Joe Goree appeals his conviction for third degree assault, RCW 9A.36.030.
On September 30, 1981, Officer Williamson of the Pasco Police Department, off duty and in street clothes, observed Joe Goree standing outside the Dew Drop Inn. The officer believed a warrant existed for Mr. Goree's arrest; a subsequent call to the Pasco police dispatcher confirmed his belief. Accompanied by Deputy Weekes, then a member of the Franklin County sheriff's office and also off duty and in street clothes, Officer Williamson parked where they could observe Mr. Goree and wait for uniformed officers to arrive.
Officer Espinoza, on duty, in uniform and in a marked police vehicle, proceeded to the Dew Drop Inn and spotted Mr. Goree. Another police officer arrived in a second marked police vehicle; this officer observed Mr. Goree leaving the front of the Dew Drop Inn and pursued him by vehicle.
Although there is minor disagreement in the record concerning exactly when Mr. Goree began to run, Mr. Goree testified that another man standing with him recognized Deputy Weekes. Mr. Goree saw the two marked police vehicles arrive and began running when Deputy Weekes and Officer Espinoza approached him.
Deputy Weekes and Officer Espinoza chased Mr. Goree on foot. They apparently caught Mr. Goree twice, but he broke away each time. Both Deputy Weekes and Officer Espinoza testified Mr. Goree picked up a steel lawn chair,
The charge underlying the warrant was later dismissed. At trial, Mr. Goree denied knowing of the warrant, but there is no challenge to its lawful existence at the time the officers attempted this arrest.
From the beginning of the trial, the issue was whether Mr. Goree could knowingly intend to avoid lawful apprehension when he did not know there was a warrant out for his arrest. The State argued that knowledge of the warrant was unimportant. Mr. Goree argued that absence of knowledge of the lawfulness of the arrest meant the State could not prove intent to prevent a lawful apprehension. The court allowed Mr. Goree to present evidence showing he did not know of the outstanding warrant, but refused to dismiss for lack of proof of Mr. Goree's knowledge of the warrant.
State v. Allen, 89 Wn.2d 651, 654, 574 P.2d 1182 (1978); Champagne v. Department of Labor & Indus., 22 Wn.2d 412, 156 P.2d 422 (1945). Each party is entitled to instructions on its theory of the case if it supplies instructions which accurately state the law. Egede-Nissen v. Crystal Mt., Inc., 93 Wn.2d 127, 606 P.2d 1214 (1980); State v. Humphries, 21 Wn.App. 405, 586 P.2d 130 (1978); State v. Long, 19 Wn.App. 900, 578 P.2d 871 (1978). An instruction which follows the words of a statute is proper unless the statutory language is not reasonably clear or is misleading. State v. Humphries, supra; State v. Johnson, 7 Wn.App. 527, 500 P.2d 788 (1972), aff'd, 82 Wn.2d 156, 508 P.2d 1028 (1973).
The proper method to follow, if Mr. Goree believed the State's interpretation of the statute was incorrect, was to offer the court an instruction correctly stating the law and to provide authority for the interpretation. With such an instruction, the trial court would be able to charge the jury and forbid argument contrary thereto.
Here, the jury was instructed in the language of the former RCW 9A.36.030(1)(a). Mr. Goree admits no other instruction is necessary so no further instructions should have been given. Petersen v. State, 100 Wn.2d 421, 432, 671 P.2d 230 (1983). Both Mr. Goree and the State were able to argue their theories of the case. That the two interpretations of the statute were diametrically opposed under these facts does not change the analysis; many views of the application of a statute are diametrically opposed. The jury was properly charged.
The word "lawful" in the statute is to prevent the State from prosecuting one who has used force to prevent an unlawful arrest. State v. Hoffman, 35 Wn.App. 13, 664 P.2d 1259 (1983). State v. Johnson, 29 Wn.App. 307, 309, 628 P.2d 479 (1981) states:
An illegal arrest is an assault and battery; the one assaulted has the right to use reasonable force. Only an individual who assaults an officer doing his lawful duty can be prosecuted under this section of the third degree assault statute. The jury verdict is supported by substantial evidence. State v. Green, supra.
GREEN, J., and STAUFFACHER, J. Pro Tem., concur.
Review denied by Supreme Court February 17, 1984.
(Italics ours.) RCW 9A.36.030 was amended in 1982 to add assault against drivers of a public or private transit company.