Judge orders mediation in case of man who threw beer at people filming his wife's transphobic rant

A judge today ordered community mediation between Michael Smurro, a middle school vice principal, and people he threw beer at outside a restaurant in Galloway, N.J. The diners were filming Smurro's wife, Lisa, ranting publicly about a transgender woman who used the women's bathroom—as they are legally entitled to in the state of New Jersey. Video of the attack is embedded above.

The footage shows that when the couple became aware someone was filming, they got up and walked over. Lisa Smurro continued to complain and a woman at the table replied: "Please take your hate elsewhere." Michael Smurro then tossed the contents of a cup of beer at occupants of the table.

"Here you go, pal," he says on the video. "There you go."

Michael Smurro then takes several steps back and, gesturing toward himself, says, "Now you can come out. I'm right here," before the couple walks away.

Community mediation is a good way to resolve disputes without the expense and mess of court proceedings, but this guy was filmed throwing beer at people in public, filed obviously specious harassment claims against three of them, benefited from local cops' and prosecutors' disinterest, and has suffered no apparent consequences otherwise for his behavior. From the AP's writeup it seems as if the court feels violence isn't worth its time, an approach whose consequences become more interesting the more you think about it.