Saratoga Springs Police Department responds to allegations of ab - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Saratoga Springs Police Department responds to allegations of abuse, brutality

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SARATOGA, N.Y. – The Saratoga Springs police Department has released a statement addressing recent accusations of police brutality.

According to the statement, Guy Pierce alleged that he was stopped by police for no reason and when he refused to give his name, he was beaten and arrested by police on September 2nd. He also stated that he had been harassed and beaten numerous times since he was 16. The department states that his allegations are unfounded.

Saratoga Springs Police say they were notified at 4:22 a.m. on September 2, 2013 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. Police were dispatched to the scene while police dispatchers attempted to call the cell phone number back but there was no answer.

While police responded to the scene the County Dispatch called again and identified the phone number that had called as belonging to a female at a Doten Avenue 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 Avenue. The police officer stated that Pierce was breathing heavily and sweating as he approached.

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

According to the department, the officer chased Pierce through backyards on Crescent Street and was able to briefly tackle him. 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 the suspect.

Once he 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 arrest 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 Avenue, 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 Pierce relative to a female living in the area of the police officer's first contact with him was located. Police investigated this as well as part of the investigation into the 911 call.

Pierce was taken into custody and charged with False Personation and Resisting Arrest. During the booking process 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, 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. According to the department, he 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.

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

The department also addressed the allegations that Pierce had been harassed and abused by police since he was 16, saying that over the past two decades, Saratoga Springs Police Officers have had contact with him on several occasions. They also state that before last Tuesday, Pierce has never made a formal complaint of abuse related to those prior contacts and that no attorney representing Pierce in any prior criminal cases has ever filed a formal complaint of police misconduct related to police interaction with Pierce.

 

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