SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A Delanson man faces an assault charge after punching an off-duty police officer at Dango's Bar on Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs.
According to Saratoga Springs Police, off duty officer William Arpei was allegedly punched in the head by Christopher Raible, 24, of Middle Road, Delanson.
Officer Arpei did not suffer any serious injury and did not engage Raible after being struck. According to police, adhereing to department policy, Officer Arpei and a second off-duty police officer who was also present at the time of the incident immediately contacted on-duty personnel and a supervisor was dispatched to the scene.
An investigation was conducted and Raible was arrested for Attempted Assault in the Third-Degree.
According to police Raible and Arpei, along with the unidentified officer had a brief conversation during which the occupation of Arpei and the unidentified officer was discussed. The conversation ended amicably, but 15 minutes later, Raible walked over to Arpei and muttered something about Arpei being a police officer and then proceeded to punch Arpei in the head.
Police say an internal investigation was conducted and as a result of that investigation both officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing in this matter. Neither Officer Arpei nor the second off-duty officer are suspected of any criminal wrongdoing and no criminal charges against the officers are anticipated.
Chief of Police Greg Veitch released the following statement,
"While off-duty police officers have a right to socialize wherever they are legally permitted to do so without being subjected to antagonism and physical abuse, they also must realize that they are held to a higher standard than the general public. Public perception of the police is critical to the success of the mission of the police department and police officers will be held to a high standard of conduct both on and off-duty. Every incident involving off-duty police officers will be investigated to ensure that Saratoga Springs Police Officers are behaving with integrity and in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations governing their behavior. In this case the officers acted with considerable restraint after an unprovoked assault. They were at the location for less than one hour, were not intoxicated, and took the appropriate actions by calling on duty personnel to deal with the incident. They did nothing wrong and have been cleared of any wrongdoing through both a criminal and internal investigation. "