San Jose police report that 18-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused), an allegedly homeless woman, walked into a San Jose Walmart on Story Road and began hitting a 4-year-old little girl with a crowbar. The child’s father reports that he was simply shopping with his daughter when the aforementioned woman suddenly came at his daughter with the weapon. He managed to stop the assailant before she hit his daughter more than once. There is still speculation as to why she committed the crime at all, but she has been booked into Santa Clara County jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
In California, assault with a deadly weapon with the intent of injuring someone greatly is addressed in (CA Penal Code 245(a)(1)). Generally, this crime is what is known as a ‘wobbler,’ meaning that it is at the prosecutor’s discretion to put forth misdemeanor or felony charges. This all depends on the type of weapon that is used in the particular assault. For example, many things that we would not think of as deadly weapons could, under the right circumstance, be considered a ‘deadly weapon,’ like beer bottles, pencils, and even a vehicle. In fact, pretty much anything could be considered a deadly weapon, with the exception of a person’s hands, feet, or other parts of the body.
Her case is a bit more ‘cut and dry’ than many California ADW instances as she allegedly used a crowbar to hit a small child. If she is convicted of a misdemeanor ADW charge, she faces $10,000 in fines, 1 year in county jail, possible anger management classes, and community service. However, if she is convicted of a felony ADW, then she will meet with harsher treatment: $10,000 in fines, up to 4 years in state prison, and a strike on her record.