Judge Dismisses Charges In Pace University Case

VALHALLA, NY (AP / CBSNewYork) – A judge dropped all charges Thursday against four college football players who were arrested after a teammate was killed by a police officer outside a bar.

The four Pace University students were arrested Oct. 17 in the chaos that followed the shooting of 20-year-old Danroy Henry in Thornwood, N.Y.

The players’ attorney, Bonita Zelman, called it “a great victory.” She said they planned to sue for “brutality, false arrest, malicious prosecution and violations of their civil, constitutional and human rights.”

Last month, a grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot Henry. Two weeks ago, prosecutors moved to dismiss various charges of disorderly conduct, obstruction and criminal mischief against the teammates.

“I feel relieved. I feel free,” said Joseph Garcia, of Floral Park, N.Y., who graduated in December and had been charged with obstruction. “I don’t have to worry about a criminal record.”

Zelman spoke with 1010 WINS on Thursday and said her legal team has a videotape “that shows police running around brandishing guns at innocent students.”  She said the video also shows there was no unruly crowd as police have claimed.

WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi: The Students Can Now Look To The Future

Do you think the charges should have been dismissed against Danroy Henry’s teammates? Let us know below

Joseph Romanick, of Slidell, La., who had been charged with felony criminal mischief, said, “Nothing will take away from the loss that we felt from D.J.”

The other players are Yves Delpeche, of Brooklyn, and Daniel Parker, of Lauderhill, Fla.

In court papers supporting the dropping of charges, prosecutors wrote that the defendants’ actions resulted from “impulsive and youthful visceral reactions to the sudden, unexpected shooting of their friend.”

Prosecutors added: “The fact their conduct caused no physical injury to anyone (civilian or police) provide additional compelling factors supporting a discretionary dismissal.”

Henry, of Easton, Mass., was shot as he drove away from the bar in Thornwood, just north of New York City.

The U.S. Department of Justice said it would review the case for possible civil rights crimes. Henry was black; the police officers involved were white.

The motion to dismiss recounted the chaos surrounding the shooting and said that three teammates tried to rush past officers who were guarding the crime scene where Henry lay dying on the ground.

One of the defendants, according to court papers, yelled to the officers, “Come on, shoot me too.”

Romanick was accused of breaking the glass door of a nearby bagel store. The court papers said it can be inferred that Romanick was “angry, frustrated and distraught at the shooting of his friend.”

Police responding to a 911 call about a fight outside Finnegan’s Grill in the Thornwood Town Center came upon Henry, who had been in the bar, and was in a car parked in a fire lane. A police officer knocked on the driver’s window, and the car was put into gear.

The vehicle hit Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess, who opened fire through the windshield. Henry was killed, and Hess was seriously injured.

Zelman said she aims to “get compensation in the form of money damages” and get police she claims committed “acts of brutality” off of the force.

The Henry family has said it is also planning to sue Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • bobby

    No its a perfect example of dumb black crack head babies believing that the law don’t apply to them …Blame the parents and the racist dumb black community who raise these pathetic animals …..

    • Moral Truth

      very true Bobby and thats the moral truth

    • Gp88key

      Your comment is a perfect example of the degree of racist stupidity that still exists in this country…stupid, dumb a@# whites that see themselves as bastions of morality…I blame the idiots that raised you…by the way, there is a serious meth epidemic among your pyt cousins!

  • Peter

    Romanick was accused of breaking the glass door of a nearby bagel store. The court papers said it can be inferred that Romanick was “angry, frustrated and distraught at the shooting of his friend.”

    So being angry gives you permission to damage property and removes any criminal liability for your actions?

  • Larry Schwarz

    At least there is some justice in this case.Those arrested were trying to help their friend who had been shot (The police were not) and got arrested for their trouble.Im glad The DA saw the light of this situation.Whether or not The Police were justified in opening fire that night,I don’t know.They could have shot out the tires if they were being run down.Let The Justice Dept handle their investigation.

  • z z zodiac

    It’s a tragedy but getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk and running down a cop is unacceptable regardless of skin color. This is not about race-it’s about the death of a young man and how he alone bears responsibility-not the cop. Stop looking for a scapegoat-he is already dead.

  • Bronx Tommy

    Do any of you morons who think the cop was guilty and racist know how to READ? In the article above, it says he was “Seriously injured”. Since it also says no one was injured by the melee and the melee afterwards, it was the CAR that injured him! You don’t get a broken leg (which I know he had) when a car is pulling out looking for parking. The fool gunned the engine, slammed into the cop and the cop shot him.

    End of story.

  • Old Gay Jewish Codger

    I like Black Guys!

  • diveine

    Moral Truth are you African American? your writing prove wrong. Justice was serve the officer was wrong.

    • JR

      Nice English!

  • kiik

    what about the decison the DA made not to prosecute the cop with an itchy trigger finger. come on–the guy used to be a nyc cop and then goes to the suburbs where he cant shoot his gun at any black guys. so the first black guy he sees he shoots. the cops were so wrong in this case. and im white

    • JR

      Oh please, another one swayed by the media, you do not know all the facts, they were presented to a Grand Jury, a group of the victims peers, they chose not to prosecute!

  • Moral Truth

    At least three of the students in that picture should not have had their cases dropped since just by the looks of them are obviously guilty.

    and thats the moral truth.

  • Vincent LoRe

    The police over reacted, resulting in this young man’s needless death. Of course the judge dismissed these charges. I am awaiting patiently the result of the federal civil rights investigation that has commenced. If justice is done, the police officer who fired the fatal shot will be indicted.

    • JR

      The young man was drunk and tried to run the officer over! And who will you blame when the Federal Investigation is over and they find no wrongdoing, which I am willing to bet you they will find no wrongdoing, just as a grand jury of the victims peers did! You people are all nuts with your sitting in your comfy home behind your computers spewing nonsense and BS!

      • JR

        Nope, sorry Chucky, but good one.

      • Chucky

        Well, I’m sitting at work, if that changes things for you at all.

    • Moral Truth

      Vincent you are totaly wrong. Are you African american?

      and thats the moral truth

      • Gp88key

        Moral Moron, what difference does it make whether or not the commenter is African American?…I can only shudder at the thought that there are self righteous pricks such as yourself running around with guns and badges, supposedly upholding the law, but based on their own stupid biases…this is part of a problem that has been brought to the surface by the Henry case, not necessarily where officer Hess is concerned, we still don’t know, but still a problem



    • bobby

      This mentality is why your pathetic race shows no respect to authority .Don’t blame the Police moron blame the crack head baby for his stupid actions ..Then blame his parents for raising this idiot ……When are the excuse crying black race going to take responsibility for raising animals ….

      • Gp88key

        Bobby, you seem to have a real chip on your shoulder when it comes to Americans of African decent…Wife run off with a Black man?…If you’d bother to look beyond your own stupidity, you’d find that DJ Henry comes from a very well to do Black family with two very well educated, financially secure parents…Oh, I can only guess what comes next from you or someone else of your ilk…they only gained their status through Affirmative Action…Why don’t you go and try to redeem one of your meth head relatives

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