A video of a professional skateboarder accidentally running into a small child in the park and then being punched in the face by the child’s mother has gone viral. It has accumulated more than a million views, with most commenters split down the middle about whether the mother was justified in her actions or not.
Leland Goldberg is not a stranger to hard knocks; being a professional skateboarder, hard knocks are just about all he knows. But when a mother physically assaults him for running into her child while filming the pro skateboarding mixtape “Warm Gravy” in Cannery Park, California, the veteran railslider was clearly at a loss.
The whole incident was captured on video and was posted on YouTube, where it scored a million hits over a few days. Reactions from viewers were mixed, but most were either siding with the mother in her role as mother avenger or against her for being a negligent parent. Some viewers asked if Goldberg can sue her for battery.
Actually, he can.
Under California law as described in Penal Code 242 PC, battery is defined as any willful and unlawful physical contact which is offensive or harmful. What the mother did in this instance was battery, and renders her criminally as well as civilly liable. The only justification that may be used for battery is self-defense, or in protection of another person from imminent harm. As neither condition is applicable to the case, this is clearly a case of battery. Whether the mother was negligent or not is a different point altogether, and does not concern Goldberg, who has a good case for sending the mother to jail to cool off for a while and for financial compensation for personal injury.