DUI School for Tony Denunzio, Part II

by: Mike Miller

This is a follow-up blog continuing to look at the driving under the influence (DUI) case of Tony Denunzio. This is like the OJ Simpson trial for DUI – except Denunzio is hardly a household name.

In this case, Denunzio’s attorney basically got his client’s blood-alcohol concentration test deemed circumstantial and thus unimportant (he blew a .09). The prosecution could’ve tried the case without the BAC evidence, but would have been hard-pressed to convince a jury of Denunzio’s guilt. In video footage of his driving the night of his arrest, Denunzio makes a few small traffic violations, but nothing that necessarily indicates he was under the influence. As reported in independent.com.

Was Denunzio drunk? He probably had been drinking and was over the legal limit. However, it became the actions of the arresting officer that is the issue.

The video from inside the police cruiser showed Denunzio getting out of his car and looking back toward Officer Aaron Tudor, who quickly jumped out of his cruiser and told Denunzio, “Stay in your car.” When Denunzio slowly turned his head away from the officer, Tudor came up behind him, grabbed his left arm, and pushed him toward Denunzio’s SUV. Tudor — then a four-year veteran of the department — performed a leg sweep, and Denunzio fell to the ground. Soon after, Tudor started striking Denunzio with his knee and his open palm. (Witnesses described closed-fist punching.) Denunzio then looked to be on his knees with the officer sort of straddling his back, but both of their faces were out of the camera’s view. Tudor could be seen using his Taser in the “drive stun” mode.

What the heck was he thinking? I still think Denunzio would be best-served by taking a 24 or 30 hour alcohol awareness class and DUI program. The cop needs to lose his job.