A brawl took place at the Jacksonville Beach Municipal Golf Course on Saturday afternoon. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, the battle erupted between two groups of golfers. Surprisingly, the group that initiated the attack consisted of two elderly men and two elderly women. The main culprit in the group was 61-year-old James Alonzo Hines. According to an arrest report, Hines was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was jailed and later released. Our Palm Beach County personal injury lawyer understands that violent attacks can occur in the unlikeliest of places – even in safe and friendly venues.
The group that was attacked was comprised of six young men who were out celebrating the pending nuptials of their friend Donald Salsbery. The individuals who suffered injuries from the incident were Murdock Hampe, Michael Hankin, and Justin Ravel. The elderly group was golfing behind the young men and had become impatient with the slow-paced game of the young men, claiming that they were holding up their game. The young golfers were neither drunk nor driving their golf cart recklessly. They were simply enjoying the day and playing a leisurely game of golf.
The altercation between the two groups started when shouting ensued between the two groups from a distance. Hines’ arrest report states that the argument was due to the younger golfers driving, drinking and “malingering” on the greens. Incensed, Hines then began hitting balls at the young men from about 200 yards away. In retaliation, one of the balls was thrown back at Hines. At that point, Hines got into his golf cart and drove into the group of young men. Hines ran over Hampe’s leg and slammed into Hankin, pinning him against another cart. Hines then struck Hampe with a golf club. Hampe was treated at a hospital, while Hankin was treated at the scene.
Although Hines may have had a valid reason to become irritated under the circumstances, our Palm Beach personal injury lawyer knows that this does not give rise to the right to instigate a violent attack. Furthermore, the golf course was a public course and the young men were paying customers, and therefore had a right to use the property in an appropriate manner, even if the pace of their game was slow. The law does allow defense of property if an individual has trespassed and is wrongfully on the premises. In this particular case, however, the young men had paid for use of the public course and were not trespassing. Therefore, it is unlikely those sorts of defenses would apply in a situation like this. Moreover, Hines was not the owner of the golf course.
As depicted by this particular case, dangerous situations can unexpectedly arise even in safe environments. Our experienced Boynton Beach injury lawyer has helped injured individuals in all types of accidents and has advised such individuals of their legal rights in order to be compensated for their suffering. Please contact The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman for a free consultation if you have suffered injuries in any kind of accident.
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(photo courtesy of chispeta)