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Saratoga Springs police officer charged with misdemeanor assault

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Albany/HV: Saratoga Springs police officer charged with misdemeanor assault
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Almost 10 days after the initial complaint, a longtime Saratoga Springs police officer has been charged with assault for his alleged involvement in a fight outside a Caroline Street bar. YNN's Matt Hunter reports.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After a more than week long investigation by his own police department, Saratoga Springs Police Officer Edward Braim was charged with third degree assault Tuesday morning.

The 10 year veteran is accused of pushing a 41-year-old man into a parked car outside of Dango Fitzgerald's Sports Bar while he was off-duty the morning of November 12th.

"I really can't go into the details of what he [victim] told me, but I can assure you from his perspective, there was no reason for the alleged assault to occur," Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said Tuesday.

"I'm actually kind of surprised that they brought charges in this case,” said Andrew Safranko, Braim’s attorney. “We believe the assault charge they brought is a very weak and defensible case."

Neither Police Chief Chris Cole or Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen would comment on this story. Officer Braim's attorney believes his client is innocent and acted in self defense.

"It's our position and belief that the person was coming after some others with a raised glass beer bottle and Mr. Braim acted appropriately," Safranko said.

Neither the alleged victim, who sustained minor injuries, or the other two off-duty officers at the bar that night are likely to be charged.

In addition to spending up to a year in jail, Braim could potentially lose his job after an internal investigation is complete.

"Taking into consideration the victim's wishes, which I think are important to do in any prosecution, I think the victim's position that he should not be a police officer is appropriate," Murphy said.

"I believe he's being singled out and being treated more harsh because he is a police officer,” Safranko said. “I believe if this was anybody else in the situation, an arrest would have never even occurred with the injuries that occurred in this case."

Both Braim and the two other officers involved remained suspended without pay while the internal investigation continues.

Braim is due back in court December 20th.

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