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To The Editor:
The following is "the rest of the story," the story being an altercation that The Valley Reporter published in the police reports the last week of April 2014. In a nutshell, a person who shall remain nameless was threatening to me and I defended myself. The way things work, I found out, is that whoever calls the police is assumed to be the victim. I didn't call the police. My aggressor did. I received a citation and went to court. The state's attorney referred me to a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring a person back to accountability and reconciliation with their community by participating in the diversion program. Even though I thought this was an admission of guilt when I was innocent, completing the program would dismiss the case.
It was either that or going to court at least two more times, which meant missing days of work and having one's mind filled with litigation and court proceedings. My "crime" was not evil enough to merit prison time and no money was involved, so I did not qualify to get a court-appointed lawyer. I would have had to represent myself, a daunting thought when one is not used to appearing in court.
So I met with a diversion case manager and decided to go through their program. I met with the review panel where I was asked to describe what and how the incident happened, what I learned from this experience and how I would proceed going forward. They were very understanding and accommodating.
What I learned: Some friendships persist because of inertia even though shared values have long gone. It's good to know when to move on before push comes to shove (literally). I vowed to be more discriminating in my choice of friends in the future.