New York law enforcement officers pulled an off-duty cop over, suspecting him of driving drunk. When they learned the cop’s identity, they proceeded to turn their dash cam off.
In the ensuing minutes, off-duty Syracuse cop Ty Cogan began yelling and cursing at Onondaga County sheriff’s detective Jeffrey Passino, refusing to be handcuffed, according to a Syracuse.com.
Two more law enforcement officers got involved as Cogan began kicking and biting and breaking an officer’s glasses, according to police reports.
At no point during the struggle, which included moments where Cogan was either allowed to sit in his car with the keys removed or was laying on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him, refusing to allow himself to be placed in the back of a patrol car, did Passino ever think to turn the dash cam back on, even though there were points when he was sitting in his car.
In his report, Passino said he only turned the camera off when he recognized Cogan as an old high school friend, making no mention of his law enforcement status.
But Cogan is 38, so its’ been about two decades since he attended high school, so that shouldn’t be justification to trust him.
Unless, of course, Passino was still friends with him, knowing him to be a fellow cop and not just a former high school chum.
Perhaps Passino was trying to extend him the professional courtesy of driving his friend home without criminal charges, but Cogan was just too drunk to appreciate this gesture.
After all, he registered a whopping .21 blood-alcohol content, nearly three times the legal .08.
And that’s considering they didn’t administer the test until 90 minutes after the arrest.
The incident took place December 19, but the local news is just now reporting on it.
A citizen reported seeing a gray 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck heading toward Liverpool, swerving on the Onondaga Lake Parkway. The caller also reported seeing the truck run a red light in the village.
Around 8:25 p.m., Liverpool police officer Todd Creller spotted Cogan heading west on Second Street without headlights on and pulled him over near the intersection of Hickory and Second streets. The Onondaga County 911 dispatch center also put out a point of information with a description of the truck.
Moments after Creller pulled Cogan over, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Detective Jeffrey Passino arrived.
Passino went up to Cogan’s truck and asked for his driver’s license, which he had trouble getting for Passino. Passino wrote in a supporting deposition that he recognized Cogan as a former high school classmate after seeing his license and, “comfortable with knowing Ty Cogan,” shut off his in-car audio and video.
Passino noted in his report that Cogan’s speech was slurred and loud and that he was slobbering. His breath smelled strongly of alcohol. Cogan’s eyes were watery and bloodshot and his face was flushed. He was loud, talkative and belligerent. Officers later noted that Cogan fell while walking and needed support to help stand up.
After several minutes, Cogan began yelling and swearing at Passino and Creller. Passino wrote that he attempted to calm him down, but Cogan refused and continued yelling profanities, prompting Passino to remove Cogan’s keys from the ignition.
Daniel Pirong, 40, joined Creller on a ride along that night. In a sworn affidavit, he wrote that he saw the driver of the truck repeatedly stick his head out of the truck and yell at the two officers.
Passino was back inside his vehicle and Creller was standing outside when Cogan got out of the truck and charged at Creller. As he charged the officer, Cogan yelled “shoot me, shoot me,” Pirong wrote.
After refusing orders to get back inside his truck, Cogan grabbed Creller “as to attempt to push me down or into moving traffic,” Creller wrote in accusatory statements.
Creller grabbed Cogan by the shirt and Passino rushed from his vehicle and ordered Cogan to get on the ground. But Cogan refused and made the two officers force Cogan to the ground in the middle of Second Street.
While on the ground, Cogan kicked at the officers and refused to put his hands behind his back when the officers tried to handcuff him. Cogan also repeatedly attempted to get up off the ground.
When he was ultimately taken into custody at 8:31 p.m., Cogan refused to let the officers pick him up off the ground and rolled around, kicked and yelled profanities at Passino and Creller. At some point during the struggle, Cogan attempted to bite the officers and knocked Creller’s glasses off his face, breaking them.
After alerting 911 dispatch of the situation, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Zinsmeyer arrived at the scene. The officers were required to force Cogan into the back of Passino’s patrol car because he refused the officers’ verbal commands.
During the course of the struggle, Passino suffered a 1-inch cut to his left middle finger, Creller suffered an injury to his hand and Cogan suffered a minor abrasion to his head.
Cogan continued to swear at police en route to the North Community Police Station, 7120 Henry Clay Blvd. Syracuse police also responded to the station.
When they arrived, Cogan refused to exit the vehicle and again, the officers had to physically force him out of the car.
While being booked at the police station, Cogan continued to swear at the officers and gave them “a hard time.”
Zinsmeyer performed a breath test on Cogan at 9:59 p.m., which determined his blood alcohol content was 0.21 percent, nearly three times the state legal limit of 0.08 percent and more than the 0.18 percent threshold for an aggravated DWI charge.
Both Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway and Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick refused to comment on the incident.