A Texas cop wound up in handcuffs after he allegedly hit a fellow officer and farted in his face. How’s that for organic tear gas? Lago Vista Police Det. Lawrence Michael Jonap, 45, was charged with assault by causing bodily injury, the Austin American-Statesman reports. But where does the alleged fart figure in to the charges?
Fart in the Face
In the first incident, according to the report, Jonap walked by police dispatcher Donald Varner and kicked him in the back, laughing while he did it. The affidavit says Varner reported the incident to his superiors immediately, according to the Statesman.
The next day, Jonap allegedly hit the communications operator on the head with a notebook, flicked his ear and then farted in his face.
For his apparently puerile actions, Jonap was charged with assault with injury, a Class A misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Is Farting an Assault?
Technically, a proverbial pulling of the finger could count as assault and/or battery. Generally, an assault is an attempt or threat to injure another person, while a battery would be actually contacting another person in a harmful or offensive manner.
When passing gas, the difference between an assault and battery is when the fart makes impact. For example, a West Virginia man was once charged with battery on a police officer for farting on a cop, Fox News reports.
The rule of fart battery: If you said the rhyme and did the crime (the crime of farting, that is), and you meant it to be offensive contact, then that’s a potential battery. As we learned from the classic tort case Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications, cigarette smoke counts, too. But that’s way less fun than farts.
Perhaps the next time Jonap tries to pull a stunt (or a finger) in the workplace, he should get a formal farting reprimand.