Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Good Samaritan

A little over a week ago, MSN ran this story of a man who defended a stranger from a group of would-be robbers and is being hailed as a Good Samaritan, Cops: Good Samaritan stabs would-be robber who targeted wheelchair user.
A would-be robber was hospitalized after a Good Samaritan stabbed the teen as he targeted a man in a wheelchair, according to investigators.
Police say three youths attempted to rob the 49-year-old victim at the intersection of 29th Street and Dauphin Street at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
As they attacked, a Good Samaritan intervened, police said.
The 15-year-old suspect was stabbed in the chest while the two other suspects fled.  The injured teen was taken to Hahnermann Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Police were still searching for the two other teen suspects late Tuesday.
Comparing this story to Sarna's case raised many questions.  Instead of teenagers, what if the Good Samaritan witnessed grown men attempted to rob a stranger?  What if there were at least 5 instead of 3?    What if the Good Samaritan witnessed an actual assault rather than an attempted robbery?  What if, instead of running, they turned on the Good Samaritan when he tried to intervene?  What if the Good Samaritan had to defend himself after trying to defend this stranger?

Upon further investigation of this story, I discovered more articles with more information including the following story on myfoxphilly, Police: Teen Suspect Stabbed During Attempted Robbery.
Philadelphia Police say a man who attempted to stop a robbery Tuesday night ended up becoming the victim and stabbed a 15-year-old suspect in self-defense.
According to police, three teenagers attempted to rob a man in a wheelchair in the area of 29th and Dauphin.  
Police say as the three suspects harassed the wheelchair bound man, another man who happened to be walking by intervened.
The suspects then turned on the 49-year-old man, according to police.
Police say that's when the man pulled a knife and stabbed one of the teens, a 15-year-old, in the upper chest in self-defense.
The teenager was taken to Hahneman Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
Police say they are looking for the other two suspects.
So now we see self-defense appear in this story which adds more questions when comparing this story to Sarna's.  Where is the line between Good Samaritan and attempted murderer?  What makes the men who assaulted Sarna and assaulted the stranger in the vehicle the victims instead of what they really are, the assailants?  What makes Sarna the attacker when he was clearly defending himself, when the stranger Sarna was trying to help backs Sarna's side of the story, and when the group of men either claim they don't remember what happened or are pointing fingers at each other and telling inconsistent stories?  Why hasn't this group of men - who ran around downtown San Luis Obispo drunk, harassing and assaulting individuals - been charged with any crimes from that night?

I strongly encourage anyone reading this to call San Luis Obispo District Attorney Gerald Shea at 805-781-5800 and ask for answers to any of these questions.         

Friday, November 23, 2012

What the SLOPD press release failed to acknowledge, and the local media failed to report

While the headlines in San Luis Obispo read "attempted murder" regarding the incident that happened in downtown San Luis Obispo on January 21, 2012, the real story was not reported.

What the SLOPD press release failed to acknowledge - and the local media failed to report - is that on the night of this incident, Sarna had witnessed a male in a group of at least 5 men randomly attack a vehicle that had stopped at a stop sign at the corner of Broad and Monterey.  When the owner of the vehicle got out of his car to confront the male, he was tackled to the ground and the group of men began physically assaulting him.  Sarna rushed over to attempt to stop the assailants and help the owner of the vehicle. That's when the men turned on him.  He was immediately tackled to the ground and assaulted, being repeatedly kicked and punched by 2-3 of the men while the others in the group continued to assault the owner of the vehicle.  Sarna feared for his life.

The duty of peace officers is to enforce laws to protect it's citizens and the duty of the media is to report the truth.
Sarna was acting in self-defense.  The SLOPD and District Attorney have acknowledged the self-defense elements of this case behind closed doors and in the court room, but until now, the citizens of San Luis Obispo have not been informed of the truth.
Sarna was defending the life of a stranger who was being assaulted by a group of men and, in turn, ended up having to defend his own life.

Sarna is currently being held at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.  He has been charged with one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.  His bail has been set at $500,000. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


 Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 3470 

The defendant is not guilty of <insert crime(s) charged> if (he/she) used force against the other person in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another). The defendant acted in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) if:

1. The defendant reasonably believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ [or] <insert name of third party>) was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury [or was in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully];

2. The defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger;


3. The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.

Belief in future harm is not sufficient, no matter how great or how likely the harm is believed to be. The defendant must have believed there was imminent danger of violence to (himself/ herself/ [or] someone else). Defendant's belief must have been reasonable and (he/she) must have acted because of that belief. The defendant is only entitled to use that amount of force that a reasonable person would believe is necessary in the same situation. If the defendant used more force than was reasonable, the defendant did not act in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another).
When deciding whether the defendant's beliefs were reasonable, consider all the circumstances as they were known to and appeared to the defendant and consider what a reasonable person in a similar situation with similar knowledge would have believed. If the defendant's beliefs were reasonable, the danger does not need to have actually existed.
[The defendant's belief that (he/she/ [or] someone else) was threatened may be reasonable even if (he/she) relied on information that was not true. However, the defendant must actually and reasonably have believed that the information was true.]
[If you find that <insert name of victim> threatened or harmed the defendant [or others] in the past, you may consider that information in deciding whether the defendant's conduct and beliefs were reasonable.]
[If you find that the defendant knew that <insert name of victim> had threatened or harmed others in the past, you may consider that information in deciding whether the defendant's conduct and beliefs were reasonable.]
[Someone who has been threatened or harmed by a person in the past is justified in acting more quickly or taking greater self-defense measures against that person.]
[If you find that the defendant received a threat from someone else that (he/she) reasonably associated with <insert name of victim>, you may consider that threat in deciding whether the defendant was justified in acting in (self-defense/ [or] defense of another).]
[A defendant is not required to retreat. He or she is entitled to stand his or her ground and defend himself or herself and, if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger of (death/bodily injury/ <insert crime>) has passed. This is so even if safety could have been achieved by retreating.]
The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another). If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of <insert crime(s) charged>.