SIDE BAR: A 14-year-old on the streets at 11:23 in the evening with a 14-inch machete and, according to the arresting officer, "with intent to use" that machete "unlawfully against another." And all that gets him an ACD? Okay, sure, maybe the cop was just busting the kid's chops. Maybe a group of kids were acting up and mouthin' off. All of which could explain how a cop could, maybe, over-react. None of which explains why this kid is walking around the nighttime streets wit a machete. A pocketknife I could sort of understand. A machete? Wow, times have changed.
"because it did not contain allegations which, if true, would have established that the knife he possessed was a 'dangerous knife'" pursuant to section 265.05 (105 AD3d 859, 859 [2d Dept 2013]; quoting Matter of Neftali D., 85 NY2d 631, 635 ). Rather, the arresting officer's account "merely [*3] described the unmodified, utilitarian knife which [respondent]; possessed, and contained no allegations as to the 'circumstances of its possession'" (105 AD3d at 860 quoting Matter of Jamie D., 59 NY2d 589, 593 ). Thus, it held, there were insufficient allegations to permit a finding that, when respondent was arrested, the knife served as "a weapon rather than a utensil" (id.).
SIDE BAR: The charging petition was "facially insufficient" because it did not specifically allege that a 14-inch machete was a "dangerous knife?" So, lemme see if I understand the ruling here: the default understanding, the default expectation, the default application of the law is that a kid with a 14-inch machete on the nighttime streets of Brooklyn is presumed to be merely carrying a "utensil?" Sure, that makes sense. The law says that a machete is no different from a plastic spoon or a sipping straw. Don't laugh -- it ain't funny.
"connotes a knife which may be characterized as a weapon" (id. at 592). We explained that certain knives may fall within the scope of the statute based solely on the knife's particular characteristics. For instance,"a bayonet, a stiletto, or a dagger" would come within the meaning of "dangerous knife" because those instruments are "primarily intended for use as a weapon" . . .
A "machete" is generally defined as "a large, heavy knife that is used for cutting plants and as a weapon" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/machete). While a machete has utilitarian purposes, under the circumstances of this case, it would be unreasonable to infer from the statement supporting the petition that respondent was using the machete for cutting plants. Rather, the arresting officer's description of the "machete", with its 14-inch blade, being carried by respondent late at night on a street in Brooklyn, adequately states "circumstances of . . . possession" (Jamie D. at 593) that support the charge that defendant was carrying a weapon.