Reasonable force

“You see that story of that policeman attacked with a machete? That shouldn’t have happened. He should have used his taser before that man got near him to nearly kill him.”

“There was one evening, it would be twenty-five years ago now. Anyway, I went into town and parked in the car park. I got out of the van and there was a terrible fight going on. There was a big fellow giving a hiding to a smaller man and there were people standing watching.”

“There was a young policeman, standing by himself, telling the man to stop and the man wasn’t listening and the policeman seemed frightened about doing anything.”

“Anyway, I had been at the farm supplies place. I went back to the van and picked out a new pick axe handle. I told the man who was beating up the other man to stop, or he would have his ribs broken.”

“He ignored me, so I gave him a swipe across the side and said he would get another one, if he didn’t stop. He turned on me with a knife, which I hadn’t seen before, and I gave him another belt across the side. He doubled over and the young policeman took his chance to put handcuffs on him.”

“‘I’ll be at the Legion if you are looking for me,’ I said.”

“Anyway, I was sat in the Legion and at about quarter to eleven these two policemen appeared. ‘Can we have a word, sir?'”

“They wanted a statement, so I said, ‘Well, I saw the fight and I didn’t know the bigger man had a knife.'”

“‘Sorry, sir, I didn’t hear that,’ said the policeman.”

“Oh!” I said. “I saw this man attacking another man with a knife and realised I had to do something to stop him.”

“Anyway, they took my statement and I never heard another word about it.”

“I shouldn’t have hit that man – but what was worse, me hitting him, or what might have happened?”

Of course, had the incident occurred now, and not in the 1990s, the entire incident would have been filmed and posted on social media. The young policeman who was timid about intervention in the fight would probably have been sent on a course on dealing with conflict. The squarely-built farmer who brought the fight to an end would be almost certainly be charged with assault. The victim of the attack might not have survived and the attacker would have faced a much more serious charge.



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One Response to Reasonable force

  1. Vince says:

    I just did a first aid course -they’ve tacked on responder for some reason- and one of the questions that came from another person was what about being sued. It seems before about 2012 a erson could sue by now they’ve put in the concept of Good Samaritan. Meaning if you are attempting to aid someone in good faith you cannot be sued.
    I’d always assumed that was a thing in the Common Law but it seems not.

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