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« Reply #80 on: June 13, 2013, 08:30:50 AM »

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20708644,00.html
NASCAR Driver Jason Leffler Killed in Sprint Car Accident
June 13, 2013


Jason Leffler
JASON SMITH/GETTY

NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died after an accident Wednesday night in a heat race at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey.

Leffler, 37, a two-time winner on the NASCAR Nationwide Series who had the nickname "LefTurn" above the driver's side window on his race cars, was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m., New Jersey State Police said.
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« Reply #81 on: February 24, 2014, 08:45:21 AM »

http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/earnhardt-jr-wins-2nd-daytona-500-a-decade-later/ndZNg/
Earnhardt Jr. wins 2nd Daytona 500 a decade later
February 24, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Through rain and wrecks, on Daytona's longest day, this was a drought Dale Earnhardt Jr. was determined to end.
NASCAR's most popular driver won the Daytona 500 for the second time — a decade after his first victory — to snap a 55-race losing streak dating to 2012.
The victory Sunday night ended a streak of futility at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished second in three of the previous four 500s.
"Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship," said Earnhardt, who climbed from his car in Victory Lane and hugged every member of his Hendrick Motorsports crew. "I didn't know if I'd ever get the chance to feel it again and it feels just as good."
 
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« Reply #82 on: February 24, 2014, 06:57:36 PM »

http://www.statesman.com/weblogs/formula-austin/2014/feb/24/dale-jr-celebrate-daytona-500-victory-fans-scholz-/
Dale Jr. to celebrate Daytona 500 victory with fans at Scholz Garten in Austin
February 24, 2014

Fresh off his victory Sunday night in the season-opening Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in Austin for a meet and greet from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd.
Earnhardt's victory was his first in a decade at the Great American Race and broke a 55-race winless streak that dated to last his win at Michigan in 2012.
 
Junior is the 11-time reigning NASCAR most popular driver, as voted by the fans. His legendary father and namesake was killed in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
Tomorrow's event will also feature free beer and appetizers. A Q&A session is set for 5:30 to 6 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as space is expected to fill quickly.
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« Reply #83 on: August 10, 2014, 09:45:14 AM »

This is really sad. My condolences to the Ward family.    an angelic monkey   I hope Tony Stewart gets the help he will most likely need. 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/10/justice/tony-stewart-hits-driver/
NASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driver at dirt-track race in New York
August 10, 2014

(CNN) -- NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver who was walking on a track during a dirt-track race in upstate New York, authorities said early Sunday.
Kevin Ward Jr. died from injuries suffered in the incident, which occurred Saturday night at the Empire Super Sprints series event at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
Ward's sprint car hit the outside wall during lap 14 of a 25-lap race, Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said.
A video of the incident shows Ward out of his crashed car, walking on the track toward the race cars, which had slowed for a yellow flag. Ward points a finger and appears to be yelling. One car swerves to avoid Ward on the track.
Tony Stewart is scheduled to drive Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International raceway.
Tony Stewart is scheduled to drive Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International raceway.
Stewart's car passes close to Ward, and it appears that its right rear tire hits him.
An ambulance took Ward to a hospital, but he died before it arrived, Povero told reporters.
 
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« Reply #84 on: August 10, 2014, 03:25:57 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/sports/autoracing/tony-stewart-kills-driver-during-confrontation-on-racetrack.html
Nascar Star Tony Stewart’s Car Kills Driver During Confrontation on Racetrack
August 10, 2014

The Nascar driver Tony Stewart struck and killed another driver Saturday night while competing in a dirt track sprint car event at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

A graphic video posted on YouTube showed Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion in Nascar, hitting the driver, Kevin Ward Jr., 20, as Ward stood outside his racecar on the track.

Ward and Stewart had bumped cars during an earlier lap, sending Ward’s racecar into an outside wall and prompting a caution flag. Ward then exited his racecar and approached on foot as Stewart’s racecar came around again. As Ward stood on the track and pointed at Stewart, Stewart’s racecar fishtailed as it approached, the right tire hitting Ward and dragging him under the car.

Ward was thrown several feet behind the car, and he was later declared dead at F.F. Thompson Hospital.
The death occurred about an hour away from the site of a Nascar Sprint Cup race on Sunday at Watkins Glen. Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition for the Stewart-Haas Racing team, announced Sunday morning that Stewart would not race. He was replaced by Regan Smith.

“There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr,” Stewart said in a statement released by his race team. “It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Stewart was cooperating with an investigation by the Ontario County sheriff’s office, but was allowed to return to Watkins Glen, where he had been preparing to race Sunday. Zipadelli earlier told USA Today it would be “business as usual” at the track and that Stewart would compete. .

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fellow competitors of Kevin Ward Jr.,” Nascar said in a statement released before Sunday’s race. “We support Tony Stewart’s decision to miss today’s race and we will continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation moving forward.”

Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero is expected to hold a news media briefing on the investigation at 3 p.m.
 

Witnesses offered conflicting opinions about the wreck, some blaming Ward for approaching Stewart. Others blamed Stewart.

Although it seemed Ward had put himself at grave risk by walking onto the track while racecars were on it, that kind of action is not unheard-of in racing. Drivers have confronted other drivers directly on the track. In 2012, Stewart walked onto the track at Bristol Motor Speedway after a wreck with Matt Kenseth and threw his helmet at Kenseth’s racecar in disgust.

A witness to Saturday night’s crash, the sprint car driver Tyler Graves, told Sporting News that Stewart’s action led to the fatality.
“I know Tony could see him,” Graves said. “I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two, and then it threw him about 50 yards.”
 

Video (Caution:  Coarse language)
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« Reply #85 on: August 10, 2014, 03:46:07 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/08/10/tony-stewart-kevin-ward-jr-driver-killed-raises-nascar-questions/13862327/
Ripple effects for Stewart, NASCAR, sponsors could be huge
August 10, 2014

The essence of Tony Stewart is that he touches nearly every part of auto racing. The three-time NASCAR champion owns short tracks, races grassroots series in his spare time and has ownership stakes in a multitiered racing empire with interests in NASCAR and sprint cars (and a partner, Gene Haas, who will enter Formula One).

After his car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in a Saturday night race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, the ripple effects could be enormous across myriad racing series, sponsors and teams.

But aside from replacing Stewart with Regan Smith in the No. 14 Chevrolet for the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, Stewart-Haas Racing wouldn't address those ramifications and its future plans beyond Sunday's Cup race.

Experts in handling PR crisis management said it's the right approach while the Ontario County Sheriff's Department continues its investigation. In a statement, NASCAR said it would "continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation."

"The facts here are critically important," said Ramsey Poston, president of strategic communication firm Tuckahoe Strategies and a former NASCAR executive. "Tony Stewart and SHR should limit what they say publicly to the facts and only the facts as they continue to cooperate with law enforcement.

"Speculation on behalf of fans, media and others as to what might have happened and why can quickly take over the public dialogue and incorrectly frame the matter, which is why SHR needs to continue to steer any further comments to the established facts that are known. Law enforcement is driving the process for the time being. What is determined in that process will obviously set the course for any further action. At some point, the Ward family will possibly weigh in from a legal perspective making the facts and Tony's statements even more important."

As the investigation continues, here are the major issues that have been raised by Ward's death Saturday night

SAFETY

Safety in sprint cars already was at the forefront after a brutal 2013 season that left three drivers dead (including former NASCAR winner Jason Leffler) and Stewart with a broken right leg in a sprint car crash that sidelined him for the final 15 races of the Sprint Cup Series. His injury helped spearhead advancements in sprint car safety technology, but the focus now will turn to procedures that allowed Ward to exit his car and approach Stewart to express frustration after being spun by Stewart.

The review of such policies could transcend sprint car racing, too. In Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, J.J. Yeley walked to the edge of oncoming traffic under a yellow flag so he could gesture at Trevor Bayne.

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« Reply #86 on: August 10, 2014, 03:48:01 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/08/10/tony-stewart-kevin-ward-jr-driver-killed-raises-nascar-questions/13862327/


Kevin Ward Jr. was struck and killed by Tony Stewart's car Saturday night in an incident at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Canandaigua, N.Y.(Photo: KevinWardRacing.com)
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« Reply #87 on: August 10, 2014, 04:09:09 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-tony-stewart-accident-race-20140810-story.html
Tony Stewart accident: No evidence of criminal intent, Sheriff says
August 10, 2014

The sheriff investigating the on-track accident involving Tony Stewart that resulted in the death of a fellow driver says there is no evidence of "criminal intent" on the part of the three-time NASCAR champion.

During a news conference Sunday, Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said Stewart has been cooperating with the ongoing investigation and that there is no evidence that Stewart purposely tried to hurt Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint-car race in New York on Saturday night.

 Tony Stewart's Sprint Car Strikes, Kills Driver Walking on Track
Warning: Graphic content and language. Witness video shows the events at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday night that left a 20-year-old driver dead.
Ward was struck and killed by Stewart's car when it appeared he tried to confront Stewart on foot during a dirt-track race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

“[Stewart] been interviewed and....has made himself available again if it’s necessary,” Povero said.

Povero emphasized that video footage of the accident “is very important and crucial to our investigation" and that his department is looking for deeper analysis of the incident from people who are familiar with sprint-car racing. He said Stewart was driving 35-40 mph at the time of the incident.

“There are no foregone conclusions.… We are looking for any information, any relevant evidence.”

 

Amateur video of the incident shows Ward stepping toward Stewart's car at the Lucas Oil SuperSprint feature race after it appears Stewart cut off his driving line and forced him into the wall, causing him to spin out.
Moments later, Stewart’s car makes contact with Ward and drags him several feet before Ward breaks away from the car and slides an additional 50 feet along the track. People in the crowd can be heard screaming during the incident.

A witness told the Associated Press that it appeared Ward was trying to confront Stewart. A video showed Ward standing to the right of Stewart's familiar No. 14 car, which seemed to kick out from the rear, swerving and hitting him.

“The next thing I could see, I didn't see [the other driver] anymore,” witness Michael Messerly said. “It just seemed like he was suddenly gone.”

Ward, 20, was pronounced dead at F.F. Thompson Hospital at 11:15 p.m., according to the Ontario County Sheriff's Office.

Ward's family released a statement on Sunday:

"We appreciate the prayers and support we are receiving from the community, but we need time to grieve and wrap our heads around all of this."

The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. at the exit for turn 2 during lap 14 of the 25-lap event, according to the sheriff's office. The race was under caution when Ward was hit.

Stewart, 43, has been "fully cooperative" with the investigation, sheriff's officials said. The Associated Press reported that according to Sheriff Philip Povero, the investigation is not criminal.
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« Reply #88 on: August 10, 2014, 04:11:32 PM »

http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/story/sheriff-says-no-criminal-charges-will-be-filed-against-tony-stewart-081014
Sheriff says no criminal charges will be filed against Tony Stewart
August 10, 2014

Tony Stewart will not face criminal charges right now after a Saturday night incident in which Stewart's car struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
In a news conference shortly after 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Phillip C. Povero said, "At this moment there are no facts or evidence that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent."
 
The sheriff's office is examining videos from fans who were in attendance and also is awaiting formal autopsy results.
 
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« Reply #89 on: August 11, 2014, 09:18:47 AM »

A very sad time for NASCAR families, friends, and fans.

Lots of prayers needed for all.

 
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« Reply #90 on: August 11, 2014, 12:36:29 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/opinion/callan-tony-stewart-kevin-ward-race-car-death/
Why Tony Stewart isn't likely to face charges in racetrack death
August 11, 2014

 
The preliminary signals from the Ontario County Sheriff's Office would indicate a favorable outcome for Stewart. Sheriff Philip Povero has announced that the Ward tragedy is viewed as an "on track crash," and that to date there was no evidence of "criminal intent." The sheriff did hedge a bit by saying that the "investigation was continuing."
The sheriff has undoubtedly been carefully reviewing the amateur video of the crash. It depicts Stewart's car in close proximity to Ward's car coming out of Turn 2 in the race. Ward's car then appears to be pushed into the outside wall, forcing his car out of the race.
Ward then appears to exit his vehicle angrily and charges on to the racetrack, pointing in the direction of Stewart's and other drivers' swiftly approaching cars. In graphic and stunning video footage, young Ward is hit, apparently by the right rear tire of Stewart's vehicle, causing him to be dragged down the track to his death.
We can expect that Povero will continue his investigation by interviewing witnesses and undoubtedly obtaining copies of other videos taken from different angles. He will likely consult with experts in racing.
His key questions: 1. Was Ward's decision to stand in the track, so close to moving vehicles unusual? 2. Should Stewart, knowing he may have struck Ward's car, have anticipated a problem when approaching the turn as a "yellow flag" had been thrown warning drivers to proceed cautiously as an accident or debris ahead was likely?
Povero will be working in close conjunction with the Ontario County District Attorney, R. Michael Tantillo, a seven-term veteran of criminal investigations and trials. Tantillo supervises a staff of about 10 attorneys that serves a county with a population of about 107,000 residents.
New York, on average, prosecutes 5% of vehicular accident death cases as criminal matters. Most cases are viewed as tragic accidents caused by either driver or pedestrian negligence. Cases prosecuted criminally usually involve charges of drunken or drugged driving. So far no allegations of intoxicated driving have emerged in the Stewart/Ward investigation.
In this case it will be impossible to know what was going through Stewart's mind as he approached the Ward vehicle under the warning of a yellow flag. To prosecute this case as an intentional murder or even as a more serious form of manslaughter, there would have to be proof that Stewart "intentionally" aimed his car at Ward seeking to kill or injure him seriously.
Stewart's intent here is impossible to prove regardless of his bad boy reputation unless he were to confess to an intentional murder. I think it's safe to say that is not going to happen.
Prosecutors will next examine whether Stewart operated his vehicle with "depraved indifference," "recklessness" or "criminal negligence" at the track that night. Evidence of such conduct would be necessary to support any nonintentional murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide charge.
The evidence supporting criminal charges is conspicuously absent given what we now know about the case. Ward recklessly choose to walk into an active and highly dangerous racetrack exposing himself to injury or death. An experienced professional driver such as Stewart had a right to expect that his fellow drivers would conduct themselves in a safe and professional manner during the race.

Collisions are a common part of the race scene, and one would expect a driver in Ward's vulnerable position to get off the track and out of harm's way immediately. Stewart was, no doubt, shocked to see Ward in the roadway pointing in his direction as he approached the turn again. In fact, Stewart's car appears to fishtail slightly, indicating an attempt to avoid contact with Ward.
In determining whether Stewart's conduct was reckless or criminally negligent, the conduct of the other drivers in the race will be examined. They appear to be proceeding at a similar speed as Stewart under the yellow flag warning. They too were probably surprised to see Ward positioned in such a dangerous place.
The evidence supporting criminal charges is just not here. In the end, all signs point to a red flag for any criminal charges against Stewart in this tragic accident arising from America's most popular summer sport.
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« Reply #91 on: August 11, 2014, 02:51:19 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/motor/2014/08/11/kevin-ward-funeral-arrangements-tony-stewart-crash/13907351/
Funeral arrangements for Kevin Ward Jr. set
August 11, 2014

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« Reply #92 on: August 12, 2014, 08:57:31 AM »

http://www.wfaa.com/sports/Autopsy-Kevin-Ward-Jr-died-of-massive-blunt-trauma-270884841.html
Autopsy: Kevin Ward Jr. died of massive blunt trauma
August 12, 2014

 
"This is an open investigation. What I have just said is not indicative that the investigation is over or conclusions have been made, but that we are continuing to gather all information."
Povero said the investigation into the incident in which a sprint car driven by Stewart struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. at Canandaigua Motorsports Park was ''progressing well."
He also said an autopsy conducted Monday by the Ontario County coroner found Ward's cause of death to be massive blunt trauma.
Investigators are analyzing two spectator-filmed videos — meaning they have another angle in addition to the one that has been circulating around YouTube since early Sunday morning.
There was no in-car camera in Stewart's car, Povero said.
Law enforcement officers returned to Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Monday afternoon to look at the crash scene and take some other observations that might be relevant to the crash, Povero said.
The sheriff also said he was unable to talk about toxicology results or whether Stewart was tested after the crash.
Stewart and his representatives remain cooperative, Povero said, but he declined to give details on what Stewart told investigators.
Povero added there is no timeline to when the investigation might conclude.
"We would like to see resolution as quickly as possible, but by the same token we don't want to leave any stone unturned."
 
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« Reply #93 on: August 14, 2014, 01:39:36 PM »

http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/story/mourners-gather-for-driver-hit-by-tony-stewarts-car-081414
Mourners gather for driver hit by Tony Stewart's car
August 14, 2014


Rich Barnes / Getty Images North America
Pallbearers help roll the casket of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. at South Lewis Senior High School in Turin, New York. Ward was killed August 9, when he exited his car during a dirt track race and was struck by a car driven by Tony Stewart.
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« Reply #94 on: August 15, 2014, 10:06:33 AM »

Does anyone else think this is more CYA for NASCAR than a new rule that will be enforced?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see. 

http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/sports/nascar-adds-new-rule-on-exiting-cars-after-crashes/ng3cc/
NASCAR adds new rule on exiting cars after crashes
August 15, 2014

BROOKLYN, Mich. — NASCAR has added a new rule telling drivers to not approach the track or moving vehicles after accidents. The rule comes less than a week after a driver was struck and killed during a dirt-track race at a small New York track.
 
NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton says the new rule merely formalizes reminders that take place during drivers' meetings. NASCAR will address violations of the rule on a case-by-case basis.
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« Reply #95 on: August 15, 2014, 09:05:43 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/08/15/nascar-makes-new-rule-to-keep-drivers-in-cars-under-yellow-caution-tony-stewart-kevin-ward-jr/14100643/
NASCAR has new rule to keep drivers in cars under yellow
August 15, 2014

 
Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the rule was distributed to teams before Sprint Cup practice Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway.

During a caution period, if a driver's car is involved in an incident and stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to make forward progress, the driver must:

--Shut off the car and lower the window net if uninjured;

--Wait for directions from safety personnel or NASCAR officials to loosen safety equipment

--After being directed to exit the car, proceed directly to the ambulance or other vehicle as directed, without approaching the racing surface or another vehicle.
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« Reply #96 on: August 15, 2014, 09:07:10 PM »

ww.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/08/15/nascar-rule-exiting-under-caution-drivers-reaction-tony-stewart-kevin-ward-jr/14126721/
NASCAR drivers approve of new caution rule but ponder necessity
August 15, 2014

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« Reply #97 on: August 20, 2014, 05:56:03 PM »

http://www.cbssports.com/general/eye-on-sports/24670105/tony-stewart-wont-race-saturday-at-bristol-motor-speedway
Tony Stewart won't race Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway
August 20, 2014

Tony Stewart won't race Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third consecutive Sprint Cup race he'll skip in the aftermath of his fatal collision with 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. on August 8th.

Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Jeff Burton, who subbed in for Stewart's No. 14 car last week in Michigan, would race instead.

Stewart's future Sprint Cup plans are undetermined, according to the release from SHR.
 
The investigation by Ontario County Police (N.Y.) is ongoing, although the sheriff has said there was no evidence to support criminal intent.
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« Reply #98 on: September 01, 2014, 09:55:56 PM »

http://www.wfaa.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/08/31/tony-stewart-returns-at-atlanta-nascar-kevin-ward-jr/14912093/
Tony Stewart out of Atlanta race in NASCAR return
August 31, 2014

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« Reply #99 on: September 11, 2014, 03:03:48 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-nascar-tony-stewart-20140911-story.html
Tony Stewart probe completed, now in hands of district attorney
September 11, 2014

The investigation into a fatal incident involving a race car driven by NASCAR's Tony Stewart last month is completed, the Ontario County (N.Y.) sheriff's office said Thursday.

The results have been turned over to the county district attorney's office, which "will make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken," Sheriff Philip Povero said in a statement.
 
Stewart, 43, was not charged with any wrongdoing while Povero's office investigated the incident, which was captured on an amateur video that went viral on the Internet.

Povero said the completed investigation included "a forensic video enhancement recently received from the New York State Police Laboratory in Albany," but it wasn't known if that was an enhancement of the video already widely seen by the public or a different video.

Povero said neither his office nor the district attorney's office would grant media requests for interviews seeking elaboration.
 
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