Erie County Sheriff’s PBA responds to Achtyl verdict

Local News

(WIVB)- The Erie County Sheriff’s Office Union is responding critically to how the District Attorney’s office handled a recent case involving a Sheriff’s Deputy.

A day after jurors handed down a guilty verdict for Kenneth Achtyl who assaulted a man at a Bills game in 2017, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Police Benevolent Association posted a statement on its Facebook page saying the District Attorney has made an “already difficult job more dangerous.”

PBA President Christian Parisi wrote the following statement:

“The verdict from Orchard Park yesterday is unfortunately a setback for ALL local law enforcement. While the PBA must accept the decision of the jury, we as police officers are left with a number of concerns as to the basis of facts in this case. Those concerns have never been addressed by the District Attorney. In fact, this District Attorney has attacked the credibility and integrity of our members in a case where the complainant admitted in his own testimony he was NOT compliant with the police.
This case is just one recent example where the District Attorney has negatively impacted a PBA member; we will never forget his office arguing for leniency when a defendant was accused of assaulting a PBA member on Grand Island.
We will continue to honor our oath to serve and protect Erie County, knowing, this District Attorney has made an already difficult job more dangerous.”

Achtyl was charged with assault, official misconduct, and falsifying records. He was convicted Friday on three counts.

Nicholas Belsito, a University at Buffalo student at the time, was left injured with a bloody face after the arrest. Belsito did admit he didn’t fully comply with other orders deputies gave him as he was being taken into custody.

Sheriff Tim Howard was also critical saying that District Attorney John Flynn never explained why charges were dropped against Belsito, and charges were brought against Deputy Achtyl.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said that a town judge dropped a bulk of the charges against Belsito, and he dropped the rest. He said after the verdict that justice was done, and although he doesn’t relish prosecuting a teammate, Belsito didn’t deserve a broken nose and a concussion even if he wasn’t acting appropriately.

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