No indictment filed after man dies following struggle with police

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – No indictment has been filed in the case of a man who died following a struggle with police in September 2014.

Police were dispatched to a 911 report of a man standing in the middle of Saratoga Avenue in the Village of Ballston Spa and “aggressively approaching vehicles traveling on that street,” according to authorities.

When police responded, they found a man later identified as 43-year-old Daniel Satre, who fit the description given to the police. According to Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen, Satre would not comply with the directions of police and a struggled ensued.

Police said they tasered Satre and eventually placed him under arrest.

Subsequent to that struggle, Satre stopped breathing and was treated at the scene and Saratoga Hospital where he was pronounced dead on September 21, 2014, according to officials.

A grand jury cleared the six officers of any wrongdoing involved in the case with its decision to dismiss and not charge them, but Satre’s family said they want changes made to the law and were very upset when they learned the news from Heggen.

Amanda Conant is Satre’s daughter. She said she can’t understand why a grand jury did not find a reason to charge the Ballston Spa police officers, Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputies or state police officers that interacted with her father that night.

“From seeing my dad’s body, there’s just so much damage to him that he wasn’t even recognizable, and I just don’t understand how someone can do that and just walk away,” she said.

Conant, her family and a neighbor said they witnessed the incident and claim excessive force was used.

“Got him on the ground, and when he was there, he was either resisting or he just couldn’t get his arm out, and from there they began to beat him,” Ballston Spa resident Evan Irvine said.

Heggen said she obtained a court order authorizing her to tell Satre’s family about the grand jury’s decision but not why it was made. She said she can’t comment on the case at all.

To date, Ballston Spa police have admitted no wrongdoing in the case. The chief could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Conant and Satre’s mother, Lois Christie, said they want an independent investigation.

“We have a petition on, and it’s basically asking the attorney general to step in, and you know, do his own investigation,” Conant said.

“I mean, my son’s life mattered,” Christie said. “He was a good person.”

Satre’s family also wants to change legislation. They said Satre was in distress and needed help, and they believe different training or a different path or negotiating skills could have helped.

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