" and 150 lbs. In that case I could definitely see where the guy was in fear of grave bodily harm. He could also have medical issue that a fist fight could gravely endanger his life.

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    Member Array bonehead's Avatar
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    Snow rage. LOL. One of the million reasons I moved out of NY
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    TOF
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    .... this is Washington.

    You have a right to protect yourself from bodily harm with the minimum amount of force necessary. That includes deadly force, if such force is the least amount necessary.

    Does this circumstances meet such criteria? Not in my opinion. That said, the snow plow driver did escalate the situation to use of force. But I don't think any reasonable person would believe that there was no option less than lethal force that would have protected the shooter.
    What degree of bodily harm must you sustain before protecting yourself in Washington.

    Must you receive a broken arm, bloody nose severe concussion or whatever before acting?

    The man in question had not yet received significant bodily harm from the push but must he stand there until he is bleeding and has sustained severe injury prior to taking action.

    I think not.

    We have a God or if you prefer a Mother Nature given right to protect against injury by the actions of others. That includes PREVENTING injury by stopping injurious actions on the part of others. IMHO
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." - Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOF View Post
    What degree of bodily harm must you sustain before protecting yourself in Washington.

    Must you receive a broken arm, bloody nose severe concussion or whatever before acting?

    The man in question had not yet received significant bodily harm from the push but must he stand there until he is bleeding and has sustained severe injury prior to taking action.

    I think not.

    We have a God or if you prefer a Mother Nature given right to protect against injury by the actions of others. That includes PREVENTING injury by stopping injurious actions on the part of others. IMHO
    While I agree with you in principle, the issue is whether or not a reasonable person in his shoes would have felt that deadly force was the least amount of force necessary to stop injury.

    My signature below should make my personal position clear. My concern for the shooter in this particular instance is that his defense attorney is faced with the difficult task of proving his client had no lesser means to avoid injury. We don't require fleeing here in WA before use of force, but we do require that the force used is the least necessary. And that makes this situation a bit gray and therefor subject to jury interpretation.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Not justifying the guy shooting at the snow plow driver. But we don't know anything about the 2 guys. Snow plow driver could be 6'5" and 300+ lbs, driver of the car could be 5'6" and 150 lbs. In that case I could definitely see where the guy was in fear of grave bodily harm. He could also have medical issue that a fist fight could gravely endanger his life.
    I was thinking just that.

    The bravado and attitude of the snow plow driver lends me to think he's not a small sized man.
    Further bullys and people who think and talk and act like he has tend to pick and choose their fights...selecting persons they know they can best and dominate be it by size and/or aggression mentality.
    Mr. Snowplow Driver would talk nor act that way if the other guy were the physical size of say Dwayne Johnson (aka 'The Rock') or some other person who outwardly does not appear to be an easy mark.

    People like Mr. Snowplow Driver don't become that mindset overnight or in an instant either. He rolls that way every day and most likely has for years and has been supported in it by not yet having his lights knocked out or being chopped down to bite size piece by an equal and more worthy opponent.
    Not to mention clearly having anger management issues too, again per his own stupid statements.

    We as person who own, keep, and/or carry firearms have to be better and smarter than either of these two persons.
    All eyes are on us, at Change.org.


    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    almost"_ backed into his truck to which he then jumped out of his truck mad (!) ready to fight and it not finish untill someone was left "laying in the snow".

    Who the hell talks like that? Who thinks like that? Over a non event parking lot miss?!
    Only a fool. A very brain dead one.

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    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Not justifying the guy shooting at the snow plow driver. But we don't know anything about the 2 guys. Snow plow driver could be 6'5" and 300+ lbs, driver of the car could be 5'6" and 150 lbs. In that case I could definitely see where the guy was in fear of grave bodily harm. He could also have medical issue that a fist fight could gravely endanger his life.

    BINGO. The technical term is "Disparity of force" and it is not clear how much of a threat Snow Plow driver was. Clearly, by his own admission, he was already in fight mode, looking to lay this guy out in the snow.

    Now the level of force allowed by state varies.

    The firing of a warning shot is stupid if that was what was done.

    That being said they are going to have a hard time making this case stick against the shooter. Especially after the snow plow guy is brought into court and his statements are read to a jury.

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