How bloody do you have to get before you can defend yourself?

That is the question facing a motorist who was viciously attacked by a cyclist.  After being struck through his window, seven or more times according to witnesses,  Edward Meyers shot his attacker who died later at the scene.

The event occurred when the cyclist, Henry Enoch, ran a red light and struck the side of Meyer’s truck.  Enoch being oblivious to his fault in the matter sprung up, raced around the front of the truck to Meyers open window and began pummeling him.    After the salvo of punches did not slacken Meyers shot Enoch, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now prosecutors are deciding whether or not to charge Meyers with a crime.  Michigan law states that you can use deadly force if you think your life is in imminent danger, you’re in fear of sexual assault or to save yourself from great bodily harm.

Fear of death?  A person can be beaten to death but lets assume that Mr. Enoch was not quite Chuck Norris in his prowess and that Meyers was in no danger of imminent death.

Sexual assault?  Doesn’t look like it.

Great bodily harm?  That’s where the crux of the matter falls.  How many times does a man need to be struck and hit before he can defend himself?

To me, this is obviously a case where Meyers was defending himself from great bodily harm.  He had no idea how long Enoch was going to pound him, all he knew is that an irate and furious man was pummeling him for an incident that was not his fault.  Remember, Enoch was the one who was at fault for the crash, yet he is the one who irrationally thought to beat up the other man.

Prosecutors are beginning to make the Hollywood defense.  It’s the term I coin when someone who is ignorant of the realities of a situation offers a “better” solution from something they would see in a movie.  In this case, it is being argued that Meyers should have just put the truck in gear and drove off.

Let me list the problems with that.  Under the rain of blows Enoch is delivering Meyers is supposed to put his truck in gear and floor it through an intersection that he can’t see clearly?  And who is to say, that in his enraged state, that Enoch wouldn’t jump through the window to continue his assault thus causing Meyers to veer off and possibly strike some innocent bystanders.  I think my favorite one was suggesting he simply roll up his window, as if that would automatically inform the assaulter that ok, the guy being beaten no longer wishes to continue so please kindly refrain from your attack while he rolls up his window.

The fact is that Meyers is a law abiding citizen who had his Michigan permit to carry and was being attacked by a road rager.  Everyone likes to play hindsight from the safety of their own circumstance, but when you have some irate maniac punching you unmercifully you defend yourself.  Did Mr. Meyers have to wait to get a concussion to fire, wait for his nose to be broken, or to start choking on his own blood?  Who knows when the punches would have stopped, you shouldn’t have to receive severe bodily harm in order to stop severe bodily harm.  To think otherwise is just good solid Gun Control logic.

I’ll tell you this, if Mr. Enoch had not imitated an MMA fighter that day he probably would still be alive right now.   I hope that the prosecutors do the right thing and understand that this was a misfortunate occurrence but the fault lies with Mr. Enoch and his fury and not with Mr. Meyers and his defense of self.

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