Federal Trial Begins For Man Charged With Firing At Philadelphia Police Chopper
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man is on trial in federal court on charges he opened fire on a Philadelphia police helicopter hovering overhead after it spotted him riding a four-wheel ATV recklessly in North Philadelphia three years ago.
The helicopter was not hit and no one was injured.
A responding police officer on the ground testified he saw defendant Jonathan Butler firing a gun, although he has indicated he didn’t know who or what Butler was firing at. The helicopter co-pilot testified he saw the muzzle flashes below.
Prosecutor Kevin Brenner says Butler was arrested at the scene, with a gun in his waistband, a gun still hot because it had just been fired.
Defense attorney David Bahuriak focused not on whether shots were fired, but whether they were fired at the helicopter.
According to Bahuriak, although shell casings from Butler’s gun were found at the scene, there were seven other shell casings, not from Butler’s gun, found at the scene, and the defense contends no one knows what was fired at.
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060