Author Topic: Case Study: knifing victim testimony  (Read 5831 times)


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Case Study: knifing victim testimony
« on: May 08, 2008, 06:20:04 AM »

Q   What happened next?
A   All I can remember was him getting out of the car.  My emotions were running so high, because my adrenaline was pumping.  You know, I've got my daughter in the back seat.
I seen him get out of his car, and that was it.  I didn't think about nothing else.  I got out.  I wanted to protect my family, because this guy is crazy.  He swerved at us like that for no reason.
Q   How do you describe how this person got out the car?
A   He just, basically, ripped his door off it's hinges getting out.  You know, I just saw the door fling open.
Q   Was that on the driver's side or the passenger's?
A   Driver's.
Q   Do you remember what the person looked like that got out of the car?
A   Not at all.
Q   Not at all?
A   No.
Q   So, you can't identify the person as being here in the courtroom?
A   No, I really can't.
Q   So, you saw, what you said, the door fly off the hinges --
A   I'm just saying he pushed it open real hard like he was getting out to fight.  
Q   Where was the driver of that car when you got out of your car?
A   The driver of his car?
He was the driver.
Q   Right; where was he when you decided to get out of your car?
A   Coming towards my car.
Q   But where?
Between his driver's side and where you met him --
A   I mean, as soon as I seen him get out and approach my car, I got out.  So, he didn't even make it past his car yet.
Q   And you got out of the passenger side of your car?
A   Uh-huh.
Q   What happened next?
A   It was just a clash.  No words, it was a clash.
Q   Do you remember what happened?
Can you tell the Court what happened?
A   All I remember is just -- I mean, I can't remember exactly what happened.  I remember we clashed and just started fighting.
I had no idea, I mean, nothing was going on.  I thought it was just a fist fight, and when my friends realized that all that blood was coming from me, they decided it was time to get out and help me out, and --
Q   Did you see any weapon?
A   I never saw it.  Never.
Q   Did you notice any blood?
A   On my head.  I figured it was a grazing punch.  I never thought it was a knife.
Q   Okay.
Where in relation to the cars did this fight take place?        
A   I'm not exactly sure, but if I had to make a guess, I'd say in the middle somewhere.
Q   Okay.
What did you do after that?
A   After what?
Q   After this fight.
Did you get back in your car, or did you --
A   Well, that's when Justin was like, Mike, stop fighting; because I, I mean, I pretty much lost it.
He said look at your stomach, and I pulled my shirt up an my guts were hanging out of my stomach, and that's when I realized I needed to go to the hospital.
I ran back to my car, and Justin flew back there, somehow, and we rushed to the hospital.
Q   What injuries did you sustain as a result of this fight?
A   I got stabbed and lacerated eight times.  I got stabbed in the triceps, I got slashed in my temple, I got my guts cut out of my stomach, I got poked in the chest, poked in the back, slashed in my right arm.
Q   What treatment did you receive at the hospital?
A   What do you mean by that?
Q   What treatment, what did they do to you, and what hospital did you go to?
A   The first one I went to was Potomac Hospital.
Q   Okay.
What happened there?
A   It was kind of a blur at that point because I was losing so much blood.
All I remember was walking into the hospital with blood everywhere, and they threw me on a table, stripped my clothes off, there was like, eight doctors around me, and that was it.  I blacked out.
Q   Where did you wake up?
A   I woke up in ICU in Fairfax.
Q   How long were you in the intensive care unit?
A   Without knowing exactly, I'd say two or three days.
Q   Do you have scars as a result of this fight?
A   Very bad scars.
Q   I'd ask you to show the judge your scars.
A   All of them, or just --
THE COURT:  Do I need to see this, for preliminary hearing purposes?
THE COURT:  All right.
Q   Do you have any permanent injuries as a result of this?
A   Yeah.
Q   What is that?
A   I have nerve damage in my left arm where he stabbed me in the triceps.  I can't squeeze with my left hand.
Q   Were you able to do that before this?
A   Oh, yeah.  Strong as an ox before this.
Q   What are you unable to squeeze?
You're able to move your hand?
A   Yeah, I just don't have any pressure to squeeze it.
Q   Please answer any questions that Mr. Teluk has for you.
   * * * * *
Q   Then, at a certain point in time, you decided to exit the vehicle driven by your wife; right?
A   Yes.
Q   Why did you exit that vehicle?
A   Because I had my three-year-old daughter in the back seat, I had my wife sitting next to me, I didn't know if this guy had a gun, I didn't know if he was going to come force us out of the -- I had no idea what he was going to do.
Out of nowhere, he came and swerved at my car, so at this point in time, I didn't what this guy's intentions were.
So, at that point in time, I had no second thoughts about getting out of my car and defending my family, and that's just what was going through my head.
Q   Any other reason you exited the vehicle at that point in time?
A   Any other reason why, other than to protect my family?
Q   Yes.
A   No.
Q   Now, at that point in time, both vehicles are stopped; right?
A   Yes.
Q   You're in the passenger side; correct?
A   Right.
Q   The driver of this vehicle is in front of your vehicle; correct?
A   Yes.
Q   He's on the driver's side; right?
A   Yes.
Q   Any other reason why you believed you had to exit your vehicle to protect you family?
A   What do you mean by that?
Q   Well, you said you exited your vehicle; right?
A   Right.
Q   Because you didn't know what this person was going to do?
A   Right.
Q   This person when you exit your vehicle; where is this other person?
A   On the way to my car.
Q   Okay; what is he doing?
A   I really don't know.  If I don't know what he looks like -- I mean, there's a lot of things that's a blur.
At that point in time, I felt in danger for my family.
Q   Any other reason that you testify to that you felt either you or you family was in danger, other than what you testified to?
A   No.
Q   All right.
So this male gets out of the car; correct?
A   Uh-huh.
Q   Does he say anything o you?
A   No.
Q   Does he do anything unusual to lead you to believe that --
A   He almost swerved my family off the road for no reason.  That was kind of unusual.
Q   That's the only reason you wanted to protect your family at that point in time?
A   I didn't know what was going on.
Q   I understand that.
Now, you exited your vehicle after he exited his vehicle, or vise-versa?
A   Say that again.
Q   You exited the vehicle before or after he exited his vehicle?
A   After he exited his.
Q   All right; and where was he in relationship to the driver's side door of his vehicle, where was he in relationship to that driver's side door when you exited your vehicle?
A   You mean the time I exited?
Q   Yes.
A   He was getting out of his car.
Q   He was just getting out of his car?
A   Uh-huh.
Q   He was not at the front of your vehicle; he was just getting out of his car?
A   No, he wasn't banging on my window or nothing, telling me to get out.  I just -- it was an instant reaction that I had.
I just got out.  It was the only thing I could think to do.  I didn't have ten minutes to sit there and think about what was the best thing to do legally.
It was an animal instinct.  I had my three-year-old daughter behind me.  That means everything to me.  It was a split second decision.  It might have been the wrong one.  That's what I decided to do.      
Q   He's not yelling at you or screaming at you, or anything like that; right?
A   No.
Q   So what did you do next after you exited the passenger side door of your vehicle?
A   I ran right into him and started fighting.
Q   You started the fight?
A   No, I didn't start the fight.
Q   But you just said you started fighting.
A   Yes, that's the intention I had getting out of the car, was to fight to protect my family.
Q   So, how did you start the fight?
A   How did I start the fight?
Q   Yes.
A   How did I start the physical altercation, you mean?
I jumped out and I clashed into him.  I felt like I needed to that to prevent this guy -- I have no idea what the hell he's doing with my family, I had no idea what his intentions were.
My animal instincts told me to get out and keep him away from my car, keep him away from my daughter behind me.
Q   So you said you clashed into him?
A   Yes.
Q   C-L-A-S-H-E-D; is that the word you used; clashed?
A   Yeah.
Q   How did you clash into him?
A   I don't -- I can't explain it.  If I knew if I threw him a three piece combo or knee, I'd tell you that.  That's why I say clash.  I don't remember it.  I just remember this (indicating).  That's all I remember.
Q   Did you run towards him?
A   Yes.
Q   He wasn't running towards you when you ran towards him; is that correct?
A   Yes, he was running towards me.  It was a mutual -- I mean as far as that goes, he clashed into me.  It was like this (indicating).
It was a clash.  It wasn't like I attacked him.  It was a clash.
Q   Where did this clash take place?
A   Between both of our cars.
Q   Do you recall which portion of your body clashed with his body?
A   No.  Other wise, I'd say something other than clash.  I don't remember.  If I did, I'd say something, but all I remember in my head is a clash.
Q   Do you know how long this clashing occurred?
A   No.  I remember a clash, and we broke up and squared up.
Q   I'm sorry, you broke up and what?
A   When we first hit, it was a clash.  I don't remember what happened, and then we broke back up, and
we both squared up, and we were both fighting.
So, as far as I know, it's a boxing match after we broke up after the first clash.  You know, he took a swing.
All this blood came from my head.  I figured, he grazed me with a fist or something like that busted my head open.
I had no idea I was getting stabbed.  So, I kept fighting.  After I started bleeding, I really started fighting as hard as I could.
Q   The clash took place between the rear of your vehicle and the front of your vehicle; correct?
Is that a fair characterization?
A   Yeah.  I mean, I almost died that night.  I can't tell you exactly what happened.  I'm giving you the best I can remember.
Q   I understand, and isn't it true that after this clash occurred, this male proceeded towards the front door of his vehicle?
A   Do what?
Q   You proceeded towards the driver's door of his vehicle?
A   After we clashed?
Q   Yes.
A   Absolutely not.
Q   Why do you disagree with that statement?
A   Because we squared up when we broke up off of that clash.
Q   After you squared up, what happened then?
A   I just remember throwing fist in a normal fistfight, and --
Q   You do remember hitting him with you fist; correct?
A   Yes, I do.
Q   How many times did you hit him with your fist?
A   I couldn't tell you an exact number, but I hit him a few times.
Q   At least five?
A   That's fair.
Q   Would at least ten be fair?
A   Maybe.  Like I said, I mean, it was blur.  I got my temple sliced open and I was losing blood so fast.       I mean, it's kind of hard to remember something that's going on.
Q   Did he strike you with his fists?
A   He struck me with the knife, and I didn't even know he was doing the knife, so I can't tell you what he did.
I mean --
Q   Do you recall how many times he hit you with his fist, if he hit you at all?
A   No.  I didn't know any of that.  I didn't know what he was doing.  All I was worried about was I'm going to do.
Q   Do you recall any other physical contact between you and this mail that was driving this car?
A   Other than the fight?
Q   Other than what you testified to?
A   Yeah.
Q   What other physical contact do you remember?
A   You mean after we broke up?
Q   All right.  Besides --
A   I remember jumping into his car when the fight was -- because I got in a fight mode, and I pretty much lost it.  


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Re: Case Study: knifing victim testimony
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 06:20:49 AM »

I mean, I didn't know it at the time, but I had my guts hanging out of my stomach, my temple was slashed.
I was basically fighting for my life, and I was just in that fighting mode, I remember jumping into his car and kneeing him in his face.
That's when my friend said, Mike, stop; you've been stabbed, and I looked up in my stomach and --
Q   Explain to us, how is it that after this clash, you ended up in the front seat of this vehicle?
A   I can't tell you how I got in his vehicle.  I don't remember that.  I really don't.  All I remember is that I was in that fighting mode.
No law, nothing was in my head that was -- you know what I mean.  At that point, I was in a fighting mode.  Some one has got to stop me at that point.
Q   But you do remember going towards the driver's side of the vehicle driven by this male and going towards that door?
A   Yes, yes.
Q   Did you enter the vehicle?
A   I didn't enter it.  I didn't -- like, I reached in there and grabbed his head.
Q   You did?
Well, explain to us, to the best of your recollection, how is it that this male that was driving this vehicle proceeded from between the two of your vehicles towards the front door of his vehicle?
A   I can't tell you that.  I don't know.
Q   Did you see him do that?
A   See him do what; go to his car?
Q   Go to his car after the clash.
A   I mean, I couldn't give you an honest answer.  I don't remember.  I mean, I do remember, somehow, he had his legs out of the car; and I do remember going there and grabbing his head and kneeing his face, and I remember that's what ended the fight.
That's when my friend said, Mike, stop fighting.  You're hurt.  Because I didn't feel any of that.
Q   Any other reason in your mind why you went towards the front door of his vehicle?
A   Like I said, I was in fight mode.  I wasn't thinking clearly.  That's the only explanation I have.
I mean, I was bleeding to death.
I wasn't in my right -- if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have followed him.  I would have pulled over and let him go, but you know, that's not what happened.
I didn't do everything text book right, but like I said, it was just instincts.  I couldn't help it.
Q   So, you're guts were hanging out of your stomach; were you intestines actually hanging out of your stomach?
A   Yes.  My friend was holding in my stomach for me.
Q   Who was?
A   My friend in the car was holding in my stomach for me so they wouldn't lay on the car seat.
Q   Before this clash took place between these two vehicles, did you make any gestures towards the vehicle driven by the male?
A   Before anything happened?
Q   Before, you testified there was a clash, and a clash occurred between he vehicle driven by the male and the vehicle driven by your wife.
A   Right.
Q   That was the first physical contact.
A   Yes.
Q   Before that occurred that evening on that day, did you make any gestures towards the vehicle that was driven by this male?
A   No, sir.  If I did, I might have a reason -- I might understand why it was he swerved.  That's why I can't understand what the point of that swerve was.
As soon as I looked over at him, he swerved.  I can't understand what caused him to do that. 
Q   Did anybody in you vehicle make any gestures towards the male before the clash occurred?
A   Not that I'm aware of.  I didn't see any.
THE COURT:  When you say clash, you're talking about the vehicle swerving behavior, and not the person's clashing?
MR. TELUK:  I'm referring to the actual clash between the male and Mr. Daniel.  That's the clash I'm referring to.
THE COURT:  Okay.  I'm going to ask you to rephrase the question, please.
MR. TELUK:  I'll rephrase the question.
BY MR. TELUK:           
Q   That evening, that day, did you or anybody inside your vehicle, make any gestures towards the vehicle that was driven by that male?
A   Not that I saw, no.
Q   Before that clash occurred between yourself and the male in that vehicle, did you say anything, or did anybody in you vehicle say anything to anybody in the vehicle that was driven by the male?
A   No, there was no words.
Q   You testified that you pretty much lost it that evening?
A   After I had my temple cut and my guts cut out of my stomach, yeah; I lost it.  I didn't necessarily know that that was happening, but there was something inside of me.
Apparently, that was it, because I've never felt like that in my life.
Q   Well, did you lose it before this clash occurred?
A   No, not like I did when I got cut.
Q   So, you do admit you lost it before the clashing occurred?
A   No, that's not what I just said.
Q   Well, how would you characterize your statement that you believe you lost it before this clash occurred?
A   Say that again, please.
Q   You testified on direct examination that you pretty much lost it that evening or that night.
That was your testimony; right?
A   Not -- that's not what caused me to get out of the car.
Q   Well, listen to the question, please.
You testified on direct examination that that evening or that night, you pretty much lost it.
That's what you said; correct?
A   At a certain point in time, yeah.
Q   You said that?
A   Yes.
Q   I'm asking you, what did you mean by that statement?
A   By losing it?
Q   Yes.
A   I mean, just going off.  I mean, I had blood coming out of my head. 
MS. ASHWORTH:  Your Honor, I'm going to object at this point as asked and answered.
If he wants to put it into context when that statement was made, then maybe the witness can clarify it, but without any other information, I think he's testified over and over again what he meant and what happened to the best of his recollection.   
MR. TELUK:  I'm going to rephrase the question.
THE COURT:  I'm going to overrule the objection.  I think you're going to follow that question to try to elicit further information.  Go ahead.
Q   Besides what you testified up to this point in time, you testified that that evening, you pretty much lost it.
A   I don't know what you mean by that evening.  I mean, I told you I lost it after I got stabbed eight times.
Q   Was that when you lost it?
A   Yeah.  When I kneed him in his face, I lost it.  I shouldn't have done that.
Q   You shouldn't have done what?
A   I shouldn't have followed him in his car and kneed him in his face.  That's what I meant by losing it.
Q   Okay.
A   I could have got back in my car and went to the hospital.
Q   And from the time this vehicle driven by this male swerved into the vehicle that had been driven by your wife, you were consistently angry; correct?
A   Yeah, I was very angry.  I didn't lose it.  I was angry.  I wanted to see him get arrested.
Q   You wanted to do him some harm that day; correct, before the clash occurred?
A   Yeah, I wanted to see him get put back behind a cop car.
Q   You wanted to fight with him before the clash occurred; isn't that true?
A   A fist fight?
Q   Yes.
A   I didn't want to fight.  If I could have sat there and called the police and had the police come -- my -- it was stupid to do that. 
It was stupid to follow him and try to act like a cop myself to help a cop get him.  That was dumb, but that's what I did.
I had no intention of stopping and getting out.  I got put with a split second decision and I made my decision.
Q   And you started the fight; yes or no?
A   No, I didn't start the fight.
Q   Did this male in the vehicle start the fight?
A   I would say so.
Q   Tell us why you believe he started the fight.
A   Well, he came up beside my car full of my family and swerved me off the road for no reason.
I think that's enough to start a fight, wouldn't you?
Q   Any other reason?
A   Getting out of his car and making threatening gestures to my car.  That'd be a reason.
Q   What threatening gestures did he make?
A   Swinging his door open and getting out like he's going to fight.  I've got my three year old daughter.  I have no idea what this guy's going to do.
Q   Any other threatening gestures?
A   No.
MR. TELUK:  I have no further questions.