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County Sheriff's Sergeant Suspended Without Pay
ALBANY - A sergeant in the Albany County Sheriff's Department is suspended without pay while his use of a Taser against a teenage suspect is more thoroughly investigated. CBS6 has learned there are several areas of concern following a preliminary review of the incident which happened last weekend.
A 16-year old suspect led police on a chase from Colonie to Troy around 3:30am on Saturday. When it was over, Sgt. Vincent Igoe had fired his Taser twice. The first shot went through the window of the suspect's car when the teen refused to surrender, the shot missed; the second one hit the teen but apparently after he had already gotten out of the car, got down on his knees and was holding his hands on his head.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple isn't commenting on his investigation into whether the Taser was fired appropriately until it is complete but the attorney for Sgt. Igoe, Stephen G. DeNigris is, "they (the officers involved in the pursuit) said, "get on your stomach," he wouldn't get on his stomach…They had not searched him, this person was physically bigger than most of the officers on the scene and when he didn't comply with those demands, Sgt. Igoe in accordance with policy, went up one step on the use of force continuum and used the Taser to bring him down and it was text-book perfect. The Taser was deployed appropriately under the guidelines…The suspect went down, they were able to take him into custody without any further injury or the need for any medical assistance," DeNigris says.
There is dash-cam video of the incident but it has not yet been released publically, "I've spoken to officers who were on the scene and who have seen the video and it has been indicated to me it's a very narrow perspective, it doesn't show completely what is going on at the scene," DeNigris says. The teenage suspect has been charged with fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, unsafe lane change and speeding. It is believed at one point during the pursuit, the suspect was driving nearly 110mph. He, nor his parents have filed any formal complaint with the county about the use of the Taser.
"No professional internal affairs investigation and I've been involved in a fair number of them over the past 25 years as an attorney, jumps this fast at making a conclusion when nobody's been interviewed at all…I would suspect that the events in Ferguson somehow implicated this," DeNigris says.
This is not the first time Sgt. Igoe has been investigated by the professional standards unit. Four years ago, while on-duty near the airport he shot and killed an undocumented Mexican immigrant, Marcus Dejesus Alvarez. A grand jury found the shooting was justified after Alvarez threw a piece of concrete at Igoe and ignored orders to stop moving toward him in the dark.
While the investigation into this most recent incident is still on-going, Igoe has been suspended without pay and his attorney says the Sheriff has already begun the termination process against him.