Albany police scuffle with teens sparks strong emotions

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An Albany police scuffle captured on video Wednesday evening is causing quite a stir on social media.

The events began to unfold at Madison Park, in the city’s Pine Hills neighborhood.

The video shows an Albany police officer wrestling with a 16-year-old girl, taking her to the ground, getting her under control, and eventually placing her under arrest.

There was a basketball game underway in the park at the time. It is unclear if the girl was there to spectate or why she and the officer got into the scuffle.

The unruliness and violence are nothing new to the area, said Paesan’s Pizza shop owner Frank Scavio.
It’s something he sees, and deals with, on a constant basis.

“He pulled up on his bike and some of the kids just pretty much surrounded him. Someone sat on his wheel and words were given, and it just got ugly real fast,” said Scavio.

Black Lives Matter activists showed up a short time later.

“There was a child that had a knee on their neck, and they were thrown around like they were a rag doll and beaten up,” said Chandler Hickenbottom, an activist. “Then they were detained afterwards and while they were being detained, they were still getting beat up.”

What isn’t clear at this point is what transpired before the scuffle. We also don’t know what was said by the officers, or by the young girls.

The officers were wearing body cameras. That video has not been released.

The incident remains under review, police said.

Albany police released this statement late Wednesday evening:

On Wednesday, May 31st around 5:00 p.m., Albany police officers arrested two individuals while on a detail at Madison Park located on Ontario Street near Madison Avenue.

Preliminarily, it appears an officer was on his bicycle when a 16-year-old approached him and engaged in an altercation with him. That officer, along with another officer at the park, took the suspect into custody. In addition, a separate 16-year-old suspect who approached officers during the arrest and was also taken into custody.

The police officer on the bicycle sustained injuries during the incident and was treated at a local hospital.

Neither suspect reported any injuries during the incident and have both been charged. Both have since been released while they await further court proceedings.

At this time, we’re continuing to review the incident and no further details are available.

Officers have been recently detailed to Madison Park at the request of the community. Several partnerships from around the community have also teamed up regularly to offer programming and activities at the park in conjunction with the Albany Police which have been effective and have produced positive results.”

Both suspects were runaways from St. Anne Institute, police said.

Suspect 1 has been charged with obstruction of governmental administration, unauthorized radio transmission, reckless endangerment of property, and resisting arrest.

Suspect 2 was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree assault and criminal mischief.