What ever happened to Proximate Cause?

This is just nuts. Involuntary manslaughter is a charge associated with a direct action that has a harmful effect, such as an automobile accident. There is no way that a reasonable human being could have forseen that running away would have caused the police officer to have a heart attack. The way the story reads, the officer didn’t even try to chase him down; he had his heart attack while cuffing one of the suspects who remained at the scene.

I have to wonder… Had this police officer ended his shift without incident, and proceeded to the local strip club for a little ‘relaxation’, would charges had been filed if he had his heart attack while getting a lap dance? Who would they charge? The dancer? The club owner?

What if he had his heart attack watching Monday Night Football? Do you charge the NFL with his death, or Direct TV, or the maker of his television set?

How about the deli owner that served the guy a bacon and three-cheese sandwich for lunch for the last six years? Let’s charge him with involuntary manslaughter a well.

There are a hundred factors that lead to heart conditions, including genetics. Will they press charges against the officer’s parents if they have a history of heart disease?

Maybe they should charge the doctor who failed to detect the heart condition and order him to desk duty?

I’m not saying the guy should have run, but it is vindictive and petty to charge him in the officer’s death.


Suspect Tried to Help Stricken Deputy

By MEG KINNARD, Associated Press Writer
12-14 21:58 PST Columbia, S.C. AP —

A passenger handcuffed after a car chase with police early Friday tried to save a sheriffs deputy who had suffered a fatal heart attack moments after arresting him, authorities said.

Police later arrested the driver of the car, who fled after the 5:30 a.m. chase. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deputys death, authorities said.

Deputy Darral Lane, 41, tried to stop the car after noticing some suspicious activity at a convenience store, authorities said. The car sped off and stopped behind a house after about two miles.

The driver ran into a nearby wooded area, and Lane drew his gun and ordered the other two men inside to the ground, said police, who watched video taken by the camera in Lanes cruiser.

Lane handcuffed one man and then crumpled to the ground, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said. “He falls to his knees and then he falls to the ground,” Lott said.

One of the two men ran off, but the man who was handcuffed tried to help once he realized the deputy was in trouble. He tried to keep Lane talking and tried to use the police radio to call for help, Lott said.

“He tried to talk to him,” the sheriff said. “Ive got to give him credit.”

Deputies who already had been dispatched after Lane radioed about the chase arrived and tried to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later, Lott said.

The passengers, whose names were not made public, were picked up by other deputies and will not be charged, Lott said.

The driver, Matthew Denny Hooks, 34, was arrested without incident at a Columbia motel late Friday, authorities said. It wasnt immediately clear whether he had a lawyer, but a message was left late Friday with sheriffs Lt. Chris Cowan.

Deputies consulted with prosecutors and charged Hooks because the chase led to the stress leading up to Lanes heart attack, Cowan said earlier.

Hooks is also charged with possession of stolen car tags and failure to stop for a blue light, he said.


Comments are closed.