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United States v. Gan

decided: December 9, 1980.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
GLENN GAN AND STEVEN YIP, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



Appeal from judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of New York, entered by Judge Robert J. Ward after a jury trial, convicting defendants of conspiracy to assault a foreign official and an internationally protected person, 18 U.S.C. § 371, and of assaulting them in violation of18 U.S.C. § 112(a). Affirmed.

Before Friendly, Mansfield and Oakes, Circuit Judges.

Author: Per Curiam

Steven Yip and Glenn Gan appeal from judgments of the District Court for the Southern District of New York entered on July 15, 1980, by Judge Robert J. Ward after a jury trial, convicting them of conspiring in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 to assault a foreign official, Soviet Ambassador Oleg Troyanovsky, and an internationally protected person, U. S. Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, and assaulting them in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 112(a).*fn1 The convictions arose out of their intentionally throwing containers of red paint on the two ambassadors at a U. N. Security Council meeting on April 30, 1980.

Appellants claim that the trial judge erred in failing to instruct the jury that it must find that they injured or intended to injure the two ambassadors before it could find them guilty of violating § 112(a). We disagree. Neither the plain language of § 112(a) nor judicial construction of similar assault statutes requires proof of injury or intent to injure. Section 112(a) does not refer to injury or intent to injure. The intentionally violent striking of a protected official, which is what concededly occurred here, is proscribed by the statute, regardless of intent to injure. Such conduct amounts to an assault, striking or offer of violence within the meaning of § 112(a). Similar statutes have been so construed, such as 18 U.S.C. § 113(d)*fn2 in United States v. Martin, 536 F.2d 535 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 862, 97 S. Ct. 167, 50 L. Ed. 2d 141 (1976), and 18 U.S.C. § 351(e)*fn3 in United States v. Masel, 563 F.2d 322 (7th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 927, 98 S. Ct. 1496, 55 L. Ed. 2d 523 (1978). When Congress wanted to require proof of injury or intent to injure, it knew how to do so, as is evidenced by its express inclusion of such requirements in 18 U.S.C. § 113(c).*fn4

Nor is the interpretation of § 112(a) urged by appellants supported by their reference to § 112(b),*fn5 which punishes nonviolent acts such as threats, intimidation, abusive language or harassment. The distinction between § 112(a) and § 112(b) lies in whether the act was violent, not in whether it was intended to injure. Section 112(a) punishes violent conduct only. Here the acts were clearly violent. In the absence of any issue as to the violent nature of appellant's conduct, the trial judge was not required to instruct the jury that it might find the defendants guilty of the lesser-included crime proscribed by 18 U.S.C. § 112(b). See Sansone v. United States, 380 U.S. 343, 353, 85 S. Ct. 1004, 1011, 13 L. Ed. 2d 882 (1965).

We find no merit in appellants' pro se (not raised by the Legal Aid Society/Federal Defender Services Unit) that Judge Ward was biased or unfair.

The judgments of conviction are ...


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