Newspaper articles about criminal allegations are almost invariably frustrating to read. They never give me the information I want in order to decide what I think actually happened. Jason Vassell's case is a perfect example. Almost all the characterizations of the evidence seem to come from the defense counsel or people dedicated to an absolute belief that the defendant is not guilty. However, even assuming the evidence is as portrayed it leaves me with some serious questions.
Vassell's lawyer, David P. Hoose, has said that Bowes and Bosse instigated the confrontation by shouting racial epithets at Vassell from outside his room, breaking his window, and attacking him in the lobby.What were the results?
Bosse and Bowes suffer[ed] from knife wounds, and Vassell’s nose was broken.The first article elaborates on the injuries somewhat (only information from prosecutor's office).
Vassell was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Meanwhile, Bowes was charged with two hate crimes and disorderly conduct, and Bosse has not been charged at all.
Vassell stabbed John C. Bowes and Jonathan Bosse several times each during a confrontation. The two men underwent emergency surgery as a result of their injuries.This leaves me with all sorts of questions.
1) What started the event? Something's up. Did two white guys just pick a random black guy to harass? Possibly. However, breaking a window and then going into the lobby to pursue it further seems to indicate that something happened to stir emotions. There's something here we don't know about.
2) How did the knife come into play? Did Vassell pull it out of his pocket when he walked into the lobby and they bum-rushed him, or did he come out of his room ready to go with the knife in his hand?
3) Only one of the white guys charged? Did the other only stand around? Was the other guy just standing there or urging it on or trying to intervene to stop it?
4) How serious were the wounds? Are we talking slices (surgery=stitches) as Vassell waved the knife in front to keep the other two away or are we talking about multiple, major, once they were down, puncture wounds?
Honestly, I can't tell enough about the situation to know if the charges are justified. All I am sure of is that a fight took place and all parties left it injured. Everything else seems to be spin fed to the newspaper. It's just plain frustrating.