“Starbucks robber to sue customer”

“A man who is accused of trying to rob a Fresno, California Starbucks plans to sue a customer who stopped him for using excessive force. Fresno police called the customer a ‘courageous hero’ for his actions and did not charge Cregg Jerri for his actions.” Jerri wrested the knife from Ryan Florez, who now faces charges of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Florez’s mother, Pamela Chimienti, says Jerri didn’t have to stab Florez so many times in subduing him. [Fox 11 L.A.]


  • When a litigious criminal faces sentencing (and later seeks parole), a lawsuit like this should constitute legal proof of a total lack of remorse.

    • I’m not so sure about that. It’s possible for the criminal to know he did wrong, yet still think the other guy went too far. (Not that I think the other guy went too far in this case.)

      What if you tweaked the facts, and the guy plunged the knife in a few more times a few minutes later, right when the police were arriving? What if you tweaked them more, and the criminal was unarmed and the other guy stabbed him anyway? Eventually you reach a scenario where the stabbing clearly is unjustified. What’s the standard? Are we going to say that if you commit any illegal act, anyone is justified in doing anything to stop you, and you can’t sue them?

      Given the length of time it can take lawsuits to go through the system (and given that he’s probably got at least a year to file), the criminal is probably already sentenced by the time it gets through the courts, so you can’t base sentencing on whether the lawsuit was determined to have merit. And taking the lawsuit into account when he’s up for parole isn’t very probative; even if it theoretically showed he was remorseless at the time, it doesn’t show he’s still remorseless, which is what the parole board cares about.

      However, although I don’t think it shows he’s completely remorseless, in this particular case it might indicate that perhaps he doesn’t fully appreciate the seriousness of his crime. He stabbed someone in the neck with a knife – the guy probably HAD to stab him that many times, because he was afraid for his life. (At the very least, the guy has no way of knowing precisely how many stabs were needed to subdue him, and one too few could mean the criminal kills him.) The criminal is lucky he’s not being charged with attempted murder. He’s also lucky the other guy didn’t kill him.

    • I am in no doubt that some time after this and all his other suits are dismissed and before his appearance before the parole board, he will come to regret the crime he was convicted of and his rancor towards those who participated in his capture: even if that regret and rancor disappear and the pro set law suits reappear after his parole is rejected.

      A man is a moody thing.


  • Didn’t have to stab him so many times—um, innocent people, as a matter of law, have a margin of error when it comes to dealing with armed criminals plying their trade.

  • The doctrine of “unclean hands” should have this case kicked out of court in the first couple of days, as all cases of criminals suing for conduct that occurs during their crime.

    • So if the police – or bystanders – beat you after you say something defamatory about someone (yes, defamation is a crime in my state), you think you shouldn’t be able to sue? I don’t think I like that standard. Just because you’re committing a crime doesn’t mean literally anything is justified.

      Also, I’m not a lawyer, but a quick search seems to indicate that “unclean hands” is generally an equitable defense. I somehow doubt the robber is going to seek an equitable remedy, such as an injunction against future stabbings.

      • Yes, the doctrine of “unclean hands” is part of equity, and has generally not been allowed into actions grounded in law. Here is an unsuccessful 1982 proposal to change matters, which however notes that the doctrine in any event “is not “a license to destroy the rights of persons whose conduct is unethical,” but “a matter of sound discretion for the court, and should never prevent a court “from doing justice.” ” http://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2470&context=ndlr

  • That margin of error is baked into what the ordinary, reasonable prudent person would do, SPO. The question is whether he went too far. Like you, I assume that he did not but I have no clue.

    Walter is right, this is not a clean hands application. Nor should it be. We can all agree that if the guy with intent continued to stab the guy beyond what was reasonable for subduing him (giving him latitude as SPO suggests), that is a bad thing.

    CountryClubRepublican has an utterly awful handle and even worse ideas about what our laws should be.

    I love this website. I do think the number of “this inmate or this knuckhead” filed a lawsuit posts is somewhat misleading. The great likelihood is that this lawsuit is nonsense. But we don’t know the facts. Either way, the fact that this claim was filed tell us very little about anything.