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Graduate Student Faces Charges for Assaulting an Officer, Resisting Arrest
By Elijah Jordan Turner
STAFF REPORTER
October 21, 2008
A graduate student is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4, 2008, facing four charges stemming from an incident that occurred at the List Visual Arts Center last October.

Leonardo A. Bonanni G is charged with assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and drug possession.

Police reports indicate that Bonanni was attending a film opening at the List Center in the Media Lab on Oct. 20, 2007, when he was approached by Officer Joseph West of the MIT Police. West said that he originally approached Bonanni due to what West described as Bonanni talking loudly on his cell phone.

A copy of the police records can be found on The Tech's website at: http://tech.mit.edu/V128/N49/arrest/

As he got closer, West noticed what he believed to be a marijuana joint perched atop Bonanni's left ear. West alleges that Bonanni pushed him away after he requested to examine the item, at which point he proceeded to make multiple attempts at an arrest. The police report states that the two participants, in the midst of a struggle, "bounced off a statue in the lobby, the glass entrance way area, and the floor of the building."

At least two additional MIT police officers came to West's aid after he radioed for backup. Together, they handcuffed Bonanni, read him a Miranda warning, and took him away from the scene. West was later treated at Cambridge City Health and Alliance Hospital for an injury to his left hand that resulted from the arrest.

Resident witnessed arrest

Andrew Richardson, a Cambridge resident who was attending the event with a few friends, said he believes the police used excessive force in the arrest. Although he said he did not see the initial encounter between Bonanni and police, he told The Tech that loud voices quickly drew his attention, and that of nearby attendees, away from the festive atmosphere accented by free food and wine.

"Suddenly, there was some kind of commotion going on by the entry", said Richardson. "It was an odd juxtaposition."

MIT Director of Facilities and Security John DiFava denied that anyone in his department would have used excessive force against an arrestee.
"I am comfortable with the behavior of the officers of the station," said DiFava. "There is no excessive force on the MIT police force because I would not allow it."

According to Richardson, Bonanni was yelling as a male campus police officer pinned him to the floor and a female security guard stood by. A woman who Richardson believed to be a List Center staff member stepped forward in an attempt to calm the situation, but officers told her to stay out of the situation.

"The campus police officers were 'in the zone,'" Richardson said. "Their efforts to subdue the kid seemed uncalled-for, an overreaction."

DiFava said that officers undergo extensive training to meet and exceed Institute and state regulations regarding the use of force in an arrest. Standard protocol for campus police officers is to use enough force to overcome the level of force used by the arrestee.

If, for example, someone were to hit an officer with a closed fist, the officer would be authorized to use next level of force - perhaps pepper spray. Should an arrestee use a knife, the arresting officer can draw his firearm.

"It should be enough to subdue the individual," said DiFava.

Days after the incident, Richardson called MIT campus police to report what he saw, although he believes his complaint was not adequately heard. "If what I saw is the way MIT officers are trained to respond, that's pretty scary," Richardson stated.

DiFava, however, said that an arrest has the potential to be overwhelming to the typical person, who has not seen as many arrests as a police officer. From experience, he said even a ninety-pound person can provide a surprising amount of resistance. In most situations, it is best for multiple officers to confront a belligerent suspect.

"For a person to see an arrest transpire … they don't know what it's like," he added. "It's probably the first or second arrest someone's seen in his life."

Bonanni's lawyer said that he and his client are focused on the current case and have not given much consideration to the possibility of pursuing counter legal action following Bonanni's jury trial.
 

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Andrew Richardson, a Cambridge resident who was attending the event with a few friends, said he believes the police used excessive force in the arrest. Although he said he did not see the initial encounter between Bonanni and police, he told The Tech
Solid journalistic work

Richardson: Well I didn't see what happened... but they were EXCESSIVE!!

Columnist: Yes yes.... I completely understand

(later)

Columnist: We have a statement from someone on the scene that the police used excessive force!

Editor: Excellent run with it!
 

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Moonbats interviewing moonbats who didn't see the original encounter. Priceless.

"Suddenly, there was some kind of commotion going on by the entry", said Richardson. "It was an odd juxtaposition."
Give Andrew Richardson a cupie doll for that .25 cent word! Maybe he's related to Grasshopper.

Kudos to DiFava for stepping up to the plate to defend the actions of this and other officers on scene. It's not often seen in the policing world today in Massachusetts and especially in the campus enviornment.
 

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Richardson et al should drink a tall glass of STFU unless they saw the incident. Makes me think of mousy, "intellectual" types with pocket protectors and pencil necks. I can hear it now "How barbaric, here I was consuming free food and wine when the policeman (how dare he) tried to do his job!"
 

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"If, for example, someone were to hit an officer with a closed fist, the officer would be authorized to use next level of force — perhaps pepper spray."

haha you are kidding me right?
 
G

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It's not like MIT doesn't have a waiting list to get in; anyone who fights with the police should be booted out of school and lose whatever tuition they paid. There's about 10,000 people waiting to take that spot.
 

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Andrew Richardson, a Cambridge resident who was attending the event with a few friends, said he believes the police used excessive force in the arrest. Although he said he did not see the initial encounter between Bonanni and police,
Doesn't his own statement invalidate his accusation? Bonanni struck the officer first in an attempt to escape; therefore this boob Richardson only saw the tail end of the arrest.

Kudos to DiFava for stepping up to the plate to defend the actions of this and other officers on scene. It's not often seen in the policing world today in Massachusetts and especially in the campus enviornment.
DiFava is a solid guy...he was actually Colonel when I got on. I ran into him occasionally at Four Seasons Firearms every so often.

I thought you had to be wicked smaat to get into MIT? What's with sticking a joint in your ear?
 

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I keep telling you...
1. Nothing really bad ever happens at a School
2. Campus police are usually a bit overzealous and "excessive" when reacting to physical violence. Most Muni's and State police would have walked away from a disorderly and class D situation after being pushed off. (sorry I mean actively resisted+)
:rolleyes:
BTW they should probably have flagperson with "no cell phones" sign on duty! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
 

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I am in AWE of the way DiFava backed his guys. That's all I took from this pile of cr...unbiased article. I wish ALL chief's would back their people instead of making them feel like their job hangs in the balance because some idiot said they were rude.

Some chiefs are CHIEFS, some are just dirt with a chief's badge.

I thought you had to be wicked smaat to get into MIT? What's with sticking a joint in your ear?
That's the old, "I'm not doing anything WRONG you fascist, so I can flaunt my rights! You fascist."
 

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Poor "Graduate Student Bonanni." Lots of bad choices.

Police reports indicate that Bonanni was attending a film opening at the List Center in the Media Lab on Oct. 20, 2007, when he was approached by Officer Joseph West of the MIT Police. West said that he originally approached Bonanni due to what West described as Bonanni talking loudly on his cell phone.

DREW ATTENTION TO YOURSELF. BAD CHOICE
As he got closer, West noticed what he believed to be a marijuana joint perched atop Bonanni's left ear.

DISPLAYING YOUR ARROGANCE. LEGALIZE WEED!! AGAIN DREW ATTENTION TO YOURSELF. BAD CHOICE.

West alleges that Bonanni pushed him away

(HMMM, ECESSIVE FORCE ON A POLICE OFFICER. BAD CHOICE)
after he requested to examine the item, at which point he proceeded to make multiple attempts at an arrest.

RESISTING ARREST. BAD CHOICE. The police report states that the two participants, in the midst of a struggle, "bounced off a statue in the lobby, the glass entrance way area, and the floor of the building."[/font]

At least two additional MIT police officers came to West's aid after he radioed for backup.

MADE IT NECESSARY FOR ADDIONAL COPS. BAD CHOICE

Together, they handcuffed Bonanni, read him a Miranda warning, and took him away from the scene. West was later treated at Cambridge City Health and Alliance Hospital for an injury to his left hand that resulted from the arrest.

HURT A COP. NICE JOB.

Resident Andrew Richardson witnessed the arrest.
Andrew Richardson, a Cambridge :doze:
(SEE TWILIGHT ZONE/PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CAMBRIDGE) resident (IMMEDIATELY DISCOUNT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY) who was attending the event with a few friends, said he believes the police used excessive force in the arrest BASED ON??????.
Although he said he did not see the initial encounter between Bonanni and police, (BINGO! RUSH TO JUDGEMENT. COPS MUST BE WRONG! IF YOU DID NOT ALREADY DISCOUNT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY, NOW IS THE TIME) he told The Tech that loud voices quickly drew his attention, and that of nearby attendees, away from the festive atmosphere accented by free food and wine :alcoholi:. AND WHOSE FAULT/CHOICE WAS THAT? MUST HAVE BEEN THE COPS! POOR STUDENT DOESN'T YET HAVE THE SOCIAL SKILLS.

"Suddenly, there was some kind of commotion going on by the entry", said Richardson. "It was an odd juxtaposition."

According to Richardson,Bonanni was yelling DON'T TAZE ME BRO. (SORRY GUYS COULDN'T HELP MYSELF) as a male campus police officer pinned him to the floor and a female security guard stood by OBVIOUSLY DOING "NOTHING" TO HELP THIS POOR STUDENT AND MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE. A woman who Richardson believed to be a List Center staff member stepped forward in an attempt to calm the situation (AMMMM, HELP THE POLICE BY STOPPING THEM FROM DOING THEIR JOB), but officers told her to stay out of the situation. BAD COPS TRYING TO MAINTAIN THE SAFETY OF ALL INVOLVED. SERIOUSLY MIT POLICE, YOU GOTTA TAKE A CHANCE IN LIFE!

"The campus police officers were 'in the zone,'" (DARNED TOOTIN' SOMONE TRYING TO HURT ME? I'M NOT THINKING ABOUT LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH AND PICKING DAISIES Richardson said. "Their efforts to subdue the kid seemed unca:cool:lled-for, an overreaction." SEEMED? SEEMED? YOU YOURSELF SAID THAT YOU DID NOT SEE THE INITIAL ENCOUNTER BETWEEN BONANNI AND POLICE.

NOT CONSIDERING A LAWSUIT. PLEASE! YOU HAVE A "WITNESS" CHA-CHING!

(Edited and cleaned up HTML next time just type in the message block fancy MSWORD is not needed)
Harry
 

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Sorry about that. Haven't posted many threads so I wrote it in MS Word first. Didn't realize it would look like that when it showed up on the board. Any advice on how to edit it? There is no "Edit" button that I could see. Hopefully the sarcasm wasn't lost in the wreckage.
 

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Train wreck, shmain wreck, I loved it. Come to think of it, if Richardson wasn't an MIT student, could he be charged with TRESPASSING? Well, maybe he WAS the guest of a student, or maybe he was a local ruffian scoundrel who was there to partake of the free WINE!

Gad-Zooooooks!

I swear to God, there are people who will second guess a cop even if that cops save his/her life. "Oh sure, that man was going to stab me for the third time and maybe if the cop hadn't over reacted cuffing him he might have, but was the cuffing really needed? I mean the man was ONLY 6'4" and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics which of course means he didn't MEAN to stab me. I want that officer FIRED partly because he cuffed that man and partly because he was so rude to me as he wiped his own blood from his face after the man bit him on the cheek. I only asked if cuffing that man was really necessary and he had the gall to say, "YES" in a very hostile way. I was offended."

I love liberals.
 

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Let the liberals walk a mile in our shoes. See what its like having someone trying to hurt you or your partner. Turn the other cheek only lasts with so many punches to the face. What's it like to be sued for merely doing your job? Real eye opener. If West did not address the situation in the first place he would be accused of dereliction of duty. How many jobs carry so many double edged swords.
 

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How many jobs carry so many double edged swords.
Probably a few, but not quite as sharp as the ones we face. And lets be honest, we face as much wrath from our own administrations over bullshit as from the outside, sometimes, we just can't win.

Why do we love this freakin' job?
 

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Why do we love this freakin' job?
'Cuz for the most part we get to do cool shit when it happens, we have more power than the President (even he can't arrest) and where else can you go to work and the customer is always wrong (usually applies to evening and night shifts, but sometimes days as well).
 

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Jooooooeeeey! And I thought you were getting too old for all that crime fightin' stuff. Pal, you can ride shotgun around the Green with me any day! ;)
 
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