CLEVELAND (AP) — A man who posted a cellphone video of a grisly car crash that killed one teenage boy and critically injured another pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge.
Paul Pelton, 41, of Lorain, is charged with vehicle trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, for using his phone to record the aftermath of a single-car accident on July 13. The car went airborne while crossing railroad tracks in Lorain, 30 miles west of Cleveland, and crashed into a house.
The charge stems from Pelton having opened a car door of the wrecked vehicle to continue recording while others tried to help. Pelton can be heard calling the teens “idiots” on the recording, police said. The passenger later died at a hospital.
Lorain police said in a news release that Pelton tried unsuccessfully to sell the video to several news organizations. It was posted to a Facebook account but later removed.
“To me this is very egregious,” said Lorain police Capt. Roger Watkins. “This is not the way people should treat each other.”
Attorney R.J. Budway said Wednesday that he doesn’t think his client committed a crime by shooting video of a crash scene and expects Pelton to be vindicated.