Here in California, we have all scene breaking news helicopter footage following a suspected stolen car chase. Eventually, the fleeing vehicle may crash, and the driver will take off on foot, as the camera follows from above, until the suspect is taken into custody. However, running from the police does not always end with the suspect taken to jail. Sometimes running from the police can have much more tragic consequences.
On a recent Thursday night, sometime after midnight, Alameda County Sheriff's officers tried to pull over a suspected stolen car on westbound Highway 238. The driver did not stop, but continued driving for a few more minutes until he finally stopped and bailed from the car. The man identified as 40-year-old Paul Giacomoni, then climbed a chain-link fence off the highway, falling almost 30 feet off the other side to his death.
Giacomoni landed in the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery off Hesperian Boulevard. According to an article in the Contra Costa Times, Sheriff's Office Spokesman Officer J.D. Nelson said, “In all my career, I've never heard of a person falling to his death in a cemetery.”
In DeSoto, Texas, a man fleeing police across a freeway also met his death. After getting a call about shots fired, the police tried to pull over the vehicle, which took off. Chasing him down the freeway, the suspect eventually crashed the vehicle, and tried to run across the freeway to escape capture. However, a passing car collided with the man, who died on the scene.
A teenager fleeing police in the Bronx died when he tried to leap from one building to another. After police responded to a report of teens loitering and smoking marijuana in a building lobby, the six young people fled. Officers followed two of the teens up to the roof of the building, telling them to stop. 17-year-old Hakeem Kuta was trying to jump 10 feet to the next rooftop, but lost his footing, falling six stories. The teen was taken to the hospital but later died of his injuries.
In Salt Lake City, a driver fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident took off towards the light rail train tracks. Despite the traffic barriers indicating a light rail train was coming, the 51-year-old driver continued his flight, running head on into the train, killing the driver on the scene.
A more controversial story has come out of Georgia. Following a traffic stop, police were speaking to the driver of a vehicle when the passenger jumped out of the car and took off running. Police followed, and when the man started climbing over an 8 foot brick wall, the police officer tasered the man, who fell over the other side of the wall. The man was unconscious, as police handcuffed him and called for emergency services. According to bystanders, police would not allow them to provide CPR, and he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police chases have killed thousands of fleeing drivers, and thousands of innocent bystanders. Instead of fighting back against the police, or trying to run away, it is important to understand that your best chance of avoiding a criminal conviction comes from a having a strong criminal defense lawyer on your side.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people charged with theft and other criminal violations in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, she understands the penalties involved, and knows how to fight to keep your arrest from ending in a conviction. Contact your local East Bay criminal defense attorney who will make sure you get the justice you deserve.