Saturday, April 28, 2012 SPARTA — A 19-year-old man who was allegedly driving drunk, lost control of his car, which flipped over and landed on the front yard of a Main Street home where the man then tried to attack the homeowner and then fought with and spit at the police officer who responded to the scene, police said
Christopher L. Amato, of Sparta, was driving his 2001 Honda Civic south on Main Street when he lost control of the vehicle, which swerved to the right, crossing the paved driveway of a home before it overturned and ended up on the front yard, police said.
Amato was able to get himself out of the vehicle and was found sitting on the driveway when police arrived at 9:18 p.m. to investigate.
The front yard of the home was torn up in the crash and debris was scattered over the lawn. The car came to a rest about 20 feet from the home.
Amato then became embroiled in a heated verbal exchange with the homeowner, who had come outside to inspect the damage to his property, according to police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe, who said that Amato then attempted to charge the homeowner but was restrained by Officer Jeffrey McCarrick who was trying to place Amato under arrest for driving while intoxicated.
Amato violently resisted arrest by kicking and spitting at the officer, Beebe said. Cpl. Louis Takacs and Officer Adam Carbery assisted in physically getting Amato under control by utilizing a compliance hold and a delivery of a stream of OC Pepper Spray to the face of Amato, Beebe said.
After taking him to the ground and handcuffing him, Amato began to complain of head and back pain. He eventually calmed down and was secured with restraints to a stretcher and loaded into a Sparta First Aid Squad ambulance to be transported to the Newton Medical Center.
McCarrick rode in the ambulance to guard Amato, who shortly thereafter became disorderly and combative once again, breaking free of one of the restraints, Beebe said.
The ambulance pulled to the side of the road and stopped so that Carbery, who was following, could enter the ambulance to assist, Beebe said, adding that Amato flailed his arms and spit in the face of one of the EMS members as the officers and first aid members worked to re-secure him.
Amato was subdued and restrained once again and eventually turned over to medical personnel at Newton Medical Center for treatment. He was treated and later released into the custody of a family member.
Additional charges are pending but so far Amato has been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, DWI, careless driving and failure to keep right, Beebe said.