Mixing testosterone and liquor is never a good thing. The result is usually a fight, and someone gets hurt. There's charges filed, judges and courtrooms, and then the guy who started it goes home while the guy who was attacked goes to jail.
At least that's how it works in Iowa, where Jake Gothard picked a fight. He decided that he was such a tough guy that he could take on Michael Mette, a Chicago cop who was at his brother's party in Dubuque. They'd both been drinking.
Officer Mette tried to get rid of the overly aggressive college student, but Jake was not one to back down. He followed Mr. Mette, intent on demonstrating his pugilistic prowess, and Mr. Mette had no choice but to defend himself.
A Chicago cop knows about clout, about not messing around with somebody's somebody, but Officer Mette was on foreign soil and didn't know that the man who wailed on him had connections. By the time the case went to court, it was Michael Mette who was the bad guy, because he didn't run away from a drunken asshole but chose to defend himself. In Iowa, defending yourself against someone with friends in the right places constitutes a crime.
Mr. Mette was sentenced to five years in jail. For defending himself from an inebriated Jake Gothard. For not trying to talk to his assailant. For not running away from a man who followed him for the purpose of punching his lights out. For not being as blind and stupid as the judge who suggested such options.
He's been sitting in an Iowa jail for the past year, but his appeal has finally been heard. A bus filled with his fellow Chicago cops attended the hearing, to show that they support him. They've been thinking about showing their support by ticketing any car that carries an Iowa license plate while on Illinois soil, but they may not have to go that far.
Appeals court judge Terry Huitink doesn't see how Michael Mette could have done anything but defend himself, given the situation and how the events unfolded. The judicial panel didn't rule yet, but they have the option of sending the case back to a lower court, where Michael Mette would face misdemeanor charges, and get out of jail.
Unfortunately, Jake Gothard can't be charged with being a piece of shit, of instigating a fight and then crying about the end result when he ended up getting the worst of the bout that he started.
That's what civil courts are for.