The Mad Hare

Mall Easter Bunny and a Father Facing Assault Charges

The Story

A mall Easter bunny and the father of a little girl shocked mall shoppers when they got into a hare-raising brawl at the Newport Centre Mall in New Jersey. The cute photo-op for children took a turn down the wrong rabbit hole when a young girl slipped out of the chair after having her picture taken.

Thanks to a video that has gone viral, we are able to see the Easter bunny brawl in action. In the video, the Easter bunny is seen exchanging punches with customers waiting online to have their holiday pictures taken. Seconds after the bunny and a man wearing a brown shirt are separated, the bunny throws off his gloves and approaches the mall-goer again. The bunny and the man continue to scuffle around on the floor while mall security attempts to break up the fight again.

The 22-year old man dressed as the Easter bunny said the disagreement erupted when the man’s 1-year old daughter slipped out of the chair. The girl’s father then began to verbally and physically attack the Easter bunny.

The Charges

After the Easter bunny brawl, both men are facing criminal charges. The 22-year old bunny and the 44-year old father are being charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct. Both men had outstanding warrants. Ironically, the bunny had a warrant for fare hopping.

Disorderly conduct is commonly referred to as ‘”disturbing the peace” or “a breach of the peace.” Under New Jersey law, engaging in improper behavior or offensive language in a public place is illegal. Improper behavior can be any action where an individual deliberately causes public inconvenience, alarm or annoyance, or engages in reckless behavior such as fights or creates hazardous conditions that creates a risk. If convicted of disorderly conduct, the Easter bunny and father will face a fine $500 fine or more and up to 30 days in jail.

The two men may be facing additional jail time and fines for aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or causing serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly. Assault with a deadly weapon and assaulting a police officer also fall under this offense. Aggravated assault is a felony charge and can be a crime of the second, third, or fourth degree, dependent mostly on the nature of the injures.

If you or someone you know is being charged with assault or disorderly conduct, it is imperative to have a skilled defense lawyer on your team. For more information about the services we offer at Zapicchi & Liller LLP, call our office today for a free phone consultation at 609-291-9500.