NewsLocal News

Actions

Erie County Sheriff's Deputy testifies in partner's trial

Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 18:18:29-04

Erie County Sheriff's Deputy James Flowers recalled December 3, 2017 as the worst tailgate he had ever been to.

Flowers' partner, Kenneth Achtyl is on trial for how he handled an arrest of a Bills fan during that tailgate. He was wearing the body camera which captured quite a bit of the arrest in question.

“The best way to describe it is chaos,” Flowers testified about that particular tailgate at New Era Field.

Flowers also testified that Nicholas Belsito interfered with official police business during an already chaotic situation. Belsito's friend, Dylan Lowery was arrested that day, as well. His arrest is why Belsito began interacting with officers in the first place.

“He (Belsito) was trying to prevent the deputy from cuffing him (Lowery) .” Flowers testified.

Belsito’s own arrest is the one at issue in this case. He suffered a broken nose and concussion during his arrest. The defense is trying to prove Belsito interfered with police taking a suspect into custody.

Flowers testified Belsito was repeatedly told to leave but didn’t listen. He was also questioned about the language used by the officers:

Defense attorney, Rodney Personius: why did you say beat it?
Flowers: It short and direct. It is an easy command to understand.
Personius: Is the tone of voice purposeful to?
Flowers: Yes.

Flowers also testified about saying "ah ah ah" as Achtyl went after Belsito. He said it was his own personal preference that Achtyl not get out of the car. He testified it didn’t mean Achtyl was acting inappropriately by going after him. “I didn’t want to get out of the car. We already had one prisoner under arrest.”

Flowers also testified Belsito was arrested based on the totality of events that day. Yet, none of the arrest reports mention his interference in his friends arrest. Flowers testified they didn’t have much time to fill it out and he believed it to be truthful.

Erie county prosecutors believe the evidence will show Achtyl used excessive force. That will be up for the six jurors to decide. We’re told the jury could be handed this case as early as Thursday.