Zero tolerance run amok: throwing snowballs is now a felony

Two James Madison University students are facing felony charges for throwing snowballs at a Harrisonburg city snow plow and an unmarked police car called to investigate during last Saturday’s blizzard. http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/83897772.html

Charles Gill and Ryan Knight, a guard on the university’s basketball team, were arrested and taken into custody. The two 21-year-olds are accused of “throwing missiles at occupied vehicles,” a felony that could send them both to prison for up to five years.

Unless they were jack-hammering up 100-pound chucks of ice and hurling them off an overpass in a clearly malicious attempt to kill or injure the snowplow driver, this appears to be a case of high-spirited college kids out playing in the snow. It’s also a ridiculous example of excessive charges by the police officers involved.

But in our completely crazy “zero tolerance” culture, where a butter knife wielded by a first grader on a birthday cake considered a “weapon,” is it any wonder that snowballs are now considered missiles?

Beltway ConfidentialJames Madison UniversityUSwashington examiner

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Muni’s K-Ingleside line will return six months earlier than previously announced. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

Skier Andy Padlo crosses a frozen Spicer Reservoir. (Courtesy photo)
Stormy weather tests skiers’ mettle on Dardanelle traverse

Overcoming challenges makes outings more rewarding

Most Read