The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Looney Tunes 'Coyote' Places Booby Trap on Sam Dimas Street

It isn't known if there were Roadrunner sightings in Southern California, but apparently there was a Wile E. Coyote-style booby trap on a San Dimas Street the other day, reports The Daily Bulletin.

Booby traps (whose etymology derives from the Spanish for bobo which means fool or idiot) sound fun, but they can be very dangerous. In the case of the San Dimas booby trap, a four foot tall device painted black, was rigged with a rock also spray painted black. When a car hit the device the rock shot into windshield of the 2006 Audi.

In fact, this is not the first booby trap in San Dimas. In other instances there have been rocks or even pieces of plastic embedded with nails and drill bits on the road.

There are any number of provisions of the California penal code under which the San Dimas booby trapper could get charged. One possible charge might be assault under California Penal Code Section 240-248.

It defines assault as an "unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another."

It may look cute in Looney Tunes, but there are real consequences in the real world. For punishment, an assault in California is punishable by a fine of $1,000, or by jail time to the tune of six months, or both.

And, there is an additional provision here. If the assault is against a police officer or peace officer of any other kind, the fine might be up to $2,000 and the jail time could rise to one year.

In the San Dimas booby trap case, one of the cars that was damaged belonged to a reserve police officer, so already the person making the booby traps is treading on thin ice.

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