How bloody do you have to get before you can defend yourself?

10 Sep

That is the question facing a motorist who was viciously attacked by a cyclist.  After being struck through his window, seven or more times according to witnesses,  Edward Meyers shot his attacker who died later at the scene.

The event occurred when the cyclist, Henry Enoch, ran a red light and struck the side of Meyer’s truck.  Enoch being oblivious to his fault in the matter sprung up, raced around the front of the truck to Meyers open window and began pummeling him.    After the salvo of punches did not slacken Meyers shot Enoch, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now prosecutors are deciding whether or not to charge Meyers with a crime.  Michigan law states that you can use deadly force if you think your life is in imminent danger, you’re in fear of sexual assault or to save yourself from great bodily harm.

Fear of death?  A person can be beaten to death but lets assume that Mr. Enoch was not quite Chuck Norris in his prowess and that Meyers was in no danger of imminent death.

Sexual assault?  Doesn’t look like it.

Great bodily harm?  That’s where the crux of the matter falls.  How many times does a man need to be struck and hit before he can defend himself? 

To me, this is obviously a case where Meyers was defending himself from great bodily harm.  He had no idea how long Enoch was going to pound him, all he knew is that an irate and furious man was pummeling him for an incident that was not his fault.  Remember, Enoch was the one who was at fault for the crash, yet he is the one who irrationally thought to beat up the other man.

Prosecutors are beginning to make the Hollywood defense.  It’s the term I coin when someone who is ignorant of the realities of a situation offers a “better” solution from something they would see in a movie.  In this case, it is being argued that Meyers should have just put the truck in gear and drove off.

Let me list the problems with that.  Under the rain of blows Enoch is delivering Meyers is supposed to put his truck in gear and floor it through an intersection that he can’t see clearly?  And who is to say, that in his enraged state, that Enoch wouldn’t jump through the window to continue his assault thus causing Meyers to veer off and possibly strike some innocent bystanders.  I think my favorite one was suggesting he simply roll up his window, as if that would automatically inform the assaulter that ok, the guy being beaten no longer wishes to continue so please kindly refrain from your attack while he rolls up his window.

The fact is that Meyers is a law abiding citizen who had his Michigan permit to carry and was being attacked by a road rager.  Everyone likes to play hindsight from the safety of their own circumstance, but when you have some irate maniac punching you unmercifully you defend yourself.  Did Mr. Meyers have to wait to get a concussion to fire, wait for his nose to be broken, or to start choking on his own blood?  Who knows when the punches would have stopped, you shouldn’t have to receive severe bodily harm in order to stop severe bodily harm.  To think otherwise is just good solid Gun Control logic.

I’ll tell you this, if Mr. Enoch had not imitated an MMA fighter that day he probably would still be alive right now.   I hope that the prosecutors do the right thing and understand that this was a misfortunate occurrence but the fault lies with Mr. Enoch and his fury and not with Mr. Meyers and his defense of self.


Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


20 responses to “How bloody do you have to get before you can defend yourself?

  1. John B.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    He wasn’t the aggressor. He feared excessive bodily harm and believed deadly force was needed. He just needs to convince a jury that’s the case. If the attacker is a lot younger, stronger, and bigger there shouldn’t be a problem convincing a jury.

    • Mike O'Brien

      September 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Seriously John B.? You think this needs to go to court, where Mr Meyer may need to spend his life savings on a legal defense of his actions??? This is a black and white issue, the obvious attacker was shot dead – justice serviced, end of story. I love a good “dead criminal” story.

  2. Patrick Wickersham

    September 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    He was punching him in the head right? thats where your brain lives… threat to bodily harm can be defended .

  3. Tim

    September 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    No, I’m gonna go with fear of death. If someone is repeatedly striking you in the head, being rendered unconscious or incapacitated is not an unreasonable fear. And it’s not unreasonable to think that the attacker will continue to harm you in that state, when you cannot defend yourself, potentially killing you either out of anger/adrenaline or purposefully.

  4. Don D.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    what are you guys thinking..??? why should he be charged & have to pay outrageous attorney expenses, possibly loosing his home, etc, to defend himself when he committed no crime.. ???

    • gunowners

      September 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Exactly Don. It’s my hope that the DA doesn’t try to make a name for himself as some anti gun champion among the Michael Bloomberg’s of this world. As as been stated by others, getting struck in the head repeatedly is dangerous and should be met with a response consistent with that danger. I don’t think he should be charged at all, and hopefully he won’t be.

  5. Jim

    September 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    At what point is the dead idiot culpable for his actions? I believe that if someone is attacking you that person should reasonably understand he or she could possibly be killed as an outcome. but we are bound by the laws of the land so in this case the person being attacked had a weapon. If you have a weapon and you are being attacked it is reasonable to assume the attacker could take the weapon from you and use it against you whereas “fear for your life” becomes a reasonable defense.

    • KJQ

      September 11, 2012 at 6:03 am

      Exactly, Jim. A single punch can kill someone (we had just such an occurrence outside a bar in our city recently). If you attack someone physically, YOU are taking the risk that it may end badly for you. This man should not be charged with anything. Besides being out of control and assaulting him, the man shot was also irrational, since he was the one at fault yet initiated an attack. Irrational people are often homicidal people. Clear cut justified self-defense homicide.

  6. Dylan

    September 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    What if it were a cop getting attacked like that? He’d have shot him dead just the same, filled out some paperwork and went home. No more questions asked. Hell he’d probably get a medal for it. Why aren’t we afforded the same right of self protection?

  7. john

    September 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    It’s all about the lawyers. They make a case to make money. So he will have to pay a criminal lawyer 25,000 up front to prove he shot in defence. It’s a sad world we live in 🙂

  8. Andrew of So Cal

    September 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    The shooting was entirely justified. I have a Concealed carry and if I were it an intersection where a Cyclist had run into my car and then as I no doubt was putting the car in park (because I did not want to run over the guy… My first concern after the impact) if I was suddenly repeatedly being struck in the head/face by an unknown assailant, I would get the gun and fire 2 to 3 shots into the assailant to stop the attack. Nothing personal, however, I would not try to drive away, because I could hurt (or kill) an innocent. Not an acceptable option. One acts to stop the attack before the criminal kills.

  9. Phil

    September 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I’m sure that the idiot D.A. will probably determine that the driver of the truck had time to call 911. After all, it is the job of the police department to protect us. (riiiiiiiight, yes sarcasm

    Shooting was justified. The driver should be lauded for defending himself!

  10. Jonathan Kiviniemi

    September 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Honestly, we don’t know enough to make a judgement. Was the intersection busy? There is a good chance Meyers could have just driven off. Does MI have a stand your ground law though? Was he responsible for exhausting all other options, or does state law permit him to end the altercation immediately with lethal force?

    • Martin Rothwell

      September 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Are you really serious when you say, “he could have just driven off”? How much sense does it make to add a hit and run charge to the trouble he’s already in? Also, how many options does he need to exhaust while being beaten up? You think his first thoughts are running a checklist of options before shooting? It would take one punch from that moron for me to end it with a gun. I would first show it. If that didn’t stop the assault, I would use it.

  11. John Volkening

    September 11, 2012 at 3:16 am

    If he would have driven off, and driven OVER the attacker, he would be held responsible for hit and run. He did the right thing by ending this confrontation in the manner he did. No jury would convict, I know I wouldn’t!

  12. Pete

    September 11, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Leaving the scene of an accident, even if it is not your fault, is a misdemeanor in Michigan. You may leave if staying is likely to cause more harm, which is certainly the case here, but the driver would likely found at fault for causing the accident. Even if it was his fault and the bicyclist had the right of way, the bicyclist initiated the violence. The fact that the bicyclist was wrong to begin with merely inflames our outrage, but does not materially change the driver’s right to self-defense as that right is universal in the absence of instigation. Causing a traffic accident is NOT instigation, even for the party at fault.

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