UTICA - A Utica police officer was in court Wednesday morning - this time as a defendant.
Officer Jacob Penree was arrested on May 13 and charged with third-degree assault. He is accused of starting a fight with a Utica city firefighter on Culver Court on May 12, which led to the firefighter allegedly receiving cuts and swelling to his face, including stitches to his right eyebrow.
Penree appeared in Utica City Court and pleaded not guilty to the assault charge. He is scheduled to return to court on June 27.
Police say Penree was not on duty at the time of the alleged assault.
Penree is a ten-year veteran of the Utica Police Department and was training with the Criminal Investigations Division at the time of his arrest. Police say Penree is currently suspended without pay, and a stay-away order of protection has been issued on behalf of the alleged victim.
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