Florida has dropped charges against a dad who shot another man’s child while road raging — yes, seriously…
In case you need a refresher, in late October two dads identified as William Hale (pictured above, bald) and Frank Allison (pictured above, bearded) got into a dispute while driving. Hale, who was driving a Dodge Ram along the US Highway 1 near Jacksonville, and Allison, in a Nissan Murano, somehow upset one another with their driving skills. It’s unclear how it began, but it was reported both men were swerving into each other’s lanes, brake-checking one another, and even going as far as having their passengers (i.e. their children) flip each other off in what police called a “cat and mouse game.”
It escalated from there — Allison rolled down his window to shout, but Hale threw a plastic water bottle at him. This enraged Allison, who pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and fired a single shot into the Ram before he made a break for it. An arrest affidavit said he was trying to shoot the tire to get out of the situation, but the bullet landed in the leg of Hale’s 5-year-old daughter instead.
Yeah, not super easy to aim when you’re driving. You know the best way to get out of the situation? Slow down and allow the other person to drive away.
Obviously neither did that — and it only got worse from there…
Upon seeing his daughter suffering from a gunshot wound, Hale pulled his own weapon, a Glock 9mm pistol. He emptied the clip in the general direction of the Nissan, hitting Allison’s 14-year-old daughter. The bullet hit her in the torso, causing her lung to collapse. Luckily both girls survived their wounds, but these two gun owners very nearly lost their daughters to a moment of irrational anger!
Both men were charged with attempted murder, naturally. However, according to new info from WTLV, one of the shooters has now had his charges dropped completely!
The State Attorney’s Office concluded Hale was the primary aggressor for throwing a bottle into Allison’s truck — throwing an object into a moving vehicle is considered a felony, apparently. Because of this, the office decided Allison was acting in self defense — citing the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws. Officials reportedly said the water bottle was a dangerous object “which would produce the death or great bodily harm.” What??
Obviously throwing an object at someone while driving is super dangerous, we can’t dispute that. But are they really going to say whipping out your gun is a proper response to it?!
Hale now faces three counts of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and one count of shooting into a vehicle as he was formally charged on March 30 while Allison — who was the first to pull his gun — faces NONE.
Criminal defense attorney Janet Johnson explained that prosecutors were told by the only independent witness that Hale was the primary aggressor on the road — but it was his use of a water bottle that sealed the deal:
“Some people would say well water bottles shouldn’t be more aggravated than a gun but under the case law that the state cited a water bottle is considered a deadly missile. The same as a bullet would be so if you’re the first aggressor even if you didn’t use a gun and you used a water bottle you don’t get to hide behind stand your ground because you caused the conflict.”
Wow. Just unbelievable.
This law, among others, is actively putting children in more danger of gun violence. If a man, while driving with his child in the car, reacts to someone being a jerk and throwing a water bottle by pulling out a firearm? That’s incredibly reckless behavior, and it should be treated as such. He shouldn’t be given a pass here. This isn’t a “good guy with a gun” — the kind the law is ostensibly intended to protect. This man almost killed a child and almost got his own daughter killed — over NOTHING.
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