“Mental Incident” Defense Gains Probation for Pantsless American

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Richard Simmons (no relation to the fitness guru, if that’s what you call that Richard Simmons) was arrested in July in Pocatello, Idaho, after he pointed a gun at another driver and then exposed himself to police officers.  According to police, Simmons was driving his truck when he aimed a gun "with a small flag sticking out of the barrel" at a passing motorist.  He then got out of his truck and began walking in the roadway.  When police arrived, they told him to drop the gun and he complied.  He then announced "I am an American," and dropped his pants.

Don’t the freedoms we hold most dear in America include the freedom for a man to drop his pants and wave Old Glory at passing motorists?  I certainly think so, but I guess in the People’s Republic of Idaho they do things a little differently.

Simmons was arrested for aggravated battery and DUI, which is a bit odd since (based on this report) he did not actually strike anyone and does not appear to have been drinking.  But these are minor details.  Eventually he was charged with inattentive driving, indecent exposure and aiming a firearm at others, to which he pleaded guilty.

Simmons’ attorney raised some type of mental competency defense, although exactly which kind is hard to tell — he was quoted as saying that his client "had a mental incident," which is not all that descriptive.  But the "mental incident defense" was evidently accepted to the extent that Simmons was sentenced only to probation, a 90-day suspended sentence, and an order to complete a mental-health treatment program.

Idaho State Journal