If you’ve been in Austin for a while, you’re probably familiar with the rock throwing cases that went on from 2014 to 2016. Several people were injured in the incidents, including one who suffered a permanent traumatic brain injury.
In June of last year, Pat Johnson was arrested after rousing police suspicion (he had a knack for showing up at the scene of several rock throwing incidents, posing as a good Samaritan). And recently, he entered his plea for four counts of aggravated assault – guilty.
His sentence is 40 years in prison. This sentence will run concurrently to a 99-year sentence for aggravated assault of a child.
Johnson said that distress over his health led to his lashing out and throwing the rocks, although his confessions have provided several different justifications for his crimes.
Intentional Injury – Can I Sue If a Criminal Harms Me?
Suppose you suffer injury in a rock throwing incident. Once they catch the perpetrator, the police will begin criminal proceedings. But the criminal court side of it isn’t the only side. You can file a third-party injury claim against the person who hurt you.
For these claims to go anywhere, the plaintiff must be able to prove intent. Now, intent works a bit differently here than you might think. The plaintiff does not have to show that the defendant wanted to specifically harm the plaintiff. Instead, the plaintiff must only prove that the defendant intended to commit the act that led to the victim’s harm. So, in a case like the rock throwing injuries, the victims would only have to show that the criminal intended to throw the rocks. They don’t need to show necessarily that the criminal wanted to hurt people. That’s because harmful results are certain or substantially likely to occur because of the rock throwing.