Police Officer Leaves Party After Drinking, Runs Over Man In The Road, Leaves The Scene . . . But Will Not Be Criminally Charged

05242011_chad_finchIn New York, former state trooper Brian Beardsley is now clear of any criminal charges following the announcement yesterday of Hamilton County District Attorney James Curry that the grand jury had dismissed an earlier felony charge. Beardsley was charged after he ran over Chad Finch, 20, (left) who had fallen in the road. Beardsley, who was returning from a party with this girlfriend, pulled over briefly and she called police. However, they then left the scene and returned home.

The felony was for leaving the scene of an accident. However, Curry concluded that the purpose of the law was not really to keep people from leaving the scene of an accident but to call the police and identify themselves. That is not the view in many states, but Curry said that his review of the legislative history led him to conclude that Beardsley could not be charged. Curry wrote that “The statute does not specify the period of time within which the operator must report the incident should there be no one to whom he or she can make the report at the scene of the accident.”

Beardsley admitted to having “three or four beers” at the party before driving his truck.

Finch himself had also been drinking. Indeed, he ironically had a history of DUI. He had just completed a two-year sentence in 2004 after his third driving-while-intoxicated offense in four years. In 2000, he struck a 14-year-old girl riding her bike while driving drunk. In 2004, he injured an 11-year-old child that resulted in Chad Finch’s prison term.

Testing showed that Finch’s Blood Alcohol Content level at .20. It also showed that he was alive before being hit by Beardsley.

Police say that they performed a “prescreening” for alcohol on Beardsley but there is no indication of a BAL test or level determination. They insisted that they had no reason to believe that he had been drinking, but he had in fact been drinking. The question is whether he lied or they failed to ask their fellow officer that relevant question.

Last year, Beardsley agreed to pay $75,000 to lawyers and the victim’s family in damages. He will pay about $43,000 to Finch’s children and about $30,000 to lawyers. The remaining $2,000 will be used to reimburse funeral expenses.

Beardsley was criticized at the time by the sheriff for leaving the scene of an accident. He later insisted in court that Finch “was obviously deceased . . . It (sic) wasn’t really much that could be done except get struck myself or her. …I indicated to her that we should stay until police arrived. She said she wasn’t really comfortable with that. There really wasn’t much we could do, and I agreed with her.”

Source: Times Union

132 thoughts on “Police Officer Leaves Party After Drinking, Runs Over Man In The Road, Leaves The Scene . . . But Will Not Be Criminally Charged”

  1. Thanks for your comment, Jason. I agree completely. Sad how the free speech commitment turned into a race to the bottom here.

  2. Is President Obama a righty or a lefty? I heard that he plays golf but no one ever reports whether he is righty or lefty. I voted for him because the DOW was way down under Bush II. The DOW has come way up. I had a DOW index fund so it worked for me.

    1. Barkin Dog – who cares? He had dinner with the Banks at 36,000 a plate at the one campaign dinner with the banks and worked his magic in July of 2012. They are all so crooked anyway that you might as well get what you can πŸ™‚

  3. If it can be shoved into an ideology ….by all means let’s go!!!!

    Lets not No more Noble Lies please. Enough said.

  4. But it really seems fairly ridiculous to turn this article into an argument over Obama

    Thank YOU Shelly. I agree. However, it seems that that people can’t help themselves trying to blame everything on Bush, Obama, Clinton, ad nauseum instead of facing reality. If it can be shoved into an ideology ….by all means let’s go!!!!

    Police helping police out in a hard spot…. not a new thing. It is a brotherhood issue. Not to be excused, but to be understood to happen without regard to political party and has been going on forever……and probably will.

    The issue of blaming Obama is just an outgrowth of the feelings of …”Why should I obey the laws when the people in charge are not only flaunting the laws but shredding them. A fish rots from its head. Corruption at the top only encourages everyone else to just ignore the laws.

  5. PhillyT
    “I do love how folks have turned this site into a β€œSix degrees of Obama” game.”

    Without an ignore function, the comment section has become unreadable. I’ve never been a prolific poster here; this is the first time I’ve posted in many months, and the only reason I have is because I saw your observation near the top of the comments. I still love this site for Professor Turley and company’s great contributions, but the comments have become barely better than a long string of posts extolling the virtues of working at home for great money.

      1. Nixon resigned with full benefits and he was a war hero. He was tricky though πŸ™‚

  6. Over many years I have learned that commenting on any site for any reason is usually an exercise in futility. But it really seems fairly ridiculous to turn this article into an argument over Obama. I worked as a police dispatcher for 10 years in the 80s and 90s. I witnessed first hand the treatment given to officers who committed crimes such as hit-and-run while DUI. Although there were no deaths involved in any accidents that I dispatched or was on the other end of a radio for, there were injuries. There were also many cases of our officers blatantly driving drunk without accidents but stopped by highway patrol who were complicit in covering up the officers drinking. It was standard for time to be stretched to the breaking point before getting the officer into the ER for the mandatory blood test. Many times he would be taken back to the substation for a couple of hours of hard exercise and coffee before the test.
    I’m not sure how this behavior can be blamed on Obama but I’m sure someone will come up with something.
    It’s impossible to overstate my disappointment in this administration but the same can be said about everyone I have ever voted for.
    If you must find cultural examples to blame for everyone’s misdeeds, try going back to the pardoning of Richard Nixon for crimes that a regular person would have gone to jail for, can you doubt that? Or maybe go back a bit before that, to the Nixon campaign when he sent his agent to S. Vietnam to make a deal to keep them away from the peace talks so the dems would hopefully lose. Did Adams have the Logan statute written in invisible ink so it wasn’t a hindrance or something? Who was the biggest perpetrator there, Nixon or Johnson and Humphrey for not telling anyone? It doesn’t really matter. They all broke the law. And maybe Obama learned from them how about things are done. And they got their examples from previous residents of the White House going back as far as you like. And how about the illegalities of our intelligence community? They have openly gotten away with literal murder as long as they have been around. Also probably not any doing of Obama. But he surely learned from them.
    And we never seem to demand an accounting from anyone. Except Obama.

  7. In this case what you have is a law that simply does not provide ‘fair notice’ of what is actually criminal conduct. Without that objective specificiation, in this case, the time limit, the law needs to be narrowly construed in favor of the defendant.

  8. The thing is Obama is just lazy. Intellectually, physically, morally every which way. He didn’t have to balls to follow his own preferred foreign policy. He doesn’t stand up for what he believes in his heart of hearts. He abandoned the things he stated would be his policy when he ran. Close Gitmo. Stop unauthorized surveillance. Abandon Israel and kow-tow to Iran and Muslim extremism. He knew the push back and the political damage would be too much to handle.

    So he voted present….went golfing….and traveled to fund-raisers. Close enough for government work.

  9. And all you folks who want to go break laws, go ahead, it will prove to be interesting to say the least.

  10. So then why did anyone obey the law when Bush was President? It is once again obvious it’s a case of “not when my President does it”. There are those on the left that have criticized Obama for his overreaches, we didn’t see rightists criticize these kinds of Presidential overreaches until Obama did it in the footsteps of Bush. Now who has a double standard?

  11. Trooperyork:

    By making the absurd claim that Obama is to the right of center, Liberals can try to blame the GOP for Obama’s excesses and disastrous domestic and foreign policy.

    I’ve become convinced that Obama (and Liberals in general) could do absolutely anything, burn the White House to the ground, and Liberals would either excuse it or refuse to believe it, all while denying they have a double standard. There is a large faction that will never change their vote, and they will always fight efforts to combat voter fraud.

  12. What strikes me is that the lawyers got almost as much as Finch’s children.

    I thought it was standard procedure to test for BAC after a fatal accident. If so, the officer should have the same standards applied to him as for others.

    I don’t know how the accident happened – if Finch fell right in front of the car and there was no avoiding hitting him, or if alcohol impairment of the driver contributed. But the law applies to everyone. The concern is that leaving the scene gave Beardsley time to sober up, if applicable.

    And I agree with the other poster – why should any of us have to obey the law when government officials so clearly are above it?

    1. bettykath – if you were a card-carrying Communist then yes, Obama would be to the right of center.

  13. Obama is to the right of Bush on foreign policy and civil liberties. He is to the left of Bush on domestic issues, excepting civil liberties.

  14. @ happy

    Roku box and a wireless internet network in your house. We have cut our Dish subscription to the bare minimum and stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and a ton of other stations available. Some require a monthly subscription (Netflix is 9.99) others are free. You do need a rather faster internet in order to have streaming (not stuttering) reception. Cut our entertainment bill in half saving almost $1000 a year. Win win!!!

  15. Paul C.
    I’m saddened and hurt that you’re saddened and hurt… and now, I’m the victim.
    Comfort me… I have candles. πŸ˜‰

    1. Max-1 – the candles are a nice gesture and I hope they are properly scented with a masculine scent. πŸ˜‰ However, it is typical of progressives to play the victim. I did think better of you.

      1. Paul C.
        Clearly I was mocking your, “saddened and hurt” statement. So, you’re a Liberal? Playing the victim?

        Leather scented…

        1. Max-1 – don’t your remember the line from the Godfather when Luca Bazzi comes in as say I hope your first child is a manly child. BTW, I never play the victim. If I feel I have been wronged, I feel that revenge is a dish best served cold.

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