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Esmonde: Schmidlís role of avenger is justifiable (man protects 5-yr-old son, law comes down hard)
Buffalo News ^ | 6/6/07 | Donn Esmonde

Posted on 06/07/2007 3:21:34 PM PDT by LibWhacker

He has gone from accused minor criminal to community symbol. Let there be no mistake. As was confirmed after Tuesday’s court hearing, this is not just another harassment case. Charles Schmidl stands as a crusader for a cause.

The cause is the right of an adult to defend himself — and his 5-year-old son — against the alleged abuse of an out-ofcontrol 10-year-old. It is a line in the sand against lax parenting and the obnoxious offspring that it produces. It is a voice for the rights of those wronged by every spoiled brat spawned by absent or permissive parents.

In an era when discipline seems to have gone out of style and responsibility hides under a rock, this thing is bigger than Charles Schmidl. Or any one of us.

Schmidl is 38, trim and tanned, with an athlete’s stride. He did not imagine becoming the face of Enraged Adults Everywhere when he took his son for a mid-April skate at the Amherst Pepsi Center. A 10-year-old with a hockey stick, according to Schmidl, taunted him, shot pucks at him and his boy and dared him to do something about it.

Schmidl said he searched for 40 minutes in vain for security or staff at the center, then took matters into his own hands. He grabbed the kid and dragged him off the ice. The boy’s mother appeared and had Schmidl arrested.

Amherst cops say witness accounts largely confirm Schmidl’s story. The boy has had previous trouble at the rink, and his family is “familiar” to Amherst police.

In the court of law, Schmidl faces charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. In the court of public opinion, Schmidl is a hero. I got dozens of e-mails after previously writing about the case, mostly defending his actions.

Schmidl emerged unrepentant from Tuesday’s court hearing.

“The [court] will hopefully provide the [justification] for what I believe,” Schmidl said. “[Protecting] my son is the most important thing for me.”

Schmidl’s attorney did most of the talking, but the message was clear: The case is less about the law than it is about principles.

I do not condone putting hands on somebody else’s kid. As a matter of law, I think Schmidl loses. As a matter of common sense, he’s an action hero: Justifiable Avenger of the League of Authority.

Schmidl merely did what the boys’ parents ought to have done long ago: ladle out a generous helping of discipline.

No kid is perfect. No adult is perfect. But when a 10-year-old uses an adult for target practice, it says to me that the parents have not been minding the store. It takes a lot of parental coddling, excusemaking and myopia to produce a minimonster of this magnitude.

Instead of turning the other cheek, Schmidl stood his ground. Instead of meekly walking away, Schmidl refused to be abused. I am not saying that it was the smart thing to do. But given the situation, I can understand and even sympathize with it.

Maybe the full story will be told only in court. But if what we heard reflects what happened, Schmidl stands for the parent of every kid who has been victimized. He is the symbol of every adult who puts up with somebody else’s parenting mistake.

“My client intervened because he had to,” said attorney James Hartt. “I believe the people of Buffalo understand what [Schmidl] did. . . . He did what he had to do to have the kid held accountable.”

Odds are that it will not play in court. But in the court of public opinion, Schmidl is a crusader for a cause.

If bad parenting were a crime, Schmidl stands as society’s superhero. The court may punish him. The rest of us want to pat him on the back.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: New York
KEYWORDS: bully; punkkids; punkparents; removes; rink; schmidl
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1 posted on 06/07/2007 3:21:38 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Why in the world would the man lose on the law. The “self defense” defense is valid not just for oneself but for other too. The man stepped up and defended his child.

I can not believe and idiot cop arrested him. The man should press charges against the cop. The cop did not witness anything. For a cop to arrest you without a warrant requires the cop to witness you committing what the cop believes is a crime.


2 posted on 06/07/2007 3:25:44 PM PDT by JLS
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To: JLS

I guess the law expects a dad to act as a perpetual goalie, nothing more.


3 posted on 06/07/2007 3:28:37 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Aiming slapshots at someone would be assault with a deadly weapon (the puck). If any of those shots connected, however slightly, it becomes battery too. Simple self defense would require that the target act to stop the assault.


4 posted on 06/07/2007 3:28:43 PM PDT by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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To: JLS
"...The boy’s mother appeared and had Schmidl arrested."

The bully's Mom complained.

5 posted on 06/07/2007 3:28:44 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: LibWhacker

I wonder if he spent just as much time looking for the kid’s parents. Funny how they come out of the woodwork when they think there’s money to be made.

It’s an ice skating rink. People hit each other at high speed all the time in ... uhh... accidents... yeah, that’s the ticket.


6 posted on 06/07/2007 3:30:12 PM PDT by Kevmo (We need to get away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party ~Duncan Hunter)
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To: Kevmo
I wonder if he spent just as much time looking for the kid’s parents.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. I guess your one of those "time out parents".

7 posted on 06/07/2007 3:34:27 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: Orange1998

She saw him get hauled off. Did she just show up or did she witness her kids behavior?


8 posted on 06/07/2007 3:48:19 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: LibWhacker

What was he supposed to do? Stand there and let a puck hit his little 5 year old? The 10 year old was a little smart you know what and since the parents can’t and won’t discipline their child then another parent has to if it comes down to no one else taking charge. Yes, the man had a right to protect his son. Instead of being so upset his family ought to be glad someone cared enough to even keep the 10 year old out of more trouble since he already had previous issues. When will parents learn they are parents and not FRIENDS of their kids? A kid has to respect himself and his parents before he can respect anything or anybody else. Good for Dad. He’s a good dad and a loving dad.


9 posted on 06/07/2007 3:51:17 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: LibWhacker

What was he supposed to do? Stand there and let a puck hit his little 5 year old? The 10 year old was a little smart you know what and since the parents can’t and won’t discipline their child then another parent has to if it comes down to no one else taking charge. Yes, the man had a right to protect his son. Instead of being so upset his family ought to be glad someone cared enough to even keep the 10 year old out of more trouble since he already had previous issues. When will parents learn they are parents and not FRIENDS of their kids? A kid has to respect himself and his parents before he can respect anything or anybody else. Good for Dad. He’s a good dad and a loving dad.


10 posted on 06/07/2007 3:51:54 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: LibWhacker

Ooops. Sorry for three posts. I had a little trouble. :)


11 posted on 06/07/2007 3:52:30 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: JLS

“. For a cop to arrest you without a warrant requires the cop to witness you committing what the cop believes is a crime.”

Not true.


12 posted on 06/07/2007 3:53:52 PM PDT by MPJackal ("If you are not with us, you are against us.")
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To: Orange1998

Yes, if it’s warranted.

I’m also a Proverbs 13:24 parent, and a hockey stick might prove suitable for that purpose.


13 posted on 06/07/2007 3:56:03 PM PDT by Kevmo (We need to get away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party ~Duncan Hunter)
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To: CindyDawg
Did she just show up or did she witness her kids behavior?

She probably witnessed it and most likely thought it "amusing"....until the guy grabbed her little darling to haul him away. I've worked with kids and their parents for many years (no easy chore)....and some parents should be locked down or locked up for what they permit to grow into members of our society.

14 posted on 06/07/2007 3:57:16 PM PDT by LaineyDee (Don't mess with Texas wimmen!)
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To: Kevmo

I opt for the toilet plunger option.


15 posted on 06/07/2007 3:59:18 PM PDT by Mark was here (Hard work never killed anyone, but why take the chance?)
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To: Mark was here

See my post 6 for another option. “Accidents” will happen.


16 posted on 06/07/2007 4:01:16 PM PDT by Kevmo (We need to get away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party ~Duncan Hunter)
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To: Little Pig
Aiming slapshots at someone would be assault with a deadly weapon (the puck). If any of those shots connected, however slightly, it becomes battery too. Simple self defense would require that the target act to stop the assault.

In many states, you can't claim self-defense if you could have protected yourself by leaving the area.

17 posted on 06/07/2007 4:04:50 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Kevmo
Yea, one little whoopsie, it’ll work.
18 posted on 06/07/2007 4:14:25 PM PDT by Mark was here (Hard work never killed anyone, but why take the chance?)
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To: LibWhacker
I do not condone putting hands on somebody else’s kid.

Which is why the brat felt sure he could get away with murder. (And before his "youth" ticket has expired, he very likely WILL get away with murder.)

19 posted on 06/07/2007 4:17:25 PM PDT by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: LibWhacker

No respect for the COP that arrested him and no respect for the court that convicts him of any wrong doing. Even the reporter that wrote the story thinks the guy did the right thing but will lose in court. He should be writing another story about that.


20 posted on 06/07/2007 4:18:00 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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