RTA officer faces charges over on-camera altercation near train tracks

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Editor’s Note: The video above is from a previous report

CLEVELAND (WJW) – A Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority officer faces charges over an altercation with a man who fell onto train tracks back in February.

A surveillance camera captured the encounter between RTA police officer Patrick Rivera and a man on the platform of the Brook Park Rapid Station around noon on Feb. 16, 2021.

The video appears to show Rivera push the man, who tumbles onto the train tracks below.

In an April 5 disciplinary letter, the acting RTA police chief noted that Rivera, “Used an inappropriate technique” and, ‘Should have gone to track level to either render aid or detain the male.” He was given one paid day off with a stern warning.

On Nov. 13, the Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office charged Rivera with assault, dereliction of duty and unlawful restraint.

Due to the charges, RTA suspended Rivera without pay.

According to a transit police report, Rivera was responding to a man refusing to move his belongings to allow a custodian to clean. The officer said when he asked the man to pick up his things, he became aggressive, cursing, calling him derogatory names and, ‘threatening to shoot me and throw me on the tracks when the train came through.”

According to Rivera’s account, the man became more aggressive as they walked to the platform and lunged at him twice. 

“I then pushed the male back… The male fell onto the platform… Rolled his body down onto the track level,” the officer said.

The man was not injured and walked to a gate where he was arrested.

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