An Oklahoma City criminal defense lawyer has been arrested and charged with assault after striking a woman with his car in a reported road rage incident.
As a criminal lawyer, Mark K. Bailey ought to know all too well the potential consequences associated with assault. But police say the man revved his car and accelerated toward a woman several times before striking her in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City wellness clinic.
Police arrested Bailey on Wednesday in relation to the August 26 incident. He is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The attorney was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail before posting $5,000 bond and being released.
The case against Bailey began last summer, as a 43-year-old woman attempted to park her vehicle at the Broadway Clinic, a weight loss, hormone replacement, and accident injury clinic located at 1801 N Broadway Avenue in Oklahoma City.
The woman said that as she tried to park, Bailey pulled his vehicle in front of hers, blocking her from parking.
She said she raised her hands in frustration, and in response, the criminal lawyer made an obscene gesture at her.
Realizing that the car was not going to move to allow her to park, the woman backed up her vehicle to find another parking space. She says she parked and began to walk toward the clinic, thinking the aggravating incident was over. However the woman told police that as she walked across the parking lot, Bailey accelerated his vehicle toward her. She accuses him of accelerating his vehicle toward her to frighten her. She told police he repeated this several times--rapidly accelerating toward her before quickly braking. Because she could not be sure of his intent as he sped toward her, the woman raised a hand to brace against impact. Eventually, she says, Bailey accelerated toward her, coming close enough to strike her outstretched hand.
In most cases, an assault charge is a misdemeanor, punishable by only a few weeks in jail. However, there are certain factors which enhance and escalate a charge, including the presence of serious bodily injury or the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon.
Oklahoma law classifies assault and battery with a dangerous weapon as a felony. It is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Every person who, with intent to do bodily harm and without justifiable or excusable cause, commits any assault, battery, or assault and battery upon the person of another with any sharp or dangerous weapon, or who, without such cause, shoots at another, with any kind of firearm, air gun, conductive energy weapon or other means whatever, with intent to injure any person, although without the intent to kill such person or to commit any felony, upon conviction is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not exceeding ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year.
Because state law does not explicitly define "dangerous weapon," any object used in an offensive manner which may result in physical harm can be considered a dangerous weapon--including a car.
If he is found guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the lawyer will become a convicted felon--a consequence that may be more personally and professionally damaging than any sentence he is ordered to serve.
Image credit: Oklahoma County Jail
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