A second video has surfaced, and this one shows Saratoga Springs police Officer Nathan Baker using pepper spray on Adam Rupeka, 35, of Troy, who says he was pulled over for flipping Baker the bird.
Baker is shown during the Saturday arrest using pepper spray on Baker, who is seen sitting in his car in the video that was filmed on Baker’s dashboard camera, 30 seconds after their first exchange. Baker then proceeds to twist his arm.
Rupeka, who was eventually charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest, can be seen grimacing as Baker asks him “Are you gonna comply?” Rupeka says “I can’t” and then “I’m going to sue the [expletive] out of you guys” before stepping out of the car.
Baker was placed on administrative leave after audio of the incident, recorded from Rupeka’s forward-facing, in-car camera, was posted on YouTube. In the video, Rupeka alleges that Baker improperly stopped him, pepper-sprayed him and twisted his arm. The incident happened just after 3:30 p.m. during a traffic stop on High Rock Avenue near the Hampton Inn, police said.
In a blog published on CopBlock.com, Rupeka said he was in the city to test the department’s compliance with rulings that allow the middle finger as free speech. He also said he had a camera placed on his dashboard but it was taken by police and not returned.
That camera was returned to him by Saratoga Springs police Tuesday after they copied the video, Saratoga Springs Police Chief Gregory Veitch said in a statement released after the video was aired Tuesday by News Channel 13.
He said police secured Rupeka’s SONY HandyCam because they believed it “contained video evidence of the crime of resisting arrest.”
The device was secured in the evidence room pending an application for a search warrant, the police chief said. On Monday, police obtained the warrant allowing them to copy the digital video files depicting the Saturday arrest, he said.
“A video of the incident has been broadcast on local media, which we believe is the same video that is in possession of the Saratoga Springs police,” Veitch said. “There is a pending criminal case concerning the actions of Mr. Rupeka and the internal investigation concerning the actions of the officer involved is ongoing. While I understand the concerns that people may have regarding what is depicted on the video, a thorough investigation of the entire incident may take some time.”
Veitch said Baker will remain on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“We will make every effort to keep the public informed to the extent that we are legally able to do so,” he said. “I believe that it is more important to come to a correct, rather than a rushed resolution to this matter.”
Veitch confirmed in a previous statement Monday that Baker used force on Rupeka, including the use of pepper spray. Rupeka was treated by medical personnel at the station and at the Saratoga Hospital Emergency Room, Veitch said.