Two Men Wield Broken Wine Bottles Causing Actual Bodily Harm in Wine Aisle

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.


As the public prepares for self-isolation amid the coronavirus crisis, the bizarre wave of panic-buying continues to sweep supermarkets all over the world.

Across many countries, fear of what’s to come has left customers flustered and stockpiling unnecessarily on everyday items, almost with a sense that the end of the world is imminent.

Indeed, as we prepare for the pandemic, the accompanying stress of panic-buying is causing all kinds of strange and squabbling behaviour.

Last week, another such case unravelled in which a fight broke out between panic buyers in a grocery store in Georgia in the United States that frighteningly ended with two men wielding broken wine bottles in a battle against each other.


Shoppers Battle with Wine Bottles: How the Assault Unfolded

NBC News reports that the dispute began at a Sam’s Club supermarket in Hiram, approximately 25 miles northwest of Atlanta, when a man in a motorised shopping cart who was perusing the wine aisle allegedly collided into a couple’s cart in which their child was seated.

It is reported that this provoked the woman of the couple to allegedly strike the man in the motorised shopping cart with her hand, following which she accused him of hitting her cart on purpose.

In response, the man allegedly grabbed a bottle of wine to defend himself from the couple.

The other man followed suit, clutching a wine bottle from the aisle.

It wasn’t long before they began striking each other, leaving each with cuts on the faces and hands.


Bystanders Work to Separate Men Until Law Enforcement Arrived on Scene

As the fight grew heated, bystanders were forced to separate the bottle-wielding men until authorities arrived on the scene.

At approximately 5:30pm, law enforcement arrived, greeted by a crowd surrounding the two shoppers with lacerations.

The fight ended with both men on the ground among the broken glass.

Police then had to carry one of them out of the store on a stretcher.

A customer managed to capture a video of the incident, which was uploaded to Twitter and viewed over 1.4 million times.

The video depicts both men attacking each other with wine bottles as onlookers scream in concern.

The two men were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The names of the two men and the woman involved in the assault were not released.

All three are now facing assault charges in relation to the incident.

Have a question? Contact one of our criminal lawyers, Sydney based today.

What Constitutes Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm?

An assault under the law is occurs if you do something that causes immediate fear of unlawful violence or force on another person.

There are two types of assaults, intentional assaults and reckless assaults under the law. An intentional assault is when you do an act intending to cause that immediate fear or unlawful force.

A reckless assault is when you do an act while being aware of the likelihood of causing the fear or unlawful force.

Where a person commits an assault that ends up causing the other person physical harm in the nature of something more than merely transient or trifling, then it is considered under the law to be an assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

What’s the penalties for an assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge in NSW? Section 59(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) has set a maximum sentence of 5-years imprisonment, including a criminal conviction if the case is sentenced in the District Court. If a person is sentenced in the Local Court, the maximum sentence is $5,500 fine or 2-years imprisonment, or both.

Examples of assault occasioning actual bodily harm can include bruises, cuts or grazes, emotional harm of a psychiatric kind, or black eye where the victim didn’t give permission.

Unless a defence to an assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge applies, heavy penalties attract this kind of assault in NSW.

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