What Happens in Vegas…Doesn’t Always Stay There
Image via USA TODAY Sports
As reported by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, New Orleans Saints star Alvin Kamara was arrested for Battery with Serious Bodily Injury after allegedly beating someone up in a nightclub on Saturday night. That charge is a Class B felony and as such punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. However, what did Mr. Kamara allegedly do to the victim to be arrested for such a crime?
As reported by Metro Police, they were called to the hospital to interview the alleged victim in this case. Based on the victim interview, they appear to have concluded that they had enough evidence to arrest Mr. Kamara of the crime of Battery with Serious Bodily Injury. Battery is normally a misdemeanor; however, the serious bodily injury component makes it a Class B felony. The most likely scenario is that the alleged victim sustained either broken bone(s) or was forced to get stitches because of the alleged altercation with Mr. Kamara. Under the statute, either is enough to sustain the Class B felony charge. Additionally, since this is a Las Vegas nightclub there had to have been video surveillance of the entire club and very likely caught this whole incident on video. I await the inevitable video leak of this incident via TMZ.
I reviewed the Clark County Court Website to get more facts about the alleged incident, but details were very scarce. This case will develop and I want to know the following: How did this alleged altercation begin? Did Mr. Kamara throw the first punch or did the victim, or someone associated with the victim do it? That matters because Mr. Kamara could argue self-defense and I do not think any jury is going to sympathize with a victim who starts the fight and cries foul when somebody else finishes it. Who are the potential witnesses? Is Mr. Kamara there with his crew or are other NFL players potential witnesses in this case? Independent witnesses are liquid gold in battery cases. If they exist, it allows a jury to better understand what led to the fight from somebody who has no motive to fabricate the truth. I hardly think that Mr. Kamara just walked up to a random person and punched him for no reason. There had to be some lead up to the altercation.
Battery cases are very difficult to prove because usually the victim does not want to press charges. However, that is usually only the case in domestic violence battery cases (where the victim and defendant are in a romantic relationship). That is unlikely the case here because my feeling is that it was an altercation with somebody Mr. Kamara had just met on Saturday night. Victims who have no relationship with the Defendant almost always want to move forward with the charges. The reason is that the victim’s don’t have a voice in their head saying this was a one-time thing he/she will be better in the future. He/she just needs help. The alleged victim in Mr. Kamara’s case doesn’t have that voice. The victim in Mr. Kamara’s case is likely thinking, “|He needs to be punished for what he did and he needs to pay up.” I fully expect the victim to sue Mr. Kamara and the nightclub in civil court before this case is over but that is a discussion for another day. For now, this incident is the third incident of NFL players in Las Vegas in as many months (Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette being the others) and is challenging the mantra that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Matthew F. Tympanick is the Founder/Principal of Tympanick Law, P.A., located in Sarasota, Florida, where he focuses his practice on Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Law. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Law where he served as a Public Interest Fellow and as a Staff Editor on the UMass Law Review. He was previously a felony prosecutor for over three years and civil attorney for nearly two years in Sarasota, Florida. As a prosecutor, he tried nearly forty jury and non-jury trials and prosecuted thousands more. You can follow him on Twitter @TympanickLaw. Arrested or Injured? Don’t Panic…Call Tympanick (1-888-NOPANIC). www.tympanicklaw.com