Buffalo police launched an internal investigation of one of their own officers who was involved in an off-duty fight in broad daylight on Thursday in Elmwood Village.
Buffalo Officer Richard Hy was caught on video punching a man and squatting on his chest for several minutes until on-duty officers arrived at the scene at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Utica Street. Hy is wearing military garb in the video, taken by Abu Pablo, which has since been removed from Facebook.
The video shows the man take a few steps toward Hy, who then jabs him in the head. The man wobbled as Hy swung at the man again. The man appeared to have been hurt by the punch and Hy wrestled him to the ground.
The police department did not release the name of the other male involved in the fight, but a spokesman did confirm Hy’s involvement.
Buffalo Police said the unidentified man had swung a skateboard at Hy and spit on his truck. You can hear Hy on the video say that he was not going to let the guy hit him first.
A group of five or more people quickly surround the two men, yelling at each other and Hy.
One man wearing a red shirt can be heard on the video screaming “the cops were just here” and that the incident was not over race. Hy is white and the other man is African-American.
A Buffalo Police Department source said that police had been called to the area earlier that day for the same man allegedly causing a disturbance. He did not meet the criteria to be taken to a psychiatric hospital, the department source said, and officers left without incident.
One of the first witnesses, who asked not to be identified, said he did not think the man deserved to get punched out.
“Then he just squatted on him,” the witness said, “and he wouldn’t let him go.”
“I’m like, come on, let him go.”
The witness told News 4 that Hy initially tried to deny that he had punched the man until he realized he was being recorded.
No one was charged.
The Buffalo Police Department confirmed that internal affairs is investigating the incident.
Hy has been in trouble with the department in the past.
In October 2016, Hy was accused of choking and harassing someone.