Utica Police Officer Involved Incident: Suspect and Juvenile Pepper Sprayed

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UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — On Sunday morning, August 23rd, Utica Police were called to the 900 block of Blandina Street for a woman who said her medication was stolen. When police arrived Melissa Henderson was arguing with the man accused of taking her medication.

The man, Jimmy Spratt, explained that he gave Henderson a ride and his girlfriend saw them together and ran off with his car with Henderson’s medication still inside. Spratt also claimed Henderson stole his gold necklace.

After some time on scene Henderson grew frustrated with the officer and asked to have a supervisor present. Sergeant Samuel Geddes arrived and placed Henderson in handcuffs and told to return the stolen property or she will be arrested. She agreed and the officers released her and allowed her to go upstairs to retrieve the necklace. From the second story balcony she threw down a necklace that wasn’t Spratt’s then threw a trash bag near one of the officers.

In the video Henderson is heard yelling homophobic slurs toward Sergeant Geddes and he responds with profane language. His bodycam footage shows Geddes go to his vehicle and grab a container of pepper spray. He then aims it towards Henderson and a juvenile who was also on the balcony.

“He’s been suspended for 30 days without pay and the city is seeking termination.” – Chief Mark Williams, Utica Police Department

Sergeant Geddes was involved in another incident back in 2005, where 38-year old Walter Washington was shot and killed after aiming what appeared to be a gun at him. Further investigation revealed that it was bb gun. No charges were brought up against Geddes in the shooting,

“What we’ve done is we posted his personal file online for everybody to view and we’ve also included the officer involved shooting case.” – Chief Mark Williams, Utica Police Department

The juvenile on the balcony was treated by first responders for the pepper spray and Henderson refused assistance. Spratt chose not the press charges against Henderson.

Utica Police say they do not tolerate or condone the language and conduct of Sergeant Geddes. Currently, there is an internal investigation and it has been given to the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office for review.

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