Should the Parents in the Cincinnati Gorilla Case Get Arrested for Risk of Injury?

Cincinnati prosecutors will announce tomorrow whether they will be arresting the parents of the child who jumped over a fence into the Cincinnati zoo gorilla pit, leaving the zoo with no choice but to shoot and kill Harambe the gorilla.

We all know this was an accident, but should an accident like this be criminal? Weigh in on our survey (click here to vote) and see what other people are saying in Connecticut. In cases like these, how do prosecutors balance public outrage to arrest these parents with their duty to be fair and impartial? It’s perhaps the toughest part of their job, as we’ll find out at tomorrow’s press conference in Cincinnati…

What Matters to Prosecutors in their Decision to Arrest Parents for Risk of Injury and Child Endangerment?

No matter what the facts are, decisions like these are not easy for prosecutors who must examine a variety of materials and factors such as the video surveillance recordings, statements of eyewitnesses, and statements from the child and parents themselves. Police and prosecutors also inspect and take photographs of the accident scene (or crime scene) to determine whether the guardrails and fences were structurally sound and safe for children. In a Connecticut case, the prosecutors must consider what they really want to accomplish by arresting parents for Risk of Injury & Child Endangerment when it is the suspect’s own children who were injured or put at risk of harm in a situation like this where there was no intentional conduct. Everyone knows it was an accident, but as the best Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys know, sometimes conduct that’s not intentional but which is instead reckless or negligent, can still be criminal and still be grounds for an arrest for Risk of Injury in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan or Westport Connecticut. Prosecutors are given the tall task of protecting the community, and even sometimes protecting childrens from their own parents. They are responsible for trying to “deter” crimes and an arrest like this one would certainly deter parents from failing to keep a safe eye on their kids. But at what cost?

If this Happened in Connecticut, Would the Parents Get Arrested for Felony Risk of Injury?

Possibly. As any of the top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut defense attorneys and lawyers can explain, all it takes to get arrested for Risk of Injury under CGS 53-21 is to place a child under 16 at risk of physical harm. The harm doesn’t even have to occur. The best Connecticut criminal law firms regularly see Risk of Injury arrests in scenarios a lot less serious than a 3-year old jumping into a gorilla pit. Risk of Injury arrests occur frequently in Darien, Westport, Greenwich and Stamford Connecticut when parents leave their children unsupervised in a car for just a few minutes while they grab coffee, pick up their dry cleaning, or run a quick errand. Other arrests for Risk of Injury in Connecticut occur when parents don’t require their kids to wear helmets on bicycles and scooters, or let their kids stay home alone when they are clearly too young to take care of themselves. Whatever the case is, Connecticut police have wide discretion with this particular charge. And to make matters worse, it’s usually classified as a Class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail. So if you’ve been arrested in Stamford, Darien, New Canaan or Greenwich Connecticut for Risk of Injury to a Minor under CGS 53-21, then be sure to contact any of the top Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys in Fairfield County.

Contact an Experienced Connecticut Risk of Injury Attorney Today 

If you’ve been arrested for Risk of Injury in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan or anywhere else in Connecticut, then click here to learn more about Connecticut Risk of Injury arrests and contact one of the Mark Sherman Law Firm’s criminal attorneys to understand your rights and craft the most cost-effective defense strategy. We are available around the clock to take your call at (203) 358-4700.