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Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-1203(A)(3) provides that a person commits assault by knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
The juvenile court adjudicated P.D. ("Juvenile") delinquent for committing one count of aggravated assault for putting water from a urinal into a teacher-aide's soda. Juvenile appealed, arguing that placing urinal water in a drink was too remote an act to be a prohibited "touching" under § 13-1203(A)(3), and that to constitute a "touching" that was not person-to-person, an actor had to either: (1) employ an active and destructive tool or aid, or (2) apply a force directly onto the victim. The juvenile also noted that the State had failed to prove that urinal water was harmful.
Did the juvenile court err by concluding that the Juvenile’s act constituted a prohibited "touching" under A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(3)?
The court disagreed with the juvenile's approach because: (1) there was no authority supporting such a restrictive view of what type of force or process an actor had to set in motion to constitute a "touching"; (2) there was no principled reason for adopting the proposed restriction, as assault under § 13-1203(A)(3) did not require a resulting injury to the victim; and (3) such an interpretation of "touching" could cause absurd consequences. Accordingly, the court held that a "touching" had occurred when the juvenile placed urinal water into the teacher-aide's cup and she subsequently drank from it.