Approximately three years ago, Lois Spaziani's son was shot to death by a police officer in Easton following a dangerous high-speed chase. She brought a lawsuit shortly thereafter on behalf of her son Richard Scheuermann III. The Express Times reports that she authored a letter to District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehlm, stating her intent to drop her suit against the city and Sgt. Dominick Marraccini, who fired the fatal shot. She claims to no longer have “malice in her heart” regarding the tragic event.
Marraccini was found to be acting properly following a thorough investigation that concluded Scheuermann posed a threat to public safety at the time. Marraccini's sister, Tammy, had moved into Spaziani's neighborhood about one-year ago and the two became friends prior to determining the indirect relationship they had. Spaziani explained that her grandchildren became friends and later realized one another's identity. She believes that the families were unexpectedly brought together and neither currently has any remaining hard feelings.
The 39-year-old Scheuermann allegedly refused to stop his vehicle when police engaged him leading to a chase lasting over 20 minutes through several cities. He ultimately crashed his truck into a utility pole just prior to being shot by pursuing officers. The lawsuit, which was filed in Allentown, claimed that the police used excessive deadly force and did not request an ambulance to attempt to save his life. The claim stated that Mayor Sal Panto Jr. shared responsibility in the incident by failing to take appropriate disciplinary actions against officers who had used excessive violence in the past. Footage of the chase showed prior to the crash, Scheuermann ran through several traffic signals, drove the opposite direction down a one-way street, and sped across the lawn of a school while being pursued.
Currently, the suit is still classified as pending and Spaziani has a period of 45 days to proceed with the claim. Her attorney has apparently dropped the case and court documents suggested that he felt the case lacked merit. A city attorney indicated that several lawyers have reviewed the claim, yet have not chosen to pursue with it. Scheuermann's family described him as being a generous and loving individual; however, he had battled mental illness and was recently in prison during the year before he died.
Mayor Panto was notified of the recent happenings. He explained that external agencies had conducted an investigation about the incident and found the police had followed proper actions. He said that he knew Scheuermann personally as well as several of his family members and expressed his condolences for the tragedy. Meanwhile, Spaziani asserted that she has now begun coping with the loss. Her letter to Judge Schmehlm discussed that she did not bring the case for financial reasons; rather, she was seeking the truth surrounding the event. She “cherished” the relationship that now exists between the two families and that both have decided not to discuss the matter further.