Maryland local police officers arrived at the Denny’s parking lot at about 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning in response to a report of a weapons violation. They found two alleged victims who told them that they were walking through the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot when they were purportedly involved in a two-fold attack by a man who was now sitting at a table inside. As the story unfolded, the officers were told that the assault first came in the form of a fast-moving motor vehicle and then by a threateningly-held machete.
The two men said that a vehicle which allegedly ‘came flying down the parking lot’ almost struck them. One of the two men raised his hand in a ‘stop’ gesture and questioned the car’s occupants as to what the problem was — a passenger in the vehicle then began shouting at them. The driver of the vehicle — a 30-year-old Virginia man — soon got out of the car holding what appeared to be a large object. When the two men realized that the large object held by the approaching man was a machete, they decided to flee the scene and call the police.
The police found the alleged machete wielder sitting in the restaurant with two other individuals — all three matched the descriptions given and the victims made a positive identification. After searching the suspect and the area around the Denny’s parking lot, the weapon was not found. The police later found a machete inside of a fire truck that was being used as an advertisement and the victims identified the weapon as the one used in the alleged assault.
The Virginia man was subsequently charged with several counts of assault along with other charges and released after posting a $25,000 bond. Despite the violent nature of the events described by the two men claiming to have been assaulted, no criminal conviction can occur in Maryland in the absence of competent and relevant evidence that complies with a stringent burden of proof. The defense will need to carefully review the witness statements and the police report in order to determine if there are possible discrepancies or inaccuracies.
Source: Maryland Coast Dispatch, “Machete Threat Leads To First-Degree Assault Charge,” Shawn J. Soper, July 12, 2013
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