Pair say off-duty Schenectady cop pointed gun at them

Alleged road-rage incident results in arrest, suspension

April 19, 2013
Updated 11:44 a.m.
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John Hotaling
John Hotaling

— Two Glenville residents have accused a Schenectady detective of pointing a gun at them during a road rage incident.

After a weeklong investigation, Glenville police charged Detective John Hotaling with two counts of menacing, a misdemeanor.

Hotaling, 45, of Glenville, has denied the charges, but Glenville police Lt. Stephen Janik said Hotaling admitted he got out of his car to confront the driver of another vehicle.

Hotaling was suspended without pay after his arrest, and Schenectady Police Chief Brian Kilcullen said the department is taking the allegations seriously.

“We sent a perfectly clear message over the last several years that we’re not going to tolerate any degree of misconduct,” he said, adding that he considers the accusations particularly serious because they rose “to the level of an arrest.”

The incident occurred April 7 on Maple Avenue. Matthew Arnow and his father, Jeffrey, were riding in a car near their home on Maple Avenue when Hotaling passed them in a no-passing zone in what they termed an aggressive manner.

They responded by honking and made an obscene gesture, Janik said. Hotaling pulled ahead of them, then stopped at a red light. That’s when he got out of his car, the Arnows said. He was not wearing a police uniform.

The Arnows got out of their car, too, and there was a brief conversation, Janik said. Hotaling walked back to his car and came back with a gun, the Arnows claim.

Matthew Arnow pulled out his cellphone and called 911, telling the dispatcher a man was pointing a gun at him. As he tried to read the license plate, Hotaling got back in his car and drove away.

The Arnows pursued him to the next intersection, when the dispatcher told them to stop following and come to the police station.

With the partial plate number the Arnows provided, Janik said police were able to quickly identify Hotaling’s car. They called him, and he voluntarily came to the department, where he admitted to confronting the Arnows verbally, Janik said.

“He does not admit to pointing a gun at anyone,” Janik said.

Police interviewed three witnesses to the incident — a relative in the Arnows’ car and two others they found by canvassing the area. Janik said the officers’ goal was to gather enough evidence to either prove or disprove the accusation.

“We didn’t get enough evidence to disprove the incident,” he said. “We have obtained the tape from the 911 call. It’s clear on the tape a male has just pointed a gun at him [Matthew Arnow] and his father.”

He added that Hotaling could still argue his innocence in court.

“This is what the criminal justice system is all about,” he said.

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April 18, 2013
11:07 a.m.
wmarincic says...

This story does not add up and smells awful fishy. Why would a veteran police office pull a gun, his obvious response would have been to anounce that he is a cop? I would believe he had his carry weapon and they saw it under his shirt and made up the story that he pulled a gun. I would not jump to conclusions on this one folks.

April 18, 2013
11:40 a.m.
TwiceStroked says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
April 18, 2013
12:14 p.m.
safny says...

Of course, marincic believes that no police officer ever did anything wrong. Police officers are people and like all other people, some of them do things that are illegal or otherwise wrong. The people who accuse them have to be criminals? This is why the system takes time to play out - and what about the witnesses found by the canvass - must they have criminal records as well? How did they screw up?? It's not a crime to give the finger.

April 18, 2013
12:35 p.m.
wmarincic says...

SAFNY you have absolutely no idea what I believe. Trust me, there are a couple cops in Schenectady I don't like. All I know is that when my wife was dying of cancer last year a bunch of cops at SPD were there for me. Again, the story does not pass the smell test to me, I never said I was right, I said don't jump to conclusions.

April 18, 2013
2:23 p.m.
RKrough says...

A hot headed cop pulling a gun or threatening during a road incident,bar incident or domestic incident unfortunately is nothing unusual these days. I had one flash a badge on me when he cut me off at at the Glenville boat ramp of all places because he wanted to get his bass boat in the water 3 minutes ahead of me.
But don't worry this cop like most of them will walk away scot free and the Arnow's can look forward to being harassed until the charges are dropped. The police union will see to that.

April 18, 2013
6:50 p.m.
cheeseburger says...

wmarincic, the mafia has honor also. your not that ignorant are you?

April 18, 2013
7:46 p.m.
dlittlecook says...

I think the evidence speaks for itself. There is even a recorded 911 call where the caller states a man is pointing a gun at him. Had the cop showed his badge and not his gun, there probably wouldn't have been a problem. Nooo, after the guy calls 911, the cop jumps back in his car and speeds off. The guys follow him while still on the phone with 911 and the dispatcher tells them to stop following him and go to the police station. Then the Glenville police have to call the officer into he station to ask him what happened?

Yep, you're right wmarinicic, these thugs are just trying to get the good hearted police officer in trouble.

April 18, 2013
9:07 p.m.
wmarincic says...

And George Zimmerman is a white Hispanic. Just because the caller says he pulled a gun does not make it true. I can call 911 and say somebody pulled a gun on me, what does it prove other than I said it? I just wonder why everyone is always so fast to pass judgement on the SPD. I heard the same story about police brutality after the Grove Place shooting until the tape proved everyone wrong. I don't know if he is innocent or guilty, that is why we have courts. I don't believe it for many reasons, the difference between me and you is that I believe in "innocent until proven guilty".

April 19, 2013
8:53 a.m.
reader1 says...

Innocent until proven guilty?

Fair enough, but a curious statement from someone who accuses DEA agents of corruption, without providing any supportive evidence, let alone a trial.

April 19, 2013
9:08 a.m.
TwiceStroked says...

Still gotta agree w/wmar, can't dispute that the call was made just what was happening.
Was the det really still standing there?
Was the gun even out of the holster?
Was this anything more than an exchange of freedom of speech?
Remember that one?
I still think this is nothing more than malicious prosecution.

April 19, 2013
9:24 a.m.
TwiceStroked says...

And why after allegedly getting a gun pointed @ them would they pursue him?
Afterall, They didn't know he was a cop.
Risk getting shot just 2 get a license plate # just doesn't "Smell Right".
The more on read on this, the more it smells.

April 19, 2013
10:11 a.m.
reader1 says...

Time will tell

April 19, 2013
2:52 p.m.
Will1960 says...


"I've heard there's been 'hits' out on SPD officers & their families" What is your source for that "information"?

April 19, 2013
3:14 p.m.
cfield says...

Kudos to the Daily Rag for giving this story top billing over the Boston terrorist attacks. Glad you know a real news story when you see it.

May 8, 2013
5:34 p.m.
TwiceStroked says...

Why are posts being deleted by the site staff.
What happened to freedom of speech?
or does that only apply when a socalled news reporter wants it to?
Don't ask for our COMMENTS if all you're goning to do is SENSOR US.

May 8, 2013
6:16 p.m.
jpatrick says...

We welcome comments dealing with the issues raised by the article. We delete comments for a number of reasons. We will delete, for example, comments that are off-topic, that attack victims of alleged crimes, that contain foul language or that contain personal attacks.

Judy Patrick


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