Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greece Police Chase CAUSES Violent Crash

Driver Chased 2 Miles At 70+MPH For Not Wearing Seatbelt 
Causes Rollover Crash  & Ejection Sat. Afternoon On Rt. 104

YNN reports: A Greece man is in the hospital after he crashed his car trying to run from police late Saturday afternoon. It happened shortly after 5 o'clock.

The vehicle crashed on West Ridge Road, but police say the chase began on Mt. Read Boulevard. When police pulled Russell Liberti, 47, over for not wearing a seatbelt, that's when he fled the scene reaching speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour as he drive through residential neighborhoods.

After about two miles, the Liberti's vehicle hit another car on West Ridge Road, the suspect was ejected as the vehicle rolled several times.

"Unfortunately, this one ended with a motor vehicle crash and that's always very dangerous. Thank God the other lady was not hurt, but everything that occurs here I always say is the result of one person making very poor decisions. He could have simply stopped, taken his ticket and been on his way and yet, he almost caused a lot of mayhem in the town of Greece," said Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter.

Drug paraphernalia was found in the wreck and police later learned the car was stolen. Investigators are working with the Monroe County District Attorney's Office to work out the charges. The suspect was taken to Strong Hospital for serious head injuries. The driver of the second car was checked out at local hospital.


I suggest that EVERYONE view the video on the website to see if YOU think this chase & crash "almost caused a lot of mayhem in the town of Greece" ... or if it actually DID CAUSE "a lot of mayhem in the town of Greece." SOMETHING went dreadfully wrong here when a traffic stop for a minor infraction like not wearing a seatbelt results in such a serious consequence as the result of a cop chasing someone going over 70MPH for more than 2 miles at 5PM on Sat. afternoon! I'm perplexed by the fact that the cops didn't know the vehicle was stolen until "later" since they have some very expensive technology in their cars that scan the license plates as they cruise.

Sorry Chief Todd, but YOUR COP CAUSED THIS CRASH WITH HIS DECISION TO CHASE! It is NOT TRUE that "he could have simply stopped, taken his ticket and been on his way," because the car was stolen and the driver had drug paraphernalia with him. Thank God the other motorist wasn't killed!!


Anonymous said...

So what's your solution?
Anytime someone runs from police, let them go?
The fault for this accident lies squarely with the suspect.

SCATS said...

To 10:21AM ~~ The "solution" is common sense & safety of the greater community first! The cop should call it in seeking help, then begin pursuit but if it becomes dangerous for others (like 70MPH on Sat. afternoon!!), you let the guy go hoping you can pick him up later. It's not like they don't already have the plate # on the car, and in this case, he didn't know the car was stolen or contained drug related items until AFTER THE CRASH!!

Anonymous said...

Th solution is in providing certainty of severe punishment for the bad acts of the perpetrator. If it becomes known that you will get chased, caught and punished if you do bad stuff in Greece then there will be fewer people doing bad stuff in Greece. In this case it will now be up to a judge to make the consequences fit the crime. I hope it doesn't go before some mamby pamby liberal feel sorry for the perp judge.

SCATS said...

To 11:17AM ~~ You forgot to mention that it will be up to a court to decide if the cop was justified in his actions when the woman who was an innocent victim sues the Town of Greece, which she almost certainly will ;)

Anonymous said...

SCATS is correct. Common sense and safety first: let the rational driver of the stolen car with drug items in it speed away without pursuit. After all, it's not like they committed a felony or anything. Oh wait, auto theft is...

Before I hear the counter-argument "he didn't know the car was stolen or contained drug related items until AFTER THE CRASH", think about it. The driver committed an offense and tried to evade the legal system. Just because the officer didn't yet know about more felonious crimes is NOT an excuse to let someone skirt the law, no matter how minor it may be.

SCATS said...

To 12:34PM ~~ LMAO! If we go by your logic, then someone talking on a cell phone should be pursued at top speed until apprehended, regardless whose life & limb we imperil in the process. After all, they MIGHT also have committed some other crime we don't already know about ;)

Anonymous said...

I can hear the complaints from SCATS now after 6 months of no pursuits, no arrests, everyone speeds away form being stopped.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, by YOUR logic if I'm on my cell phone while driving I can ignore the law if I make sure to burn rubber if the police try to pull me over. LMAO indeed.

Anonymous said...

Here is the difference Scats.

People who generally obey the law and occasionally committ minor traffic accidents tend not to lead police on high speed chases. The simply pull over and accept the ticket and move on.

People who are engaged in additional criminal acts or have outstanding warrants are the ones who tend to run. Do we really want it known that all a criminal has to do is speed in order to evade capture.

And yes the police did have the license plate number. If the car was stolen, how would they track down the offender?

SCATS said...

To 1:03PM & 1:09PM ~~ I never said they shouldn't chase. I said they need to use common sense & prudence. If it turns ugly and imperils others, they MUST STOP. See my response to 10:21AM ;)

To 1:23PM ~~ I am aware that is USUALLY but not always the case. The cops don't know why someone flees until after the fact. Again, read my response to 10:26AM.

In addition to the info on the car, the cop already knows something about how the suspect looks, such as race, hair color, facial hair ...

If pursuing at ANY SPEED IS JUSTIFIED, then why not just let the cops shoot as they chase him too?

Anonymous said...

I've got to agree with scats on this one. All the cop knew at the time was the guy wasn't wearing a seatbelt. What if he was high as a kite on drugs or alcohol? He could easily crash into several other cars then. It says "he fled the scene reaching speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour as he drive through residential neighborhoods." My God he could have wiped out a bunch of kids on bikes, pedestrians, crashed into someone's house, killed someone as they washed their car in their own driveway. Is it worth that? NO. This isn't the first time that police have failed to use discretion in a chase. Sometimes the pursuit must be called off.

They're lucky the car didn't hit multiple other vehicles as it flipped and rolled over the median and all the way across Ridge Road. The office who pursued won't get any medals for this one.

SCATS said...

To 2:21PM ~~ You made a good point about the possibility that the driver could have been under the influence without the officer knowing it. Let's face it, the cop knew almost nothing and chased him RECKLESSLY. It was neither warranted, nor justified based on a seatbelt infraction.

Anonymous said...

if if if, then what if they let him go without pursuit and he drove to a house and killed the people in it?

chase, capture, consequence.

Anonymous said...

The driver in this case was not chased because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. He was chased because he refused to stop as required by law.

If the chase lasted for 2 miles, as reported, and reached speeds of 70 Mph. Then we can assume the chase lasted for something like 2 minutes.

Perhaps the officer was in the process of determining whether or not to continue the chase when the crash happened. The alleged felon is the one responsible in this case.
When do we stop blaming police officers for doing their job?
When do we actually start to hold criminals accountable for their actions?

Anonymous said...

Well Pus, I haven’t agreed with you on other things - why should I start now. It has to be a judgment call by the officer in pursuit or his supervisor that he makes radio contact with. Being a backseat driver or armchair quarterback serves no one (except perhaps your own ego).

Anonymous said...

By going by the information given in the article (including the typo they made ;-)) I really don't think for one minute that this was the cop's fault: "When police pulled Russell Liberti, 47, over for not wearing a seatbelt, ***that's when he fled the scene reaching speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour as he drive through residential neighborhoods.***" To me, it sounds like he was stopped, then took off on his own at a high speed. So, really, he would've been going 70 mph regardless of whether the cop followed him or not. Also, the "mayhem" resulted in a crash between the perp and 1 innocent car. How many innocent cars are involved in crashes on a daily basis? Especially on busy roads like 104? I'd say probably plenty, since I often see cars pulled over on the side of the road exchanging information.

Anonymous said...

Russell Liberti does not live in Greece. Owns and lives in a house in the 14609 area. Few previous acts in Greece , the city and Brighton.
Guess the cop hit the jackpot and bullied the wrong guy. Unexpected.
And why is there no picture of this man with his previous arrests and convictions? One guess is all you get.
From the record none of the crimes have been violent until this tragic mistake that injured himself.
Maybe cops should stay in their cars until they have read all the computer info on the car ahead of them. Or did the owner of the car know the driver and after the chase and drug stuff found inside change her mind and say the car was "stolen"? Can't have it both ways. Was the car just stolen and was not in the system and the cop luckily noticed him without a seatbelt seconds after the boost? Or was it "reported" stolen after the owner was informed about the chase?
How many cops were involved? What streets did the man use to evade the cops?

SCATS said...

To 3:05PM ~~ You almost had it, capture, consequence, lawsuit/s paid by taxpayers for too eager cop.

To 3:12PM ~~ You're wrong. He did stop. He was just smart & waited until the cop was away from his patrol car before he took off.

To 4:15OM ~~ I bet your opinion would be different if you were the one who was hit while minding your own business. High speed chases are not new & neither is the controversy that erupts in cases where they go sour, like this one.

The thing is, the officer gets to decide to NOT PURSUE or to QUIT THE PURSUIT for everyone else's safety. Seems to me someone was a bit too eager to be hero of the day.

Anonymous said...

This time I agree with scats. Prudence must prevail, even if it means letting the perp go. There may be other opportunities to catch him, but only one opportunity to prevent injuries or fatalities during the chase. This cop was overly eager to impose his Rambo mindset and caused this horrific crash. Public safety and law enforcement must be permitted to coexist.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the need for public safety, but how does a copy know when a car is pulled over and then takes off? Is he/she always to let the car go because a crash MIGHT result? Greece is getting more and more developed so these escapes are always potential crashes. It's easy after the fact, when there is a crash, to say the cop shouldn't have chased, but what's the criteria before the escape?

SCATS said...

To 10:16AM ~~ Again, I don't think anyone said NOT to chase in this specific instance. The issue is WHEN TO STOP, so that the public isn't put into harm's way by having two massive bullets (cars) flying down congested roads unexpectedly. Baxter's words lead one to believe the cop had no role in how this turned out. That simply isn't true, based upon the info released to the community. Sometimes you chase & win, sometimes you chase & lose and sometimes you might not be able to chase at all. It's kind of like when they decide to use a gun. Shouldn't they restrain themselves if there are other innocent bystanders that might get hit by their errant bullets? That's always been the case.

Anonymous said...

Of course we won't ever hear any more about this story. Local media stinks when it comes to following up. No one will know how many lawsuits we end up settling.

Anonymous said...

Young cops & 47 year old dirtbags who decide to jumpoff and run as the cop is walking up on the car near always go the same way. The adrenalin is pumping through both drivers, the fool in the lead thinks he's going to outrun Motorola, the record says otherwise. The cop if we're lucky is remembering some or most of what he was taught in all those classes.

Didn't matter one damn bit if the car was reported as stolen in the MDT, the cop probably didn't punch the plate in because he might not have intended to do more than give the driver a verbal warning when he initially lit him up. That probably didn't change till the fool jumpedoff.

How long did the race last, 1 minute, possibly 2? By the time the guy with 3 stripes on his arm who gets extra pay for his ability to remotely quarterback these things had time to learn of the race, and begin to consider ordering it stopped the race ended in a crash. It works that way in a lot of situations.

And now the fool is in a hospital bed with a head injury, probably his bills will be covered by the taxpayer, and probably he'll have a nice Social Worker get him on eternal Disability checks.

It's Monday at the Offices of Team Green and the written account from Team Baxter sits on a screen where some liberal young ADA still wearing the fresh Bar Card glow is flummoxed. Should he/she throw the book at this waste of breathing air, or is this a situation where the poor offender will be seen as sufficiently punished by the result of his "terrible mistake" probably drug caused?

By Wednesday or Thursday it will just be another job lost in the system unless the media runs with it for want of a better story. My direct deposited compensation will be in my account on time, and neither I or anyone else will really give a damn.

That's how the Justice System runs in Monroe County folks!

Anonymous said...

1:22 at "the cop probably didn't punch the plate in" They don't have to do that with any intent. As you stop near a cop at a light they are scanning you from the info on your windshield. Everything better match.It's a direct hit immediately. They are doing it constantly. It does not just happen when you are stopped.
And any cop who gets out of his car without doing a complete readout and call-in is acting not according to procedure and putting himself in danger.

Definitely agree that the driver will be on permanent disability after this. Only after we put him through rehab.
Then he will be able to afford his own car.

Anonymous said...

Cant blame the PD blame the driver thinking he can get away..lame!!

Anonymous said...

""1:22 at "the cop probably didn't punch the plate in" They don't have to do that with any intent. As you stop near a cop at a light they are scanning you from the info on your windshield. Everything better match.It's a direct hit immediately. They are doing it constantly. It does not just happen when you are stopped.
And any cop who gets out of his car without doing a complete readout and call-in is acting not according to procedure and putting himself in danger.""

NOT YET, but Baxter is probably writing grant applications for more cars to be equipped with the video scanners.

As far as the Jr Rangers failing to punch plates in, it probably goes that way 75% of the time.

Problem is, even if Officer Race Driver had punched the plate in it well might not have come back as a hot vehicle. Stolens only get into the system after a report is taken, and some jurisdictions hold the report pending a determination Mr Repo didn't pick the car up.

Even the New (fourth time) system leaves much to be desired. Some capabilities the system could have had were left behind when Monroe County went to digital radios because of LOUD PoPo Union objections.

Monroe County sure ain't CSI on TV.

Anonymous said...

Attn. 12:25 CSI is FICTION. There aren't many places that have anything close to that. Most police work is drudgery and just hard. time consuming work.

SCATS said...

Read what the Police Policy Studies Council says are considerations for high speed police chases:

"Whenever a law enforcement officer uses force to control resistive behavior, the legal system will attempt to answer two questions. Of these, the most fundamental is whether or not there was an appropriate and reasonable balance between the degree to which society would be exposed to harm should the force not be used and the degree of harm to society inherent in the level of force used."

Anonymous said...

chase them and run them down