News10NBC Investigates: RPD detective still on paid suspension nearly 2 years after incident with EMT

Two years later, RPD officer who handcuffed EMT still suspended with pay

Two years later, RPD officer who handcuffed EMT still suspended with pay

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Police detective who handcuffed an EMT inside of Strong Memorial Hospital is still suspended with pay, nearly two years after the incident.

It was the News10NBC Investigative team that first brought you video from inside the emergency room at Strong Hospital showing detective Charles LoTempio forcefully trying to arrest an EMT who had a patient on the gurney.   

The incident happened in July of 2022. The EMT had hit LoTempio’s car door in the ambulance bay while unloading a patient. He asked for her ID but she kept walking with her patient. LoTempio followed her inside where he took her into custody. 

The Rochester Police Department suspended LoTempio following the release of the video. That suspension happened nearly two years ago and continues today, as of May 30, 2024.  

Public records show that LoTempio collected a salary of $113,392 in 2023 despite having not worked at all. 

Under civil service law, before being fired or more severely disciplined, a police officer has the right to what’s known as a Section 75 hearing. It apparently took more than a year to find an arbitrator who would take the case. During the suspension, the officer is unable to collect any overtime wages or make any career advancements. 

News10NBC has learned that while the hearing has finally taken place in the case, the City of Rochester and the Locust Club are still awaiting the recommendations from the arbitrator.

The EMT, Lekia Smith, has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Rochester. Her attorney tells News10NBC that suit and a workers’ compensation claim has been delayed, pending the outcome of the Section 75 hearing.