United States v. Ivon Yates

The Facts

Acting on a tip, two marshals observed the defendant, Yates, driving a pickup truck. When they approached his truck, they identified themselves and ordered him to stop. The defendant did not comply and accelerated the truck toward the front passenger quarter panel of the marshals’ vehicle. They were forced to veer out of the path of  his truck. Delinquent drove into a ravine and evaded arrest when the marshals’ vehicle became lodged in the ravine. He was thereafter arrested without incident.

Procedural History

The US Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the district court.


18 U.S.C.S. § 111 enumerates three distinct categories of conduct: (1) simple assault, which, in accord with the common-law definition, which does not involve actual physical contact, a dangerous weapon, serious bodily injury, or the intent to commit murder or another serious felony; (2) all other cases, meaning assault that does involve contact but does not result in bodily harm or involve a dangerous weapon; and (3) assaults resulting in bodily injury or involving a weapon with intent to commit murder or another serious felony.

“The common law offense of simple assault requires the showing of an offer or attempt by force or violence to do a corporal injury to another”.

The Issue

Whether defendant assaulting conduct did fall under the category of “all other cases” as defined in 18 U.S.C.S. § 111, even though there was no physical contact.

The Holding/Reasoning

The Court of Appeals regarded his drive on the marshals as an assault with a dangerous weapon. Referring to U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 2A2.2, the Court viewed his truck as a deadly weapon and therefore rejected to recognize the delinquent act as a simple assault. The appellate court rebutted defendant’s appeal on following ground: “[T]he definition of simple assault was conduct in violation of § 111(a), which, inter alia, did not involve a dangerous weapon”.  Further, defendant’s attempt to construe forcible assaults “in all other cases” and those assaults incorporated by § 111(b) as mutually exclusive was not supported by the court. As per the court’s view “the conduct proscribed by § 111(b) was a subcategory of the “all other cases” conduct”. The court did also decide that defendant’s sentence for the supervised release violation was also proper.

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