LORAIN, Ohio -An Ohio man was arrested after he allegedly videotaped the aftermath of a deadly vehicle crash instead of trying to help the victims, reported CBS affiliate WOIO.
In the video, the Lorain man referred to the boys trapped in the auto as “idiots”, a police report said.
Officers felt some Pelton deserved some punishment but they couldn’t find anything to charge him with, except vehicular trespass.
Police say a highly unusual case has sparked outrage by viewers of a video posted to Facebook, and now the video has the attention of the Lorain city prosecutor.
Lorain Police say Zach Goodin, 17, was speeding over railroad tracks when he lost control of his auto and hit a parked vehicle and a utility pole before crashing into a house.
Pelton said he “just wanted to educate people to slow down”, he told ABC 5.
Friend later died of his injuries and the condition of Goodin remains unknown. One of them later died at the hospital.
What is a crime, however, is entering a vehicle without permission, so that’s what police ended up arresting Pelton for.
By opening the auto door, Pelton got himself into legal, not ethical, trouble. He said he checked the backseat to make sure no was there, and then alerted police to the vehicle fire when police arrived on scene. “I don’t wish that type of thing to anybody to, uh, to go through”.
An investigation revealed Pelton approached at least two news organizations and attempted to sell the video. “Then he breaks the law by trespassing into someone’s vehicle”.
In Nightcrawler the local TV are only happy to buy the footage, in real-life, however, Fox8 News declined Pelton’s offer. “It is not a crime to stick a camera where a kid is dying or try to sell it”.
In announcing Pelton’s arrest, a police spokesperson noted that citizens are encouraged to lend a hand during emergencies, adding that “rendering aid or comfort to a dying young man and his severely injured friend is a commendable and kindly act”. “I wanted to open the door there to see if there were any victims back there that I could help”.
After local uproar over his footage, he reportedly published an apology video on Facebook, saying that he never intended to profit off the video and that he had only asked for a donation to charity.