NY trooper cleared in fatal shooting of unarmed man in Dutchess County

Daily Freeman-1 year before

The 65-page report that resulted from the investigation found no "criminal culpability" by Trooper Kevin Wolensky in the fatal shooting of Jaime Roderigo Lopez-Cabrera on Sept. 25, 2018, behind the Coyoto Flaco restaurant on state Route 82 in Stanford. 

65-page report According to the report, Lopez-Cabrera had an electric screwdriver in his pocket during the confrontation with police, but it had no tip attached.
...br>Troopers believed Lopez-Cabrea was armed with a knife, according to the report, and he refused to remove his hand from a pocket when asked to do so. Rather, he "just smirked" and said, "I don't want to," the report states. 

The Attorney General's Office concluded Wolensky’s belief that he was in imminent, deadly danger was reasonable, the report states. 

Lopez-Cabrea was later found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.24 percent, three times the legal threshold for intoxication in New York, the report says. 

The report states Lopez-Cabrea at first retreated from responding troopers, but then, with his hand still in his pocket, began to approach Wolensky, which is when the trooper fired two shots into Lopez-Cabrera's torso.

Before the incident, the report says, Lopez-Cabrera’s wife saw him in the office at Coyote Flaco, the restaurant they owned together in the hamlet of Stanfordville, and noticed kitchen knives in the office. 

The woman, identified by area news media as Araceli Parra, had gotten an order of protection against Lopez-Cabrera, the report says, adding that after seeing her husband in the office, she locked herself and their 2-year-old son in her minivan.

State police, in their initial press release about the incident, said a trooper who responded to the scene saw Lopez-Cabrera next to the driver’s door of a vehicle that was occupied by a woman. 

A process of confusing telephone calls and miscommunications to relatives and police ensued, the report says. Parra called her husband’s brother, who called and then hung up on New York City 911. The brother-in-law then called New York State Police Troop K in Millbrook, while New York City 911 called Dutchess County 911.

Some of the messages that were communicated to police included a report that Parra’s husband was threatening her with a knife, which he was not, and that a man was threatening customers in a restaurant with a knife, which also was incorrect. 

The report states the incident was captured by a video camera mounted on the building where the restaurant is located.

The attorney's general's report recommends changes to officer training that can result in better, more informed police responses to such incidents.

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