Slain player's kin: NY police account misleading

Slain player's kin: NY police account misleading

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) The first police account of an officer's fatal shooting of a college football player was purposely misleading and served as a faulty ``script'' for the investigation, a lawyer for the student's parents said Thursday.

The lawyer, Michael Sussman, alleged that the district attorney's office was in on the deception. And he said the episode demonstrated the need for a special state prosecutor's office to investigate every time police use deadly force.

``No one in the public should have any confidence'' that district attorneys can fairly investigate the police departments they work with, Sussman said at a news conference.

He said his claims were based on ``shocking details'' in depositions he has taken during a federal lawsuit filed by the parents of Danroy Henry Jr., the victim in the 2010 shooting.

Henry, 20, of Easton, Mass., was shot through the windshield of his car as he drove away from a disturbance outside a bar in Thornwood, N.Y. Earlier in the day, he had played for Pace University's football team on Homecoming Day.

The Pleasantville police officer who shot him, Aaron Hess, said Henry was driving toward him and wouldn't stop. He fired from the hood of Henry's car.

Another officer, Ronald Beckley of the Mount Pleasant police force, also fired. But Beckley said in his deposition that he was firing at the person on the hood, not knowing it was Hess and believing it was ``the aggressor.''

Both officers testified before a grand jury and were cleared of wrongdoing. Hess is among those being sued by the Henrys.

Sussman alleged Thursday that Beckley's depiction of Hess as the aggressor was known within hours to Mount Pleasant police Chief Louis Alagno, the chief investigator, and to the district attorney's office.

Alagno's press release the next day, however, depicted Beckley as shooting at the car, not at the officer on the hood.

That was ``a knowingly false statement by a person who is still a police chief,'' Sussman said. He suggested it should have disqualified Alagno from running the investigation.

In his deposition, Alagno said he did not include what Beckley said because ``it was information we would present to the grand jury.'' His lawyer, Carl Sandel, said Thursday that he could not comment on an active lawsuit.

Sussman said the district attorney's office did nothing to set the record straight.

He said the early account meant investigators ``have a script. ... The script shows a decision to protect the police.''

It's not clear, however, that Alagno's early account affected the investigation as a whole.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for District Attorney Janet DiFiore, noted that Beckley testified before the grand jury that cleared him and Hess. DiFiore said at the time that the investigation was ``exhaustive and thorough,'' a sentiment repeated by Chalfen on Thursday.

Henry's father, Danroy Henry Sr., spoke briefly at the news conference. He said what he's heard from witnesses during the lawsuit adds to his doubts about an autopsy finding that his son's blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit for driving. The family has always denied that D.J. was drunk.

Sussman said he still has 50 or 60 depositions to take. If the case goes to trial, he said, it would likely be in 2014.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Should Bradley Beal be an All-NBA selection?


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Should Bradley Beal be an All-NBA selection?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by guest co-host Travis Thomas to break down Bradley Beal's All-NBA chances and John Wall's injury rehab.

They also discussed the crazy Eastern Conference playoff race, Trae Young's draft stock and essentials for a good snow day.

You can listen to the episode right here:

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Caps prospect watch: Signing season?


Caps prospect watch: Signing season?

The 2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament bracket has been announced and only one Capitals prospect, Brian Pinho, is still in the running.

Providence College was selected as the No. 2 seed in the East Regional and will play No. 3 Clarkson in the first round on Friday, March 23 on ESPNU. The winner will play the winner of Notre Dame-Michigan Tech on Saturday with a chance to advance to the Frozen Four.

The college season is over for the rest of the Capitals' college prospects which begs the question, will any of them sign an entry-level deal with Washington?

In the spring when seasons end for colleges, junior leagues and European leagues, we see a flurry of signings across the NHL as teams sign their prospects and young free agents.

Among the Caps' college prospects, the most likely candidate to sign would be Shane Gersich. Gersich just wrapped up this third season at the University of North Dakota, finishing second on the team in goals (13) and tied for third in points (29). The Capitals will certainly make a push to sign him considering his talent and because if he returns to college for a fourth year, he stands to become a free agent on Aug. 15, 2019.

Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reported Wednesday that North Dakota was still awaiting Gersich's decision on whether he planned to return to college.

Quinnipiac defenseman Chase Priskie is in a similar situation, but it he has decided to head back to school for another season.

“That wasn’t a season I’d want to leave on,” Priskie told the New Haven Register. “When I came here as a freshman I saw our senior class, Garteig, St. Denis, Soren Jonzzon, and they left such a legacy that guys still talk about them. Same for Sam Anas and Devon Toews. They were all such great players and some of the best people for our program. When I leave, I want to be talked about like they are.”


Other prospect notes:

  • For Pinho, now a senior at Providence, this marks an opportunity for him to finish his college career the same way he began, with a national championship. “I don’t think I realized at the time how hard it is just to get back to the tournament,” Pinho told the New Haven Register. “So that’s something we older guys have been telling the younger guys. You never know when you’re going to be back and you have to make the most of it when you’re there.” (You can read the full feature on Pinho here)
  • The end of the season may suddenly be near for goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov. Metallurg Magnitogorsk finds itself down 3-1 in its series with Ak Bars in the KHL playoffs meaning their season could be over as early as Friday. Of course, the big news to watch after that is whether or not Samsonov would come to North America. If he does, he would most likely go to Hershey to play for the Bears. With only 10 games remaining on Hershey's schedule, however, the sooner Samsonov's team is ousted from the playoffs, the better. At least from a Washington perspective.
  • All three of Washington's WHL prospects have reached the WHL playoffs. Moose Jaw (Dmitriy Zaitsev) finished with the best record in the league and will play Prince Albert in the first round. Swift Current (Beck Malenstyn) finished second in the East Division behind Moose Jaw and will play Regina. Everett (Garrett Pilon) won the U.S. Division and earned the top seed in the Western Conference. They will play Seattle in the first round.
  • Dmitriy Zaitsev remains out after taking an illegal hit last week. He did not play in either of Moose Jaw's final regular season games, but was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.
  • Adam Carlson has found his groove in Kansas City. Playing for the Mavericks of the ECHL, he won each of his two starts this past week allowing only one goal on 43 shots. He was named the 2nd star of the game for both games.
  • Madison Bowey recorded an assist on Friday and two more for Hershey on Saturday for three over the weekend in his first week back with the Bears. Bowey has spent the majority of the season with the Caps, but the additions of Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek at the trade deadline meant there were just too many bodies up in Washington and not enough playing time to go around. As Bowey is waiver exempt, he became the odd-man out and was sent to the AHL. It would not be surprising to see him recalled by Washington when the NHL playoffs begin.
  • Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler brought his goal total up to five for the season with two goals against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Monday. The Bears really wanted to emphasize his offensive game this season to see if Siegenthaler could be developed into a two-way player. His strength is definitely is on the defensive end of the ice, but he will be a more versatile player if he can also be a threat offensively as well. You can see the highlights of Siegenthaler's two-goal game here:

  • Forward Hampus Gustafsson was recalled to Hershey last week and did not wait long to make an impact. He scored his first career AHL goal on Friday. He also added an assist making that game his first career multi-point game as well.
  • Tyler Lewington was suspended two games by the AHL for a punch he delivered to Bridgeport's Scott Eansor in Friday's game.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in this week's updated rankings