CITY OF NEWBURGH, New York -- Randy Martinez and his friend were leaving Martinez's home on Washington Street in Newburgh when a man who was acting strangely wandered into the driveway, threatening them with a folding knife.
It was the first in a series of events on Sunday that culminated in the man punching City of Newburgh K9 Officer Roman Scuadroni in the face and a struggle on the ground between the officer, the man and K9 Lee, police said.
Martinez, 23, said the man was dancing around, making lewd hand gestures, appearing to be on drugs.
"I rolled down the window and was going to tell him he can't be on my property, and then he takes out his knife, and I'm just like, 'Oh, God, no. What's going to happen?' " Martinez told the Times Herald-Record on Monday.
Martinez, who was in the passenger's seat, said he rolled up his window and told his friend to drive off.
But then the man, identified by police as Tony Mann, walked to the back of Martinez's home. Martinez's first thought was to protect his mom, mom's friend and aunt who were cooking near the backdoor.
He immediately called city police and asked his friend to return home.
"I was so scared," Martinez said.
Police soon arrived, and Martinez videoed their encounter with Mann, 31.
When Scuadroni tried to talk to Mann, he punched the officer in the face, police said.
Scuadroni then opened the backdoor of his police vehicle to release his K9 partner, Lee. Soon, Scuadroni and Mann were on the ground as Lee attempted to control Mann's left arm.
Several other officers arrived within minutes to help with the arrest.
Scuadroni suffered minor cuts and injuries to his mouth and thumbs, police said.
Mann was taken to the St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital emergency room to be treated for intoxication and a minor dog bite from Lee, police said.
Police said they recovered the folding knife Mann used to threaten Martinez in the driveway.
Mann was charged with trespassing, a violation. He was also charged with third-degree assault, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and second-degree menacing, all misdemeanors.
"And now they (the city) are cutting 15 police officers (in the 2020 budget)" Martinez said. "Especially in a city like this, we need cops all the time."
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