West Caln Officer Arrested For Firing Shot Through Moving Car Window During Traffic Stop

A police officer in Chester County was arrested this week for firing a shot through the window of a car as the driver attempted to flee during a traffic stop, authorities said.

Sgt. Anthony Sparano

Sgt. Anthony Sparano

Photo Credit: Chester County District Attorney's Office

Sgt. Anthony Sparano, 53, of the West Caln Police Department, was charged with recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, and propulsion of missiles into an occupied vehicle, according to a Thursday release from the Chester County District Attorney's Office.

"Shooting into a moving vehicle, as Sgt. Sparano did here, is strictly prohibited unless the officer reasonably believes that death or serious bodily injury may occur," DA Deb Ryan said. 

"Even then, such an inherently dangerous step should only be taken after all other efforts have been exhausted.  Fortunately, the victim, in this case, was not injured."

The trouble began around 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 10, when Sparano pulled over a white Chrysler sedan trying to make an illegal left turn on a red traffic light near Route 10 and West King's Highway in West Caln, Ryan said.

Once the vehicle stopped, the officer requested license and registration from the driver repeatedly, but she would not comply. Takeshia Landry, of Columbus, Ohio, was then asked to exit the vehicle but she refused. Sparano opened the driver’s side car door and attempted to remove her from the car.

That's when Landry, 41, fled from the scene in her car -- and Sparano fired one round from his department-issued firearm as she sped away, according to Ryan.

The bullet struck the window frame and shattered the window of the driver’s side rear passenger window. The driver, the sole occupant, was not injured. 

After a short chase, Landry stopped her car in the 600 block of Octorara Trail in West Caln. Sparano pulled her out of the vehicle and she was taken into custody, Ryan said.

Landry was subsequently taken to Brandywine Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries sustained during her arrest and soon after released, authorities said.

A colt revolver firearm was recovered from Landry's purse after a search warrant was executed, according to an initial press release. Landry does not possess a license to carry a firearm.

She was charged with firearms not to be carried without a license, recklessly endangering another person, flight to avoid apprehension, fleeing and eluding, and related offenses.

"Based on the totality of the circumstances, including a review of the body-worn camera and the mobile video recorder, it is clear that there was no imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to Sgt. Sparano or anyone else," Ryan said.

Sparano was released on his own recognizance. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30.

ADA Kate Lewis is the assigned prosecutor.

to follow Daily Voice Chester and receive free news updates.