Husband and Wife Charged with Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapons (Rolls of Quarters)

December 5, 2012

Temp 018.JPGThe Walpole Police were called to the Main Street Shopping Center last Tuesday on a report of a melee outside of Supreme Pizza. According to the Walpole Times, Chris and Yvonnem Antonopoulos parked outside the pizza place and made insulting gestures through the glass from the sidewalk outside. The target of their gesticulations appears to have been the shop's owner. Their motive appears to be revenge. Apparently, the owner had previously given them a "letter of disinvite," banning them from the restaurant.

The Times does not report the owner's reasons for banning the couple from his establishment, but proprietors may forbid anyone they wish to forbid from their private property. A "letter of disinvite" is simply written evidence that property owners oppose another's presence and have made their wishes known to the target of their opposition. This is an essential element of the criminal charge of trespass.

It appears that Mr. and Mrs. Antonopoulos knew this and were abiding by the letter by staying on the sidewalk. Oddly enough, while they were avoiding the possibility of a misdemeanor trespass charge, they were each squeezing a roll of quarters in their fists for defense in a fight against the owner should he come outside. And come outside he did.

One may wonder why he did not simply call the police. But, the taunts had their desired effect and the pizza man came out and engaged Mr. Antonopoulos in combat. The two went to the pavement followed by Mrs. Antonopoulos who allegedly bit the victim's leg. To make matters worse for the husband and wife team, a 71-year-old man came out to attempt to break up the rumble and Mrs. Antonopoulos allegedly attacked him for his efforts.

The couple drove away leaving the "battered" victims behind. They drove towards the center of town and and were apprehended adjacent to the police station. Since there was no investigation of Operating Under the Influence, we may rule out alcohol as a factor in the couple's decision making.

To be fair, it would be very interesting to know why the shop owner banned them. Was it justified or not? Did they have good reasons to be upset? In addition, the pizza man and his helper apparently agreed to do battle with them, but did not get charged. The article says that the police determined from witness accounts that the Antonopouloses were the instigators. But they never attacked. Its like saying: "he started it by calling me names."

As it stands the couple must defend themselves in the Wrentham District Court against charges of Assault and Battery, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault and Battery upon a Person older than 60 years, Disorderly Conduct, and Disturbing the Peace.

I'm not too sure if holding a roll of quarters gives you more punching power, but the Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon charge under these circumstances raises an interesting question. Since this charge requires proof that the accused battered another with a dangerous weapon, it requires proof that the weapon actually touched the victim. If the Antonopouloses had their fingers wrapped around the rolls of quarters and those weapons never actually made contact with the victims, can the charge be sustained? This is an important issue because this charge is a felony.

It should also be noted that the charge of Assault and Battery upon a person over the age of 60 years is also a felony with a possible state prison sentence of 3 years. I doubt very much if the couple in this case will be facing incarceration, but they surely would be well advised to seek experienced criminal defense counsel.

If you are charged with a crime, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced criminal defense attorney. I have been defending criminal cases for over 20 years, so I am well prepared to assist you.

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The facts used in this blog were obtained solely from the cited source(s). There may be additional information that would alter the analysis.