Was A Long-Ago Event An Assault?

Question:
I have been in my present job thirty-two years. I started my job when I was 18 or 19. There was a coworker who bullied me for over ten years! One time he grabbed me by neck and by my trousers and threw me nearly head first into a van ,where we were loading food. I felt very upset at the time but didn’t show it. The co-worker retired many years ago. Is that classed as an assault?

Answer:
Whatever the reason for your coworker’s actions, it sounds as though he was older than you, which would have made his actions seem even more threatening, since you probably had been on the job less time. 

According to the laws where you reside, what he did may or may not have been an assault, but you would have been justified in making a complaint to your boss and to others in your company about his dangerous behavior. 

I also think you could have called your local police to the scene, shown them what happened and any injuries you sustained, and perhaps they would have made a report. Then, it would have been up to your city or county attorney’s office to decide if the incident rose to the level of being an assault, under the law. 

Some cities and counties allow individuals to ask for charges to be filed, even if the police are not called. In those cases there needs to be evidence to present to a judge. 

Even if you made a report to someone at the time, and have a record of being injured, time has run out for any charges to be made, unless your injuries were severe. Unfortunately, that is how mean bullies get by with things for so long. 

I’m glad you no longer have to be around him. The best revenge you can have is to live a happy, peaceful and successful life. If he hasn’t changed, his old age probably won’t be pleasant. 

Best wishes to you as you move through these unpleasant memories. I hope you will make better memories every day! 

Tina Rowe
Ask the Workplace Doctors

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.