Morristown police are not exactly known for taking a sympathetic approach to criminal suspects. Sometimes, when facing questioning or even when simply approached by police, individuals may panic and act rashly; when apprehended, they will likely face significantly more severe charges than they otherwise might have.
Such appears to have been the case last month when a man in his early twenties was unable to get cash out of a bank here in Morristown. Bank employees called police when they saw the man at the bank again later in the day. An officer who approached was allegedly assaulted by the defendant, who then fled.
Police chased him down the street and struggled with him before placing him under arrest. The two officers allegedly suffered serious injuries, including one with a broken collarbone. They charged the defendant with everything from robbery to resisting arrest and aggravated assault. Recently, charges related to theft and forgery have also been filed based on his attempt to withdraw money earlier that day.
None of these criminal charges are anything to take lightly — aggravated assault, in particular, is a violent crime with which a legal professional’s assistance may prove invaluable. One might ask, in defending against the charges, whether the alleged victim was perceived as a threat. Aggravated assault charges may be reduced or thrown out entirely if it can be shown that the victim (or victims) provoked the defendant.
Particularly in an altercation involving multiple armed “victims” against one unarmed defendant, an opportunity may be found for the defense to effectively challenge the prosecution’s case in court. Even defendants who are uncooperative with police — out of sheer panic or for any other reason — have the right to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.