33-year-old Susan Sin Desantiago, of Chesterfield, Virginia, claimed she was acting in self-defense when she pulled a 9mm handgun from her car, waved it at a group of teens standing in the road, and held the gun to the head of a 16-year-old girl. But a judge rejected her plea and agreed with the prosecutor who argued, "You don't get to claim self-defense when you're the aggressor."
Desantiago, a law abiding citizen with no criminal record, was found guilty of brandishing a weapon and assault. She was sentenced to 12 months with 10 months suspended on the brandishing charge and to 12 months with all but two weeks suspended on the assault count.
Desantiago was on her way to a doctor's appointment when she passed a group of teenagers who had just gotten off the school bus. Desantiago said the 16-year-old girl cursed at her, and she stopped to admonish the girl about her language, which led to more cursing. Desantiago returned to her home and then headed out again. She said that the teens blocked her path and she panicked and grabbed a gun from the console in her car. The 16-year-old testified that Desantiago walked up to her and placed the gun to her head. "I thought she was going to shoot me."
At that point Desantiago's husband appeared and took the gun from his wife. He testified that the gun used was his, and he put in the car for her protection, "I keep it there for my wife," he said.