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Father of crash victim faces charges over incident on the scene with Pennsylvania State Police

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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:00 PM
Original message
Father of crash victim faces charges over incident on the scene with Pennsylvania State Police
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_1439921...

It was a scene straight from a parent's worst nightmare: A critically injured son trapped in a vehicle draped with live wires, an anxious father and two police officers described by witnesses as having an "attitude."

The result: A man described by acquaintances as a pillar in his community, a volunteer and foster father known for his parenting abilities, now faces felony criminal charges for allegedly assaulting one of the officers.

snip

The one point both the officers and the Rourke family agree on is that Hertzog grabbed Rourke by the front of his coat and began pushing him backward. Hertzog said it was an effort to physically remove the older man from the accident scene.

The trooper said in court papers that Rourke responded by grabbing Hertzog's jacket with both hands, and "a shoving match ensued."

Rourke says his action was an automatic reaction to being shoved by the officer, not a deliberate attack on the trooper. Barrick said she thought her father, who has a heart condition, was trying to keep from falling as the trooper pushed him backward.

Erme immediately stepped behind Rourke and, according to Barrick, kneed him in the back. All three men ended up on the ground, and Hertzog later told his commander that Rourke deliberately kicked him in the upper thigh and hit him in the nose during the scuffle.

Barrick didn't see her father's actions as a deliberate attack on the trooper, but perhaps the result of trying to keep his balance as he was shoved and fell to the ground.

Barrick said she told the officers her father had a heart condition and asked them to stop and to leave her father alone, but they told her "you don't ever touch a cop" as they held him on the ground.


snip

Once rescuers freed Rickard from the car, the Rourke family went to Chambersburg Hospital, where the injured teen was to be flown to Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey.

"There were four carloads of cops there when we got there," McMillen said. "One of the officers kept bumping into my uncle."

He said it appeared the officer was trying to antagonize or provoke Rourke, and at one point he argued with the officer about his treatment of the older man. The officer then accused Rourke of doing the bumping, McMillen said.

snip

When he does get home, he will probably find major changes, not only in his life, but also his parents' lives.

The aggravated assault charge James Rourke faces carries a state prison sentence of as long as 10 years. His formal arraignment on the charges is March 21 in Franklin County Court.


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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
1.  "they told her "you don't ever touch a cop" as they held him on the ground."
He should not have waived his preliminary hearing.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nothing Running A Power Drill Through The Officers' Knee-Caps Would Not Settle With Justice, Sir
An unfortunate proportion of police officers have no business whatever being active in that trade. Even more unfortunate is that when they demonstrate ths fact, they almost never receive proper discipline for their abuse of authority and criminal condact.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. I entirely agree. Thugs, such as these, make a bad name for all cops.
Edited on Tue Feb-16-10 04:36 PM by Vidar
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Indeed. There's more than one side to every story, but I'm having a hard time
imagining how the cops could have been in the right here. Handling panicked/grieving relatives without jumping or arresting them should be a basic job skill...
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. He needs to file
A lawsuit against the trooper and the state police.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. 'but they told her "you don't ever touch a cop" as they held him on the ground.'
Yes, rule #1, :eyes:
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Grand Taurean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. There are always stiff charges when a cop is "assaulted".
Shoot an unarmed black male 41 times, no time served.
And of course the police unions (the one union I oppose) will come to the copper's defense. :puke:
Why treat the father of an accident victim the same as an armed suspect?
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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The same guys who call you up soliciting donations selling their mustard.
They sound all gruff on the phone trying to make you think they themselves are cops and if you don't donate you will go to jail. I fucking hate those guys.
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Grand Taurean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I always hang up on them.
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tmyers09 Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
8. Who gives a crap what uniform you're wearing or what piece of metal that syas what you are.
If you put you're hands on me, that's it. Those guys deserve the fuck beaten out of them.
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Some people shouldn't be cops
Seen enough upset relatives at accidents and people who know how to deal with them. This is not an example of that.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. They need to re-think the training cops are given.
They act extremely badly in many situations.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. This says it
"you don't ever touch a cop"

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. The article refers to fire, policse and ambulance crews already
on site before the troopers showed up. So why did the troopers show up?
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blueamy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. To try to find something to charge the driver with.
Gotta give out some tickets, ya know?
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-16-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Probably because it was the trooper's jurisdiction.
Sometimes the first responding units discover that the event may not have happened within their jurisdictions. Sometimes there's a mutual aid agreement that allows closest units to respond even if the event is out of their area. In either case the LE with responsibility will show up later.

I agree with the other posters on this thread about the handling of stressed out/grieving family members. I know cops who would have reacted by demanding that the father stay out of the way and trying to back him away from the area but I don't know one who would've arrested him for nothing more than a shoving match.
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