Monday, July 9, 2012


1 comment:

My Idea of Fun said...

In case you're wondering about the shooting in 1969, the following article from the Tribune Democrat, published on June 25th, 2012, explains it further...

In March 1969, Johnstown police Officer Charles LaPorta Jr. fired a shot that fatally wounded a 15-year-old Prospect youth in an alley behind Arrow Furniture Co. on Franklin Street.

An autopsy showed that the victim, Timothy Perkins, had been shot in the back of the head.

LaPorta and another officer had been called to the scene following reports of teens drinking alcohol and causing a disturbance. They found a dozen young males, one of whom the officers believed was a violent person.

LaPorta later testified that he was “surprised and scared” when he encountered the group and that the shooting was an accident. The gun fired, he said, while he was “tussling” with Perkins while trying to arrest him.

LaPorta, who was 27 and had been on the force for 14 months, was arrested, charged with manslaughter and suspended from his job.

He was brought to trial several months later in Cambria County court and was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

He was sentenced to a term of three to 23 months in jail but remained out on bail while his attorneys filed an appeal.

LaPorta retained internationally known defense attorney F. Lee Bailey of Boston to handle his appeal after a citizens committee raised several thousand dollars for his legal costs.

Bailey joined Johnstown attorney Caram J. Abood, who was retained by Flood City Lodge 86, Fraternal Order of Police.

The case was eventually heard by the state Superior Court in Philadelphia and, a year and a half later, that court reversed the conviction, clearing LaPorta of blame in the shooting.

“These past months have been pure hell,” LaPorta said when he was told of the decision. He was reinstated onto the police force a few weeks later.