Schenectady man at center of a controversial arrest appears in court

Emily De Vito
Updated: July 21, 2020 12:29 PM
Created: July 21, 2020 11:53 AM

SCHENECTADY – The Schenectady man at the center of a controversial arrest that led to protests in the city was in court Tuesday.  Many people stood outside of court in support of Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud.

"Regardless if there is a quote on quote video of Mr. Gaindarpersaud committing the act he said he was, the accuser did not want to press charges," said Kasey Charles with All of Us Community Action Group. "We did not feel that was a lawful arrest."

Schenectady Police said a few weeks ago, Patrolman Brian Pommer spoke to someone on Brandywine Avenue about a neighbor slashing the front and back tires on their car. Officer Pommer then approached the accused, Gaindarpersaud. You can watch the body camera footage of the arrest here.

Inside the courtroom Tuesday, Gaindarpersaud pleaded not guilty to criminal mischief and resisting arrest. His attorney Derek Andrews wanted the judge to drop the charges saying there is no proof the arrest was authorized. The judge denied the request saying there is enough evidence to move forward in the case.

"We're disappointed in that outcome, but we do have the opportunity to come back stronger with more information to make a better application or better applications on both charges," said Andrews.

Andrews said the case did not need to go this way.

"There was a different way to have not only done a more thorough investigation, but instead of chasing someone into the backyard of his own property, simply walked away and said we'll come back at a later time with either an appearance ticket or information as to whether the charges were merited," said Andrews.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford said Pommer is assigned to desk duty during the internal review process.

Gaindarpersaud is due back in court in August.

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