Police are asking for the help of the public to identify a suspect in an altercation that took place in a Lancaster Starbucks. According to reports the assault happened at the Starbucks on West Avenue. According to police, two baristas at the location reported that the man punched an employee when he was told he needed to be wearing a mask.
Reports came in to the deputies later on that the tip jar had possibly been stolen by the suspect, though at the time of the report police were unable to confirm whether or not it was true. There was a second man who was with the suspect at the Starbucks, and police are interested in speaking with him.
Anyone with information on the suspect or the man who was with him is asked to call LASD Detective Grajales at 661-948-8466.
Assault is covered under California Penal Code 240 PC and is described as committing or attempting to commit a violent injury on another person. The second descriptor in the definition of assault is the most important in that it’s possible to be charged with assault even if you don’t hurt or touch anyone at all. What matters is that you had the ability to do so and you tried to do it. Whether you connected or not is irrelevant.
Generally, California Penal Code 240 PC is charged as a misdemeanor and the potential penalties include up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or misdemeanor probation. The exact sentence the defendant will receive depends a great deal on the circumstances of the crime they are being charged with as well as the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Assault charges can be upgraded in certain situations, such as those where the victim is a police officer or if a deadly weapon was involved in the crime. Also, charges can be downgraded or thrown out completely if it can be proven that the defendant was acting in self-defense.