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View Diary: "Pro-life" advocate stabs two (23 comments)

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  •  To Be Fair... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, Catte Nappe

    ...there is key information not being presented from the article - Tolhurst was being beaten in the face when he brandished the knife. I'm not saying this guy isn't a jerk or a nuisance, but Ted Clair should never have come back with his daughter to engage this maniac in the first place. This may have started because of differing opinions/views on abortion but the stupidity by both parties turned it into another act of needless violence.

    •  I would add, though... (3+ / 0-)

      ...that it appears Tollhurst committed assault first when he shoved the woman, at which point she went and got Ted Clair to confront the guy.  If she'd called the cops instead, things might have worked out better.

      •  in which case he should have been charged (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        and not released

      •  True, but I would also add... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bill W

        ...it was Kailah who escalated the situation by kicking over Tolhurst's signs. One bad decision after another on both ends.

        I guess my point is that this diary isn't as relevant to "abortion" as it is to "people being stupid".

      •  Ms. Clair may have escalated things in kicking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, winglion

        over some of Tollhurst's signs before things reached the point where she felt a need to go back to fetch her dad.  And so there's probably a lot of missing interaction history in the reports to date. It looks like a story we should be watching, but it is likely it's not a black and white story where one person is clearly at fault.

        It's not clear to what degree Tollhurst's protest may have devolved into personally and verbally accosting Ms. Clair and perhaps he made attempts to intimidate her to the point where she felt the urge to express her anger by kicking over his signs.  My point is the Police are still trying to piece together what all happened and there may have been more of a tangled history than the preliminary story tells and it may not reflect so well on the Clairs.

        It is possible all three were people bent on angry personal confrontation since this is a highly charged emotional issue where basic rights seem to conflict.  Privacy and the right to take care of one's personal business unhindered versus Free Speech can make for angry conflict.  Personal honor and rights tend to get cloudy and mixed up when so angry. It's not hard to understand a father feeling a need for defending his daughter against a male antagonist who was perhaps 'getting in her face' and pushing her around in a setting where women's privacy and need for safety ought to be respected. I can guess such a father might have thought that since it's not a crowd her daughter faced but just one man who needs to be confronted about his intrusive and dispicable behavior, so there is no real need to involve the police. Perhaps that's flawed thinking, but what matters is the confrontation soon became pretty deadly, rather than being a polite and free exchange of ideas, and police response was definitely needed.

        We might be seeing a case where both parties involved felt they were operating on some sort of a 'stand your ground' basis and felt they had just cause to defend themselves, regardless of whether they were indeed justified in going looking for a fight. Clearly if being beaten down badly a man is likely to feel entitled to defend himself. We might yet learn Tollhurst may not have backed down and exited the scene when that would have been the most prudent and adult thing to do, but then again perhaps he didn't get much of a chance. Likewise for Mr. Clair. Things seemed to go out of control sufficient for someone nearby to call the police as the men got very physical.

        Pulling a knive may have seemed like the thing to do for Mr. Tollhurst if Mr. Clair was bigger and stronger and Mr. Tollhurst under duress felt his life was endangered.  As for Tollhurst stabbing Mr. Clair 7 times with his knife, well this sounds like a prolonged struggle that was engaged, possibly with neither man considering backing off and de-esculating the conflict.  It might even have been a fight to the death had the police not intervened, but again we don't know the whole story yet.

        I suspect whomever is the local district attorney will be mulling over whether to prosecute 1, 2 or the 3 of them; or whether to recommend psychiatric evaluations for 1 or more; and also considering the potential inflammatory risks of pursuing any prosecutorial actions. But regardless, a careful D.A. would be cautious to act or say much until getting well-founded police reports.

        The clinic might be prudent to seek restraiining orders and to request more police presence. Ideally better laws will be put into place regarding protesting close to a women's health clinic and to better ensure the safety and privacy of women accessing the clinic. I think we could be thankful none of these 3 were pulling out any firearms, or that 'concerned' bystanders pulled them out.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:22:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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