A man in South Carolina was pushed off his moped and subsequently beaten with his own prosthetic leg Monday afternoon. Joel Parrish, 35, of Myrtle Beach is alleged to have performed this ridiculous and heinous act without any reason being offered or provocation known. Parrish may as well give up on his dream of being Myrtle Beach’s citizen of the year and his chances at earning a key to the city are likely compromised after he inflicted head injuries to the man on the moped. It’s doubtful his partner in the crime, who is alleged to have held down the man on the moped, will be asked to join the Big Brothers, Big Sisters chapter of Myrtle Beach either. Both men are alleged to have pushed the man off of his moped only to punch and kick him while ultimately beating him with his prosthetic leg when it came off in the fracas. According to a police report it is recommended that the particular South Carolina State Attorney’s Office charge Parrish with Assault and Battery of the 2nd Degree.
I’m not a South Carolina lawyer so I have no earthly idea what the gravity of the charges are against Mr. Parrish in his home State. I’ve handled enough cases to know that if you’re accused of this kind of thing in the Bay area you better get a good Tampa criminal attorney retained sooner rather than later. If this type of thing happened in the Tampa area I could see someone being charged with battery or in the alternative possibly aggravated battery and very likely criminal mischief to whatever level.
If the allegations in the report are true, Parrish and friend are going to get slam dunked on a simple battery charge under FS 784.03. All the State would have to show is that they either actually and intentionally struck the man on the moped or they intentionally caused bodily harm to him. Normally a simple battery charge is a misdemeanor, however if Parrish and company have a prior conviction for a slap fight they could be looking at felony battery charges. Where things could get sticky for Parrish if he were in Florida is if a prosecutor could allege and prove that their actions actually rise to an aggravated battery. Prosecutors would prove that a battery had occurred and that a deadly weapon was used. Obviously your Tampa criminal lawyer would argue that a prosthetic leg is in no way a deadly weapon but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a savvy prosecutor could convince a jury otherwise, especially given these facts. I once handled a case where a guy was alleged to have committed an aggravated battery by plunking a guy on the head with a two by four. If the object can kill you, they can try to show it’s a deadly weapon, simple as that. Get convicted of that and you’ll be “rent free” for a few years most likely.
If it can be proven that Parrish willfully and maliciously damaged the personal property of this gentleman, under Florida Statute 806.13 he could be found guilty of criminal mischief if this act were committed in the Sunshine State. Depending on the amount of damaged caused to the moped, the man’s clothes, his prosthetic limb and any other property of value belonging to him, Parrish could face a third degree felony charge of criminal mischief if the value is $1000 or more. If the damage is less than $1000, Parrish and his friend would face misdemeanor charges depending on the value of the damage.
Practically, Parish and friend are in a little trouble here. If they in fact did what is alleged, not many would forgive that kind of conduct. Not all of this kind of thing is nuts and bolts legal work; there is a human element in everything and that doesn’t cut their way from what I see. There is always more to the story than what the media and police report, however it would be hard for any criminal defense attorney to convince a jury that an attack of a man with a prosthetic limb wasn’t a battery short of proof that the man tried to run them over or was wielding nunchucks.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in the Tampa area, contact The Mayberry Law Firm at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847. We’re available from 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday.