A suspended Johnstown police officer has been accused of pulling his firearm and pointing it at one or more officers as they tried to arrest him on a felony rape charge Sept. 19.
Adam Schwabrow, 32, was charged with third-degree rape seven weeks ago after allegations came out that he had sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl over a period of time within the last year and a half.
The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office is now investigating an allegation that when Schwabrow came into the Johnstown Police Department to be charged — a process that involves surrendering his police-issued firearm and shield — he pulled his gun out and pointed it at the arresting officer or officers.
“I’m not sure how many were there, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out,” said Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy. “Our investigation is looking into whether he pulled this firearm out and used it in a menacing way.”
He explained that when a civilian menaces a civilian, the charge would be a class B misdemeanor. But when the subject being menaced is a police officer, the charge can be upgraded to a class D felony.
“There is no allegation that anyone got hurt, or this investigation would be much more serious than potential menacing,” said Murphy. “But certainly, the allegation of menacing a police officer is very serious.”
The DA’s office learned of the allegation “just recently” from Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira, said Murphy. She fielded the initial allegation, but her office cannot investigate one of its own police officers.
She and a local judge recused themselves early on from the case against Schwabrow, handing it off to Murphy’s office. Saratoga County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley and acting City Court Judge Lisa Lorman are now handling the case.
Schwabrow has been with the Johnstown Police Department for nine years and has served as emergency management director for Montgomery County since October 2012. He has been suspended without pay from both positions, which had annual salaries of about $55,000 and $25,000, respectively.
His most recent court appearance was an Oct. 10 arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape. His next appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21, in Johnstown City Court.
Schwabrow’s attorney, Michael McDermott, could not be reached for comment Saturday.
If Murphy’s office finds the allegation to be true, Schwabrow could face a charge of official misconduct by a police officer in addition to a menacing count.
“If that’s in fact what he did,” said Murphy, “he could also face additional administrative penalties beyond this case.”