False Alarm

Reporter’s Note

The definition of “public alarm” derives, in part, from discussion of the term in People v. Kim, 630 N.W.2d 627 (Mich. App. 2001), and in State v. Chakerian, 900 P.2d 511 (Or. App. 1995).  The Michigan Court of Appeals observed that a defendant causes public terror or alarm “any time a segment of the public is put in fear of injury either to their persons or their property.”  Kim, 630 N.W.2d at 630 (quoting from People v. Garcia, 187 N.W.2d 711 (Mich. App. 1971)).  The Oregon Court of Appeals noted that the term “alarm” is defined as “fear or terror resulting from a sudden sense of danger.”  Chakerian, 900 P.2d at 516 (quoting from State v. Moyle, 705 P.2d 740 (Or. 1985)).  The Oregon Court of Appeals also observed that “Public alarm is collective and communal, rather than individual and innately idiosyncratic.”  Chakerian, 900 P.2d at 517.