A veteran Rotterdam police officer was suspended without pay for more than two weeks after he crashed his 2008 Honda into two parked cars while off duty and then left the scene of the accident earlier this month, sources said.
Sources confirmed Sgt. Daniel Ryan, 38, received a 15-day suspension without pay after being cited for the traffic infractions of moving from a lane “unsafely” and leaving the scene of a property damage accident along Country Walk Road at 2:23 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9.
The suspension took effect immediately following the crash, which investigators estimated caused more than $1,000 worth of repairs to the cars, according to the sources.
Two tickets provided by the Rotterdam Town Court confirm Ryan was cited with both violation-level offenses. He was cited by fellow Officer Michael Grant and scheduled to appear in court later today.
Deputy Chief William Manikas said police were first alerted to the case after receiving a call about the accident.
Upon further investigation, they determined Ryan’s vehicle was responsible for the crash and he had left the scene of the accident.
“We found that two vehicles had been struck and a third was nowhere to be found at the scene,” he said Wednesday.
Ryan last worked for the Police Department between 3 and 11 p.m. on Aug. 7, two days prior to the crash. Manikas confirmed Ryan has not returned to duty.
“He is not working and has not worked since the day of the incident,” he said.
Manikas said his department waged an aggressive investigation — both criminal and internal — into the case in conjunction with the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office.
But after numerous interviews, they determined there were no more criminal charges that could be lodged against Ryan.
“They did do a pretty exhaustive investigation,” said Michael Tiffany, the assistant district attorney investigating the case. “But looking at what they had, there wasn’t enough evidence to support a [driving while intoxicated] charge or any other charge.”
Ryan’s residence on Shardon Court is located about a half-mile from the accident scene.
It was unclear how investigators tracked down Ryan’s vehicle and authorities declined to elaborate on the series of events that led up to his receiving the citations.
Ryan could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Rotterdam Police Benevolent Association President Rich Dunsmore declined to comment on the case.
“Our interest is to protect our members and the confidentiality of their records, so we won’t have any comment on the case,” he said.
Likewise, Manikas declined to discuss any punishment Ryan may face. He said the department is unable to comment on personnel matters.
Ryan is a 14-year veteran of Rotterdam’s police force. Manikas said Ryan’s record with the department was clean prior to the accident.
Leaving the scene of a property damage accident is punishable by a fine of up to $250 or a sentence of imprisonment for up to 15 days or both, according to the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law.
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