Who should tell what lie in this hypothetical assault case?

In a planned and deliberate attack, Man A (while wearing clothes that conceal his identity) beats down Man B in a dark alley and then runs away, leaving no compelling physical evidence as to his identity. The attacker does not know if there were any witnesses, but knows that he couldn’t be identified if there were. The victim figures he knows who his attacker was based on hearsay rumors, but has no actual proof and didn’t see his face; all he can offer to police is his questionable word as to the attacker’s identity; nobody he knows will speak on his behalf to help him ID the attacker.

So… should the victim, lacking any other evidence, lie to the police and say he clearly saw his unmasked attacker’s face and can positively identify Man A as the guy? (assume he knows what the Man A looks like from a prior meeting and can pick him from a line up).

And… assuming the attacker acted alone and can’t find anyone to give him an alibi, what could he say in his defense upon being accused by the victim (who lied that he saw his face)? Even though the truth should refute the accusation, Man A can’t very well state that he was wearing a mask when he committed the crime and therefore Man B is lying about seeing his face.

All either man has is his word; what should each man’s basic story to the investigators be? And what would then happen if several real witnesses that neither man knew about come forward and state that the attacker had his face masked and couldn’t be identifed? Would there even be enough evidence for the courts to do anything in such a case?

If the victim lies about seeing the attackers face, then police will look to see if they can build a case on motive, opportunity, corroborating evidence, priors etc.

But in terms of the way you’ve phrased the question, no one should tell a lie. The victim isn’t 100 percent sure who the attacker was. The victim can tell the police who he thinks it may have been, for whatever reason (such as a grudge or whatever).

Lying to the police is a crime, so nobody should do that. The victim should truthfully report the crime, and can also tell the police who he thinks did it and why he thinks they may have done it.

The attacker should say only that he wishes to speak to a lawyer. Said lawyer will tell attacker to shut the hell up. The Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination means the attacker does not have to answer any questions from the police.

I agree that people should tell the truth, but it’s surprising how often it can work against you, especially when they other guy lies through his teeth. The police know people lie to them all the time; it’s expected and part of their job is to figure out the real story amidst all the lies from both sides. Sometimes they figure the lies out and sometimes they don’t.

So in this case the victim knows who wronged him, but the truth (((he couldn’t actually see his face that night but knew Man A was out to get him because he stole some money from him and dared him to do something about it))) will either make the police reluctant to pursue any charges or possibly get him in even more trouble. But if he lies and says he was minding his own business, clearly saw his attacker follow him down the alley, attack him, and then maybe even rob him - at gunpoint - , the police would look at it much differently… at least initially.

People get in fights and get hurt all the time; most of them are never even reported let alone taken to court. Lacking any real evidence or witnesses, what can the victim here say to pursuade the law to go after his attacker? And what can the attacker say to pursuade the law to drop it from the begining (thereby eliminating the need for him to hire a lawyer)?

Again, lying to the police is a crime. Period. No if this or but that. Tell the truth. Otherwise the victim risks prosecution himself.

And again, the attacker should not talk to the police at all. Does not matter how you spin the question, those answers do not change.

The victim should not lie. He doesn’t know who attacked him. If he has a compelling reason to believe it was a particular person he should inform the police of that information. Even if someone says “tonight you will die in the alley muah hahaha!” they could have hired someone else to do it and not done it themselves. Plus if you get caught in a lie on the stand your other testimony becomes suspect.