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When Being the Village Idiot is a Crime: Alleged OWS Member, Jordan Amos, Dumps Human Waste in ATM Vestibule

Although it is not codified in the New York Penal Law, being a moron, putz or schmuck is arguably a damn serious offense and an epidemic plaguing many communities. If the allegations against Jordan Brooks Amos are true, then he should be thrilled that being an idiot is not a crime. According to the Web Crims, as well as many media outlets, Amos, a possible member of the 99% and Occupy Wall Street, really showed JP Morgan Chase who is boss. Well, at least he made some poor maintenance men and women who work at JP Morgan miserable and unhappy when he allegedly dumped a large bucket of urine and feces inside a ATM station in lower Manhattan. That’ll show the “fat cats,” Amos!

While I sometimes go off track with my blog, the purpose is not to comment on political groups, opinions or leaders. In my years as a Manhattan prosecutor and New York criminal defense attorney, I have certainly had the opportunity to form or articulate opinions. Here, however, I try to stick to the evidence (or lack thereof) and law. Whether Amos and his alleged cronies are members of #OWS or #IMAJERK is fairly irrelevant. If true, poring human waste in a place where regular working people go to access their money to pay bills and entry level or corporate employs go to work to support their families is just, well, stupid regardless of your political agenda.

One might think it is ironic that I am being so vocal about something as relatively insignificant given the type and amount of crimes perpetrated in New York on a regular basis….and one might even have a point. However, if true, it just strikes me as sophomoric at best for a person to perpetrate a crime like this to advance their cause when they are hurting every day working people. But we digress…so…let’s get back to the case assessment.

Although we know it when we see it or smell it (usually the latter comes first), the New York Penal Law actually defines “noxious material.” These materials or matters are defined as any container that contains a substance that is able to generate offensive, noxious or suffocating fumes or gases. Factually and legally, human waste likely falls into this unsavory category.

A person is guilty of Unlawfully Possession of Noxious Material, New York Penal Law 270.05, if they possess noxious materials under circumstance evincing an intent to use those materials to cause physical injury to a person, cause annoyance to a person, damage property or disturb the public peace. Possession of noxious matter is presumptive evidence of intent to use it in the manner described. In other words, walking around with a vat of urine and feces is presumptive proof that you are up to no good with that foul concoction.

If Amos is found guilty of Unlawfully Possessing or Selling Noxious Material (he is actually charged with more serious crimes as well including Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree for allegedly possessing a stun gun), he would face sentencing on a “B” misdemeanor to as much as 90 days in jail. For Amos, those 90 days would be spent on the island known as “Rikers” where he could be assigned to cleaning latrines.

If the allegations prove true, Amos and company have elevated the old adage of “its is better to be pissed off then to be pissed on” to an entirely different level. While “pissing on” hard working men and women at JP Morgan Chase, he likely and understandably “pissed off” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. For that, and the allegations that he possessed a stun gun and was operating a vehicle with a suspended license, Amos has nobody to blame but himself. Sometimes taking responsibility for your actions (if true, of course) just stinks.

Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense firm established by two former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys.

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