Utica Police: Off-duty state trooper breaks into South Utica home


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police are investigating why an off-duty New York State trooper broke into a home in South Utica early Sunday morning. The incident left both the homeowner and the trooper injured.

According to Utica Police Sgt. Steve Hauck, authorities responded to a burglary at 27 Beverly Place in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

Upon arrival, police say they found both the trooper and the homeowner inside the residence with injuries. Police say that is was possible the trooper was intoxicated when he broke in.

Both men were sent to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

The trooper is being identified as Jesse Miller, 31, of Utica. No charges have been filed.

Part of the investigation, according to Utica Police, is why Miller would break into that specific house. There is no obvious connection between the two parties at this point. The homeowners recently moved into the residence.

Sgt. Hauck said that the Utica Police Department is responsible for the investigation, but that they are consulting with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office before charges are filed. The New York State Police are cooperating with the case, but Hauck noted that this is a mere personnel matter on their end.

Many people took to social media sites such as NEWSChannel 2's Facebook page to share their displeasure in the way police are handling this case.

One user, Brian Kliphon, said, "Pathetic. No wonder why every law enforcement officer thinks they're above the law, because every agency and the media puts them there. He absolutely deserves to be humiliated just like any other criminal."

Another, Michele Livermore Koons, said, "If it were one of us 'regular' people, we would have been arrested on the spot and our names all over the news."

User Brenda Fosella took another side of the argument. She said, "I want to know more details before I judge. If he broke into the residence and was drunk then the police know what the proceeder is for an arrest."

Utica Police responded to the criticism on their own Facebook page. The post said, "Some of you have implied that the UPD is doing something underhanded in this case. You could not be more wrong. We post photos and identities of people ARRESTED for crimes. NOT people suspected. There is a big difference. This case is on going and in order to charge someone with a crime we need probable cause. Each case is different, some arrests are immediate, some take time. The victim deserves a thorough investigation and that is what we are doing. When and if an arrest is made, the arrestee information will be posted."

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