News10NBC Investigation: In body-cam video, manager says Macedon Police chief threatened to shoot him
MACEDON, N.Y. – A restaurant manager said the Macedon Police chief threatened to shoot him and was “extremely threatening” the night the chief was accused of being drunk and belligerent.
The manager’s comments were captured on body worn cameras of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident happened on December 10th. Immediately after, Macedon Chief Fabian Rivera went on voluntary unpaid leave while the town investigated.
The town board said Chief Rivera returned to the job this week.
In a statement late Thursday afternoon, Chief Rivera wrote, “As Chief of Police for the Town of Macedon, I will take full responsibility for and accountability for my actions on December 10, 2022.”
The video shows while the staff were concerned about being threatened, law enforcement and medics were concerned the chief might be having a stoke.
It happened inside Flaherty’s restaurant in Macedon. According to the bodycam video, the staff called 911 on Chief Rivera.
When the first deputy arrived, Rivera was sitting on the bench in the lobby.
Five minutes later, the video shows the store manager beckoned the deputy inside.
Manager: “At first he was very threatening towards me. Told me he was going to shoot me a couple of times.”
Deputy: “How long’s he been here?”
Manager: “A few hours. I’ve been out here with him for about two hours and finally we decided, you know what? This is not getting any better but we didn’t want to call 911 to get him in trouble. But he was extremely threatening.”
The deputy said his supervisors were coming to the scene.
Deputy: “So my bosses are coming. My sergeant and lieutenant are coming. So, I will have them talk to you more about it if you want to.”
Manager: “I don’t want him to get in trouble.”
When the sergeant arrived, he and others were concerned about the chief’s condition.
“Chief!” the sergeant yelled. “Hey chief!”
The staff told them Chief Rivera had four drinks over several hours but the video shows he could barely talk and didn’t respond when they pinched his arm.
The chief was still carrying his badge and gun.
“How are we going to get that off him?” the sergeant asked in the body camera video. “He’s in no condition to have that sidearm.”
The sergeant and a bystander eventually removed the chief’s gun and took him to the hospital.
That’s when the manager tried to talk to the sergeant.
“Was he fighting anybody?” the sergeant asked. “Was he… ?”
The conversation stopped as people walked by. But as they walked back into the restaurant, the manager repeated his claim.
“I thought he was going to shoot me a couple of times,” he said.
In his statement, Chief Rivera wrote he faces challenges from his time in the military. “I don’t face these challenges alone; I have the support of family and friends and the staff at the VA Clinic in Rochester. With that being said, I battle demons like many veterans; just because I wear stars on my collar doesn’t take away the mental health issues that I deal with,” Rivera wrote. “I am addressing these issues, breaking the stigma attached to veteran mental health within law enforcement. If this incident is a catalyst to assist other officers or veterans, I can’t be ashamed or embarrassed, and I need to continue to be a servant and leader.”
The Wayne County Sheriff emailed me Thursday and said after talking to deputies, the restaurant manager decided not to pursue charges against the chief.