Family of man fatally run over by bulldozer in police chase to receive $475k in compensation

The family of a man who was fatally run over by a bulldozer that the police were using to chase him have been given $475,000 (£340,000) in compensation.

Gregory Longenecker, 51, was being pursued by officers after he was caught growing 10 marijuana plants in Pennsylvania.

The pursuit took place on public land, with Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission involved in the July 2018 incident.

Mike Carpenter, the uncle of Greg Longenecker
Image:Mike Carpenter, the uncle of Greg Longenecker. Pic: AP

A lawsuit by Mr Longenecker’s family said officials took “crazy and lethal action” against a man who was unarmed and posed no threat, before destroying or withholding evidence.

The body of Mr Longenecker, who worked as a cook, was found under the treads of the bulldozer. He had fled into bushes in a field during the chase.

His family’s lawyer, Jordan Strokovsky, said they were pleased with the settlement but wanted “sweeping reforms to prevent such an excessive show of force and tragedy like this in the future”.

A judge is expected to sign off on the settlement soon.

More from Pennsylvania

  • US snow storm: New York and East Coast warned of 60cms in biggest snow storm in years

  • US election result: Pennsylvania – the state which reflects a divided America

  • Son of Walter Wallace Jr says ‘white racist cops’ killed his father

  • US Election 2020: Inside the Pennsylvania church where they pray next to their AR-15 rifles

  • US Election 2020: The blue collar workers Biden must win over

  • US Election 2020: Tears from the Trump faithful – but bitter divides remain in Pennsylvania

A prosecutor looked into the death but found the police acted reasonably during the pursuit.

Law enforcement contended that Mr Longenecker was high on methamphetamine and crawled under the tracks of the bulldozer.

This explanation was described as “ludicrous” in the lawsuit launched by the family.

Mr Strokovsky has called for an investigation by the Pennsylvania state district attorney after accusing the local district attorney and police of misleading the public.

He said: “Rather than admit what happened and apologize for their excessive tactics … state police, with the assistance of the Berks County district attorney’s office, disregarded evidence and provided a ridiculous and unfounded conclusion” to show that “law enforcement did nothing wrong”.

Pennsylvania District Attorney Larry Krasner, pictured, has been called on to investigate law enforcement over the death of Mr Longenecker. Pic: AP
Image:Pennsylvania District Attorney Larry Krasner has been called on to investigate law enforcement over the death of Mr Longenecker. Pic: AP

Berks County District Attorney John Adams said his office stands by its investigation, saying: “To date we have not been provided with any evidence contrary to our investigative findings.”

The settlement did not require the state agencies to admit any wrongdoing.

A police officer who rode the bulldozer and a game commission worker who drove it still have their jobs.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *