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Schenectady detective's Utica bar case resolved; Internal investigation ongoing

Schenectady detective's Utica bar case resolved; Internal investigation ongoing

Schenectady detective's Utica bar case resolved; Internal investigation ongoing
The Celtic Harp in Utica, where Schenectady police Detective Steven Nelson was accused of punching a bouncer in April
Photographer: Steven Cook/Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY -- A Schenectady detective's violation harassment case stemming from allegations he punched a bouncer last month in Utica has been resolved, his attorney confirmed late Tuesday afternoon.

The Schenectady police internal investigation, however, remains ongoing, though he has returned to the job as a patrol officer, a Schenectady police spokesman said.

Steven Nelson, 33, a 10-year veteran of the Schenectady force, was charged early April 18 in Utica with one count of second-degree harassment, a violation, accused of punching a bouncer at a bar there, police said at the time. Violations, like the harassment charged, are below misdemeanors in seriousness.

Nelson appeared in Utica court earlier this month, where prosecutors consented to an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, Nelson's attorney, Frank Policelli, confirmed Tuesday. The move means that, if Nelson stays out of trouble for six months, the case will be dismissed. Nelson also made no admissions in court to any of the allegations, Policelli said.

Policelli said he and his client are "very happy with the way it was resolved."

Schenectady police suspended Nelson with pay as a result of the arrest and opened an internal investigation.

Nelson has since returned to work, but in patrol, police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing said. The internal investigation remains ongoing.

The department's current discipline process allows for officers to return to work while cases are ongoing. Any discipline is served at the conclusion of a process that could generally be ended within two months. The city's public safety commissioner heads the process.

The incident happened at the Celtic Harp, a bar in Utica, at 12:13 a.m April 18, police there alleged.

The bouncer responded to something happening in the bar and encountered Nelson, police said. Nelson at some point punched the bouncer on the left side of his face, according to allegations from the bouncer filed in court.

Police responded, the bouncer pressed charges and Nelson was taken into custody.

Also Tuesday:

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