Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler says a Perkasie police officer should not have shot and killed a handcuffed mentally ill man, but the shooting was not criminal.
26-year-old Michael Marino of Quakertown was yelling obscenities and causing a disturbance along Clymer Avenue near the railroad tracks in Sellersville on a Saturday in early June when police struggled with him and handcuffed him. Then he started twisting and flailing, kicking Officer Seth Mumbauer in the jaw and groin. At that point Mumbauer said he knew Marino had the upper hand and was still able to fight, so he pulled his service revolver and shot him once in the chest.
DA Heckler says the police did not create the situation – he did, but police should have given him more time to calm down and taken him to a safer spot to subdue him, and the senior officer should not have walked away at a critical time. He says Marino was in the throes of mental illness and he was not taking his medication, but he was taking illegal drugs and it was foreseeable that he might act out violently.
Heckler says prosecuting Mumbauer would make the officer a scapegoat for a system that lets police handle the mess that follows when things don’t go well with the mentally ill.