State v. Mylett, ___ N.C. App. ___, 799 S.E.2d 419 (Apr. 18, 2017)

The evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for assault on a government officer under G.S. 14-33(c)(4). While attempting to separate the defendant from other individuals, the defendant spit at people walking behind the officer, hitting the officer with his spit. The defendant argued that because he intended to assault individuals standing behind the officer, the State failed to establish that he intended to assault the officer. The court rejected this argument, holding that the offense was a general intent crime. Here, the defendant conceded that he knew the victim was a law enforcement officer and that he intended to commit an assault. The court concluded: “we are satisfied that when Defendant spat at members of the crowd and [the] Officer . . . was struck by Defendant’s spit, the requirements of [the statute] were satisfied.” It continued: “the knowledge element of assault on a government officer in violation of [G.S. 14-33(c)(4)] is satisfied whenever a defendant while in the course of assaulting another individual instead assaults an individual he knows, or reasonably should know, is a government officer.”

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