Teen claims video proves false arrest by police

October 19, 2012 3:15:52 PM PDT
A Westchester teenager is facing felony charges for attempting to take an officer's gun.

However, videotape Eyewitness News obtained seems to back the teen's claim that the arrest is unwarranted.

Now, the District Attorney's office tells Eyewitness News they are reviewing the tape to determine whether to dismiss the charge.

The video clearly shows an altercation between Greenburgh Police and a young man after he and his friends were stopped while sitting in a car here at a townhouse complex.

Police claim the scuffle was started when the man being subdued "attempted to interfere" with the arrest of a female passenger who had an outstanding warrant.

Police also claim that another passenger in the car, Gary Patterson, tried to "grab an officer's firearm".

"The video as you can tell I was behind the camera, I was nowhere near in the picture or nowhere near any of the officers," Patterson said.

Police say Patterson fled the scene after trying to take the officer's gun.

But a passenger in the car had videotaped the entire incident.

She did not want to be identified.

She says the video clearly shows her friend did not flee.

"I saw him walk away and the cops did nothing they let him walk away, they allowed him to walk away, they told him he could go," the passenger said.

"If I had attempted to take the officer's gun he would have arrested me right there on the spot. I wouldn't have been able to walk home," Patterson said.

It's only after he went to the Greenburgh Police Station an hour later to help get his friend released that he was arrested and charged with attempted robbery for trying to grab a cop's gun.

"Why would I walk or come back to the precinct after I attempted to take an officer's weapon? That wouldn't be too bright of me," Patterson said.

Patterson and his friend received an open container summons for two beers found by police who searched the car after police say: "an odor of marijuana was detected".

But, not a trace of marijuana was found.

Police say two of their officers received minor injuries during the altercation.

"Thank God someone recorded what actually happened," said Michael Joseph, Patterson's attorney.

An attorney for Patterson says the video shows his client never entered the fray and he says any Grand Jury looking at it would draw the same conclusion.

"My client leaves, there was no contact whatsoever between my client and these officers and in fact, he was some distance away from the officers, not even in the picture," Joseph said.

Greenburgh Police says they are reviewing the video and are investigating the matter.

A spokesman for the department added that the video does not capture the entire incident and that it will make a determination about the case based on the evidence.


If you have a tip about this or any other issue you'd like investigated, please give our tipline a call at 877-TIP-NEWS. You may also e-mail us at the.investigators@abc.com.

Follow Jim Hoffer on Twitter at twitter.com/nycinvestigates and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimhoffer.wabc

Follow Sarah Wallace on Twitter at twitter.com/swinvestigates and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sarahwallace.wabc

Get Eyewitness News Delivered

Facebook | Twitter | Newsletters | Text Alerts