Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 8, 2013

Latest Mongielo court motion is denied in Lockport

LOCKPORT — David J. Mongielo will return later this month to Lockport City Court after denial of his motion Wednesday to dismiss charges from his traffic checkpoint arrest, then face sentencing in January for his violation of the Town of Lockport's sign ordinance.

At a city court hearing Wednesday, Lockport City Court Judge William Watson dismissed an argument by Mongielo's attorney Frank T. Housh questioning the legality of the June 27 city police checkpoint.

Mongielo is to return Dec. 16 to city court, at which point he will either agree to a plea or receive a trial date. It's also possible he could file an appeal with Niagara County Court and obtain a stay of the trial, Housh said after court.

Housh said there hasn't been any discussion of a plea, but they are open to ending the matter reasonably.

"My client and I are anxious to find a reasonable disposition,” he said but then added, “We believe my client didn’t commit a crime.”

Back on June 27, Mongielo objected to a traffic checkpoint on Lincoln Avenue on the city and town border and was ordered out of his car. Mongielo was reportedly thrown to the pavement by officers who arrested him on a variety of charges, including resisting arrest and using a cellphone while driving. Mongielo has said he was using the phone to shoot video of the officers.

He tried to file a police brutality suit without an attorney, but it was dismissed by State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto on Nov. 14 because the officers weren’t properly served with the papers.

Housh said he disagrees with Watson's ruling, but would have to review it before deciding how to proceed. He said traffic checkpoint was unconstitutional, citing a U.S. Supreme Court case that said such traffic stops have to be specifically for traffic safety and documented.

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