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Claim In Anthony Lescarbeau's Death Hinges On Woonsocket Police Pursuit Policy

Attorney General still investigating fatal crash June 14 after driver fled police traffic stop.

 

A lawyer representing the children of , has filed a claim against the city that could cost Woonsocket at least $250,000.

"The incident didn't require a chase," said attorney Ronald J. Resmini, who is representing Lescarbeau's three minor children, two with Marissa Pizzarelli and one with Tricia Ambrosino.

The RI Attorney General's office is still investigating the crash, said spokesperson Amy Kempe, who could not comment further on the matter. 

Woonsocket Police Information Officer Jamie Paone was also unable to comment on the case, since it's still under investigation by the AG's office and the RI State Police.

At about 11:15 p.m. June 14, according to court records, Lescarbeau crashed his red Ford Mustang, sending it airborne into a tree at the corner of Grove Avenue and Blakely Street while fleeing a police traffic stop.

Records state Lescarbeau had broken into his sister's home for medical records she needed as she was dying in a hospital. He did not stop for the police and instead rushed toward the hospital to bring the records in an attempt to save his sister's life when he crashed.

Lescarbeau was taken by helicopter to Rhode Island Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Resmini said the officers who chased Lescarbeau did not follow the department's pursuit policy (see attached document).

The policy reads, (bolded text is printed here as in the policy) "...the decision to inititiate a high speed pursuit must be based on the pursuing officer's conclusion that the immediate danger to the public created by the pursuit is less than the potential danger to the public if the suspect were to remain at large."

The policy further limits high speed pursuits to:

  • Apprehension of persons wanted for the commission of felonious and/or misdemanor acts that threaten, have threatened or will threaten the health, life or safety of a person or persons.
  • Pursuit of a motor vehicle operator who has committed flagrant moving motor vehicle violations which have endangered the lives and safety of others, and was operating in a reckless manner before the pursuit was initiated and is continuing to operate in a manner that recklessly endangers the lives and safety of others, including, but not limited to driving under the influence of liquor or drugs.

The claim, filed in Superior Court July 16, 2012, seeks to recoup damages caused by "...personal injury, medical expenses, economic loss, loss of consortium, support, mental anguish, and anxiety...," from Lescarbeau's death, according to court documents.

Resmini said the minimum amount sought in such claims is $250,000. Woonsocket would bear that directly if it loses the suit — court records show the city's insurance carrier, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, has filed a letter with the court stating the city's policy doesn't cover the claim, which the city has not contested. 

Indian Harbor has agreed to cover the city's defense against the claim, however, as has Woonsocket's auto liability insurer, according to the letter.  

Resmini said the suit is still in the discovery phase, and a court date to hear it has not been set.  

Dave F November 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM
So let me get this straight he broke into someones ( they didnt know it was his sisters house at that time) house, the police went to the house and seen the suspect fleeing in a car and they dont have a right to chase they did not know if he hurt someone or killed someone in the house. Some people are just sue crazy if he would have killed someone or hurt someone in that house then the people wouldvbe complaining why didnt they chase him
The Bloofer Lady November 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Wow,don't question the boys and girls in blue.Who watches the watchers? I'm still wondering what happened to the $22,000.00 necklace.Anyone know?
Frankie November 30, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Bloofer, that has nothing to do with this case. Here we have someone who was fleeing the police. If he had stopped and said, "My sister is dying, here are her papers, rush me to the hospital", I am sure they would have complied. But he did not do that. He continued running. Sorry it happened, but his actions are his responsibility. This is not something to be sued for.
The Bloofer Lady November 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I question everything....including the police. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/State-cops-trooper-stole-from-dead-man-4077756.php#ixzz2Di3VsDoc
Uncle Ben December 01, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Rob ? here is a picture of the morning after, if you can get it to the AG's office it might help them, I took it because of the skid marks they show the Police rammed the vehicle that hit the tree at the end of Grove St.
la_mouffette December 01, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Completely separate from the article, and comments on it-- A Bram Stoker reference? nice! One of your best yet.
Rob Borkowski (Editor) December 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
la_moufette - I would have attributed that to the graphic novel, Watchmen. But the occasionally inaccurate folks at Wikipedia say the phrase originated with a roman poet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes%3F. I suspected it didn't suddenly show up in gritty 1980s comic books.
Rob Borkowski (Editor) December 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Thanks, Ben - It's posted to the article now. I'm no expert on tire marks and crime scenes, so I'll leave that to the investigators. I'd be surprised if the AG's office doesn't already have a photo of this, but you never know.
la_mouffette December 03, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Rob-- much as I enjoy gritty 80's comics, I wasn't referring to his approx. quote of "who watches the watchmen", (which does indeed have a Latin origin, Wikipedia hasn't failed you this time!) but to his new screen name. The "bloofer lady" is a Bram Stoker reference.
Jerry December 03, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I thought the car he was driving was reported stolen? I heard it wasn't even his Mustang. Hope we can "all" the facts before people judge.
la_mouffette December 05, 2012 at 05:46 AM
I'm sincerely sorry for your loss. Please don't take this the wrong way, I mean well! If Patch was set up that way, I'd message you privately about it. When you're involved in a lawsuit, isn't it usually a bad idea to discuss it publicly like this? I know you don't care about the money, but if you want to prove the truth/prevent this from happening to anyone else you have to do it by winning in court. Just, be careful, ok?
"Pistol" Pete Maravich December 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Have you looked into a public defender?They're probably holding the stuff as "evidence" in their all knowing and all seeing way.It could be a long time before you have any shot at it..Anyway,i'd be concerned too,things have a way of disappearing over there.
English first January 04, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Rest in peace Anthony Lescarbeau.

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