A Muslim cab driver claimed, days after the Boston Marathon bombing, that a Virginia man had beaten him, leaving him badly injured with a concussion and broken jaw. Prosecutors initially filed criminal assault charges. The problem, it turned out, was that a video of part of the incident only showed the man insulting the cab driver verbally. The cab driver claimed that the beating occurred subsequently, off camera, but prosecutors concluded that there were enough discrepancies in his story that they had little choice but to drop the case.
Specifically, what made little sense was the timing of the cab driver’s 911 call reporting the incident. The time that the call was received made it literally impossible that the beating happened how and when the cab driver said that it did. The prosecutor made statements indicating that there is enough controversy in the world without fabricating things that did not occur.
The cab driver objected to the dropping of the assault charges and claimed that he had turned the video camera off before the alleged beating had occurred. He didn’t explain why he would do that in the midst of a heated argument.
The defendant’s lawyer insinuated that the cabdriver had known that his passenger was wealthy as a result of going to a country club to pick him up. The attorney argued that the cab driver made up the story in hopes of filing a lucrative civil lawsuit. The cabdriver has stated that he does, indeed, intend to pursue such a lawsuit, despite the charges being dropped.
An accusation of an assault or other crime by a purported victim is often enough for police to make an arrest. But such an arrest is not any proof of guilt and must, in order to result in a conviction at trial, be supported by reliable and admissible evidence proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Washington Post, “Prosecutors drop charges against Virginia man accused of assaulting Muslim cab driver” No author given, Nov. 14, 2013