SCHENECTADY — An alleged St. Patrick’s Day domestic dispute with his fiancee that has resulted in assault charges could cost a fourth-generation police officer his job.
Eric Peters was placed on unpaid leave Wednesday after being charged with unlawful imprisonment and assault, both misdemeanors, in connection with the March 17 physical altercation with the woman at the Park Place home they share, according to court documents and authorities.
During his arraignment Wednesday afternoon before City Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski, Peters, 36, appeared with his attorney, Kevin Luibrand, who entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf. In asking that his client be released on his own recognizance, Luibrand noted Peters has 12 years on the force, is a lifelong city resident and does not pose a flight risk.
Assistant District Attorney Christina Tremante-Pelham did not oppose Peters’ release but asked the judge for a full stay-away order of protection for the victim. Luibrand opposed the request, saying the victim wants Peters home and denies they ever had any dispute.
The two criminal charges stem from a fight authorities claim Peters had with his fiancee that left her with a bloodied nose and he then later prevented her from leaving their home. He will likely face a disciplinary hearing at which the department could move to fire him.
The 43-year-old woman sat in the court next to her attorney, James Tyner, who in his comments to the judge reiterated Luibrand’s remarks. “She has unquestionably represented to me that she is not a victim and that no crime occurred,” he told the court. “She is not a victim and does not need an order of protection.”
In the end the judge instead issued a refrain order that typically prohibits the accused from engaging in certain behavior, such as threats, assault, harassment or violence toward the victim.
“While this matter is pending and as a precaution, I think it makes sense to issue a restraining order,” said Sypniewski.
Peters was released without bail and is scheduled to return to court at 3 p.m. April 13. Peters, a member of the department’s Field Services Bureau, comes from a family of cops. Both his great-grandfather and grandfather were police chiefs and his father retired as a captain. A brother is also on the force.