Updated: 07/09/2014 5:37 PM
Created: 07/09/2014 4:41 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
A Webster man says he’s the victim of overzealous police, who arrested him at a restaurant last week. Ryan Conklin has begun circulating a video of the arrest, but the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department says its deputies did everything by the book.
The confrontation is captured on cell phone video. Ryan Conklin, of Webster, was at Henrietta Hots around 2:00 a.m. on the Fourth of July. According to his Facebook page and a support page, he was getting something to eat when he saw three sheriff’s deputies doing the same. Conklin decided to approach the deputies to question why they were all on break at the same time and suggested they should stagger their dinner shifts. The conversation quickly became a confrontation.
After refusing to turn around, in the video, the deputy identified as Philip Baratela gets up in Conklin’s face and then proceeds to arrest him. Conklin was charged with disorderly conduct.
The sheriff's department lauded its deputies, saying they welcome the video because they say it shows their deputies did everything by the book and only took action after Conklin became belligerent.
Sgt. John Helfer, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, said, “We’re actually pleased the video is out there. The video is very supportive of the deputies’ actions, the actions he took when dealing with the individual. The individual was told a number of times to turn around, put his arms behind his back and he did not comply with a lawful order.”
News10NBC wanted to speak with Conklin about his claims of assault and unlawful arrest. Despite emailing News10NBC to alert us to the video, when we contacted Conklin, he said he wasn’t interested in doing an interview with us. If he had, we would have also wanted to know why he thought it was a good idea to provoke law enforcement.
Police are trained to diffuse tense situations. Did Baratela instead escalate the argument? Could he have just turned away?
Helfer said, “What you see in part two of the video that you don’t see in part one was, before that, there were a number of opportunities for him to go on his way. He was offered that opportunity and he continued his belligerence. He actually approached the deputy and got in his face more or less at the restaurant and it continued from there.”
The sheriff's department has obtained a copy of the restaurant's surveillance video and will be reviewing that as part of an internal investigation.
To watch Part I of the video, click here.
To watch Part II of the video, click here.