Can Splashing Cops With Beer Lead to Assault Conviction? Ask Jonathan Sdao
Niwot's Jonathan Sdao has pleaded guilty to assault for splashing two police officers with beer from a red Solo cup.
There's more to our latest Schmuck of the Week story than that, of course. But the details suggest that Sdao might not be the only schmuck in this tale.
Sdao is a former student at Maine's Colby College, and last May, just prior to graduation at the institution, CentralMaine.com reports that he was among a crowd of between 200 and 250 students who'd gathered around a bonfire — though it would be more accurately described as a dumpster fire fueled by flaming mattresses and furniture.
When the cops moved in, some of the students allegedly began hurling items at them, and Sdao was singled out. The local chief of police maintained that when he was approached by a pair of police officers, Sdao "became aggressive, got close to officers' faces and was hollering at them, saying the officers were on private property," the report states, adding, "They determined Sdao was intoxicated, and at one point they moved him along, but Sdao shouted obscenities, turned around and threw a bottle that struck both officers."
Sounds pretty bad — and Sdao was promptly busted on two counts of assault and a charge of refusing to submit to an arrest. But by this month, when the case was finally resolved, the narrative unveiled in a new CentralMaine.com piece had changed.
Turns out that Sdao hadn't actually struck the officers with a bottle. Instead, he'd tossed a red Solo cup full of beer in their general direction — and while neither was actually struck by the cup, some of the beer got on them.
A Colby-centric pic from Jonathan Sdao's Facebook page.
Nonetheless, prosecutors pushed for punishment, and Sdao ultimately agreed to enter a guilty plea as part of what's described as a "deferred disposition arrangement." The charge will be dismissed and his record cleaned up if he donates $1,000 to a local camp and "takes part in a forum at Colby in the spring to discuss respect for first responders and fire safety," CentralMaine.com notes.
This resolution means that months of legal twists and turns have finally concluded in an incident that could have been addressed with a towel.
Next time, Sdao should really be more careful with his beer.