The 'guilty' party did not offend the panhandler.
He expressed his view of something that he was offended by, to the liquor-store staff.
The liquor-store staff decided to become offended on the panhandler's behalf, and reported the offensive email to the police.
The police could do nothing in the absence of a victim.
So they showed the email to the panhandler, and encouraged her to be offended, thus creating a victim.
Now the police could pursue the victimizer.
The newly-created victim set the price of being offended at $20,000.
The courts lowered that to $8,000.
This is modern utopia, courtesy of the left.