Bench trial for Rochester Police officer accused of assault to begin Wednesday

May 15, 2019 06:02 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The bench trial begins Wednesday for a suspended Rochester Police officer charged with misdemeanor assault after he allegedly beat a man wrongly accused of a crime. 

Michael Sippel is accused of assaulting Christopher Pate, of Rochester, back in May 2018. Sippel and another officer spotted Pate walking down Bloss Street. Pate matched the description of a wanted suspect so the officers approached him in an unmarked car and asked for identification.

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Video of the incident shows the two officers pinning Pate down when the former police chief says Pate was wrongfully arrested during what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. Pate says he gave them ID proving he was not the suspect but was tased, handcuffed, and beaten while trying to walk away.

The other officer involved was not criminally charged.

Sippel's trial is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Rochester City Court.


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