CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — A Cleveland transit officer who was captured on surveillance video shoving a 68-year-old man off a rail platform and onto the tracks in February has been charged.
Patrick Rivera, 41, pleaded not guilty to three charges, including first-degree misdemeanor assault, on Saturday, cleveland.com reported.READ MORE: KD Sunday Spotlight: LIFE Pittsburgh Giving Independence And Support To Seniors
Rivera was placed on unpaid leave after charges were filed, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority spokesperson Linda Scardilli Krecic told the news outlet.
In April, cleveland.com won a court order for the release of the surveillance video from RTA, which showed Rivera pushing the man off of the transit platform.
Rivera was called to the platform because the man refused to move his belongings when asked by a custodian, the news outlet reported. Rivera wrote in a report that the man was aggressive and lunged at him, and that is when he shoved the man.READ MORE: The Black Market Returns For The Holidays To Showcase Local Black-Owned Businesses
Video footage shows the interaction happened quickly and that Rivera and another officer prevented the man from immediately climbing back up onto the platform even though trains were active on that track.
Rivera wrote two citations for the man after he shoved him, but prosecutors later dropped the charges after a psychologist found the man was not competent to stand trial because of mental illness.
Rivera was not fired or suspended because he signed an agreement with RTA that he would be fired if he “makes another mistake,” in the next year, the news outlet reported. Former RTA Police Chief Michael Gettings called Rivera’s actions “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.”MORE NEWS: Domestic Incident Inside Of The Mall At Robinson Leads To Chaotic Scene
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)