A Saratoga County sheriff’s deputy is taking off the uniform after a video of him slapping a citizen who asked not to be searched started making the Internet rounds. In addition to resigning, the deputy now faces charges of official misconduct and harassment.
While the video doesn’t show the deputy, Sgt. Shawn R. Glans, striking the young man, identified as Colin Fitch, it shows him swinging and the sound of a slap was recorded clearly.
“You want to fucking resist?” Glans said before and after the slap.
Glans has admitted to slapping the youth in court and the investigating officer, Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo, also confirmed that Glans struck Fitch, even though the event was not captured directly.
The video was shot in secret by Fitch’s friend, Adam Roberts. Fitch and Roberts have secured a restraining order against Glans.
“His actions both as a police officer and a sergeant were completely inappropriate,” said Sheriff Zurlo at a news conference. “I am very disturbed. I have zero tolerance for that type of activity.”
Glans and the other unidentified officers were dispatched to the area on a call of suspicious activity. Fitch and Roberts were parked in a nearby Wal-Mart parking lot near a vehicle matching the description.
When the deputies arrived they noticed a .22-caliber rifle in the car, which prompted them to ask for the keys and search the vehicle.
“If I had to do it all over again … I’d probably do the same thing,” Glans said in a statement. “If I knew the camera was there, no, because it does look bad.”
The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t disclosed how they will be dealing with the two other deputies who did not intervene, although Sheriff Zurlo says the investigation is ongoing.
Glans is a former Marine and a part-time officer with another local department, the South Glens Falls Police. Whether or not he remains a part-time officer with them has yet to be determined.