PA police officer charged in shooting of NJ man near amusement park

Posted: Updated:
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A Pennsylvania police officer has been charged in connection with the shooting death of a New Jersey man near an amusement park.

South Whitehall Township Police Officer Jonathan Roselle was charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of 44-year-old Hasbrouck Heights resident Joseph Santos on July 28 near Dorney Park.

Santos was reported to have been hanging on or jumping on moving cars near the park when he was approached by Roselle. But Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said Tuesday that Roselle had an "unreasonable" belief that his safety was endangered when he fired at Santos.

The district attorney said that Santos was approaching Roselle, but displayed no weapon or threatening posture. He said the officer, who he called "relatively inexperienced," could also have used his baton, stun gun or pepper spray.

Defense attorneys said in a statement that Roselle, who is on paid leave, believes his actions were justified and appropriate given the circumstances.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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