crimesider

Danroy Henry Shooting Death: Football Player's Teammates Say Cops Stopped Them from Helping Wounded Friend

Henry's car was parked in a fire lane outside Finnegan's Grill. When an officer knocked on the window, the car accelerated and the officer wound up on the hood, police said. The car then hit another officer, and shots were fired. Henry was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in his car suffered a minor gunshot wound.
Personal Photo
Danroy Henry (Personal Photo)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBS/AP) Three college football players who saw teammate Danroy Henry get fatally shot by police outside a suburban New York bar claim they were brutalized by officers and arrested when they tried to help their mortally wounded friend.

One player knows CPR and begged the police to let him try to save Henry, but instead "they put a gun to his ribs and they told him to back ... up or he would be next," their attorney, Bonita Zelman, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

She said the other two teammates were zapped with stun guns when they tried to intervene. They said Henry, "was on the pavement, handcuffed and dying, and no one was helping him," she said.

Kieran O'Leary, a spokesman for the Westchester County police, which made the arrests, said the department had received no formal complaint regarding excessive force.

"If we received one, we'd look at it," he said.

Zelman did not make allegations against specific officers, claiming some of them covered their badges.

Henry, 20, of Easton, Mass., was killed early Sunday by gunshots fired through his windshield after police were called to a disturbance that spilled out of a bar about 25 miles north of New York City. Many of the estimated 150 people at the scene in a shopping center in Thornwood were students from Pace University's campus in nearby Pleasantville, where the homecoming football game had been played on Saturday.

Police say Henry was parked in a fire lane outside the bar and sped off, hitting two officers, after a policeman knocked on his window. The father of one of Henry's passengers denies that an officer was hit and said Henry thought he was following police instructions.

Four of Henry's teammates were arrested after the shooting, including the three now represented by Zelman: Daniel Parker, of Lauderhill, Fla.; Joseph Garcia, of Floral Park, N.Y.; and Yves Delpeche, of Brooklyn, N.Y. All are 22.

Police spokesman O'Leary said Tuesday that all three were charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction. Parker and Delpeche also were charged with resisting arrest. He said Delpeche had to be subdued with a stun gun. All were interfering with getting medical aid to the injured, he said.

The fourth teammate, Joseph Romanick of Slidell, La., was accused of breaking a window in the shopping center.

Zelman said none of the charges against her clients are true.

"Mr. Henry had been shot and left in the street handcuffed without anyone giving him medical aid. Under the law, as

bystanders, these young men have the right to take it on themselves to perform first aid on their friend."

Mount Pleasant police Chief Louis Alagno, who is investigating the shooting with state police, did not return a call seeking comment. Alagno said Monday that Henry was handcuffed until officers realized he was gravely wounded, then was uncuffed and treated.

The officers who fired at the car have been identified as Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess and Mount Pleasant Officer Ronald Beckley.

Zelman said the Westchester County district attorney should not allow police departments to investigate shootings "and other mischief" involving their own officers. She said she will ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE DANROY HENRY CASE ON CRIMESIDER