On Sunday, May 30, the Brooklyn Nets had a game in Boston where an incident occurred when a fan, Cole Buckley, threw a water bottle at Point Guard star Kyrie Irving. Buckley was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was released after pleading not guilty to the charges and posting a $500 bond, but is now banned from any event held at the Celtics arena in Boston, Massachusetts.
After this, some fans were confused as to the charge of a dangerous weapon. According to CBS News, in the state of Massachusetts, a “dangerous weapon” is defined as “any instrument or instrumentality so constructed or so used as to be likely to produce death or great bodily harm.” CBS News reported that a fan said, “If you are throwing something that’s heavy, that’s full, that is basically like throwing a rock or brick at someone’s head. That could be a deadly weapon in that context.” The fan goes on to say, ”They’re not specific to the type of projectile that’s thrown at someone. It’s just an instrument that is likely to produce bodily injury, great bodily harm, or death. That could be a range of projectiles, depending on the circumstance. It’s not like a water bottle specific situation, what you’re having here is these open textured definitions of what can count as a dangerous or deadly weapon.”
In a case like this, something as little as a water bottle shouldn’t be that serious, but it is more so about sending a message to others letting them know that actions like this are unacceptable. Davis Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, says, “The next person who decides to do something like that could be holding something else. You don’t get to do this. This is not part of buying a ticket.”
Suffolk District Attorney, Rachael Rollins, also pitched in and had something to say about it. “Purchasing a ticket does not buy you a free pass for obnoxious, racist or assaultive behavior. The cost of admission affords you the privilege of attending the game. The cost of abusing that privilege through criminal behavior is prosecution,” CBS News reported.
Overall, Buckley was wrong and out of line for throwing an object at a player. But, it should have been charged as attempted assault with a potential weapon instead of assault with a deadly weapon because it was a water bottle which could have only done minor bodily harm. Having said that, the bond and the arrest were very necessary seeing that he acted on unacceptable behavior.
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