This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Filed May 25, 2004
Olmsted County District Court
File Nos. J40350067/J02086902
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Sara L. Martin, Assistant State Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant A.V.A.)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134;
Raymond F. Schmitz, Olmsted County Attorney, Kathy W. Wallace, Assistant County Attorney, 151 fourth Street S.E., Rochester, MN 55904 (for respondent county)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Stoneburner, Judge.
Appellant A.V.A. was adjudicated delinquent of fourth-degree assault. Minn. Stat. § 609.2231, subd. 1 (2002). She argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the adjudication. Because, when the record is viewed in a light most favorable to the adjudication, the district court could reasonably find beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant committed fourth-degree assault, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
In a delinquency adjudication, the state must prove every fact necessary to constitute the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In re Welfare of S.M.J., 556 N.W.2d 4, 6 (Minn. App. 1996). “On appeal from a determination that the elements have been proved, an appellate court is limited to ascertaining whether, given the facts and legitimate inferences, a factfinder could reasonably make that determination.” Id. The reviewing court views the record in a light most favorable to the decision and assumes that “the factfinder believed the testimony supporting the determination and disbelieved any contrary evidence.” Id.
Appellant was charged with fourth-degree assault under Minn. Stat. § 609.2231, subd. 1 (2002), which provides:
Whoever physically assaults a peace officer licensed under section 626.845, subdivision 1, when that officer is effecting a lawful arrest or executing any other duty imposed by law is guilty of a gross misdemeanor[.]
Appellant argues that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that her actions amounted to assault.
“Assault” is defined as “[a]n act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death” or “[t]he intentional infliction of or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another.” Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 10 (2002). “Bodily harm” is defined as “physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 7 (2002). Appellant was charged with the intentional attempt to inflict physical pain upon a peace officer while effecting an arrest or during the execution of a duty imposed by law.
The evidence here established that a middle-school bus driver summoned police due to escalating horseplay on the bus. Although appellant was not initially involved, she became an instigator when police arrived. After she refused to give her name, quiet down, or otherwise cooperate, police attempted to place her under arrest. When an officer took appellant’s arm to remove her from the bus, she struck him in the face, bending his glasses and leaving a minor red mark on his cheek. Both the officer and the bus driver described appellant’s action as a deliberate attempt to hit the officer. A second officer also testified that appellant intentionally kicked the first officer in the midsection. Appellant admitted to police that she struck the officer in the face, but claimed that the kick was accidental.
The physical pain inflicted on the officer may have been minor. But the focus is on the defendant’s intentional attempt to inflict pain, rather than the effect on the victim. See State v. Hough, 585 N.W.2d 393, 396 (Minn. 1998) (stating that effect of assault on victim is not essential for conviction, but such evidence may be relevant to establish defendant’s intent).
Viewed in a light most favorable to the adjudication, we conclude that on this record, the district court could reasonably find beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant committed fourth-degree assault.