Driver that injured Mount Arlington Police Sgt. James Distasio – Steps Forward with a Statement

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According to reporting from TAPintoRoxbury Chatham lawyer William Anastasio steps forward to give his version of the accident.

In Brief here are the Major Points:

  • I was coming back from court in Mount Arlington and I was going the speed limit,” he said. “I had both hands on the wheel. I wasn’t using my cell phone. My lights were on
  • I came upon the traffic incident and slowed my Volvo wagon to under the speed limit
  • Apparently in that area there was some kind of police activity,” he said. “There were a lot of officers there. I’m going less than the speed limit. There was a car stopped on the right side. As I passed that car, right in front of me stepped that officer. He was looking at me straight in the face. I slammed my brakes on.
  • He Stepped Right in Front of Me - He was looking at me straight in the face. I slammed my brakes on.
  • He landed on my hood, on the right side, said it appeared the sergeant “landed on the back of his head” on the pavement. He said there was a small spot of blood there.
  • I feel terrible about the incident but insists I did nothing wrong.
  • I voluntarily gave a blood test. I let them take my car. I took a urine test. I was interrogated by the Major Crimes Unit and several detectives. I answered all their questions. I was not given any tickets
  • I want him to understand how sorry I am and I want to make it up to him,” said the 65-year-old lawyer. “I feel awful about this. I feel horrible.

Other Facts:

A later summons charging Anastasio with careless driving was written by Mount Arlington Police Lt. Ed Labruno, but the case was taken over by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and removed from municipal court. The prosecutor’s office has refused to discuss the matter, contending it remains under investigation.

The incident seriously injured the popular 46-year-old sergeant, who was initially treated at Morristown Medical Center. Sharon McDonald, an acquaintance of Distasio who’s been helping with fundraisers on his behalf, said the officer is now at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in Chester.

“He’s rehabbing,” McDonald said. “He’s talking. He has to learn how to walk again.”

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