Achtyl’s partner wearing body camera during incident testifies in court

Orchard Park

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Testimony continued today in the trial of an Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy accused of assaulting a man attending a Bills game.

Deputy James Flowers described the tailgating during the Bills game on December 3rd, 2017 as chaotic.

“The worst one that I had ever been to,” Flowers responded to a question about the atmosphere at the tailgate parties that day.

His partner Deputy Kenneth Achtyl is now on trial for allegedly assaulting a fan while making an arrest during that tailgate.

Flowers’ testimony lasted most of the day Wednesday. He was the one wearing this body camera that captured much of the incident.

The fan, Nicholas Belsito was asking Flowers and Achtyl where they were taking his friend who had just been arrested.

While walking away Belsito swears at Achtyl who then gets out of the car and goes after him. Just seconds later Belsito was on the ground with blood on his face.

Belsito was arrested and faced several charges, all of which were dropped. Flowers told the jury that Belsito created a safety concern when he approached their squad car. He admitted he didn’t want to get out of the car to deal with Belsito but once Achtyl did, he had no choice but to back up his partner.

The testimony came after the prosecution rested in the morning.

“(T)he matter is proceeding accordingly and I have two attorneys there who are handling the matter, in my opinion doing a very good job, and we’ll see what happens,” District Attorney John Flynn said in response to a question about the trial Wednesday.

Closing arguments could come as soon as tomorrow and then it will be in the hands of the six-member jury. They will decide whether Achtyl, who is on leave from the sheriff’s office, is guilty of assault, falsifying records, and official misconduct charges.

Retired New York State Police Sergeant Robert Hugus also testified for the defense on Wednesday. Hugus testified as an expert in defensive tactics.

He told the jury that Belsito exhibited “pre-fight indicators” during the confrontation with Achtyl.

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