Brief Fact Summary.
A man pointed an unloaded pistol at a man.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Brandishing an unloaded pistol as though it is loaded is an assault.
The plaintiff and defendant got into an argument. The defendant became so angry that he pulled out an unloaded pistol, and snapped the flint on his flintlock pistol several times as though he meant to shoot the plaintiff.
Is the brandishing of an unloaded pistol an assault?
Yes, the brandishing of an unloaded pistol is an assault.
The court rules against the defendant, and denies his appeal. They reason that the public should feel secure in public places against unlawful assaults, and that in behaving is such as way as to make another person think they are going to be injured is not mitigated by the fact that they would not in fact be injured.