An Erie County Sheriff's deputy pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with an incident at a Buffalo Bills game back in December 2017.
Deputy Kenneth Achtyl was arraigned in Orchard Park Town Court on four misdemeanor counts of assault, falsifying records and official misconduct.
Nearly two dozen sheriff's deputies came to show their support for Deputy Achtyl.
The judge released Achtyl on his own recognizance. He is set to appear back in court on June 27.
Achtyl's attorney spoke with reporters after the court appearance.
"We have body camera footage in this case that supports what Deputy Achtyl did, and it needs to be reviewed. You can't just take parts of it and review that and say look at this or look at that," says attorney Rodney Personius. "You have to go back in the video to when this gentleman was told to leave several times and didn't. When he stood in the way of the officers as they attempted to take away this other individual who was arrested."
Achtyl is already named in a lawsuit filed by Nicholas Belstio that also names the County of Erie, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, and Deputy James Flowers as defendants.
"I think that you'll find that the initiation of a criminal case will put the civil case into a holding pattern until the criminal case is resolved," says Belsito's attorney Aaron Glaser. "It's always been our belief and position that given the evidence available, given the video that charges should clearly have been brought."
We first aired the body camera video in December of 2018 from a Bills tailgate in December of 2017 showing two Erie County Sheriff's Deputies arresting Nicholas Belstio.
Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard issued this statement: “My Office is aware of the pending charges against Deputy Achtyl. He is on administrative leave, and when he is formally charged, his status will change to ‘suspended without pay’ until the conclusion of the court proceedings.”
Watch Dave McKinley's report on the charges Achtyl faces: