On October 28, 2013 YL, a 27 year old male Chinese national in the US on a work visa, got into a heated argument with a female roommate (named HR) in their apartment in Malden. Both YL and HR were standing at the stove and they both had items cooking on the stove in pans. It was alleged that YL – in the heat of the argument – raised his pan off the hot stove, poured the water that was in the pan on the floor, and then threatened to hit HR with the hot pan. A third roommate got between YL and HR. YL and the third roommate then left the apartment and HR called the Malden Police. The Malden Police spoke with HR and seized the pan as evidence. YL returned to the apartment while the police were there; he was questioned by the police. According to the police report he admitted picking up the pan and pouring the water out but denied raising the pan and denied threatening HR in any way. The police arrested YL and charged him with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. This charge is a felony and would subject YL to immediate deportation back to China.
YL retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin spoke with the third roommate and her statement confirmed YL’s version of what had happened. Attorney Lewin learned that HR was going back to China for at least a three month stay and would be gone during the month of January 2014. Attorney Lewin also learned that the third roommate was moving out of the apartment and her address might not be known to the government. Realizing that bench trials (a trial by a judge alone without a jury) in Malden Court can be had quickly, when the case was called in Court on January 7, 2014, Attorney Lewin requested a bench trial for January 21, 2014. On January 21, 2014 YL and Attorney Lewin appeared in Malden Court and answered ready for trial when the case was called. The Commonwealth had the police present in Court, but neither the victim (HR) nor the third witness were present. Without one of the percipient witnesses present the Commonwealth could not go forward and the case was dismissed. A percipient witness is a witness who was present at the time and place of the alleged crime. Sometimes the timing is just right.