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Investigation into alleged assault by off-duty police officers continues

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Albany/HV: Investigation into alleged assault by off-duty police officers continues
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Saratoga Springs officials continue their investigation into an alleged assault involving three off-duty police officers outside of a downtown bar. YNN's Matt Hunter has the latest.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Four days after the initial report, the Saratoga Springs Police Department has released little information about claims of an assault involving three off-duty police officers and another man outside Dango Fitzgerald's Bar early Sunday morning.

While no charges have been filed, the man claims he received minor injuries after being assaulted by at least one of the officers.

"This obviously is being taken very seriously and this department does not ignore these kinds of problems," city public safety commissioner Christian Mathiesen said. “They deal with them in a professional manner and they deal with them in the appropriate manner."

Police Chief Christopher Cole, who spoke over the phone but would not comment on-camera, said two separate investigations, a personnel and criminal, are being conducted. He added even if the criminal investigation reveals charges aren't necessary, there's no grantees the three officers won't escape further disciplinary action within the department.

"Disciplinary action will be determined based upon the acts as they come forth," said Mathiesen, who will be responsible for determining if disciplinary action is necessary.

Mark McCarthy is a private attorney counseling the city on the internal investigation. He says in cases like these, personnel matters are typically kept private unless criminal charges end up being filed. The subjects' rights also vary depending on the investigation.

"Under the rules, obviously, on the criminal side you can't compel people to testify,” McCarthy said. “However, the police officers can be compelled to give statements on the disciplinary matter."

While city officials would not confirm their identities Thursday, the Saratogian Newspaper has reported the three officers involved were Edward Braim, Mark Leffler and John Guzek. All three remain suspended without pay while both investigations are underway.

"They really are two totally separate investigations and two totally separate conclusions," McCarthy said.

"At the very least, I think people need to realize this is a process that has to be followed and once the process is followed there will be more information," Mathiesen said. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP