Charge Dismissed Against Teen Who Stood His Ground in Gas Station Fight

Surveillance video was crucial in the case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Miami
    A still from the surveillance video which shows the Feb. 23 fight in which a 17-year-old boy, the closest to the car at left, fought back after he was attacked, public defenders said.

    A 17-year-old skateboarder who was attacked at a Hollywood gas station and then fought back was able to get the charge against him dismissed because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, authorities said.

    The Broward County public defender’s office says the cameras at a Hess station on Federal Highway in Hollywood turned out to be the teen’s best friend.

    Charge Dismissed Against Teen Who Stood His Ground in Gas Station Fight

    [MI] Charge Dismissed Against Teen Who Stood His Ground in Gas Station Fight
    A 17-year-old skateboarder who was attacked at a Hollywood gas station and then fought back was able to get the charge against him dismissed because of Florida?s "Stand Your Ground" law, authorities said. "The first swing is by the alleged victim. That's the first physical aggression," said Melinda Blostein, the public defender who represented the skateboarder. On Tuesday Judge Elijah Williams watched the video and granted Blostein's motion to dismiss the case based on the "Stand Your Ground" law. (Published Friday, Apr 27, 2012)

    Prosecutors said a man, shown on the left in the surveillance video, was the victim in the Feb. 23 incident. He made a gesture and said something to the skateboarder. A confrontation and fight ensued.

    “The first swing is by the alleged victim. That’s the first physical aggression,” said Melinda Blostein, the public defender who represented the skateboarder.

    Stand Your Ground Is "Self-Defense on Steroids": Lawyer

    [MI] Stand Your Ground Is "Self-Defense on Steroids": Lawyer
    Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law allows an individual to use deadly force before having to retreat if they believe they are being threatened. Those advocating for George Zimmerman's arrest for shooting Trayvon Martin say he has no right to claim self-defense because he admitted to following the teen during a 911 call. Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Meltz argued the statute can be used as a defense. He compared the stand your ground statute to "self-defense on steroids." Meltz was part of the first case involving the statute when 9-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins was murdered by his client?s stray bullet in 2006. (Published Monday, Mar 26, 2012)

    Then the man’s brother left the gas station store and joined in, landing at least 10 punches to the boy’s head, authorities said. Even when he got away, they chased him down, said Gordon Weekes, the Broward assistant chief public defender.

    “I think he had a legitimate, reasonable fear that if he didn’t do something, if he didn’t continue to fight, he could have been seriously injured or he could have died,” Blostein said.

    'Stand Your Ground' Law At Center of Debate After Trayvon Martin Death

    [MI] 'Stand Your Ground' Law At Center of Debate After Trayvon Martin Death
    State Senator Gwen Margolis on Tuesday said she wants the "Stand Your Ground" law repealed or modified, even though she voted for it in 2005 after Trayvon Martin's death. (Published Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012)

    As the video shows, the teenager then got back in the fight and stabbed the alleged victim before he finally escaped for good.

    On Tuesday Judge Elijah Williams watched the video and granted Blostein’s motion to dismiss the case based on the “Stand Your Ground” law.

    Blostein said she and the 17-year-old, who had faced a charge of aggravated battery, are both relieved.

    “In this case, thank gosh there was a video, because this kid would have been in prison,” she said.

    “This kid was very lucky to have this video, and very lucky to have Stand Your Ground,” Weekes said.