Many emergency medical workers were visibly upset after prosecutors reduced charges for Michael Jaccarino, a prosecutor in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, who attacked a female EMT in a drunken rage. Jaccarino was given just a 10 day community service sentence for his guilty plea to assaulting the ambulance worker while he was being taken to a hospital. Prosecutor Sherita Walton insisted that his drunkenness was a complete defense to intent since it was not clear if he actually intended to hurt the victim,Teresa Soler. EMT workers cried foul and suggested that prosecutors were being far more lenient on one of their own in the plea arrangement. We previously discussed the case.
Jaccarino was spotted wandering drunk on the Brooklyn Bridge in November. After he was picked up by an ambulance, he succeeded in unbuckling himself from a gurney and struck Soler. She recounted that he held her down with his forearm pressed against her neck, choking her.
He was originally charged with second-degree assault, but Walton reduced that to reckless assault, a misdemeanor, because he was so drunk that “intoxication was of such an extent and nature to render him incapable of forming the particular criminal intent, then he would not be criminally responsible for committing this crime.”
Assault in the second degree does require intent. The charge includes:
§ 120.05 Assault in the second degree.
A person is guilty of assault in the second degree when:
1. With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he
causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or
2. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes
such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly
weapon or a dangerous instrument;
I am assuming that he was charged under assault in the third degree which is being referred to as reckless assault:
§ 120.00 Assault in the third degree.
A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:
1. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes
such injury to such person or to a third person; or
2. He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
3. With criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another
person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.
This all turns on the level of intoxication, which is not clear in these articles.
In light of the lower charge, should Jaccarino be fired as a prosecutor and/or disbarred? This is a misdemeanor and he has agreed to take alcohol abuse classes. What do you think?
Source: NY Times