Vestal Family Says Videotape Shows Police Brutality
6/26/2012 (Updated 6/27/2012 2:40:15 AM)Frank and Joan Leone are looking at pictures in their Vestal home remembering their son.
And there is an image the family says they can't get out of their heads.
This is YouTube video of the day their son Robert was arrested in Pennsylvania back in 2010.
Robert's mother, Joan Leone said:
"Is this America? I couldn't believe he was still alive."
The Leones say this is how it happened. Back in March 2010 Robert Leone was travelling from New York into Pennsylvania. He had taken prescription medication, which they say affected his judgement --but did not make him agressive.
Police signalled him to pullover, but he continued driving. He was finally stopped by Pennsylvania state police in Towanda.
The Leones say the video shows their son being severely beaten by police even though he was not violent. Here is a picture of Robert's mug shot.
The Leones say the bruises in this picture prove it all.
Robert's father, Frank Leone said:
" I could never see an justification. And the damage that has been done to my son both physically and mentally and in his whole life has been upset almost destroyed."
Robert was charged with four misdemeanors which include simple assault and resisting arrest. He's already served 27 months of the four-year prison sentence he was handed upon conviction..
The Leones tell Fox 40 their son was unfairly prosecuted and the facts need to be told:
"We need to have exposure. If the people are aware, then the people can make, and demand, and create a change.
To make people are aware the family contacted a local watchdog and former Pennsylvania police officer Larry Hohol. He put the video on YouTube, about a week ago and since then it's gotten nearly 30,000 hits.
"I expected that to happen in about six months of a lot of hard work. I didn't expect this type of reaction at all."
When we contacted Pennsylvania state police in Towanda for reaction, they told us they cannot comment on pending litigation.
The Leone's say the have filed a civil suit alleging police brutality.
In the meantime, they hope they can win an early release for their son--who is up for probation.
Kena Vernon fox 40 news.
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