PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man accused of leading police on a chase – dragging an officer from his car – and carjacking two vehicles will go to trial.
Police say Richard DeSabetino jumped in a car and ran over an officer, dragging him for a time, when officers showed up at his home to serve a warrant for his girlfriend in early August.
“Obviously, after speaking to Rich and his family, his thoughts and prayers go out to the officers’ families first and foremost,” said Johnathan Orie, the defense attorney.
DeSabetino also had a warrant out for a probation violation.
He’s accused of then leading police on a chase, carjacking two cars and T-boning a truck in the South Hills.
At the magistrate’s office Friday, DeSabetino was in a wheelchair and claimed that he was fired at 17 times by officers during the incident.
“I was fired at 17 times. Police acted like I was target practice,” said DeSabetino.
After the chase, DeSabetino was cornered by police and witnesses reported hearing gunfire.
Police said DeSabetino was shot one time and was taken to the hospital to be treated.
Although DeSabetino professed his innocence at the Magistrate’s office Friday, one of his alleged carjacking victims was hoping for punishment, saying he should rot in hell and he got what he deserved.
“Dude, you wrecked my car, now you’re taking it, then the police officer shoots it,” said Joseph Thome, one of the carjacking victims. “He’s a bum.
DeSabetino said he was shocked he got shot in the back, that he was just protecting his family.
“I was in fear for my family and my life, my daughter and my wife… I never had a weapon at all,” DeSabetino said.
Police say DeSabetino has a rap sheet dating back to 1999. It includes charges of aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding and child endangerment.
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