Attorney: Lawsuit in Schenectady arrest expected

All charges brought against man were dismissed in wake of arrest
Nicholas Pangburn, 34, of Draper Avenue in Rotterdam.
Nicholas Pangburn, 34, of Draper Avenue in Rotterdam.

SCHENECTADY — A federal false arrest lawsuit is expected in coming weeks related to the arrest of a man in Schenectady last year for refusing to give officers his name, the man’s attorney said this week.

Meanwhile, video of the encounter — captured by a police in-car camera — has been posted online by the man who is planning the lawsuit. A link is available at

Nicholas Pangburn, 35, of Draper Avenue, Rotterdam, was arrested May 29 on State Street. Police approached him just after 8 a.m. as he lay on a bench near the railroad bridge.

Police accused him of refusing to give his name and date of birth and trying “walk away repeatedly after being told he was not free to go,” according to court papers filed in the wake of the arrest.

Attorney E. Robert Keach confirmed this week that he has taken Pangburn’s case and is working on a lawsuit to be filed soon.

“You can’t just arrest somebody because they don’t want to give you ID,” Keach said. “You don’t have an obligation to tell people who you are. We have the whole thing on video.”

City Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico could not be reached for comment on the case this week.

Keach confirmed the city offered Pangburn $2,500 to cover expenses. That amount, he said, is not acceptable.

All charges filed against Pangburn in the incident — including felony bribery — have since been dismissed. Police initially charged him with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, as well as the bribery count because Pangburn told the police he wouldn’t sue them if they let him go.

Prosecutors quickly reduced the bribery charge to a misdemeanor, but not before Pangburn spent about 48 hours in custody. The misdemeanor bribery charge was later dismissed outright.

Pangburn accepted a resolution on the other charges that resulted in dismissal of the charges six months later. Records suggest they were formally dismissed in February.

No notice of claim was filed with the city on Pangburn’s behalf, but Keach said none is needed for a federal lawsuit.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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