Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Manza Case Going To Grand Jury

13WHAM reports:

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said a grand jury will investigate whether police were justified in shooting 34 year old Thomas Manza in his home on Stone Road in Greece Sunday morning. 

Doorley said the grand jury will also decide what charges Manza should face for allegedly pointing a loaded shotgun at officers when they entered his bedroom. 

Manza's attorney questions why police entered the house. Matt Parrinello said there didn't appear to be any emergency and he said legally police should not have entered Manza's home. 

But police tell 13WHAM News they went inside to check on Manza's welfare after trying for an hour to knock on his door and get his attention outside where his dogs were running loose. 

Parrinello said right now Manza's family is most concerned about his condition. He was shot once in the stomach and is now in a medically-induced coma. 

Parrinello told 13WHAM News, "Mr. Manza is in a coma so we don't have his version of things, we only have the police version." 

However, Parrinello added, "That's going to be a big issue in this case - why were they inside his house?" 

Parrinello said he thinks a separate agency should investigate the shooting. Doorley said her office is doing its own investigation and she is confident Greece Police did everything they were supposed to do when this shooting happened. 

Manza legally owned two long guns, according to Parrinello. He used them for target shooting. 

Owning those guns would be an issue if Manza was diagnosed with a mental illness. That would make it illegal under the SAFE Act for him to own guns. 

But Parrinello said it's unclear whether there was an official diagnosis or not. Manza's family members told 13 WHAM News he did have mental health issues And was treated for them. 

Police said Manza will be charged with menacing a police officer, which is a felony. Parrinello said that won't happen until Manza's condition improves and he is able to speak. 

The sergeant who shot Manza, Jared Rene, is on administrative leave. Police Chief Pat Phelan said that is routine in cases like this.


GreeceResident1 said...

The Greece police department is the only source of information concerning the details around this terrible tragedy. The local news reported what the police have told them and have not conducted an independent investigation as journalists should do in these types of serious cases. So far no interviews of neighbors, or other associates of Thomas Manza and only the victim's father, Anthony Manza has provided a statement about his son.

Let's look at the facts and ask some questions.

1. On Sunday, 11/9, two dogs owned by Thomas Manza were seen running loose off his property on Stone Road. Somebody who knew the dogs belonged to Manza called the police.

1a. Who was that person?

2. The police report stated the officers went to the house and attempted to contact the occupant (Manza) by knocking on the door for over an hour. This seems odd to me since there was no reported emergency, only loose dogs. The animal control officers could have left a note stating the dogs were in police custody and where to pick them up. End of story. The police had been called in May of this year to the home because the dogs had gotten loose before, but they were captured before the police arrived. So there is a history on record with Mr. Manza and the dogs (see: ).

2a. What was the situation that made the cops think that someone was in ‘danger’ or in need of medical attention which required them to loiter on the property and enter the home without a bench warrant (arrest, search, appearance, etc.)?

3. The police entered the home and began a search which concluded in the bedroom. Now the next statement is very puzzling to me. The officers at the scene said they found Mazza naked and asleep on the bedroom floor. They also said a loaded shotgun was lying next to Manza. They did not report that Manza woke up.

3a. How did the cops know the shotgun was loaded?
3b. If Manza was asleep, how was he a threat to the cops? Couldn’t they have simply removed the weapon from the floor?

End of Part 1

GreeceResident1 said...

Manza Shooting - Part 2

4. Thomas’s father Anthony Manza, stated his son, “ … thought people were coming in the house after him.”

4a. How did Manza know his son said that since by all accounts he was not at the house? Did his son tell him that in the hospital before he was put into an induced coma or was that just his opinion?

5. Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan stated Sergeant Jared Rene’, “… did what he was trained to do ….”. So the chief of police implies the training of Greece police officers when entering a home is to draw their weapon without reasonable suspicion or probable cause and assume their lives will be in danger for whatever reason even when no violent act of any kind had previously been reported. If law enforcement believes this is proper procedure then no citizen is safe in his/her residence for they will be assumed to be potential violent criminals. A Grand Jury has been convened. A Grand Jury is the exclusive judge of the facts of the matter before it (see: The Grand Jury has a duty to gather all the evidence related to the charges which may or may not reveal unlawful acts committed by persons not deemed the defendant in the case.

5a. Should the Grand Jury recommend to the prosecutor that Officer Jare’ be charged with unlawful use of deadly force?

5b. If Thomas Manza dies, should Jare’ be charged with manslaughter?

SCATS said...

To GR1 ~~ You asked some of the same things I've been asking. As I stated on a different thread, if ANYONE aside from a cop did what JR did, he/she would be in jail NOW.

As for question #1, it was a neighbor according to TV media and question #4, my understanding of that was it was from a prior incident.

Anonymous said...

Doorley is up for reelection next year. She did not get full police union support when she ran last time. She is not well liked because she's all politician and aspires to be a judge. Morelle was desperate and she was all he had.

SCATS said...

To 10:46AM ~~ Sending this case to the grand jury is something I support. Other than that, the DA & her predecessor were both too political for my liking.

Anonymous said...

Greece resident1. Why do we think everyone is entities to all the information on an investigation? Answers to some of your questions. 1a the police know and I'm sure the grand jury will hear their testimony why should you be told who it is? 2 is answered by 2a which is dogs loose running in street, window open, stove on, water running no one answering door after long period of knocking all adds up to something not being right. 3 really they did not report he woke up! 3a they discovered it was loaded after the fact ( either way he pointed a gun at them) 3b see 3 and 3a.

Anonymous said...

4 and 4a no clue how he could have known that. 5 YES cops search building with their guns out everytime that IS how they are trained. 5a and 5b again I don't know that's up to them and the facts as they see them.

SCATS said...

To 8:52PM ~~ I don't think GR1 was asking for the person's name, per se. I think it was more of an inquiry as to was it a passerby, a neighbor, a family member, etc. Really, there should be LESS mystery, not more, when a case is investigated.

Your suggestion that the cops KNEW the stove was on, water was running BEFORE they entered is ludicrous, How can they tell the stove is on unless they SEE it? Besides, none of the things in your list is illegal.

Phelan stated he woke up. Enough said.

Correct, he didn't shoot his gun. How could he? He was too busy getting his chest blown open!

I disagree with your spin about it being up to how "they see" the facts. It should be about how the facts would be seen by the average person who wasn't involved.

GreeceResident1 said...

To: Anonymous 11/17/2014 8:55 PM

You wrote the cops are trained to draw their sidearms when searching a building. I would agree if they were searching for a suspect who may have perpetrated a crime.

But no crime had been committed therefore it was inappropriate for the cops to have guns in hand inside Manza's home. Which brings up the larger issue; why were the cops at the residence in the first place? The animal control officer who does not wear a sidearm handled the capture of Manza's dogs. He could have left a note on the front door giving Mr. Manza instructions on how to retrieve his animals from custody and then simply left. There was no need for the police officers to be there at all because no one telephoned to report a crime.

This unfortunate event was a reckless and unnecessary act by this cop that may very well result in the death of Mr. Manza. I fully expect there will be a civil lawsuit against the police department which will cost the taxpayers of the Town of Greece. All this could have been avoided if the cops didn't show up and enter the house, because no criminal act happened!

SCATS said...

To GR1 @11:42PM ~~ VERY well-stated!!!

Anonymous said...

Jared Rene will be cleared. Doorley will make sure of this. She needs all the votes to be reelected in 2015.

SCATS said...

To 1:41PM ~~ Are you suggesting she will meddle with the Grand Jury??

Anonymous said...

Like she hasn't done that before?

SCATS said...

To 7:22PM ~~ Oh really? Tell us more.

Anonymous said...

Greece 1. Even if they didn't have their guns out when searching they definately would have drawn them when they saw a guy laying there with a gun. But weather you think it's inappropriate or not that's how cops are trained.

SCATs from what Ive seen I thought I heard there was an open window in the kitchen so he saw the stove on from outside and the water running. So that's not ludicrous How can a jury see the facts any other way then how they see them. They can't go by what an average person would think. That's why a jury is selected what's average? I completely disagree with you and Greece1 so by your logic neither of us is right .

Anonymous said...

Dear SCATS, often I disagree with your opinion and facts, sometimes I agree with parts of your opinions and other times 100% agreement. Either way I want to thank you for allowing me and anyone to post replies and our opinion. Many Blogs do not allow anyone to reply or rebut. Which is really frustrating. We obviously see many things completely differently but that's what keeps the world spinning.

SCATS said...

To 5:26PM ~~ As is so typical with these high profile cases, initial reports are all over the map with the details & the order in which things happened. So, I am basing MY OPINION on what Me Chief explained at the press conference. I believe his statement serves as the foundation for the PD's "defense" in shooting the victim. I heard him say the cops saw the stove was on AFTER they went through the door, so they investigated further. Should the PD's story change after his statements to the media, there should be an investigation into why. Methinks by basing me logic on Me Chief's story means me wins the logic game ;)

To 5:38PM ~~ I appreciate hearing that, thank you!

GreeceResident1 said...

To: Anonymous 11/19/2014 5:26PM

Chief Phelan reported in the subsequent press conferences that Mr. Manza was asleep with a shotgun lying next to him. So in order for the cops to determine that, they must have been in the bedroom close to Manza, perhaps standing over him. Then they reported Manza awoke, then they said Manza pointed the weapon at them.

Four separate and distinct acts occurred: being asleep, being awake, picking up a weapon and pointing a weapon.

It is highly doubtful that when a person wakes up from being asleep their first motion is to reach for something. The normal reaction is to open their eyes and look forward or turn their head in one or more directions, especially if being startled when hearing strange noises or voices. Remember Manza was found lying on the floor with the weapon next to him. The statement by the police did not say Manza was holding the gun while asleep only that it laid next to him.

When the police first observed Manza and determined he was not awake the officer closest to him had more than one option to choose going forward.

1. He could have stepped on the barrel of the shotgun lying next to Manza and prevented him from picking it up. A shotgun is not like a pistol where it can easily be held in one hand. Whether it is a pump action, automatic, single or double barrel configuration, it is heavier and more cumbersome than a sidearm. It takes a couple of seconds to lean forward, reach over with both hands to grasp it, pick it up and point it, more than enough time for the officer to intervene and prevent the tragedy that happened.

2. He could have backed out of the bedroom so as to defuse the situation while identifying who he was and to stay calm.

Many times cops point their weapon at people but don't shoot, especially when they have the upper hand such as in this case. They always issue a verbal command to first, "drop the weapon."

I suspect the cop already had his weapon in hand before entering the bedroom. I don't believe he could have drawn his weapon after he witnessed Manza picking up the shotgun in time to shoot him without possibly getting shot himself.

I think the cop panicked and took the expedient action which was to squeeze off two rounds. Surprisingly at such a close distance only one bullet struck Manza who is now in a life threatening condition in the hospital.

If the Grand Jury decides to indict Mr. Manza on the charge of menacing a police officer without examining all the evidence and supportive testimony then they are doing an injustice. The menacing was done by the cops not Mr. Manza, because they had no justification to be inside his residence in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Do you seriously think that her hands are clean? She's politically motivated.

SCATS said...

To GR1 @ 2:12PM ~~ Yes. YES. YES!!!!!Very well put :)

To 2:59PM ~~ Name an elected officially in Monroe County who isn't.

Anonymous said...

Greece2 and SCATs No. NO. And NO!!!! I am not a cop I know SCATs is not and I am sure Greece1 is not. First of all I don't see how you take the Chiefs statement as gospel. I'm sure he gave an overview of the situation and did not give every detail such as he was holding the gun or it was next to himWhat does next to him mean it could've been touching him or 2 feet away. We won't know till court info is released. We don't know how big the bedroom is or where he was laying so to say he could've stepped on gun is simply guessing. A person with his mental history is not normal and very well could've pointed the gun immediately after waking up. We don't know what happened he may have told him to drop it and he still pointed it at the cop. That actually happens! Picking up a weapon and pointing it can take seconds if not less not the time you assume. I can also do that one handed and without leaning forward. How do you know he wasn't doing exactally as you wanted and was backing out when this occurred?. Why are you assuming grand jury is not examining all of the evidence?? We will never agree on this but you make a lot of assumptions as to what actually happened and how with out knowing and going by statement to the media. You will never get specific detail during an open case. It's always easy to be a Monday morning QB.

SCATS said...

To 9:09PM ~~ Why wouldn't or shouldn't the Chief's statements be gospel?? He debriefed his own employees about the events, their order and details! He has to sell it to the community! If what he told the media varies substantially from what the Grand Jury gets, then we'd better be raising hell and finding out why!! Like I noted on one of these threads, I love how he played word games by calling Manza "a victim" when relating how concerned they were for his welfare, finding him naked on the floor ... and in the same breath referring to him as "the suspect" when he awoke "and pulled a gun" on the cops! How the heck do you "pull" a long gun when lying prone on the floor??

I think Phelan knows this is NOT a clear cut case for the use of deadly force by the police. I think he knows they have to sell the idea that they were reasonable in entering that home without a warrant, without a request for help or a statement of concern for his welfare. Going in because he owned two dogs that were loose is going to be a slippery slope to defend, as it well should be. We're posting notices that we don't want our welfare checked UNLESS a family member requests it.

SCATS said...

BTW, I can't wait to hear WHY they had guns drawn on a guy they thought was a VICTIM! Any way I read this story, I come up with Jared being too ready to shoot for the situation.

Also, that house is not very large, and with three bedrooms, doubtful that we're talking about anything above average in bedroom size given the home's age (built in 1940).

GreeceResident1 said...

To: Anonymous 11/21/2014 9:09 PM – Part 1 of 2

I will try and respond to your assumptions and questions so that all interested parties may have a clearer picture of the circumstances that lead to the unwarranted shooting of Thomas Manza inside his own home.

You said, “I am not a cop I know SCATs is not and I am sure Greece1 is not.”

Your assumption about me cannot be derived from any of my comments concerning this case. To say, “I am sure Greece1 is not…” implies you personally know me or anyone who I have had associations with in the past. You cannot use the word “sure” for its use states there is no doubt as to the circumstance of the matter while in truth, there is. You in fact do not know if I am or was a former: police officer, peace officer, ADA (Assistant District Attorney), defense attorney, town justice, legal scholar, law clerk, or just a retired senior citizen of the Town of Greece with no legal or investigative background license or certification of any kind but who is in fact concerned that government, the media and law enforcement conspire to lie, cheat, steal and injure with malice and foresight the people they are suppose to serve at every opportunity. Therefore your blog entry is a gross flaw in your reasoning process and shows me from the beginning of your one-sided argument that you don’t think and analyze situations that affect the very health and safety of our community very well. Your entire response heavily supports the Town of Greece Police Department. You gave them the benefit of uncertainty at every step, without question, without reservation, without criticism of any kind. You trust the police explicitly and sadly someday that may come back to haunt you.

You wrote, “I don't see how you take the Chiefs statement as gospel. I'm sure he gave an overview of the situation and did not give every detail such as he was holding the gun or it was next to him. What does next to him mean it could've been touching him or 2 feet away.”

When an appointed or elected government official such as the chief of a police department holds a press conference, he or she knows the words spoken and questions answered are being recorded and published in various media channels for public consumption. They do not want to appear incompetent or foolish as it will be remembered. Chief Phalen said on at least two separate occasions, the shotgun was lying next to Mr. Manza. He did not say Manza was holding the gun. He obviously repeated what was told to him by his police officers who were in Manza’s house. Phalen would not be so careless as to make a gross misstatement of what was told to him. I would suspect if Phalen wanted to falsify the story for the benefit of his officers he would have said instead that Manza held the gun which would imply the officers did not have sufficient time to react to prevent the shooting. But Phalen told the truth as the events were relayed to him. The description, “lying next to him,” is clear in its meaning that and object (i.e., the gun) is in easy reach without any great effort. If it was two feet away that would mean more time was required to grasp the weapon which also means the cops would have had more time to react positively and remove the gun as well.

You wrote, “We don't know how big the bedroom is or where he was laying (sic) so to say he could've stepped on gun is simply guessing.”

Your statement has a ring of truth to it however a “guess” implies a whimsical observation not based upon any evidence. The facts the gun was lying next to Manza and the police officers stated that Manza was asleep sustains the theory the officers were in close proximity to Manza as necessary to determine he was asleep which also means they were equally as close to the weapon.

End of Part 1

GreeceResident1 said...

To: Anonymous 11/21/2014 9:09 PM – Part 2 of 2

You wrote, “A person with his mental history is not normal and very well could've pointed the gun immediately after waking up.”

Your assumption refers to the statement made by Mr. Manza’s father who said his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. You imply that a “schizoid” has underlying violent tendencies which is factually not true, especially in Manza’s situation since we don’t know if he has ever been convicted of a violent crime. Most schizophrenics are not violent according to this article written by a psychiatrist (see: ).

You wrote, “How do you know he wasn't doing exactally (sic) as you wanted and was backing out when this occurred?”

If the cop(s) had backed away and out of the bedroom then at least two things would followed: (1) Manza would have had to get up and leave the bedroom to pursue the home invaders (i.e. the cops). That did not happen. (2) If Manza did leave the bedroom holding the shotgun and the cops shot him, he would have fallen outside the bedroom. That did not happen.

You wrote, “Why are you assuming grand jury is not examining all of the evidence??”

I never wrote I assume the grand jury is not examining all the evidence. I clearly stated, “If the Grand Jury decides to indict Mr. Manza on the charge of menacing a police officer without examining all the evidence …”. The word, “if” means, “in the event that” such as a possibility not an absolute.

Lastly you wrote, “We will never agree on this but you make a lot of assumptions as to what actually happened and how with out (sic) knowing and going by statement to the media.”

The public has a right to give thought, to opine, to reflect on the events that affect us in our communities. We base reasonable and logical discourse on the evidence brought before us until we learn different. However if we don’t challenge our government officials, the press, law enforcement, etc. and hold them accountable for their actions then we are relegating ourselves and our children to being nothing more than a subjugated people who bear the burden of our own making.

SCATS said...

To GR! ~~ EXCELLENT!! Well-stated, once again!!

As for the assumptions made by those who read this BLOG, I have a list with nearly 80 names of various individuals they are each "SURE" I am! You hit the nail on the head with your response to the poster being "sure."

TY for adding some much needed LOGIC & ANALYSIS to the discussion of this important topic.