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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

July 22, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Former IC student sues Ithaca Police Department

An Ithaca College alum is suing the Ithaca Police Department for mistreatment when he was allegedly illegally detained at a party in 2016.

Kyle Goldstein ’18 was detained by police during a party at his rented home on Hudson Street on Nov. 17, 2016. According to court documents, Jacob V. Allard, Ithaca city police officer, allegedly sprayed Goldstein with pepper spray, causing injuries to both of his eyes and permanent damage to his right eye. Goldstein is accusing officers of arresting him illegally. Video evidence depicting the incident was obtained from the officer’s body camera.

Goldstein did not respond to a request for comment.

Goldstein’s claims against the Ithaca Police Department related to deprivation of rights. Deprivation of rights refers to Section 242 of Title 18, according to the Department of Justice, which prohibits law enforcement officials from “deprive[ing] a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Allard allegedly acted with excessive force while arresting Goldstein. Goldstein also claims that Allard entered his home illegally without a search warrant.

According to the police documents, Allard was dispatched to Goldstein’s home for a noise complaint. Allard claimed that Goldstein attempted to flee and avoid arrest. According to the Notice of Intent to Use Defendant’s Statements document, Allard also claimed that Goldstein said he wanted to injure Allard, while placing his head and upper torso near Allard’s groin area.

Assistant District Attorney Brad Rubin also sent a letter to Ronna Collins, chief city court clerk, stating that the DA’s office will not prosecute the charges against the Ithaca Police Department and will instead seek a dismissal, without providing an explanation for the actions. In a statement to the media, District Attorney Matthew Van Houten did not clarify the reasons given in the letter that Goldstein was not prosecuted.

“There are many reasons why a district attorney’s office might decide not to prosecute a specific case,” Van Houten said. “We have to take into account all the information available to us in order to make that determination. Given that there is pending litigation regarding the Goldstein case, I cannot give any specific comment or explanation about the decision to dismiss the charges against Mr. Goldstein.”

Jamie Williamson, public information officer of the Ithaca Police Department, said he is unable to comment on the case because it is pending litigation. Williamson said requests for interviews are to be directed to the mayor’s office. The mayor’s office did not respond for comment.

An initial conference about the case is set for July 5 at the United States Courthouse in Binghamton, New York.

Ashley Stalnecker can be reached at astalnecker@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @Ashley_Stal