Mutual combat, a term commonly used in US courts, occurs when two individuals intentionally and consensually engage in a fair fight, while not hurting bystanders or damaging property. There is not an official law that forbids mutual combat in the United States. There have been numerous cases where this concept was successfully used in defense of the accused. In some cases, mutual combat may nevertheless result in killings.
In 2012, MMA fighter Phoenix Jones hit the headlines for engaging in mutual combat. A video of the fight went viral. The Seattle Police Department later defended their officers for not intervening. The Seattle Municipal Code 12A.06.025 states that "It is unlawful for any person to intentionally fight with another person in a public place and thereby create a substantial risk of: 1. Injury to a person who is not actively participating in the fight; or 2. Damage to the property of a person who is not actively participating in the fight." Thus since the fight did not injure a third party or damage property, it was not disallowed by this law.
Also in 2012, Gabriel Aubry and Olivier Martinez engaged in mutual combat and were not charged. In 2014, after Zac Efron had engaged in a fight in Skid Row, law enforcement officials did not make any arrests because they viewed it as mutual combat. Mutual combat has been used to deny damage claims, as a legal defense, and to drop charges against fighting students.
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