Officer Dominick Comitale of Troy, New York probably shouldn't be a cop if he can't watch a little league baseball game without getting into a brawl. And this is only the latest scandal for Comitale, whose unprofessional behavior has already cost taxpayers $174,001 and counting.
The scrap went down last Saturday in the neighboring town of North Greenbush. Comitale, who was off-duty at the time allegedly elbowed another man in the face after getting in an argument about field cleanup. That's right: he wasn't even getting belligerent about a questionable call during the game. He lost his temper over a maintenance issue.
In response, the league's lawyer - Kyle Belokopitsky - has asked that Comitale not return to any of the league's fields.
"We are committed to the safety and security of our children and families and will continue to work with the North Greenbush police as necessary," Belokopitsky told TimesUnion.
Troy Assistant Police Chief Daniel DeWolf says the department has been made aware of the incident and will be investigated. And this isn't the first time that Comitale's temper has gotten himself - and the city's finances - in big trouble.
In 2011 the city of Troy paid a $15,000 settlement for allegations of excessive force against Comitale after he stopped a man with an open alcohol container. In 2013 the city paid out $60,000 after Comitale and fellow officer Brandon Cipperly beat a man for playing music too loudly. The city paid another $60,001 in 2014 after Comitale violated the department's code of conduct in connection with an arrest from 2013. And in 2015 Comitale was investigated by the FBI after he beat, pepper-sprayed and tasered a man outside of St. Mary's Hospital in 2011. Troy ultimately paid out $39,000 to settle that case.
If the little league incident ends in another settlement, then Comitale's bad behavior may end up costing Troy upwards of $200K. For that money, it might be worthwhile to offer a settlement with Comitale that sees him retire early from the force.