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Friday, 13 September 2013 13:23

Response to Public Accusations of Police Brutality

By Responce by Chief of Police Greg Veitch | News

At the City Council Meeting on September 3, 2013 Guy Pierce of Doten Ave. made serious accusations of police brutality against Saratoga Springs Police Officers. During the public comment period Mr. Pierce stated that he had been arrested and beaten by police on September 2, 2013 and that he further had been harassed and beaten by police during numerous encounters with police since he was 16 years old. Mr. Pierce’s allegations are unfounded.  

Guy Pierce alleged that on September 2, 2013 he was stopped by police for no reason and when he refused to give his name, the police beat him causing him to suffer a concussion.

Saratoga Springs Police were notified at 4:22 a.m. on September 2 by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department that they had received a 911 cell phone call during which the County Dispatchers heard what sounded like a male and female fighting.When the dispatcher asked where the emergency was, the phone was hung up.The cell call was traced to the area of Vanderbilt Terrace and Senior Way.Neither the Saratoga Springs Police nor the County Sheriff databases contained any information on the phone number.Police were dispatched to the scene while police dispatchers attempted to call the cell phone number back but there was no answer.

As police were responding to the scene the County Dispatch called again and identified the phone number that had called as belonging to a female at a Doten Ave. address.At about the same time a police officer arriving in the area observed an unidentified man now known to be Guy Pierce walking south on Vanderbilt Ave. towards Crescent Street and the intersection with Doten Ave.The police officer stated that Mr. Pierce was breathing heavily and sweating as he approached.

After Mr. Pierce initially refused to give his name, the officer explained that he was investigating a possible fight between a man and woman nearby.Mr. Pierce then told the officer that his name was Guy Williamson.The officer suspected that Mr. Pierce was not telling the truth as to his name and warned Mr. Pierce that he could be arrested for lying to a police officer about his name.Mr. Pierce again stated that his name was Guy Williamson. The officer then asked Mr. Pierce for photo identification and Mr. Pierce ran away.  

The officer chased Mr. Pierce through backyards on Crescent Street and was able to briefly tackle Mr. Pierce.Mr. Pierce struggled and pulled away from the officer and continued running to the area of Joshua Street.A second officer arrived, joined in the foot pursuit and was eventually able to subdue Mr. Pierce.

Once Mr. Pierce was in custody a search was conducted and photo identification in the name of Guy Pierce was located in his possession.  Fingerprints taken after his arrested were confirmed through the state database as belonging to Guy Pierce.

Officers then attempted to make contact with any female party at the address at Doten Ave., furthering the investigation of the original call.Additionally, police officers checked the Saratoga Springs Police registry of active orders of protection.An order of protection concerning Mr. Pierce relative to a female living in the area of the police officer’s first contact with Mr. Pierce was located.Police investigated this as well as part of the investigation into the 911 call.

Mr. Pierce was taken into custody and charged with False Personation and Resisting Arrest.During the booking process Mr. Pierce made a complaint that warranted medical attention and he was transported to Saratoga Hospital where he was treated and released back into police custody.During the booking process Mr. Pierce stated that he was tackled but made no complaint of being struck or beaten to any booking officers, police supervisors or fire fighters who treated Mr. Pierce at the police station that night.Mr. Pierce was in police custody at headquarters and under constant video surveillance from the time he was brought in at 4:52 a.m. until he was transported by SSFD personnel at 5:10 a.m. 

Mr. Pierce was returned to police headquarters to finish booking procedures at 6:29 a.m.He was released from custody after being issued an appearance ticket at 6:51 a.m. 

In addition to the allegation that Mr. Pierce made that he was beaten by police on September 2.He stated that he had been repeatedly harassed and abused by police since he was 16, which would have been in 1981.                Over the past two decades, Saratoga Springs Police Officers have had contact with Mr. Pierce on several occasions.  Before last Tuesday, Mr. Pierce has never made a formal complaint of abuse related to those prior contacts.  Additionally, no attorney representing Mr. Pierce in any prior criminal cases has ever filed a formal complaint of police misconduct related to police interaction with Mr. Pierce.                

As Chief of Police in Saratoga Springs I will again state that any allegation of police officer misconduct will be investigated and taken seriously.  Police Officers of this department know that they will be held accountable for any actions they take that are not in accordance with the highest ideals of police professionalism.     

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Saratoga Springs Police Department by phone at (518) 584-1800, by email at www.saratogapolice.org or anonymously at (518) 584-TIPS.

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