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July 18, 2013

Police chief: Taser defused scuffle*

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — A Taser helped prevent a fight during the weekend from turning into a deadly situation, the Oneonta police chief told the Common Council on Tuesday night.

Five local men were arrested at about 2:30 am. Sunday, according to a police report, and two knives** and a box cutter were found on the ground after the fight. Chief Dennis Nayor said he would be requesting more Tasers for the department.

The department’s five sergeants, lieutenant and chief are equipped with Tasers, Lt. Douglas Brenner said Wednesday.

The Common Council approved use of Tasers by city police in March 2012, after former Interim Police Chief Gary O’Neill had proposed adding the non-lethal weapons as a law-enforcement tool. A Taser delivers a temporary incapacitating electrical jolt. A X-26 Taser cost about $1,000, he said last year.

On Tuesday, Nayor told the council that about 12 people were involved in a situation that developed after the group left Legends Filling Station Sports Bar and Grill at 84 Main St. early Sunday morning.

Brenner said Sgt. Branden Collision saw a fight in the vicinity of 180 Main St., and officers Charles Whitmore and Ryan Pondolfino responded to assist.

Individuals lined up on one side of the street because they saw the Taser, which also prevented officers or suspects becoming injured during the arrests, Nayor said.

Charged with public fighting and resisting arrest were Adman K. Dennis, 25, Patrick Butler, 31, and Stanley Kingston, 27. Akim Philpot, 36, was charged with public fighting.

Martin Sully, 30, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Brenner said Sully wasn’t involved in the fight but refused to leave the scene.

Brenner said two folding knives and a box cutter were on the ground after the fight but none of the men would comment on ownership. Defendants also were mum about origins of the fight, he said.

Nayor, who said some of those involved in the fight had small cuts, told the council he would ask Collison to follow up with Legends representatives about possible issues related to the fight.

Brenner said some defendants were held in the lockup until sober. All defendants were released on recognizance.

*Editor's note: This story was changed at 1:40 p.m. July 22 to correct an inaccurate headline and an incorrect word.