A few months ago, I came home from a night hike and parked my car up the street. While walking to my building, I noticed my next neighbor struggling to assist her very drunk boyfriend get up the stairs. As a resident of Los Angeles, I never bothered to introduce myself, and had never said anything more than hello and goodbye to this lady for the entire four months that she lived next door to me. I had seen the boyfriend a few times, and a couple of times, I saw him parking his giant Ford F-150. He was in his late 20's and if I were to guess his occupation at the outset, I would have thought he was a firefighter or something. This particular evening, he probably had probably drank a case of beer by himself. He was struggling, rocking, and rolling each time he climbed a stair and almost fell each time he took a step forward.
I asked if I could be of assistance, and positioned his arm over my shoulder and held his waist to steady him up the stairs. I continued to hold him as she opened the door, walked him into her living room and helped him sit on the couch. Just as I turned to walk out of the house, I got a fist smashed into my ear and then another in the small of my back. The guy called me a faggot, and pushed me into the closed door. The neighbor was screaming at him, and the guy across the hall came out of his apartment and called the LAPD. I was able to recover and turn around and face the guy I had attempted to help and kicked his knee out. When he was on the ground, I continued to snap kick him in the torso, then moved around and began to kick him in the head. The guy was not small and at least 20 years my junior. If not for the alcohol, I could have easily been killed. The neighbor continued to scream. The guy was far from being knocked out, so I helped him along by bashing his face with a scented candle.
About 30 minutes later, I was sitting in the interview room at the police station on Vermont and Olympic. The fine Desk Sergeant at the Vermont Station told me he was going to get everything straightened out, and encouraged me to tell my version of what had happened. I told him that I had nothing to say and that he could discuss the case with my lawyer. The bail for assault with a deadly weapon was 50,000, double for the allegations of great bodily injury, and then I found that they had also charged me with burglary for using a candle to pummel this stinking bag of paraquat.
The monster truck driving guy I had assaulted was indeed a firefighter. Even though I had attempted to be a good Samaritan, I had landed in felony hot water. I am a non-confrontational dude who never puts a finger on anyone unless someone puts a finger on me. I would never injure someone unless my safety was in danger. While I have been in fights before, I had never started one, and had never faced a trial for defending myself.
As you can imagine, a firefighter gets preferential treatment from the Court because they are first responders. If you are unlucky to defend yourself against one, it is the same as fighting a cop. It was a complicated matter. Seppi was recommended to me by the son of the former presiding judge of the LA Superior Court. When I initially spoke with him, he did not promise me the moon and the stars, but explained what he was going to do clearly and concisely and told me at the outset how much I was going to have to pay him.
He sent an investigator over to interview the emergency room staff, and one of the RN's present told him that the "victim" had to be hogtied when they were stitching him up and that a spit mask had to be placed over his head. After subpoenaing the medical records from the emergency room, Seppi discovered that the firefighter's BAC was .32 at the time of the incident. It was at this point in time that the District Attorney announced that they would not be moving forward with the case.
I have zero respect for our criminal courts. It is more of a fucking joke than in Mexico. It is nothing but a liar's contest, and actually think you would get better results if you replaced all the judges, prosecutors and court personnel with tic tac toe playing chickens or a Commodore Vic 20. But if you are one of the few who can afford a competent, experienced criminal attorney, the nightmare is going to end a lot quicker, and you are not going to be suffering the consequences of a felony conviction because you defended yourself against a belligerent, drunk, muscleman firefighter who sucker punches you when you attempt to help. Next time I see someone drunk and struggling to get up the stairs, I am going to walk away and let them choke on their own vomit. People of the State of California: 0 David A.: #1!