As I read the story, the barber was arrested for what in this country would be called common assault, i.e., (allegedly deliberately) nicking the customer’s ear and then more or less shaving off a complete swathe of hair, after getting into a row with the customer. It’s more than just a bad haircut.
IANAL but if he nicked the customer’s ear on purpose I think that would be battery, not assault. “Mayhem” sounds like it would trump either charge. Would that be grounds for pulling his barber’s license?
As far as the swath is concerned, accidentally sound suspicious as well. When I was a wee lad, my father would give my brother and me haircuts to save money. One time as he was doing the major up the back of the head part, the attachment fell off and he pretty much buzzed a swath off up to the top of my ears before he stopped, but not clear over the crown of my head. He did his best to fix it, leaving a thatch on top rather like a bowl haircut, but we both decided it looked dumb, so he just buzzed everything off. This was back when short haircuts were popular so I don’t remember getting unduly teased in school. It was long before anybody and heard about high and tight or we might have considered that.
Just the willful shaving off of that much hair out of spite should be worth some kind of criminal (not just civil) action IMO, even if it’s just to get something on the record so the professional license can be revoked. But to make it even worse, other stories say the victim’s ear was “snipped,” which combined with the fact that the charge was for mayhem (rather than battery or assault or whatever Wisconsin would call it) makes me think the barber didn’t just “nick” the ear, but cut part of it off.
“Mayhem” is a code word for mutilation. If someone recovers from an attack, but is left with a scar on a part of their body not normally covered by clothes, that would be “mayhem.” Lawrence Singleton once did something horrific to a teenager that left her very much less than whole (I’m going to spoiler it below; read at your own risk), and was charged with mayhem, in addition to other crimes. If you shot a gun at someone, and shot off two of their fingers, you’d probably be charged with mayhem.
So yeah. Whatever he did to the guy’s ear is probably going to leave a visible scar. I doubt the visible horror that is the haircut counts as mayhem since it is not permanent.
Sometime in the late 1970s, Lawrence Singleton picked up a 15-year-old hitchhiker named Mary Vincent. Singleton raped Mary, and tried to kill her. Thinking that he was leaving her for dead, he cut off her hands mid forearm, and threw them in a nearby river, so she couldn’t be identified by her fingerprints. But she survived. She is still alive. Singleton was charged with rape, attempted murder, and mayhem. He got an embarrassingly short sentence, and didn’t even serve all of it, because the prisons in California (where this happened) were overcrowded, and he was a model prisoner, so he was granted early release. He went to Florida, murdered a prostitute, went back to prison, and died there a few years later.
Nobody is alleging that the swath cut was due to a fidget; the fidget was allegedly responsible for the cut to the man’s ear (which, unfortunately, wasn’t photographed for our inspection). The swath cut was sheer pique on the stylist’s part.
As for the criminal nature of the cut on the ear, he might be able to mount a plausible defense that that was an accident. Losing his cool and taking out his frustration by buzz-cutting the center stripe like that is unlikely to win him a lot of points with a jury, though.
If someone did that to my hair, I would be* really pissed off.* It’s a disrespectful and humiliating thing to do to a person, and the hairburner had to know that when he did it. Wounding the customer’s ear was just completely egregious, too, whether it was a vicious action or just incompetence…
Hell, yeah, I’d sue the barber’s ass – for everything down to the stripey pole and razor strop if I could get by with it. Indeed, my first reaction would probably be be a strong urge to punch him in the face.
We’re all with you there; the question is what the barber dis that could get him arrested. You can do things really egregiously in violation of civil codes, and are going to get you ass sued right off, but you still have not committed a criminal offense.
We’re speculating on what that barber did in addition to the humiliating haircut, that allowed him to be legally hauled off in handcuffs. Was the nick in the ear a more serious injury than “nick” implies? Did he make a verbal threat that was taken seriously given his other behavior?
We don’t now yet, but we’ll probably find out in a day or two.