Question Of The Day: Dodge It Or RAM It?
To Dodge, aye, to RAM: there’s the rub.
If you have been within shouting distance of the Internet lately, you’ve no doubt heard about the Veloster/RAM collision from this weekend. There are many descriptions of the incident available, but my absolute favorite comes from MA-ROONED:
So, this fourteen year old delinquent steals his grandfather’s car. He proceeds to go on a joyride, listening to the police scanner, when he decides the best way to shake the po-po is to drive through a playground where young children are playing. The cops back off, because they don’t want to endanger the kids, so he decides another run is in order.
Then one of the dads gets pissed. Dad has a Dodge Earthf**ker. On the little bastard’s third swing around, Dad rams the sonofabitch. Hilarity ensues.
There you do. Jalopnik refers to the father’s actions as a “moral grey area”, and the blogger I quoted above points out that the RAM was, in fact, in the wrong lane at the time. It’s possible that the various laws in place that protect citizens acting to assist the police might be of use here; it’s also possible that the police will simply decline to charge him, making the inevitable lawsuit by the kid’s parents more difficult.
What say you, B&B? And how does this photo make you feel about crash safety in the high and mighty era?
Everyone should read more details. http://www.standard.net/News/2014/06/02/Police-arrest-juvenile-after-chase-through-Syracuse.html The kid also stole a gun and police initially were chasing him because of reports that he was brandishing it at people. Add that to the fact that he almost ran down kids in the park and this punk is quite lucky to not have been gunned down by police.
With the right choice of words, they would have to first prove he didn't just take the turn to sharp and happen to stop a rogue kid. That being said, we accept police because they protect us. This guy may have just being doing the same thing. I don't trust ANYONE to know what is best for me so I don't believe in blanket acceptance or rejection of concepts. Black and white is rather dangerous. In this particular case I think right was done.
Seems nobody has pointed out something which I immediately noticed. In this dangerous, potentially deadly situation - there are still children standing around WATCHING the action. Who is standing in front of the camera, cheering when the truck hit the car? A child. The kid was making laps for attention because he had a cheering audience. The people were not a safe distance away, given they didn't know what was wrong with the person/kid driving the car. Everyone -should- have been too busy being 1) far away, or 2) running further away, to be TAKING PHONE VIDEOS. Anyone not leaving the situation when they had the chance, but rather taking videos should be ticketed. And FWIW, I agree with the truck driver's response. Lap three, big audience of people cheering, no police intervention. What do you do, wait for him to mess up and crash into the audience, or run out of gas? Nah, end it.
Going after someone with a motor vehicle constitutes use of deadly force, regardless of speed. The principle elements for justifiable use of deadly force against a threat are Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy (I'm sure carrya1911 covered this already, but his post was tl;dr). In this case all 3 were present, so legally dude would have been justified IN THE ABSENCE OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE. The problem arises when the police are already on scene and have engaged the perp in some fashion. I agree with everyone who pointed out that the same decisions and actions by Ram driver could just as easily have resulted in a very bad outcome, but this is more about him getting in the way of police procedure and training than it is about use-of-force justification. And whether or not they decide to charge him will likely depend on how strongly they want to discourage this sort of thing in the future. The fact that dude chose to do this with cops on scene will put him in a much weaker position in civil court. I would NOT advise doing what he did. (don't taze me bro).