PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 20-year-old Kensington man has been sentenced to three years’ probation for riding his motorcycle toward a Philadelphia police highway patrol motorcycle officer in 2009.

Although the defense still disputes the facts, defendant John James was convicted today of recklessly endangering another person and fleeing police.

The officer, Richard DeCoatsworth, says the defense tried to paint him as a reckless or “rogue” officer.

“The fact of the matter is that I had no control over the situation,” DeCoatsworth tells KYW Newsradio.  “I was responding to a situation that this man decided to involve himself in.  Unfortunately, when you aim an 800-pound motorcycle that travels at those high speeds at a uniformed cop, you are taking a chance with getting shot, and unfortunately that’s what happened.”

DeCoatsworth fired two shots, wounding the defendant in the leg. James is still undergoing physical rehabilitation as a result of the shooting.

DeCoatsworth is a decorated officer who, in a 2007 case, was shot in the face at close range with a shotgun.

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(Officer Richard DeCoatsworth, accompanied by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, attended President Obama's State of the Union address in 2009. AP photo)


He recovered and was honored for his heroism.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060