Former Sheriff's Deputy Achtyl to be Sentenced

Kenneth Achtyl convicted in assault of Bills fan in 2017

Tom Puckett
January 23, 2020 - 4:00 am
Kenneth Achtyl following verdict

Orchard Park, NY (WBEN) After being convicted in September of reckless assault in the attack of a Bills fan, former Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Achtyl will be sentenced Thursday.

Achtyl was found guilty of reckless assault, official misconduct and falsifying records, misdemeanors. That's why attorney Paul Cambria anticipates a light sentence. "I wouldn't be surprised if the sentence is nothing more than a conditional discharge," says Cambria. "This is a sort of person you're won't have recidivism and obviously he's been punished with his job not existing anymore." Achtyl resigned shortly after his conviction.

Cambria says what led jurors to convict Achtyl was the tape. "You have a video, videos are graphic. It's hard to re-create all the facts and circumstances and overcome the video," explains Cambria. He also expects Achtyl to maintain his innocence. "He has maintained it all along. Whether there's an appeal I don't know, but I don't expect him to come out and say he's guilty," adds Cambria.

Nicholas Belsito was arrested by Achtyl at a Bills tailgate after he swore at the officer over an interaction of where his arrested friend, Dylan Lowry, was being taken to. After Belsito was told to "beat it" multiple times, he walked away from the patrol car with Achtyl and Deputy James Flowers and swore at the police in the process. Attorneys on both sides said this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

It is not illegal to swear at a police officer.

Erie County DA John Flynn said at the time he had mixed feelings about the verdict. "I need to maintain good order and discipline as the chief law enforcement officer in Erie County. To do that, I need to prosecute anyone who commits a crime, anyone. If it's a police officer, unfortunately, it's a teammate," says Flynn, who said he wasn't gloating about the verdict but was happy justice was served.

The sentencing is tonight in Orchard Park Town Court.

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