First Ward candidate Vescera disputes recollection of election night incident

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Common Council First Ward Candidate Frank Vescera says he's being unfairly portrayed in an election night incident at Kennedy Plaza apartments.

According to Utica Police, First Ward candidates Frank Vescera (D) and Ed Hill (R) were at Kennedy Plaza Apartments, a polling location, when they got into a verbal argument. Police said Hill became angry with Vescera and accused him of congregating in close proximity to the polling table. During the confrontation Hill allegedly “chest bumped” Vescera.

Witnesses at the scene told police that Michael Colon, a poll watcher, intervened in an attempt to separate Hill and Vescera. Colon was not very successful, telling police it was then that Hill turned his attention to Colon, shoved him and punched him in the face with a closed fist.

UPD was then contacted, but by that the time they arrived, both Hill and Vescera had left the scene. Utica Police said Colon has filed charges of second-degree harassment against candidate Ed Hill.

As of Tuesday evening, Hill was not in custody, but Utica Police said they were looking for him.

Colon suffered no injury as a result of the incident.

According to Vescera, however, the fight was never between he and Hill. Vescera said that he was at Kennedy Plaza to check on one of his poll workers. It was while there, Vescera said, that he was asked by one of the tenants of Kennedy Plaza to visit with their bedridden mother. Vescera said he met with the woman and upon exiting her apartment, came across Ed Hill "interrogating" two women working at the polls.

Vescera said the incident with the women escalated to harassment, and that is when he stepped forward to try and stop it.

"I think you're out of line. You shouldn't be doing this to these women," Vescera said he told Hill.

Vescera said that is when Hill "lunged and hit" Colon.

"So the confrontation was between Mr. Hill and Mr. Colon," Vescera said.

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