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Name: People v. White
Case #: B259137
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/27/2015
Summary

Evidence that inmate threw a metal object at a reinforced window separating him from officers with enough force to shatter it was sufficient evidence of force likely to produce great bodily injury. After a correctional officer pepper sprayed White in the face, she permitted him to take a shower in a room with a window facing the control desk where she and another officer sat. The window was constructed of wire-reinforced glass. At some point, White broke off the metal showerhead and threw it at the window, which shattered the glass and sent particles flying into one officer’s eye. White picked up the showerhead and threw it at the window a second time. It burst through the reinforced glass and a shard cut the other officer’s lip. White was convicted of two counts of assault on a peace officer with force likely to produce great bodily harm. (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (c).) On appeal, White argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove he knew that throwing the showerhead would probably and directly result in the application of force to another person because a reasonable person would assume that a wire-reinforced glass window was unbreakable. Held: Affirmed. Assault on a peace officer with force likely to cause great bodily harm requires proof that the defendant was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that a battery would directly, naturally, and probably result from such conduct. Based on the evidence, the jury could find that a reasonable person would reasonably believe that that throwing a metal showerhead at officers seated six feet behind a glass window would probably and directly result in injury. White did this twice. The fact that a safety feature hampered White’s attack does not exonerate him. Additionally, he could still be convicted of assault even if he did not personally know that reinforced glass could be broken.