Ohio Man Arrested for Filming Accident Scene

An Ohio man is facing criminal trespass charges after he filmed close-up images of the aftermath of a fatal motor vehicle accident, including footage he took inside the vehicle showing the victims.

Paul Pelton, 41, is facing one count of trespass of a vehicle, a misdemeanor. News reports indicate that he posted the video on Facebook and sought to sell it to news outlets. Pelton denies he tried to sell video and claims: “I wanted to put the video out there so other kids could see it and learn from the mistake of speeding and driving recklessly.”

The charges stand in stark contrast to the more common cases we have been seeing where photographers have been unconstitutionally prevented from filming in public, or harassed for doing so.

Here is additional video coverage that would not embed.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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