Visitor Question

Shouldn’t police protect the victim when identifying the perpetrator?

Submitted By: Anonymous (California)

I was assaulted at a mall in front of my mother, sister, and 8 year old niece. I was hit behind the head while I was walking to the parking lot. The person hit me and did not steal anything from me or my family, but had a hand in his backpack as if he had a gun.

We called security, who called police and they found the person who assaulted me. The police offer said they had a suspect in custody 15 minutes after the assault. Security took my mom and myself to the other side to identify the person. As we arrived, security parked next to the police car, and the person in the police car saw us. It was the guy who assaulted me. He kept staring at us.

As far as I am concerned, they should take the victim from the back or the opposite side of the attacker so the attacker won’t know you called the cops, or just for safety issues to avoid retribution. Now, at this point the guy saw my mom and myself again and wouldn’t stop staring with anger. Aren’t the police supposed to protect the victims? Does this constitute failure of protection?

This affected my mom and myself because we knew he had seen us again, and we could potentially be in danger again. What can I do? What will happen to this person? Does the mall have any responsibility for protecting shoppers, and keeping criminals off their premises? This happened in July 2015. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Why the attacker assaulted you is unknown. There must be a reason he did. Unless he has severe psychological problems, the assault must have had some basis.

The attack will have one of several outcomes…


If the attacker has a relatively clean record he may receive a probated sentence. This means he will not go to jail and will be placed on probation for a year or more. As conditions of his probation he will very likely have to pay monthly fees, report monthly to a probation officer, and do community service.

You can contact the District Attorney’s office in your area and seek out the prosecutor assigned to the attacker’s case. Give the prosecutor your name. The prosecutor will check the police report and realize you were the victim of the attack.

Ask the prosecutor, if the attacker receives a probated sentence, that as part of that probation he be ordered to stay away from you, your employment, your home, or any other place you may be.

When a defendant is placed on probation and violates any of the terms of probation, the defendant can be arrested and sentenced to incarceration for the full term of his sentence.

Second: The attacker may have a previous criminal record. As a result of that record he may not receive probation and instead be sentenced to a term of incarceration for a year or more, depending on his previous criminal record.

Third:If the attacker has a history of psychological problems, he may be referred to a court ordered psychiatric evaluation. Thereafter, the judge will then determine whether the attacker receives probation or is incarcerated.

Fourth: The attacker may request a trial and be found not guilty.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 19, 2016

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