Police Chase Video Goes Viral
TOWANDA, PA (WENY)---Dashcam video now on Youtube shows the low-speed police chase of Robert Leone in March 2010 but his parents say their son's actions in the video doesn't justify what he looks like in his mugshot.
"I didn't know for five to seven days if my son was alive or dead," says Joan Leone, the mother of the Vestal native.
Joan Leone is speaking on behalf of her son because he's behind bars. A jury found Leone guilty on four of the 24 charges police filed against him---a hit and run, fleeing and alluding police, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Leone was arrested after a spike strip blew out his tires and state troopers knocked his car off the road.
Leone's mother says her son is bi-polar and that may be the reason why he didn't stop but Bradford County District Attorney Daniel Barrett says Leone was high on drugs. Police found prescription Adderall on Leone and claim dozens of pills were missing."Drug abuse got Leone to where he is. To the situation with a black eye but I've certainly seen a lot worse consequences," says Barrett.
Leone's parents say police used excessive force.
District Attorney Barrett says the video showing Leone's violent arrest and police using expletives is not police brutality.
"The troopers were trying everything to get Leone to get himself under control," says Barrett.
Leone's parents disagree and say they just want justice for their son.
"That is a disgrace for any police officer or any member of the court to look and hear my son screaming for his life and to say they were justified," says Joan Leone.
A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania State Police says she cannot comment on pending litagation. A Facebook group called "Freedom and Justice for Robert Leone" has amassed more than 7,000 members and rally is planned for Friday.