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Testimony continues in trial of Erie Co. Sheriff's Deputy

Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 18:42:09-04

Buffalo Bills fan, Nicholas Belsito was on the stand for nearly five hours in day two of the trial of Erie County Sheriff’s deputy, Kenneth achtyl.

Belsito’s actions in a police body camera video were scrutinized by the defense during day two of testimony. The defense trying to establish that Belsito interferes in that arrest, he shouldn’t have been that close to police to begin with, and was told to back away in those moments leading up to his own arrest by Achtyl.

The defense was also critical of Belsito’s decision to approach the police car after his friend is loaded in the back.

Question: did the thought occur to you that a patrol car holding a handcuffed prisoner shouldn’t be approached?
Answer: no.
Question: as you sit here right now can you appreciate that law-enforcement might not want a civilian approaching the car?
Answer: no.
Question: So, in your mind, you can’t think of any circumstances why that may be inappropriate?
Answer: No, I can’t.
Question: did you have an absolute right to approach the car?
Answer yes.
Question: you were entitled to?
Answer: I wouldn’t say entitled. But, I had the right.
Question: is it still your view that you had the right?
Answer: yes.

Belsito also previously testified he didn’t hear Deputy Achtyl yell “come here,” when he walked away from the patrol car.

He testified he did hear a friend yell “he’s coming after you,” but didn’t know what she meant. “I didn’t think there would be a reason to come after me,” Belsito testified.

Erie Co. Sheriff Timothy Howard has been in court since opening statements. However he isn’t commenting, yet. “I’ll see you when the case is over," he told reporters outside of the courtroom Tuesday.

Achtyl faces 4 misdemeanor charges including assault, official misconduct, and falsifying business records. He is suspended with out pay pending the outcome of this case. Testimony continues Wednesday.