VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A defense lawyer is questioning the criminal mischief charge against a college quarterback accused of breaking a store window after a teammate was shot to death by suburban New York police.
The Pace quarterback, Joseph Romanick, of Slidell, La., entered no plea during a brief appearance Thursday in Mount Pleasant Town Court.
His attorney, Richard Vercollone, said a deposition attached to the criminal complaint does not appear to support the charge.
The deposition, signed by a witness, does not make clear that the window was broken on purpose.
Romanick left the courthouse with Pace University coach Chris Dapolito. Neither would discuss the case. Pace has canceled its Saturday game against Bentley University.
Danroy Henry, of Easton, Mass., was killed early Sunday after police were called to a disturbance that spilled out of a Thornwood, N.Y., bar.
Police have said that Henry, a 20-year-old Pace University student, sped away and hit two officers after a policeman knocked on his car window. His family’s attorney said eyewitnesses have contradicted that account.
Attorney Michael Sussman said paramedics ignored the handcuffed and dying football player and attended to injured officers for several minutes.
Brandon Cox, who was grazed by a police bullet, left the car under his own power after the shooting, then realized no one was helping Henry, Sussman said.
“He saw the police come to the vehicle, drag his friend out, handcuff his friend, lay his friend head-down on the ground, and no help was coming,” Sussman said.
When paramedics arrived and began tending to the officers, Cox began screaming: “We’ve been shot! We’ve been shot!” Twelve to 15 minutes passed before Henry received medical help, according to Cox, Sussman said.
Messages seeking comment on the paramedic’s actions were left with a spokesman for the Westchester County police, which made the arrests. Sussman did not know which ambulance company answered the call, and a Mount Pleasant police dispatcher said the department uses several companies.
Mount Pleasant police Chief Louis Alagno, who is investigating the shooting with state police, did not return a call seeking comment. Alagno said Monday that Henry was handcuffed until officers realized he was gravely wounded, then was uncuffed and treated.
The lawyer for three of Henry’s other teammates said they had been brutalized by officers and arrested when they tried to help their mortally wounded friend. One player knows CPR and begged the police to let him try to save Henry, but instead ‘they put a gun to his ribs and they told him to back … up or he would be next,” said attorney Bonita Zelman.
She said the other two teammates were zapped with stun guns when they tried to intervene. They said Henry “was on the pavement, handcuffed and dying, and no one was helping him,” she said.
Westchester police spokesman Kieran O’Leary said one of Zelman’s clients, Yves Delpeche of Brooklyn, had to be subdued with a stun gun. But O’Leary said the department had received no formal complaint regarding excessive force.
Zelman did not make allegations against specific officers, claiming some of them covered their badges.
Besides Delpeche, Zelman represents Daniel Parker, of Lauderhill, Fla., and Joseph Garcia, of Floral Park, N.Y. O’Leary said Tuesday that all three were charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction. Parker and Delpeche also were charged with resisting arrest. All were interfering with getting medical aid to the injured, O’Leary said.
They deny any wrongdoing.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)