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Witnesses to Assault

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:21 pm
by jennjeff1
Jenny and I were witnesses, among other people, to an assault on a pair of tourists Sunday night in Pensacola Beach. We were walking back towards Flounders from the 360 Observation Ferris Wheel when a couple of really drunk older guys started crossing the street in front of a pickup truck with a couple from New Jersey on vacation inside. One of the drunk males who had just jeft the sports bar started using foul langangage and then proceeded to punch the driver several times through the open window while his buddy coaxed him to stop from the sidewalk.

The sherriff said the suspect had a .3 blood alchohol level and would have to be taken to the hospital to sober up enough to be arrested (at taxpayer expense no less...), so they only gave him a ticket for "disorderly conduct." The New Jersey couple would also have to be present in Escambia County to press charges in court, even though there were 3 local witnesses that provided sworn testimony about the assault.

I wonder what happens to the tourist victims in Navarre/Santa Rosa County when this sort of thing happens? I think it is unreasonable for vacationing tourists to have to come back down to Flroida to press charges for assault when there are local witnesses who can verify the incident.

Anybody know what the policy is in FL for pressing assault charges by tourists if there are local witnesses?