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Can Food Fights Lead to Battery Charges?

It begins with someone loudly yelling, “Food fight!” and is immediately followed by an aerial attack of mashed potatoes. At least, that’s the way it happens in teenage comedies. But what about real-life food fights? Some of them may very well echo the laughter and fun of the big screen. Others, however, could put a participant into a sticky legal situation.

What Is Considered Battery In Indiana?

Indiana Code 35-42-2-1 states that an action can be considered battery if the offender knowingly touches another person in a “rude, insolent, or angry manner.” This includes pushing, slapping, and, yes, throwing food at them.


Not only is it possible to be charged with battery after a food fight, but it isn’t even a particularly rare occurrence in Indiana.

In 2010, four middle schoolers in Valparaiso were arrested on battery charges after allegedly starting a food fight in the cafeteria. The offenders were 14 years old.

Battery involving food is not unique to students in the lunch room. In 2019, a 33-year-old North Webster man was charged with battery after throwing a peanut butter-covered pancake at a woman’s face.

Even pranks and popular trends like “pieing” (throwing a whipped cream-filled pie tin at someone else’s face) can be grounds for battery charges.

Don’t Hesitate to Call a Lawyer

Since the fallout from a food fight can quickly become a legal concern, get legal counsel involved as soon as an accusation has been made. 

There are a variety of ways to defend a case like this. First, prosecutors must prove the defendant had intent to harm. Many people participate in food fights to have fun, and as such, any damage caused would be purely accidental. A lawyer may also seek to prove that the alleged victim was a willing participant in the fight, meaning they should have had a reasonable expectation that they might end up in the crossfire. 

The only way to know exactly how to proceed is to provide the specifics of your case to an experienced legal team like Razumich & Associates. For a free consultation, contact us online or by calling our office at 317-449-8661.

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