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What you need to know for 03/30/2017

Rupeka on the run

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Rupeka on the run

“I am now on the run for my life and this is all because of everything that I’ve exposed of police d
Rupeka on the run
Adam Rupeka, left, and Jennifer Ogburn.
Photographer: Troy Police Department

Adam Rupeka is on the run.

At least that’s what he says in a new video he posted to YouTube Monday evening.

In the video, which he gives the date as Saturday and speaks to the camera directly, the man who gained local fame through his online videos challenging police practices tells of fleeing on the same day in which police charged him with misdemeanor sexual abuse.

“I am now on the run for my life and this is all because of everything that I’ve exposed of police doing,” Rupeka tells the camera. “As soon as I get to another safe location I’ll make another update and let everybody know what’s going on.”

Rupeka also posted the video to his Capital District Cop Block Facebook page, where he’s posted many of his past videos of his interactions with police. He posted a second video early Wednesday morning, explaining a strategy for crossing the border into Canada.

Rupeka, 36, of Troy, is due in court Friday morning on misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching.

He and a woman named Jennifer Ogburn, of Hudson, are accused of subjecting a 15-year-old girl to sexual contact early Saturday morning.

He was arraigned and then released on bail to return to court Friday.

If Rupeka is truly on the run, no arrest warrants have yet been issued. A warrant would be issued if he fails to show for court, a police spokesman said.

No attorney is listed for Rupeka in Troy City Court.

Rupeka has become well known for his videos challenging police. In one from last May in Saratoga Springs, an officer’s reaction to him led to the officer losing his job and Rupeka winning a $50,000 settlement against the city.

The Saratoga Springs officer pulled him over last May 16 on High Rock Avenue after he gave the passing officer his middle finger.

The officer, Nathan Baker, stopped him, then got into an argument with him, then pepper sprayed him about 30 seconds later. The officer then twisted his arm and pulled him out of the vehicle.

Rupeka recorded the encounter with a dashboard camera and posted it online, leading to public outcry and Baker’s suspension. Rupeka claimed that the act was free speech protected by the Constitution. Baker resigned in June after police Chief Greg Veitch launched a disciplinary investigation.

Rupeka was arrested in October, accused of crashing a radio-controlled drone into the New York State Capitol the previous month. State police charged him then with reckless endangerment.

Rupeka appeared to cite his past run-ins with law enforcement in his brief new video. He described returning to his apartment Saturday and seeing “three black SUVs unmarked with at least a half a dozen men coming in and out of my apartment.

“I don’t know if they were there to kill me, plant evidence, gather evidence, I have no clue,” Rupeka said, adding, “they certainly didn’t have search warrants. I kept out of sight and quickly got out of there.”

Asked about Rupeka’s comments, Troy Police Captain Dan DeWolf said in an email that he has “no idea what Rupeka is talking about.”

Troy police don’t use black SUVs, he said, and he hasn’t heard of any other agency at Rupeka’s house Saturday.

DeWolf then noted Rupeka’s video includes no video of what he allegedly saw.

“Rupeka is such a video buff, I would think he would have filmed this activity,” DeWolf wrote.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, scook@dailygazette.net or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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