Officer in Saratoga pepper spray case suspended

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The charges against Adam Rupeka were dropped on Thursday, now the officer who pepper sprayed him has been suspended.

In May, Ruepka was pulled over by Officer Nathan Baker after giving him the bird.

It’s the officers’ actions that have him in hot water.

In a video obtained by News 10, Officer Baker is seen spraying the driver less than a minute after the stop.

But the original charge of resisting arrest has been dropped.

“We’re not able to sustain proof behind a reasonable doubt, which is the burden in a criminal case,” Saratoga District Attorney Karen Heggen says.

While the driver admits to giving the officer the middle finger, according to the Supreme Court, he was within his right.

News 10 spoke with his attorney and asked him about the perception that Ruepeka provoked the officer.

“Whatever came before the video begins that we see, we know it’s not criminal,” Attorney James Knox says. “And because it’s not criminal there’s nothing that could possibly justify what the officer did.”

Officer Nathan baker has been suspended without pay and the police chief says a disciplinary hearing will follow.

“It’s part of the process of discipline in a police department and could include an oral reprimand up to and including termination,” Saratoga Police Chief Greg Veitch said.

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