CLEVELAND — A Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority police officer was charged by the city prosecutor’s office last week in connection with an incident in February in which he was seen on camera pushing a man off the Brookpark Station platform during a confrontation, causing him to fall onto the tracks.
Officer Patrick Rivera wrote in his report that on Feb. 16, he was dispatched to the rapid station for a man in the lobby who had his belongings scattered about and refused to pick them up. The officer told the man that he needed to pick up his stuff so a custodian could clean the area.
According to Rivera, the man later became aggressive on the train platform and called him a racial slur and a "rent-a-cop." Rivera wrote in his report that the man threatened to shoot him and throw him on the tracks when a train passed by. The report states that the man "lunged" at the officer, and Rivera warned him multiple times to calm down. When the man "lunged" at Rivera again, the officer pushed the man, and he fell onto the track level. The man got up and walked to the gate where the officer took him into custody. He was cited for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
In the video, the man is seen making sudden movements towards the officer. At the moment the man turned away, the officer pushed him, causing him to fall off the platform.
Watch video of the incident from a News 5 report in April below:
RTA states that when the incident happened, Rivera didn't attempt to render first aid or detain the man, which is a violation of the RTA employee code.
On April 5, after an investigation was conducted, Rivera was placed on a Decision-Making Leave, the third and final level of discipline prior to termination, the release states.
On Nov. 13, nearly nine months after the incident, Rivera was charged by the City of Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office with assault, dereliction of duty and unlawful restraint.
Rivera is denied access to the Ohio Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) as a result of those charges, and he was placed on administrative leave without pay by the RTA on Nov. 13 due to the charges and loss of LEADS access, RTA officials stated.
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