Warning: This video contains pervasive profanity.
SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. — A New York sheriff’s deputy was suspended late this week after a viral video surfaced that appeared to show him slapping and threatening a man who declined to let him search his car without a warrant.
The deputy, reported by multiple media outlets to be Sgt. Shawn Glans, has been removed from duty without pay pending an investigation, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
The incident began early Friday morning, when officers reported seeing a rifle in the back seat of the man’s car, the Post Star reported. The video begins after the deputy has confronted the man in a parking lot.
The man, identified by Inquisitr as Colin Fitch, protests that the deputy cannot search his car without a warrant. The deputy responds with profanity and threats, demanding the man’s keys.
About 29 seconds into the video, the deputy seems to accuse the man of resisting, although the man does not appear to be moving. The deputy can be seen moving his hands toward the man’s head, and a slapping noise can be heard.
The point of contact cannot be seen in the video, but Fitch confirmed to several outlets that he was slapped in the face.
Another male can be heard asking the deputy if he is going to “slap me around” next, to which the deputy replies, “yeah,” followed by further swearing and threats.
The Sheriff’s Office later issued a statement, saying in part:
“The Sheriff’s Office takes matters such as this very seriously and we do not in any way condone anything less than professional behavior from our members. We wish to thank the members of the community who brought this to light and cooperated fully with the investigation. At this time this is an internal personnel investigation as there is no criminal complaint from the involved civilian.”
This confrontation is at least the second time Glans has been involved in a controversial incident. On March 28, 1996, a duty vehicle driven by Glans crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by 45-year-old Douglas McEachron, leaving the father of six paralyzed, the Daily Gazette reported.
Glans was found to have been driving two to three times the posted speed limit and crossed into oncoming traffic, the newspaper reported. The city and county settled with the victim for millions of dollars, but Glans was kept on the job.