Women: If You Hit a Man, Expect To Get Hit in Return
December 20, 2016 (Fault Lines) – In July, 2014, Oklahoma freshman running back Joe Mixon was involved in a confrontation at Pickleman’s Gourmet Café in Norman. Pickleman’s is a deli, with sub sandwiches, soups, etcetera, and is located at the “Campus Corner” area, just north of campus, along with numerous other businesses that cater to students and visitors to the University of Oklahoma.
At the end of the confrontation, Amelia Molitor had a broken jaw, Joe Mixon was suspended from the football team for a year and faced criminal charges. Recently, the store’s surveillance video of the incident was released to the public.
At the beginning of the video, you see Molitor enter the deli and go to a table, just after leaving a verbal confrontation with Mixon outside. Molitor (at 0:24) motions Mixon to her table as he enters the deli and he walks over. There’s a brief conversation and Mixon turns to walk away (at 0:38). Molitor steps towards Mixon and shoves him with both hands and then strikes him in the face or neck with her right hand. In Oklahoma, that’s Assault and Battery. Mixon immediately defends himself, striking Molitor once, knocking her down and into the table, and breaking several bones in her face.
Mixon was subsequently charged criminally with an Assault and Battery on Molitor, but did not elect to fight the charges after the prosecutor offered a year deferred adjudication, 100 hours of community service, and cognitive behavior counseling. That meant that after Mixon completed the year probation, he would be found not guilty of the charge. It’s a good deal, and Mixon took it by making an Alford plea.
This was a good deal for Mixon. It spared him the risk of going to a jury and being found guilty, and it allowed him to maintain that he did nothing wrong for the almost certain to ensue civil lawsuit. You see, under Oklahoma law, Mixon has the opportunity to assert that he was defending himself. In Oklahoma, there is no duty for a person to retreat before defending themselves and hasn’t been since 1912, at least.
Molitor has subsequently filed a lawsuit against Mixon, in federal district court, and this has been interesting too. Mixon, a redshirt sophomore, has two more years of college eligibility, but may also declare for the NFL draft. Although Mixon has had an outstanding season, ranking second in the nation in all purpose yards and the only player this year to have touchdowns by throwing a pass, rushing, pass receptions, and a kick return. He is likely to play in the NFL, and if Molitor can get a judgment, she’ll be able to collect.
The civil case is interesting, but will hinge on the criminal case. First, instead of being heard in state court, it’s being heard in U.S. District Court because of diversity jurisdiction. Molitor is from Texas, and although Mixon is from California, he is currently residing, and the incident happened, in Oklahoma. Molitor originally filed the case in San Francisco, but lost when Mixon asked that the case be moved to Oklahoma City. She also tried to keep the video from being released to the public while Mixon sought to have it released.
Additionally, two of Molitor’s causes of action were dismissed by the court, the count for negligence, and the count for wanton and willful misconduct, leaving only one count for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Mixon’s attorney’s pointed out that the basis of Molitor’s first two causes of action was an alleged battery, and that Molitor had not filed the case until Oklahoma’s one year statute of limitations had expired. They further pointed out that an intentional act (battery) could not be negligence under Oklahoma law, and the court agreed.
That one count is going to be hard to prove, and it should be. Molitor had no business assaulting Mixon, and while Mixon probably should have just walked away, he was legally entitled to defend himself. Whoopi Goldberg said it very well on The View television show:
You have to teach women—do not live with this idea that men still have this chivalry thing still with them. Don’t assume that that’s still in place. So don’t be surprised that if you hit a man, that he hits you back.
Of course, the other women on the show were appalled. They claimed that a man should never hit a woman. They are right, and they are wrong. No one should ever hit anyone else, but I’ve got news for the women on The View, and anyone else. I can tell you what’s going to happen most of the time on the street, at least in my experience.
If a woman strikes a man and he defends himself, it’s on the woman. If you don’t want to get hit, don’t hit the guy.
 Punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 Sec. 644 (2014).
 “The law in Oklahoma is clear: There is no duty to retreat if one is threatened with bodily harm. Fowler v. State, 8 Okl.Cr. 130, 126 P. 831 (1912).” Neal v. State, 597 P.2d 334 (Okla. Crim. App., 1979).