Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Army Vet is Arrested in GA for Smashing Car Window to Save Dog ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Some laws are just plain stupid.  Take, for instance, the GA statute which makes it lawful for an individual to break a window to save a child in distress but not a pet who is left in a similarly perilous situation.  

Now meet Michael Hammons of Athens, Georgia, an Army veteran and man who, smashed a car window to save a pooch in peril because "I've got PTSD, and I've seen enough death and destruction... I didn't want anything else to happen if I could prevent it."  That's him below...

Michael was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing for smashing a car window and freeing a small Pomeranian mix which was in distress from a hot car outside of a store.  According to independent witnesses, a group of shoppers were gathered and waiting for police to arrive to free the dog from the enclosed car when Michael, a Desert Storm veteran, took action, smashing the window of the silver Mustang using his wife's wheelchair leg.  

Per bystander Diane Byard:  "He [Michael] says 'we can't let this dog die', and {then} he starts smashing the windows".  Meantime responding Deputies said that the car's owner came out of the store furious and insisted that Michael be arrested.  Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems said that he would not have made the arrest but for the facts that the unnamed vehicle owner had insisted and that the law does not permit such action to save a pet, only a person.  

The vehicle owner received a citation from animal control for leaving the dog in the hot car and animal rights advocates say that they are working to change the stupid law.  Memo to the unnamed vehicle owner:  You wouldn't have left a head of lettuce or a jug of milk in a parked car with the engine off on a hot day yet you do so with your dog?  In my estimation you're lucky that it was only your window and not your face that was smashed in.  Leaving a pet (or a child or any living creature) in an un-vented vehicle on a hot day is both cruel and douche-baggerous.  

Michael is facing both criminal charges and a bill to fix the broken glass on the car but he says that he doesn't regret his action one bit:  "I knew [that] there'd be consequences, but it didn't matter. Glass, they make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog."  Memo to Army Vet Michael Hammons:  1)  Thank you for your service (both abroad and domestic);  2)  The statute that you are charged under is even more idiotic than the woman who left her dog in the car;   3)  If I were a local and licensed GA lawyer then I would represent you pro bono (free of charge).

Memo to the GA Legislature:  Laws are not etched in stone for all time.  They are malleable and must necessarily be amended when they prove to be unfair, unjust, outdated or outmoded.  Change that law STAT.  Domestic animal life ("pets") is just as precious and is no less valuable than is human life.  In fact, to many of us our pets are not only as much a part of our family as is any human relative but often times they are infinitely more valuable to us than are most humans.  Personally...

Memo to law enforcement:  You have discretion, and, presumably, common sense as well.  These are invaluable tools which will help you to do your job so please, pretty please, use them.  Don't be afraid of taking some heat for doing that which is moral and right.  Whether he accepts it or not Chief Deputy Lee Weems could have said "no".  Short term such a tough decision may have resulted in a complaint, but just think of what good such a complaint could have produced in the long term.  Not all laws make sense...

Memo to the Folks (and most especially to the judges and jurors in this case and in GA in general - or, for that matter, in any other State with a dumb-ass law like the one at issue in GA):  There is a thing known as "jury nullification" (you can read about it here) which is an unwritten mechanism by which a trier of fact (a Judge or a Jury) can effectively toss a bad / stupid / improperly levied law (in the form of either a directed or a not guilty verdict in a specific case).  Know it and please don't be afraid to use it.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” (~ A. Einstein)

"Creative defense lawyering demands the skilled use of imagination." (~ M. A. Haber, Esq.)

Michael A. Haber, P.A.: Creative, effective and zealous criminal defense advocacy since 1991.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt".

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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