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Would you consider food a weapon? While certain food can cause us pain like heartburn or an upset stomach, most people wouldn’t look at them as genuine weapons. Even so, there have been recent cases where people armed with food have been charged with assault with a weapon. Oddly enough, they were all in Massachusetts in the month of June.
A Lowell man was charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon after throwing French fries into his stepdaughter’s face. According to the Lowell Police report dated June 22, James Hackett went to a McDonald’s drive-thru with his wife and stepdaughter, and on the ride home, the couple had an argument over money. When the 11-year-old stepdaughter tried to break up the verbal fight, Hackett threw his hot fries into her face. Though the girl wasn’t injured, the oil and salt on the fries caused a burning sensation on her skin. Hackett plead not guilty in a court appearance but will return for a pretrial conference in August.
On June 19, a man in Brockton, Massachusetts, attacked an unsuspecting victim with sausage links. The victim was riding his bicycle at 8 a.m. when Michael Baker approached him, swinging sausages he had stolen from the nearby Brockton Fair. The victim did not know Baker. Baker eventually began hitting the victim with a wrench, left him injured on the ground, and stole the man’s bike, a ring, and a silver chain. Baker was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the wrench, not the sausages,) armed robbery, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and receiving stolen property under $250. The victim suffered multiple lacerations and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.
In another area of Massachusetts, Marston Mills resident John McGuinness assaulted his girlfriend with a pair of jeans – wait for it, it gets weirder – doused in wasabi. The 22-year-old and his 21-year-old girlfriend were driving home after watching a Celtics game at a pub when the girlfriend received a text from a male friend. The two argued for the rest of the trip to McGuinness’ residence, where his girlfriend dropped him off. McGuinness was enraged by the incident and called his girlfriend, threatening to throw away the $200 designer jeans that she had left at his home.
She arrived to retrieve the jeans, only to find McGuinness outside with the jeans, now covered in spicy wasabi sauce. He threw the jeans at her face and wasabi got into her eyes. If you thought a mouthful of wasabi was painful, imagine it in your eyes. According to CBS Boston, McGuinness didn’t stop there. He poured more wasabi in the woman’s car and a physical altercation took place. He took her cell phone and car, leaving the latter in the middle of a road with the doors open (a passing car shut them when it drove into them.) CBS Boston reports that McGuinness “was arraigned on assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the wasabi sauce), assault and battery/domestic violence and intimidation of a witness.” After rinsing her eyes with a bottle of water, his girlfriend was relatively unscathed.
It seems that food assaults are on the rise in Massachusetts, that, or June was just a particularly dangerous month to be around people holding edible items. Luckily, the majority of the assault victims were not seriously injured (there was no update on the Brockton victim’s condition) but let’s hope that this food-as-a-weapon trend is over. It would be nice to go back to a time when heartburn was the only food assault we had to worry about.