A police officer in upstate New York has been placed on administrative leave after he pepper sprayed a motorist who gave the middle finger to see how the officer would react.
Adam Rupeka, 35, flipped the bird at officer Nathan Baker shortly after he arrived in Saratoga Springs on May 19, The Saratogian reports.
"When I first arrived into the city I figured I would test them on Supreme Court rulings by giving the middle finger," Rupeka writes in the description of a YouTube video showing the incident. "Officer N. Baker decided he would illegally pull me over and arrest me for disorderly conduct."
Screen grab from the dash cam showing a caption that reads "This is where I give him teh [sic] finger."
Rupeka, of Troy, is referring to a Supreme Court decision stating that giving a cop the finger does not warrant an arrest.
The officer pulled Rupeka over and asked him for identification, but Rupeka refuses to comply without knowing what he is charged with. In the video, Baker fails to state why he pulled over Rupeka and eventually pepper sprays him.
“He puts me in the back of the police car with the windows rolled up and refuses to open them or allow air to the back of the car. He states that they do not have a neutralizing agent for the pepper spray even after I tell him I am having trouble breathing,” Rupeka also wrote in the video description.
Authorities said that Rupeka was treated at the police station and the Saratoga Hospital, according to The Saratogian.
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Greg Veitch said that an internal investigation was underway.
“I take very seriously any allegation of improper use of force made against any officer of the Saratoga Springs Police Department and I have been in contact with Mr. Rupeka regarding this incident,” Veitch said in a statement.
Rupeka was never charged with disorderly conduct. He stands accused of obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, according to WNYT. He was also ticketed for having an obstructed view.
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