New York police officers arrested a homeless man for attempted assault and other charges on Tuesday after he showed up with a knife at the Times Square studio where "Good Morning America" is shot. Reports indicate that the man was threatening to kill Michael Strahan, co-host of "LIVE! With Kelly and Michael," occasional guest on "Good Morning America," and former defensive end for the New York Giants. The man has been charged with felony attempted assault, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Reports are unclear as to why the man attempted to assault Strahan. What is known is that the man got into an argument with security, during which he pulled the knife he was carrying and stated that he was there to kill Strahan. A local police officer, who was also working security, then allegedly subdued and disarmed the man. It is not known whether Strahan was ever in any physical danger as a result of the attempted assault. As for the alleged assailant, he is reportedly being held without bail.
Assault is considered a violent crime in Nevada, although it does not necessarily require that anyone be physically injured as a result of the actions. Violent crimes can be committed by just threat of use of force upon an individual, as was the case with the attempted assault against Strahan. Violent crimes also tend to carry serious penalties upon conviction, including long prison sentences and hefty fines.
In Nevada, according to NRS 200.471, assault is described as "[u]nlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person or intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm." This typically means that actual harm does not have to occur for a person to be charged with assault.
Nevada goes on to enhance potential penalties for an assault conviction based upon the victim of the violent crime. If the victim is a state or government employee, a conviction for assault could be charged as a felony. Furthermore, as was the case with the Strahan attempted assault, if a deadly weapon is used an additional penalty can be imposed, increasing the prison term and fine for an assault conviction.
It is important to remember that assault and battery, though oftentimes charged together, are not the same crime. Battery, in Nevada, is a violent crime that constitutes the actual use of force on the alleged victim. As was the case for the alleged would-be attacker in the Strahan attempted assault, since he did not actually cause harm to Strahan he was not charged with battery.
Given the severity of the sentencing structures for violent crimes, and the nuances involved with a charge of assault and/or battery, it is important that an individual charged with a violent crime contact an experienced Las Vegas criminal attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Brown Law Offices have experience handling cases involving violent crimes, and can meet with you to discuss your options free of charge. Call our office 24/7 to arrange for your free consultation. (702) 405-0505.