Last week, a crime was reported alleging that an ax-wielding man attacked a drummer who was playing at Todd Longshore Park. According to reports, the victim was playing his drums near a trail when a man with an axe in his hands appeared and tried to chop up the victim’s drums. The victim said that the man didn’t announce himself, tell the victim to get out of the way, or say anything at all. He just approached and started hacking at the victim’s drums.
The victim was able to more or less protect his drums and even got some of the incident on his go-pro camera. He said that once the man knew he was being filmed, his attitude changed and he left.
A few days ago, on April 8th, the suspect turned himself in at the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station. He is currently being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He was released on bond several hours later.
Assault with a deadly weapon is covered under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC and is described as attacking (or attempting to attack) someone with a deadly weapon. The crime is pretty straightforward, but what’s interesting is that pretty much anything can be described as a deadly weapon. In the case above, the suspect used an ax – an obviously deadly weapon. However, the law defines a deadly weapon as any type of weapon or object that is capable of producing great bodily injury. As such, deadly weapons can include items like firearms and knives, but also frying pans, ink pens, screwdrivers, or even glassware.
Assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Misdemeanor charges carry the possible penalties of summary probation, up to one year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony charges carry the potential penalties of felony probation, up to four years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.