SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Saratoga Springs Police Department says one of their officers involved in an alleged dispute last week now faces criminal charges.
A ten-year veteran of the department, Edward Braim, has been arrested and charged with Assault 3rd-degree, a misdemeanor, after the department conducted a criminal investigation into the complaint made by the male victim.
The 41-year-old victim reported being assaulted by three off-duty police officers - Braim, Mark Leffler and John Guzek - around 12:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12th at Dango Fitzgerald's bar on Caroline Street.
The Police Department found that Braim was off-duty at the time of the alleged incident, during which a verbal dispute began between several persons inside the bar and then continued outside.
Investigators say it was at that time that Braim allegedly pushed the victim into a parked car and onto the ground causing him to sustain injuries to his torso and upper body. The victim sought medical treatment for his injuries later that day.
The two other off-duty officers were present during the incident and had been involved in the original dispute, though investigators say there is no evidence they were involved in the assault. However, they remain suspended without pay and face administrative action relating to their conduct.
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy was also briefed on the allegations, spoke with the victim, and reviewed the investigation leading to Braim's arrest.
"It is my job to prepare the case for prosecution, and protect the rights of the victim. I have asked that the judge issue an order of protection keeping the defendant away from the victim while the matter is pending," Murphy says.
Braim was charged Tuesday morning in Saratoga Springs City Court and released in his own recognizance to his attorney.
"Naturally [Braim] is upset about the charge, but we intend to fight it. The evidence shows, in my opinion, that the incident didn't happen the way it was reported to police," says Braim's lawyer Andrew Safranko.
Braim also continues on unpaid suspension pending administrative action.