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Trial begins for Erie County sheriff deputy

Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 18:42:56-04

Nicholas Belsito, the fan at the center of a case against Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Achtyl, w as one of two witnesses to testify Monday. His testimony taking up a majority of the day, and much of it centered around photos taken by a bystander and sheriffs deputies body camera footage of both his friends arrest, and subsequently his arrest.

Belsito testified the Dec 3 2017 bills game was the first time he ever tailgated. He says he had two beers over the course of several hours before his arrest and was not drunk.

After his friend was arrested, Belsito said he approached the marked patrol car to find out where he was being taken. That's when Belsito said Achtyl responded quote "To jail. Do you want to go with him?" He said Achtyl finally said "10 Delaware," (which is the holding center) and told him to beat it.
And, as he walked away Belsito said “ what do you mean beat it? you’re an expletive cop.” Belsito testified that was the catalyst for Achtyl getting out of the car and pulling him back toward the police car, using his baton around his neck, and striking him in the face before pulling him to the ground.

Belsito said he was never told he was under arrest. The arrest report, however, says he was told Multiple times he was under arrest. There’s a point in the body cam footage when you hear the officers discussing what he should be charged with after the altercation.

The charges filed against Belsito were ultimately dismissed for technical reasons.

Achtyl faces four misdemeanor charges including assault, official misconduct, and falsifying business records.

Sheriff Timothy Howard attended the first day of trial. He todl 7 Eyewitness News it was to “hear the facts first hand.”

Testimony resumes Tuesday. Prosecutors expect to call two more witnesses before resting their case.