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Fort Lee parents: probation for trying to free son from cop car

The former Bergen County residents are unapologetic about their convictions for resisting arrest after trying to free their handcuffed son from a Fort Lee police cruiser.

The mother was sentenced to three years of probation and the father got two years for their roles in the November 2008 incident in which their teenage son was arrested for marijuana possession after a traffic stop.

In April, the couple was found guilty of third-degree resisting arrest, but was acquitted by a jury of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Prosecutors had claimed the mother, father and their daughter arrived on the scene of the arrest of the couple's son. Police officers claimed the three family members tried to free the cuffed teen from the back of a police car.

Officers also claimed they were punched, kicked and bitten as they tried to subdue the family members.

The daughter was convicted of harassment and was ordered to pay a fine of $500.

The teenager called his family with his cell phone from inside the cop car. During the trial, officers acknowledged that they had erred by not taking the phone from the boy.

The family's attorneys argued in court that communications between police officers and family members was difficult because of language differences. The mother and father listened to court proceedings through a Spanish translator.

The family further argued that police officers overreacted and were physically aggressive.

The father said when he and the mother and their daughter arrived on the scene of the arrest, they simply asked about their son and were then subjected to abuse by officers.

The mother was adamant in court that they had done nothing wrong. "We are a family," she said to the judge. "We are not criminals."

Source: northjersey.com: "Couple who tried to spring son from Fort Lee police car are sentenced to probation" by Nick Clunn: June 3, 2011

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