368 F.2d 537 (4th Cir. 1966), 10712, United States v. Wallace

Docket Nº:10712.
Citation:368 F.2d 537
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Theodore Roosevelt WALLACE, Appellant.
Case Date:October 27, 1966
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Page 537

368 F.2d 537 (4th Cir. 1966)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


Theodore Roosevelt WALLACE, Appellant.

No. 10712.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

October 27, 1966

Argued Oct. 4, 1966.

Donald R. Taylor, Williamsburg, Va. (Court-appointed counsel), for appellant.

Roger T. Williams, Asst. U.S. Atty. C. V. Spratley, Jr., U.S. Atty., on brief), for appellee.

Before HAYNSWORTH, Chief Judge, and BOREMAN and CRAVEN, Circuit judges.

HAYNSWORTH, Chief Judge.

Wallace complains of his conviction of a violation of 18 U.S.C.A. § 111 as a result of an assault committed by him upon an agent of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division. His complaint is that the District Court, to whom the case was tried without a jury, did not specifically resolve the factual question of the defendant's knowledge, at the time of the assault, that the victim was a federal agent. Even if that knowledge was absent at the time, we think the statutory offense was committed and the defendant properly convicted.

The defendant was working in an illicit still when it was raided by law enforcement officials, among them, an agent of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division. According to the officers, the federal agent announced and identified himself, but the defendant claimed that he heard no such announcement and did not recognize the intruder. He struck at and hit the federal agent with a heavy stick or club before he was subdued.

Though the record would have abundantly justified a specific finding that the defendant did know that the man who approached him was a federal revenue agent, the District Court, nevertheless, declined to make that specific finding upon the ground that such knowledge was not an essential element of the offense.

In this posture of the case, we would be required to remand the case for additional findings of fact, unless we accept the District Court's theory of the reach of the statute. We do agree with it on that score, and, accordingly, affirm.

Title 18, § 111 prescribes a penalty for a forcible assault upon or interference with a federal official as defined in § 1114 while the official is 'engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties.' The statute contains no words which can reasonably be said to require that the actor know at the time that the victim of the assault, or the person with whom he...

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