Schenectady County

Suspended Schenectady cop back on payroll

Schenectady police officer Aaron Zampella, who was charged last month with fleeing a fellow officer
Aaron Zampella
Aaron Zampella

Schenectady police officer Aaron Zampella, who was charged last month with fleeing a fellow officer during a traffic stop in the city, is scheduled to appear back in court on Friday.

Zampella, a Schenectady patrolman for five years, pled not guilty in City Court last month to one count of unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.

He returned to City Court on Tuesday with his attorney Steve Kouray. He was joined by his father, retired city detective Arthur Zampella, and a handful of Schenectady officers not in uniform.

He is scheduled to return to court on Friday at 9 a.m., said Judge Mark Caruso.

After the incident on March 25, Zampella, 27, was suspended from the Schenectady Police Department without pay for 30 days.

Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said as of Tuesday he is back on the payroll but still suspended from the department.

Last month Bennett opened an internal investigation into the incident. Bennett declined to comment on the investigation saying he cannot under state law.

Police say Zampella was heading south on Broadway around 1:15 a.m. on March 25 at a high rate of speed when police pulled him over near 797 Broadway. As an officer approached the vehicle on foot, he fled the scene, according to police.

When on-duty officer Nick Ottati approached Zampella’s vehicle he “swerved around a tow truck and into the oncoming lane and accelerated to a speed 25 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, according to court paperwork.

Police pulled Zampella over again on Campbell Avenue, police said. They determined that he was driving the vehicle and that no alcohol or drugs were involved.

Zampella was off-duty at the time in a Nissan Maxima. In addition to the misdemeanor charge, he received a speeding citation following the incident.

Zampella was sworn in to the Schenectady Police Department by Mayor Gary McCarthy in July 2011.

Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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