Negligent Hammer Discharge of the Day: Car Vandal Edition

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Regular readers know that TTAG’s called for a ban on hammers. We did so just to prove a point: when it comes to preventing crime, focusing on the weapon is a fool’s errand. A story from undescores that assertion: “The victim [Steven Marshall Melcher] was standing on his porch near Dobson and University, as Brett Benavides [above] was smashing his girlfriend’s car’s windshield in a parking lot feet away, court documents said. The hammer somehow flew from Benavides’ hand and hit Melcher in the forehead, documents said. Melcher developed a brain bleed, fell into a coma, and never woke up. He was taken off life support Monday after the October 25 incident. [Melcher’s mono-monikered widow] Omega cried as she told ABC15 that she never got to say goodbye to her husband of nearly 25 years. ‘All I know is I want justice,’ she said.” Not one more! is what we say. Again, ironically. But I guess you already knew that. [h/t Vhyrus]



  1. avatar Ralph says:

    Trini Lopez would be appalled.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    I’m hard headed, But a hammer to the dome would definately get my attention. I think I would use harsh language and hard looks if a man was misbehaving with a hammer around me.

  3. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    We need universal background checks and a ban on dangerous assault hammers only meant for war and killing people as fast as possible!

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Think of all the nails it would save from the fate of being bent ….

  4. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Got pretty confused on the girlfriend/wife thing until reading the article, so it was Benavides’ own GFs car window he was smashing and the hammer slipped out, intercepted by Melcher’s face? Strange things happen, but unless the dude was directly behind the hammering that just seems astronomical to me.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I guess it depends on the size of the parking lot. If it’s a tiny lot then maybe it’s possible…

  5. avatar JPD says:

    So, what is the new group called? Dad Demand Action (against Hammers). Or, Dad’s against Hammers. How about “Hammered Dad’s”.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Or if we name it after the victim…
      “dads getting hammered”

  6. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Jesus, talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just standing on the porch, then WHAM – a hammer to the skull out of the blue…

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      “I was standing on my porch (sidewalk or street) minding my own business when…” is the most often heard phrase in in emergency and trauma rooms from patients. Apparently standing anywhere outside is highly dangerous and we should force people to remain indoors at all times. “Common sense” tells us that outdoors allows exposure to radiation from the sun, air pollution, violence, pidgeons, squirrels, dogs, pollen, hammers. It will be much better if we all stay inside always, forever, and never come out. We should pass a law or something.(heavy sarcasm)

  7. avatar DBPolice says:

    Dad’s Demand Action for Hammer Sense in Merica

    1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Their slogan should be “stop hammer time!”

  8. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    I was going to protest at Home Depot tomorrow but they have too many employees that could throw me out so I thought about Ace Hardware but those guys are pretty nice so I have to decided to just stay at home tomorrow and get hammered.

    To clarify I will get hammered ala Johnny Walker the Black not Brett Benavides the idiot. To clarify further Johnny Walker is not of African dissent. Not that it matters.

  9. avatar Jug says:


    Should teach him to do nothing, that is, if he had survived.

    If you are going to get killed, it should be for doing something about the problem.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      everything you do, including doing nothing can get you killed. Sometimes, it just seems like a persons number is up.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I have a serious question for the Armed Intelligentsia:

    If an irate person — a vandal — was shooting up an empty car within a few feet of other people, would a bystander be legally justified to use deadly force on the vandal? Even though the vandal is not directly threatening anyone, they are out-of-control and an errant bullet could strike a bystander … not to mention the fact that such an irate and out-of-control person could turn to attack a bystander in an instant.

    Now for another important question: can we apply that same standard to this story? If a bystander is legally justified to used deadly force on a vandal destroying a car with a firearm, then why wouldn’t a bystander be legally justified to use deadly force on a vandal destroying a car with a hammer or a crow bar? After all, this story shows how the vandal lost control of the hammer and killed someone.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Not a lawyer. But I think a DA would argue in the case of hammer man that a bystander could retreat instead of gawking and avoid a deadly situation. Deadly force should be a last resort. The range of a hammer as compared to a gun and the velocity of both projectiles also argues in favor of retreat from the hammer.

    2. avatar Shawn says:

      i imagine it would be difficult to convince a jury that it is reasonable to believe that you were about to suffer death or grave bodily injury because one person was smashing another persons car with a hammer. Even though, in this case, that’s exactly what happened.

    3. avatar franklin the turtle says:

      its usually best to call the police then get involved in a domestic dispute. you would have to fear for your life and not be able to get away since it was a public area, you could land in hot water real quick

  11. avatar preston says:

    anyone else think the 7 imprinted over his chin looks like he is drooling puke?

  12. avatar George M says:

    common sense laws for helping others in need need to be made. i’m so tired of hearing about people getting hurt due to negligence of another. ban hammers, forks,spoons,cars,trucks, wrenches,screwdrivers, you name it anything can become a weapon/tool of defense.!!…

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