This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994). State of Minnesota in Court of Appeals C8-95-1787 State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. John Phillip Palmer, Appellant. Filed May 14, 1996 Affirmed as Modified Lansing, Judge Faribault County District Court File No. K294362 Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, Mary J. Theisen, Robert A. Stanich, Assistant Attorneys General, Suite 1400, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent). Joel R. Welder, Faribault County Attorney, Faribault County Courthouse, Post Office Box 5, Main Street, Blue Earth, MN 56013 (for Respondent). John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Marie L. Wolf, Assistant State Public Defender, Suite 600, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Appellant). Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Short, Judge. Unpublished Opinion LANSING, Judge (Hon. Douglas L. Richards, District Court Trial Judge) A jury convicted John Palmer on four criminal charges for conduct that began with an altercation when he was asked to leave a bar in Blue Earth. Palmer appeals from his convictions for fourth degree assault, terroristic threats, obstructing legal process, and disorderly conduct on the following grounds: (I) insufficient evidence to support his assault conviction, (II) the district court's rejection of a proposed jury instruction, (III) improper prosecutorial comments in closing argument, and (IV) multiple sentences for offenses arising from the same conduct. We reject the arguments challenging the convictions but modify Palmer's sentence to vacate a duplicative sentence for obstructing legal process. Affirmed as modified. I A person who ``assaults an employee of a correctional facility *** while the employee is engaged in the performance of a duty imposed by law, policy or rule, and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm'' is guilty of fourth degree assault. Minn. Stat. 𨺹.2231, subd. 3 (1994). In determining whether the evidence is sufficient to prove the elements of the assault, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and evaluate whether the facts and the legitimate inferences provide a reasonable basis for a jury to convict. State v. Merrill, 274 N.W.2d 99, 111 (Minn. 1978). A jailer at the Faribault County Law Enforcement Center testified that Palmer kicked his hand as he tried to remove Palmer from the back seat of the squad car. The jailer stated that these kicks caused a cut on his hand that bled for about ten minutes. Palmer asserts that the state failed to prove that he intentionally caused the injury because the jailer might have been injured by scraping his hand on the car door as he attempted to pull Palmer from the car. But there is no evidentiary basis for Palmer's conjecture that the injury occurred in a different way. Palmer acknowledges that he kicked the jailer. The jailer described the kicking, saw the cut and noticed the bleeding after physically dragging the kicking Palmer to the booking room, and knew of no cause for the injury other than Palmer's kicking his hand. This evidence was sufficient for the jury to determine that Palmer's kicks caused the jailer's injury. See State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989) (reviewing court assumes the jury believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved contrary evidence); State v. Collard, 414 N.W.2d 733, 736 (Minn. App. 1987) (a jury may freely reject defendant's alternative explanations of the evidence), review denied (Minn. Jan 15, 1988). II The district court refused to instruct the jury that transitory anger is a defense to the charge of terroristic threats, and Palmer contends that this constitutes reversible error. A district court is well within its discretion in refusing to read an instruction that is not warranted by fact or law. State v. Ruud, 259 N.W.2d 567, 578-79 (Minn. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 996 (1978). We note initially that neither the record nor the transcript contains such a proposed jury instruction; the transcript only states that defense counsel took exception to the absence of a transitory anger instruction. But whether or not an instruction was properly requested, a transitory anger instruction is unsupported by either the facts or the law. The evidence demonstrates that the threats were not transitory; Palmer continued the threats and calumny over an extended period of time. With respect to the legal basis, courts have routinely rejected the defense of transitory anger for the crime of terroristic threats. E.g., 451 N.W.2d 55, 63 (Minn. App. 1990), review denied (Minn. Feb. 21, 1990); State v. Begbie, 415 N.W.2d 103, 105 (Minn. App. 1987), review denied (Minn. Jan. 20, 1988). The district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing the instruction. III Palmer asserts that he was denied a fair trial because of two allegedly improper statements made in the prosecution's closing argument. First, Palmer alleges that the prosecutor called him an animal. The transcript does not support this claim. The transcript instead contains the prosecutor's statement that Palmer ``kicked and screamed and yelled'' ``[l]ike an animal.'' (emphasis added). The characterization is strong but not improper. The second allegation of prosecutorial misconduct involves the prosecutor's reference to Palmer's defense of voluntary intoxication. The prosecutor called the defense a ``smoke screen'' that had nothing to do with the case. The prosecutor went on to say that Palmer could not lean on that defense because everything pointed to the fact that he knew what he was doing and intended his acts. Prosecutors may specifically argue that there is no merit to a particular defense in light of the evidence. State v. Salitros, 499 N.W.2d 815, 818 (Minn. 1993). But Minnesota courts have cautioned prosecutors from belittling a particular defense in the abstract. Id. The prosecutor's comments, when read as a whole, relate to the evidence presented rather than a general disparagement of the defense. The prosecutor indicated that Palmer's conduct demonstrated conscious intent. Using the term ``smoke screen'' is arguably improper, but the effect of the characterization is diminished by the context. Even if the statements were improper, the error is harmless. The harmless error standard for less serious prosecutorial misconduct is whether the misconduct likely played a substantial part in influencing the jury to convict. State v. Caron, 300 Minn. 123, 128, 218 N.W.2d 197, 200 (1974). We conclude that the statements did not substantially influence the jury's verdict because (1) the district court read several instructions that would have mitigated any improper influence on the jury, including an instruction that the attorneys' statements were not evidence in the case; (2) substantial evidence supported Palmer's convictions, including eyewitness and victim testimony and audio and video tape recordings of his conduct; and (3) the comments were a small part of a lengthy and otherwise proper closing argument. See State v. Washington, 521 N.W.2d 35, 40 (Minn. 1994) (holding prosecutor's improper closing argument did not require reversal); State v. Daniels, 332 N.W.2d 172, 180 (Minn. 1983) (same). IV Palmer asserts that by separately sentencing him for obstructing legal process and disorderly conduct, the district court impermissibly sentenced him for multiple offenses committed as a part of a single behavioral incident. Minn. Stat. 𨺹.035, subd.1 (1994); State v. Hawkins, 511 N.W.2d 9, 13 (Minn. 1994). When the offenses alleged as a single course of conduct are intentional crimes, a reviewing court considers whether the events were separated by time and place, as well as whether the offenses were motivated by the desire to obtain a single criminal objective. Hawkins, 511 N.W.2d at 13. The disorderly conduct sentence is based on conduct separate from the later assault and terroristic threats. Palmer's disorderly conduct occurred at the bar, physically and chronologically separate from the police car and police station where the assault and threats took place. The apparent motivation for the disorderly conduct was Palmer's desire to stay at the bar, or at least depart on his own terms. This is separate from the motivation for his conduct at the police station. The differences in time, place, and motivation all suggest that the disorderly conduct arose out of a separate course of conduct from the assault and terroristic threats. But the conduct supporting Palmer's conviction for obstructing legal process appears to be part of the same course of conduct as the assault and terroristic threats. Palmer was resisting arrest; he simultaneously kicked, thrashed, and threatened the officers. This conduct all occurred in the police car and at the law enforcement center and appears to have been motivated by the same objectives: escape from custody and expression of his displeasure with the police. The similarities in time, place, and motivation indicate that Palmer's obstruction of legal process arose out of the same behavioral incident as the assault and the terroristic threats and should not be sentenced separately. Consequently, we vacate the district court's concurrent ninety-one-day sentence for obstructing legal process. Affirmed as modified.