Utica Man: Cop Took Off Belt, Gun and Badge to Fight Me When I Called Police
Note: A video of the final seconds of the confrontation between Donlon and the officer was posted to the WIBX YouTube page with permission of the Donlons. They have since requested that it be taken down.
A Utica man claims he received the lion's share of a city police officers attention, and a threat this week after he called to report a disturbance in his neighborhood.
Charles Donlon, of Bryant Street, told WIBX a confusing story about what he believes led up to the incident on Monday evening, but it resulted, he says, in a Utica police officer threatening to punch him in the face, with the on-duty cop going so far as to remove his belt, gun, radio and badge - presumably to carry out his threat, Donlon says.
The 40-year-old city resident says a neighbor up the road from him had apparently sold a vacuum to someone online, and the buyer had come to purchase the item earlier in the day. Later, he says, the mother of the buyer returned, upset that vacuum cost too much. For some reason, he continued, the woman began pounding on doors up and down the block asking residents for money.
As bizarre at that sounds, Donlon says it got worse after he called police on the woman.
He says one of the officers who arrived at the scene began swearing at him and threatened to punch him in the face. The reason? Donlon says he's not exactly certain.
Donlon tells WIBX that after the officer's comment, he and the cop began exchanging words. That's when he told his wife to start recording with her phone, he said. The video (above) was shot by Donlon's wife and posted to Facebook on Monday night, he said. It does not capture the entire incident but does show two officers standing in the road - one of them taking off his belt, radio and badge, while Donlon can be heard shouting his own profanities and threats to the cop. Furthermore, Donlon says the officer told him that he gets off [duty] at midnight and would come back.
Donlon acknowledges he was shouting at the officer in the video, but says he was only responding to what the officer had initiated, and has since filed a complaint at Utica City Hall.
The UPD's Public Information Officer told WIBX on Wednesday that he could not comment on personnel matters, but was aware of the video.
Utica Police Chief Mark Williams issued the following statement following a request for comment from WIBX:
On July 25th, the Utica Police Department became aware of a video that was posted on social media depicting an officer with his duty belt removed while a male can be heard threatening and yelling profanities at the officer. As standard procedure with all personnel matters, UPD is conducting a full investigation into this matter.
We will not be releasing the Officer's name at this point.
Charles Donlon is scheduled to join the Keeler in the Morning Show on WIBX Thursday morning to share his version of the verbal altercation.