Charges Dropped Against Good Samaritan.

This is a discussion on Charges Dropped Against Good Samaritan. within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I'm not sure if this was posted before but: Proclaimed Samaritan Faces Felony Charges By Joel Metzger Paul Mandell, 19, fired his 20-guage shotgun twice ...

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    Member Array socal2310's Avatar
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    Charges Dropped Against Good Samaritan.

    I'm not sure if this was posted before but:

    Proclaimed Samaritan Faces Felony Charges

    By Joel Metzger

    Paul Mandell, 19, fired his 20-guage shotgun twice at around 10 a.m. Dec. 29 in an attempt to defend himself and prevent a man accused of assaulting a woman from leaving the scene, he said.

    According to a report from the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office, a man identified as John Souza and a female became involved in a domestic dispute. This altercation led to the female becoming injured and running to a neighbor's house for help after being assaulted, the report continued. Mandell confronted the suspect, who was attempting to leave in a vehicle, the report stated, and Mandell disabled it by firing several rounds into it, the report said, adding that the driver was not hit or injured.
    Mandell, who is attending Columbia College and volunteers for the fire department there, said he woke up to the sound of his neighbor crying frantically in his house and his brother speaking with a 911 operator on the phone.

    “The first thing I heard was, 'Come quick. He's (angry) and he's beating her again,'” he remembered. “I grabbed a brand-new 20-gauge Remington 870 Express shotgun by my bed and loaded three shells – one in the chamber and two in the magazine.”

    Admittedly still “a little fuzzy” from sleep, Mandell walked out of his room to see his neighbor being comforted by his mother.

    Peering out his window, he said he saw Souza pacing back and forth outside “screaming, hollering and yelling,” for his girlfriend to come out of the house.

    “He had his fists clenched and was stomping around like a mad bull,” Mandell said.

    “My mom was seeing to the woman who had been beaten,” Mandell said. “He (Souza) said he threw a 2-liter soda bottle at her, but I saw her forehead and it looked like he hit her with a 2-by-4. She was an absolute mess and still is.”

    Mandell, who was wearing sweatpants and flip-flops and holding his shotgun, went outside and walked toward Souza, stopping when he was about 20 feet away.

    “John sees me and says, 'What's the gun for?' I said, 'The gun's to keep you here. The cops are on their way.' He said, 'You can't do that.' I said, 'I've got the gun.'”

    According to Mandell, Souza continued to yell and became even more upset. Mandell again told him that he didn't need to go anywhere because the cops were on their way.

    At that point, Souza indicated he was going to leave and walked over to his late-model Ford F-150 and got in.

    “If you get in your truck we're going to have a problem,” Mandell said. “That's the time I leveled my gun at him. I told him, 'If you don't get out of the truck, we're going to have some issues.' I stood in front of the truck, about 10 feet away. He would have to go right through me to leave.”

    Souza then started the truck and began to drive forward, Mandell said, adding that he felt threatened by Souza's actions.

    “When I heard him put his foot on the gas, I shot out his driver's-side front tire,” Mandell said. “It didn't stop him. He kept coming, a little more, so I sidestepped the vehicle and shot out the back tire driver's side, at which point he stopped.”
    “I leveled my gun at him and said, 'If you don't get out of the truck right now the next one's in you.' He freaked out and turned off the truck.”

    When Mandell was asked what Souza's reaction to this was he said, “I'm pretty sure pissed off doesn't cover it.”

    By this time, more neighbors had showed up at the scene and one advised Mandell to put the gun away, which he did. Two sheriff's deputies and a California Highway Patrol car showed up about 15 minutes later and Souza and Mandell were both arrested on the scene.

    After giving a statement, Mandell was written up for felony discharge of a firearm and released.

    According to the California Penal Code, discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year or by imprisonment in the state prison.

    “They wrote me up for felony discharge of a weapon,” Mandell said. “I was just trying to do the right thing. And I was acting in self-defense when I fired the weapon.”
    Members of the Sheriff's Office confiscated Mandell's shotgun and 30-30 rifle, along with a box of ammunition for each gun.

    Souza was released from jail and has now reconciled with his girlfriend, according to Mandell. A small-claims suit is likely to be filed against Mandell for the damage he caused to Souza's truck rims and tires.

    “All in all, I wish I had handled things differently but I stand by my decisions,” Mandell said. “Had I been more awake, I probably wouldn't have gone outside.

    “I really feel like, yes, I did overreact, but I think that facing a felony charge is even more of an overreaction. My neighbors all called me and told me I had done the right thing.”

    Mandell will be arraigned in court at 2 p.m. today.
    Yesterday afternoon we learned the following:

    Charges Dropped in Shooting Case


    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 4:26 PM CST

    The District Attorney’s Office today dropped all charges against Paul Mandell, 19, an Arnold resident who faced felony allegations that he negligently discharged a weapon.

    Mandell fired his 20-guage shotgun twice at around 10 a.m. Dec. 29 in an attempt to defend himself and prevent a man accused of assaulting the man’s girlfriend from leaving the scene, he said.

    According to a report from the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, a man identified as John Souza and a female became involved in a domestic dispute. This altercation led to the female becoming injured and running to a neighbor’s house for help after being assaulted, the report continued. Mandell confronted the suspect, who was attempting to leave in a vehicle, the report stated, and Mandell disabled it by firing several rounds into it, the report said, adding that the driver was not hit or injured.
    Not the brightest decision in the world, but given his age, I say good job. Had he the wherewithal to tell police that he was attempting a citizen's arrest of a fleeing felon (273.5 P.C. Corporal injury inflicted on spouse - includes cohabiting adults - is a felony in California) he probably could have avoided a lot of unpleasantness. Better yet, he could have let his attorney make that argument.

    One last thing: If anyone wonders why people can be apathetic toward domestic violence victims. Exhibit A.

    Ryan
    Those who will not govern their own behavior are slaves waiting for a master; one will surely find them.

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    Member Array SAMI's Avatar
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    Interesting story, and I fully agree with you on the apathy towards domestic violence victims. They'll take the usual aggressor back, and it'll start all over again. It's a sad cycle. The good news is that the 19y/o was acquitted and learned valuable lessons through the process.
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    Member Array metallic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socal2310 View Post
    1

    Not the brightest decision in the world, but given his age, I say good job. Had he the wherewithal to tell police that he was attempting a citizen's arrest of a fleeing felon (273.5 P.C. Corporal injury inflicted on spouse - includes cohabiting adults - is a felony in California) he probably could have avoided a lot of unpleasantness. Better yet, he could have let his attorney make that argument.
    Or the best solution, he simply could have served as a good witness instead. I'm not a cop, I have no desire to be a cop and the guy poses no immediate threat to me or others. Let the police do the job that they are paid and trained to do.

    EDIT: The kid's heart was in the right spot. He just needs to use his head a little more next time.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Why would a person think to wear _flip flops_ as when responding to an emergency event of such degree that it would be suitable to locate a shotgun as a just in case matter?

    Flip flops are for showers, pools and the beach.
    Put on some proper shoes. Heck even a pair of dress shoes would be better than flip flops!
    How are you supposed to fight or run for cover, in flip flops?!

    - Janq
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    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    He is very fortunate that the charges were dropped - could have lost his right to firearm ownership for life. And he pulled this all off in California - wow.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Why would a person think to wear _flip flops_ as when responding to an emergency event ...
    Because she was being beaten and the threat was immediate. I imagine he didn't believe he'd need to be running around much, hence no particular need for "running" shoes or anything of the sort. He did have protection on his feet, already. Didn't seem that he believe he'd require more-substantial protection. Doesn't seem strange, to me, particularly if the urgency of someone in need is clear.


    According to the California Penal Code, discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year or by imprisonment in the state prison.
    Complete and utter malarkey. A woman lay bleeding, beaten and hysterical, having been just saved by a person, and they charge the person who saved her from more with a felony. I can't think of actual shots that would have been negligent in the least, if specifically directed toward defending life. And, in this case, the defender did so without actually risking the life of the attacker.

    Good lesson. It shows just how thin a line it can be, between doing "good" and being a threat in the eyes of the law. So very much matters upon the on-scene interpretation of the responding officers, and NOT necessarily what actually occurred.

    Glad to see he was exonerated. Given the purpose of his actions and the end result, it's hard to imagine anything else being justice.
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    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Souza was released from jail and has now reconciled with his girlfriend, according to Mandell. A small-claims suit is likely to be filed against Mandell for the damage he caused to Souza's truck rims and tires.
    You can't cure stupid.

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    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KralBlbec View Post
    Souza was released from jail and has now reconciled with his girlfriend, according to Mandell. A small-claims suit is likely to be filed against Mandell for the damage he caused to Souza's truck rims and tires.
    You can't cure stupid.
    Next time, maybe Mandell will do the smart thing and go back to bed.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would use force to stop a threat,but in this situation where the BG is trying to leave,I would let him go while giving vehicle description and route of travel,If He's been drinking or drugging and cops get him then it's a DUI charge on top of everything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Good lesson. It shows just how thin a line it can be, between doing "good" and being a threat in the eyes of the law. So very much matters upon the on-scene interpretation of the responding officers, and NOT necessarily what actually occurred.
    True, and the next time a forum member asks how or why anyone could just stand by and be a good witness, this thread is a great answer.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    True, and the next time a forum member asks how or why anyone could just stand by and be a good witness, this thread is a great answer.
    So true.

    The GG had every intention of helping protect the woman who was being beaten and threatened; he did NOT actually put the life of the felon on the line, in order to stop him; he saved the victim from further beating; he made it clear to the felon that he would not be allowed to harm anyone else that night; and he held the felon until the cavalry arrived. It's about as well done as can be executed, particularly in the middle of the night while "sleepy" and slower to react. And STILL the officers at the scene saw him as a criminal, arrested him, and the DA just now dropped the charges.

    Given how enraged the felon appeared, based on the description, it's entirely possible he would have blown up had he been let go that evening by the GG. Given how beaten up the woman was, it's entirely possible she would not have survived the evening, had the felon not been placed into police custody. The claim by police is almost ALWAYS that someone in a car is seeking to kill them by running them down, and yet when a "good sam" uses that same claim it's discounted to the point of refusal to believe it, to the point it's seen as felony, "discharge of a weapon."

    A pretty good example, actually. It's hard to do any better, when stopping a violent felon caught in the act. Nobody was shot and, in the end, the right bad guy got captured and the good guy got off. Belatedly, but still.

    A junkyard dog fight. The beaten-up woman didn't attack the GG on-scene, but she has since "reconciled" with the felonious attacker. And there's a civil lawsuit for damages to the truck against the good sam. I wonder how much of a financial dent this all took, on the GG. (And, it's still not over.)

    Just imagine ... How different would it all have been, if there were three or four witnesses who viewed things exactly as the GG said it occurred, who all vouched for the fact that the woman was near the edge of succumbing to the violence, that the GG did all he could to avoid actually shooting the felon, and proclaimed him a hero in the news for the past month. I am betting that it would have turned out very differently for the GG, to have BEEN SEEN as the GG when the crime was actually being stopped.
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    Member Array IronMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Why would a person think to wear _flip flops_ as when responding to an emergency event of such degree that it would be suitable to locate a shotgun as a just in case matter?

    Flip flops are for showers, pools and the beach.
    Put on some proper shoes. Heck even a pair of dress shoes would be better than flip flops!
    How are you supposefor cover, in flip flops?!d to fight or run

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMike View Post
    The Vietnamese did,the Philipinos did,Romans,Egyptians,Spartans...
    Nope, they wore sandals....and the Vietnamese got their toes stomped whilst fighting in flip flops.

    - 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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    Member Array ncglock's Avatar
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    Great example of why??? The girl was in the house, the cops were on their way and there wasn't any danger. Why walk outside? This story could of had several different endings, in this day and age I'm surprised it turned out like this.
    If the BG walked in the house, completely different story, if the BG is beating the women in the street completely different story.

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    Distinguished Member Array BlueNinjaGo's Avatar
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    I'm all for helping innocent people in certain circumstances, but no way in h*** I'd go outside unless there was an urgent reason to. (i.e. damaging my property)

    In fact, the reason why the felon was trying to leave is because he went outside and told him the cops were coming.

    That being said, I'm glad the charges were dropped. But he should have just stayed in the house and protected his property.

    IMO.

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