Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Crossbow Road Rage Gets Butterworth Arrested

We all get mad on the roads. People drive like jerks and we have to deal with it. There's a bumper sticker that relates well to the situation and it goes something like this, "if you're on the road, and not me..." You can probably figure out the rest.

This seemed to be the problem that Kenneth Butterworth (no relation to Mrs. Butterworth) had the other day. After having another car pull in front of him, Butterworth drove beside the car and pointed his loaded crossbow at the other driver, in some sort of crossbow road rage, according to Metro Philadelphia. The victim called 911 and followed Butterworth to a parking lot, where again Butterworth pointed the crossbow at him.

It’s clear this was not Mr. Butterworth’s best idea, but it raises an interesting point because he didn’t actually hurt anyone.

Even though Butterworth didn’t hurt anybody, he has committed something known as an inchoate crime, or a crime that has not yet been completed. Generally, these crimes are attempt, conspiracy and aiding in a crime.

While assault is not generally grouped with the inchoate crimes, it is a similar theory because it will be found when a person threatens another with the ability to fulfill their threat. Under Pennsylvania law, the crime of simple assault is defined as attempting to harm someone, or to put someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Here, Butterworth has clearly threatened the victim with his crossbow. He also had the ability to cause serious bodily harm because the bow was loaded and ready to fire. We can assume that the victim was frightened because he called 911.

Unfortunately for Kenneth Butterworth, he is not as sweet as Mrs. Butterworth. However, he has helped us coin a new phrase “crossbow road rage,” as in “I’m so angry, I’ve got crossbow road rage!”

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