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Teen arrested in viral video collapses outside court
Rochester, N.Y. - A teenager collapsed outside Rochester City Court this morning and went unconscious for more than a minute. He is the same young man who appeared on a call phone video being kneed by a Rochester Police officer during an arrest Tuesday.
Romangeno Hardaway, 16, was in court to support his sister, whose arrest was also captured on that video. "He was talking and all of the sudden he just fainted to the ground, hit it hard with his face," said Nina Warr, a family friend who was there.
You could hear his head crack the ground and he appeared to lay unconscious for more than a minute. "When he came to, he passed out hard a couple of times right there," said Warr.
The cell phone video shows the 16 year old surrounded on the front porch of his home. It also shows an officer knee him in this chest. Police say he was taunting them and resisting arrest.
At that point, his sister Brenda Hardaway attempted to interfere with the arrest and flashed pepper spray, said Chief James Sheppard. The video doesn't show the pepper spray but does show an officer slapping her in the head and taking her down to the ground.
Chief Sheppard promised a full investigation. Two dozen people showed up at her court appearance to hold him to his word. "I'm just here to support her," said Benny Warr. "Enough is enough."
Family members say Brenda Hardaway is five months pregnant. Her brother was also charged with resisting arrest but she remains in jail because she injured a police officer and she has been unable to raise more that $7-thousand dollars bail.
A Monroe County Grand Jury will hear the case. "I think the best thing to do to calm the whole situation down would be to release her," said Ricardo Adams who is a family friend. "I'm not saying to drop the charges, I'm saying to release her."
It is not unusual for a defendant to be released pending grand jury action. Bail is usually set to ensure that someone will not flee the jurisdiction.
Romangeno Hardaway was taken away on a stretcher, an oxygen mask strapped to his face. His uncle tells 13 Wham News the teenager also passed out yesterday at the doctor's office.
After coming to outside of the courtroom, he could be seen as he burst into tears. That stress spilled over to family members. "You can never begin to understand the pain, hurt and frustration that comes with being beaten and traumatize by same people that's (sic) supposed to uphold justice," said Nina Warr.