Man charged with assaulting state troopers
A New York man was ordered incarcerated at the Bradford County jail Monday night, following a high speed chase on state Route 6 in Towanda Township.
According to information filed with Magisterial District Judge Tim Clark, Robert Charles Leone, 31, of 153 Noies Road, Vestal, N.Y., has been charged by state police with aggravated assault; driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; escape; simple assault; reckless endangering another person; resisting arrest; fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer; disorderly conduct; failure to stop at the scene of an accident; harassment; failure to provide the proper information following an accident; and failure to notify the authorities after an accident had occurred.
Police reported traveling in a patrol car when they received a radio message that a black Pontiac heading out of Towanda on U.S. Route 6 was being operated in an erratic manner. Police said the report also indicated the Pontiac has earlier struck another occupied vehicle at the Dandy Mini Mart in North Towanda, and the driver left the area without providing the necessary information.
Police said they spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop it, using lights and sirens. However the driver refused to stop, and a chase ensued, involving the Pontiac and several state police cruisers. Several times, according to the report, police tried to get in front of the Pontiac intending to slow the vehicle down, but the driver attempted to strike the patrol car during the maneuver.
Finally, police continued, spike strips were deployed on Route 6 in West Troy, which punctured and flattened the Pontiac's four tires. However, the driver continued on the flattened tires, nearly hitting another vehicle that was heading east on Route 6 at the time.
Because they feared the Pontiac's driver had become a serious danger to other vehicles as well as himself, police said, they employed a technique that forced the car off the road and into a ditch.
The driver, identified as Leone, refused to comply with orders to exit his vehicle, police said, and a Taser was used on him. The Taser had little effect, the report continued, and officers had to use force to remove Leone from the car.
During the scuffle, one of the troopers suffered a broken hand, according to the report. Leone was eventually placed in handcuffs and placed in the back of a patrol car. While trying to get Leone into a seatbelt, the report said, he spat in the face of one of the officers. Leone was removed from the patrol car and placed in a more restrictive restraint, police said, then eventually transported to Memorial Hospital for medical clearance.
While at the hospital, the report continued, police removed Leone's restraints so he could be examined by medical personnel. When this occurred, Leone attempted to strike another trooper. Leone was again subdued and placed into handcuffs, police said.
While at the hospital, Leone agreed to submit to a blood test, and the results of the test are pending.
Leone was later transported to the state police barracks. Police were in the process of putting him in a patrol car to take him to the county jail, when he twisted away and attempted to kick one of the troopers, according to the report. He then turned toward another trooper and attempted to tackle and kick him as well, the report said. Officers used pepper spray and a baton to subdue Leone, and an officer from the Towanda police arrived at the scene and assisted in placing him in a patrol car. Leone was again transported to Memorial Hospital for an examination, then transported back to the state police barracks where additional charges were filed against.
Leone was eventually arraigned at the county jail by Judge Clark, who ordered the defendant remain incarcerated in lieu of $250,000 bail. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 24.