Not only has a police shooting made history in Oneonta, it’s making statewide history, too.
A new department in the state Attorney General’s Office, the Office of Special Investigations, created by Executive Order 147 after George Floyd’s death last May 25, opened its door on April 1, according to Sofia Quintanar, the AG’s deputy press secretary.
The office is empowered to “investigate and, if warranted, prosecute … a police officer … concerning any incident in which the death of a person, whether in custody or not, is caused by an act or omission.”
Five days later, on Tuesday, April 6, Tyler Green, 23, (also identified as Tyler Johnson in early reports), was shot twice after pulling a knife in a domestic dispute at 48 River St., by Sgt. Ralph Pajerski, an 18-year veteran of the Oneonta Police Department.
“This is the first in the state for our new department,” said Quintanar.
Both officers remain on the job, with Sergeant Pajerski on desk duty while the investigation is in progress, and his partner in responding to the 48 River situation, Officer Kristen Lapointe, resuming her regular duties, said OPD Chief Chris Witzenburg.
With officials and officers who have viewed Pajerski’s body cam saying it shows he acted as he had to, Witzenburg said, “The frustration for me is that it’s taking as long as it’s going to take – 6-8 weeks. But I understand they have an investigative procedure they’ve adopted, and I’m just going to have to trust it.”
ONEONTA – Christopher Catapano, a member of the Oneonta Police Department since 2008, has been promoted to Sergeant.
Sergeant Catapano holds an associates degree in criminal justice from Herkimer County Community College and a Bachelors Degree in criminal justice from SUNY Oneonta.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, is introduced to Broome County Sheriff David Harder, right, by DOT Regional Director Jack Williams before the start of yesterday’s State Police Troop “C” Memorial Day Service at troop headquarters in Sidney. In left photo, former Station Manager of Troop “C” Marc Barbara, now serving with Troop “D”, marches in formation during the ceremony. Those honored were Troopers Covel Pierce and Timothy Pratt, and Investigator Paul Stuewer. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Storms have torn through the local area recently, causing damage to public and private properties. It’s mostly trees that have fallen or been damaged in the storms so be sure to hire a company that is able to perform tree removal safely and efficiently as damaged trees can often be dangerous. The sooner you sort any damage from the storms, the safer your property will be for you and your family.
If you’ve had trees damaged by the storm then be sure to contact someone like Timber Warriors Emergency Response to get help making sure everything on your property is safe. Below are just some of the damages the powerful storm caused.