Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Matter Of Self Defense


Eric Bertrand is lucky a Second Amendment enthusiast was not shopping at Whole Foods Market late yesterday afternoon .  The first frantic reports from the scene via multiple 911 calls indicated a man was randomly discharging a "white powder" onto innocent bystanders.



One customer, unhappy about the assault, got into a physical altercation with Eric Bertrand, age 59, but appears to have ended up on the wrong end of his "shod foot."

Had this odd event taken place in Texas, Mr. Bertrand would probably have been shot in self defense, since many people at first worried  the powder was potentially a terrorist HazMat (hazardous materials) incident.


Amherst Fire Department later transported Bertrand from the Hadley Police Department to Cooley Dickinson Hospital after a "psychological evaluation."

Hadley police have charged him with seven counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (Cayenne pepper).   Massachusetts is the only state in the nation to require a license to carry pepper spray, although in this particular case he used store product rather than carrying his own canister of OC spray.

Last Monday Eric Bertrand's Easthampton apartment was gutted by fire, just after he was issued an eviction notice. 


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Do you know if this guy is still in custody. Clearly he is unstable. His apartment burns after an eviction notice and then a brawl in a public place. This guy needs some jail time followed by some help. He is clearly a danger to the public.

Larry Kelley said...

I routinely cover District Court on Monday's, so I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Yes. He will still be in custody. Minimum 3 day hold, hopefully 20 days. Then a competency hearing on the charges.

Bet the fire Marshall is going over that apartment with a fine tooth comb.

Dr. Ed said...

Be careful here -- I've seen more than one slumlord try to blame damage on a tenant (although not a fire). Larry, know the "scary house"? -- that guy tried to convince me that my Sect 8 tenant was running up some astronomical monthly water bill -- a very helpful lady at the DPW helped me calculate the cubic volume of the water that would correspond to the figure he quoted and I quickly realized that we were talking many multiples of the volume of the house itself.

No -- the daughter may take long showers, but there is no way in hell she is using that much water -- and he kinda shut up when he realized that I knew there was no way in hell he could be telling me the truth.

My favorite incident involved a landlord claiming my Section 8 tenant was digging up and stealing his landscaping plants. OK, I go out -- and am shown holes that have weeds growing over them -- they clearly haven't been touched in more than a year and the landlord claims the tenant dug up stuff there last weekend. Right...

He goes on and on about how much he paid and how he put them in himself and all the rest. Fine, I ask him what he had planted. No, what EXACTLY and if he doesn't know the name of it, what did it look like?

He could not give me any specific facts on what it WAS that he had planted, or exactly where he had purchased it, only that it was really expensive. If I put a dozen plants in and half are missing two weeks from now, I am kinda going to have a pretty good idea what they were -- in a mixed planting, it may be one of two or three things -- but I'm going to have a pretty good idea...

My point: I wouldn't put it past a landlord to torch a place. There are some true geme in Easthampton, real slumlords of the worst sort -- you would not believe the telephone calls I had with some of them...

The Easthampton slumlords are actually worse than the Amherst ones...

Anonymous said...

OMG. NO Larry. That is not a lethal force situation. Even if it were a toxic substance, create distance and call the cops. Cant hit you with a powder at 50 yards.

I shoot that guy and the liberals in this county would crucify me…."why didn't you shoot him in the knee".. as said by the fool who never hoisted a pistol or shouldered a rifle..cuz hollywood accuracy is so realistic. Shoot out a wire cable at 75 yards...

The problem I see is the a fella stepped up to the plate…and lost badly. Good for him but no one stepped up to help him when it went sideways. Land of the sheep. Baaaa Baaaa Should have been a pig pile with that fool on the bottom. This country is turning into a bunch of pussies. Step the F up. Take a hit…If I were there Eric would have needed a transport to the hospital. At least 1guy got it. Braavo sir but hit the weights and do some training. You are responsible for your own security..be ready. Crazy is everywhere lately.

Larry Kelley said...

If the guy on the ground is getting pounded (with a "shod foot"), and fears for his life, he could get away with using lethal force.

Anonymous said...

This area attracts the best of the worst.

Anonymous said...

NahLK. I agree with the other dude…he would be put through the ringer if he popped that guy. As a guy who has been sued, I gained 40lb before losing 65lb and some hair + a lot of cash to clear my name….I have yet to recover. I may never. To go through that to do the right\t thing?!? To hell with that. Better to go numb and move along...

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness Ed set us straight again.

Anonymous said...

Was this a bulk bin issue?
(Did the thrown substances come from the bins?)

Along with runny nose kids sticking dirty hands in the raisin bin- we now have to worry about spice attacks?

Keithw said...

I think that the response depends on the circumstances. A lot of LE will shoot an assaultive perp who's getting the better of them, some Good Samaritans will come to the aid of someone in trouble and others (most) "go numb and move along." The response also depends on the person. Whether the guy who confronted the nut job had a dog in the fight or wanted to play hero, it obviously didn't go the way he had envisioned and I'm sure he's got a bruised ego now and he'll prob be nursing that for awhile. The responses to ignore are that of the people who chime in after-the-fact and say what they WOULD have done. My response to this is the same as before---Crazy people walk the streets.

Walter Graff said...

"Along with runny nose kids sticking dirty hands in the raisin bin- we now have to worry about spice attacks?"

And don't forget trucks making tire marks in a dirt road too. Can you imagine? How can you ride a bike on a dirt road with tire marks. And white kids getting banned from graduation because they were picked on by black kids. And electricians getting fired for using the electrical term "slave". And black school leaders calling white kids who don't make racist remarks racist. And school superintendents saying that black kids can' be racist. What in the hell is this world coming to!!!!

Dr. Ed said...

If the guy on the ground is getting pounded (with a "shod foot"), and fears for his life, he could get away with using lethal force

Larry, you do not want to even imagine the crap that you would have to endure were you a UM student and said that. All I ever did was quote Exodus 22.2 -- you know, the Bible -- and that experience changed me in ways I don't like to think about,

The "Good Samaritan" in me is gone -- enough said?

Anonymous said...

Falter Gaffe:

Except the superintendent has never said anything even close to a comment like "black kids can't be racist".

Now you're as big a lie-spreader as Shabazz.

Anonymous said...

Walter-The post was about Whole Foods- mot Amherst. lol

Anonymous said...

You can defend yourself if you feel your life is in danger. Ask George Zimmerman

Larry Kelley said...

Or Jason Vassell.

Anonymous said...

Sure, the nest for Amherst folks who think they are saving the planet where sugar is okay because it's labelled organic and natural.

Anonymous said...

Seems the guy who was defending himself got his ass kicked. One good reason to walk away from a nut and not take it personally.

Anonymous said...

Anyone trained in CCW or personal protection would be aware that use of lethal force is not an appropriate response to a nut playing Tinkerbell with pepper powder...unless the guy was also brandishing a knife or other literally beating someone to death.

You can't just shoot someone just because you get punched or someone is stealing your car. That's a little like like a gang-banger mentality.

You have to be in fear for your life or another's. If the guy was getting the crap beat out of him, he must attempt to disengage...or if unable, issue a warning to stop or deadly force will be used. This is not some Hollywood movie.

But then, I wonder how many who patronize WFM actually carry?

And Kudos to the employee who stepped in. Hopefully they'll get a raise and not suspended.

Anonymous said...

Why do we continue to get the pleasure of reading Dr. Ed's tangential rants on something that starts as vaguely relevant but quickly spins into some attempt to display personal knowledge of unrelated topics?

Please be concise and on point!

Keithw said...

"you can't just shoot someone just because you get punched"

Sure you can. If you're a cop.

http://youtu.be/itPY54C_guM

Anonymous said...

Do not ever quote the Vassell case again until you know the facts of that case….not just those scant few facts that were reported or released. The DA had a good case there that was tainted by the political climate and another X factor not directly rested to the case. In the end the DA caved politically..it was sickening.

Same with Zimmerman. The results of both of those cases were political in nature and had nothing to do with the actual facts.

It is clear LK that you are misguided about when and what can be done when some fool is acting up. As so many other posters are clearly telling you; this is not a lethal force case. If it did go down that way…yikes. It may have become another national darling as the Govt is baselessly attacking the 2nd every chance they get. Legal or not.

Larry Kelley said...

Vassell got off with pretty much a classic self defense excuse.

I'll quote it if I want to. After all, "It's my party."

Dr. Ed said...

Vassell got off with pretty much a classic self defense excuse.

Larry, have you seen the pictures? I have - and the first thing I thought of was that Jason Vassell had very poor choice in female friends -- *my* female friends would have stood in front of me and told me not to go back out there.

Vassell went out the first time in disguise -- wearing a mask -- and carrying a clothes iron for a weapon. He then went BACK to his room to get a knife, and came back out and -- then -- lunged across the entire lobby and brutally stabbed two men cowering in the far corner.

If that is "self defense" then I'm an anorexic lesbian gymnast.

Vassell's defense was characteristic of what the Klan used to do. They were picketing the courthouse (which is illegal), they were threatening mayhem & destruction and they put on a display of force. This is how the Klan used to subvert justice and it worked just as well for a different group of people.

But Larry, take a look at the video...

Anonymous said...

I go off topic to respond to a posted link.

@kiethw: re cop shooting because he got punched...

As usual, there's more to the story:
http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article340116/Case-file-describes-the-moments-before-police-officer-fatally-shot-newlywed-firefighter-in-downtown-KC.html

Dark city street late at night. Cop warns inebriated Perp, Perp resists. Cop attempts to arrest Perp. Perp resists, Cop attempts to cuff Perp. Perp resists. Cop attempts to subdue Perp, warning him...BIGGER Perp flips, fights back (resisting arrest then assault on a police officer = BAD MOVE), gains advantage then proceeds to pound and slam the cop's head into concrete. That wasn't "just" a punch. The cop's injuries "included a broken eye socket, a fractured cheekbone, a cut above his left eye that required two stitches and loss of feeling in the left side of his face." That was a serious beating. The bystander yells, "Don't fight the cop." Do you think he knew he was a cop?

Keithw said...

anon 9:42
Are you Pro-George Zimmerman?

Anonymous said...

I was checking out at the register next to the guy who first intervened. He was covered in cayenne, as was his girlfriend, the cashier, and the entire conveyor belt. It was bad, and Bertrand didn't stop there. He continued to indiscriminately pour pepper on people. Bertrand was a stocky man and eerily calm, and even though I'm trained in restraining people, as a petite woman, I was glad the other shopper stepped in and was the first to restrain Bertrand, who wasn't even walking toward the exits. Who knows what else he had in mind.

Anonymous said...

Gee I wonder why his apartment was gutted by fire. Let's not blame the landlord just yet.

Anonymous said...

monday he set fire to Forbes Library
http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2014/07/forbes_library_arson_northampton_police_charge_eric_bertrand_--_also_accused_in_whole_foods_cayenne.html#incart_most-comments

Larry Kelley said...

He did not show up at Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday. Surprised he was not under lock and key at CDH psych ward.

Keithw said...

Said it before. I'll say it again:

Crazy people walk the streets.

Larry Kelley said...

And apparently shop at Whole Foods and patronize the Forbes Library.

Keithw said...

Judging by behavior, it seems he WANTS to be in-custody. Let's hope this time they let him have his way.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I'm trying to figure out what happened on Monday.

I was at District Court at 9:00 AM Monday and was told then that he would not be appearing.

I just assumed he was still in lockup at the CDH psych ward.

Larry Kelley said...

I'm now told by the DA's office that he's being held for observation at the State Hospital.