Lawmaker charged with driving over trooper's foot

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Pennsylvania state representative on Monday was cited for a moving violation after he allegedly ran over a state police officer's foot during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Vandergrift, said he didn't think he had hit the officer.

The incident occurred in the early afternoon near Wells, Fulton County, when Trooper John Beaken stopped Mr. Petrarca for speeding. According to police, Mr. Petrarca drove away "abruptly" after the traffic stop. The left rear tire of his 2007 Toyota Camry rolled over the trooper's foot.

The trooper suffered minor injuries.

In a news release, Mr. Petrarca said, "I immediately stopped and attempted to explain to the trooper that I didn't believe my tire came into contact with his foot.

"I regret the entire incident starting with my speeding on the turnpike. I apologized at the scene if any contact did occur and I am glad the trooper stated to me he was unhurt."

Mr. Petrarca was headed to the Capitol in Harrisburg at the time. He said he was driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone. He intends to pay the fine.