Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., entered an Alford plea to criminal trespass — avoiding a trial on assault and battery charges over allegations he pushed a United Airlines baggage employee at Dulles International Airport.Under an Alford plea, a defendant merely admits that there is sufficient evidence to convict but does not admit guilt. The plea stems from an Aug. 19th incident where Filner was accused of shoving past a female baggage worker into an employee-only area after his bags were delayed. The baggage worker, Joanne Kay Kunkel, filed a criminal complaint that stated that Filner pushed past other customers, screamed at employees and specifically pushed her. He yelled “You can’t stop me,” according to her complaint.Frankly, Kunkel’s allegations seemed pretty thin for a battery claim. However, like some battery charges filed by police officers, there is a trend to allege battery anytime someone touches an officer. Even the trespass plea seems over-the-top. Unfortunately, it is now all too common. At one time, such matters were handled between adults without filing a criminal complaint. I do not know Filner, but I doubt seriously that was a case for criminal charges, let alone a criminal plea. There is a growing criminalization of such matters that is turning thousands of people into criminals. I am sure that the mere publication of the incident was enough to cause sufficient punishment for any politician.