Utica, N.Y. - Utica Police Lt. Bryan Coromato says the department is looking into whether any disciplinary measures will be taken against an officer who shoved a Utica man to the ground at the scene of a fire on Sunday.
Coromato says the department has 30 days to complete its investigation. Right now they are not releasing the name of the officer who was involved.
"It was a self-reported incident by the officer. And there's a process that we go through, and at this time the process is in its investigation stages,"Coromato said.
Fire officials say the fire began in a welding shop at the corner of South Street and Seymour Avenue and spread to four other structures on the same property, which were all owned by Hasica Pajazetovic of Utica.
While firefighters were fighting the massive fire, Pajazetovic was inside the yellow tape that was put up to keep people a safe distance away, and a NEWSChannel 2 crew on scene captured video of Pajazetovic being yelled at by Utica Fire Marshal Gerald Foster.
Foster could be heard saying, "Get out, I told you three times." As foster was escorting Pajazetovic to a spot behind the perimeter that had been set up, a Utica police officer came over to his aid and ended up pushing Pajazetovic with both hands. Pajazetovic fell to the ground, but got up quickly.
Hasica Pajazetovic's son, Nevres Pajazetovic, was at the fire scene on Monday with other family members and friends trying to clean up debris.
One person absent, Hasica Pajazetovic. Nevres Hasica Pajazetovic says his father had gone to the hospital to get treated for back pain and arm pain.
When asked about the incident where the officer pushed his father to the ground, Nevres Pajazetovic says he was there and felt it was unwarranted.
Nevres Pajazetovic says the family would definitely like to reopen their welding and car repair business at that same site, but they had no insurance on the structures, so he is not sure what will happen. He did say a family friend may be looking into possibly setting up a GoFundMe Page.
Utica Assistant Fire Chief George Clark says the fire itself is still under investigation, but wants to remind people that a perimeter is set up using yellow tape for safety reasons, to keep everyone, including the owners of properties that are on fire, safe.
"We've all seen buildings collapse without any notice. We've seen a hose line get out of control," Clark said. "Anything can happen, things just falling, so it's about an abundance of safety that no one comes where we're working."
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