Writer Found Guilty of Border Assault

Peter Watts, narrative designer for Homeworld 2, Crysis 2, and the Big Mutha Truckers series, who had a run in with U.S. Customs officers on the U.S./Canadian boarder last December, has been convicted of assaulting, resisting, and obstructing a Customs and Border Protection officer. 

Watts, who hails from Toronto, was crossing the bridge to Canada when he was stopped for a random inspection on the American side. According to his lawyer, Watts was beaten several times, and then pepper sprayed in the face.

Watts continues to protest his innocence but claims that he will accept the outcome of the case:

I have no complaints about the jury. The fact that it took them so bloody long to deliberate suggests to me that they took their job seriously. Based on what little I could tell during the selection process, they seemed like decent folks. And while I profoundly disagree with their verdict, I can certainly see how they arrived at it, given the constraints of the statute.

Watts faces a possible three-year prison term and fines of $5,000 at his April 24th sentencing.

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  1. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That I can agree with, to a certain extent, but "not doing anything wrong" and being innocent are not always the same thing.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  2. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    He absolutely had a choice in the matter.  He could have chosen to do as he was told, thereby NOT breaking the law.  Instead, he just stood there asking why, which is what broke the law in the first place.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  3. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    He may be guilty of "committing a crime," but he’s not guilty of doing anything wrong, is what I’m saying. (The English language is too vague sometimes =/)

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  4. 0
    DorthLous says:

    While he is, unless the conviction is turned, guilty of an unlawful act (no, he is not innocent), doesn’t mean he is wrong or had any choice in the matter. Laws are not perfects, and while they are better than nothing, I believe in this specific occasion, I’ll side with most and say the outcome SHOULDN’T be jail and/or fine. What it’ll be is something entirelly different. Also, THE LAW does make mistake. Not as often as it gets it right, but our systems of law are faillible at best.

  5. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Just because something is "against the law" doesn’t mean that it should be. I’m arguing that while he violated the letter of the law, he didn’t do anything wrong and thus shouldn’t be punished.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  6. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    If you violate the letter of the law, you violate the law.  Twelve people unanimously voted that he was guilty of violating the law, based on the letter of the law.  This isn’t innocence, it’s guilt.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  7. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    It’s very clear that he did nothing wrong and should not be sentenced, and that the only reason that the jury sentenced him is because:

    "Even members of the jury, who did convict him, have felt they felt constrained by the words of the law.  None deny that he did what he did (not obey in a timely manner)."

    So, yes, he’s innocent. He "committed a crime" because he didn’t sit down fast enough after getting BEATEN UP BY A COP.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  8. 0
    sharpshooterbabe says:

    Ok, so wouldn’t accepting the outcome of the case be considered as guilty?



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  9. 0
    chadachada321 says:


    Fuck tha police
    Comin straight out the underground
    Young nigga got it bad cuz I’m brown
    And not the other color so police think
    They have the authority to kill a minority

    Fuck that shit, cuz I ain’t tha one
    For a punk muthafucka with a badge and a gun
    To be beatin on, and throwin in jail
    We could go toe to toe in the middle of a cell

    Fuckin with me cuz I’m a teenager
    With a little bit of gold and a pager
    Searchin my car, lookin for the product
    Thinkin every nigga is sellin narcotics

    Not all cops, mind you, but the ones that abuse their power and THEN get a guy sentenced to some bullshit "obstruction" charge. It is very clear that Watt is innocent in this, and I pray that the border officer gets just desserts (hopefully through the legal system, but even a bad case of karma would suffice), and I also hope that Watts appeals this by arguing that "obstruction" was not done in this case.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  10. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Yeah but that wouldn’t be sensationalist enough for new improved GP.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I think this is what Watts was convicted under:

    750.81d Assaulting, battering, resisting, obstructing, opposing person performing duty; felony; penalty; other violations; consecutive terms; definitions.

    (1) Except as provided in subsections (2), (3), and (4), an individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.


    (a) "Obstruct" includes the use or threatened use of physical interference or force or a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command.

    If I’ve got the right law, I don’t know how he could be facing up to 3 years and $5k in fines unless he somehow caused "a bodily injury requiring medical attention or medical care."


    Andrew Eisen

  12. 0
    TOGamer says:

    At the risk of joining the pedantic folk all over the net where this is being talked about, Mr. Watts was convicted of obstructing/resisting a lawful order from the customs officials (which doesn’t require violence to be convicted of).

    The "choking" was disproved.  There was no violence done by Mr. Watts. There was obstruction/resistance which was that he didn’t follow instructions.  Even members of the jury, who did convict him, have felt they felt constrained by the words of the law.  None deny that he did what he did (not obey in a timely manner).

    The Observer is guilding the lily with "assault".  He was accused of it, but it was disproven.

    I honestly don’t know what I would have done in his position.  Probably would have been intimidated and just let it happen.


  13. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I’d prefer trial transcripts but this from Watts’s blog is nevertheless interesting:

    "What constitutes “failure to comply with a lawful command” is open to interpretation… So what it came down to, ultimately, was those moments after I was repeatedly struck in the face by Beaudry (an event not in dispute, incidentally). After Beaudry had finished whaling on me in the car, and stepped outside, and ordered me out of the vehicle; after I’d complied with that, and was standing motionless beside the car, and Beaudry told me to get on the ground — I just stood there, saying “What is the problem?”, just before Beaudry maced me.

    And that, said the Prosecutor in her final remarks — that, right there, was failure to comply. That was enough to convic…

    Whether that’s actual noncompliance or simply slow compliance is, I suspect, what the jury had to decide. That’s what they did, and while I think they made the wrong decision I’m obviously not the most impartial attendee at this party."


    Andrew Eisen

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