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I recently saw a video that shows several people destroying a statue in a public space. In the process of tearing it down, the bulk of the statue fell and struck a bystander in the head. It's clear that the injury was accidental, but the property damage was clearly deliberate.

Similar to felony murder (whereby additional charges can be brought against someone who has committed certain felonies that caused a death), are there laws that would add some sort of "felony assault" in addition to a charge of vandalism? Alternatively, are personal injuries simply relegated to civil court, where the victim sues the person responsible for the injury?

If local law makes a difference, I believe this was in Portsmouth, Virginia.

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  • Accidental injury to another is not usually a crime. The question presented is whether the doctrine of "transferred intent" (usually used, e.g., when you try to shoot and kill someone and miss and kill someone else) applies in this case under Virginia's criminal laws. I don't know the answer, but that it the question someone researching to find the answer should ask. – ohwilleke Jun 27 '20 at 2:33

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