Tonawanda News

April 30, 2014

St. Joe's coach among cops on leave

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute issued a written statement Tuesday confirming that its head varsity football coach, Dennis Gilbert, was one of five Buffalo Police officers placed on administrative leave following an alleged beating of a suspect captured on video April 19.

A sixth officer has been suspended without pay.

The statement, released by St. Joe’s president Robert T. Scott, reads: “We are aware that Mr. Gilbert has been placed on administrative leave along with five other Buffalo Police officers who were allegedly present at the incident occurring on April 19. It is our understanding that this action is standard practice for an Internal Affairs Division investigation. 

“While St. Joe’s does not have any information to conclude that Mr. Gilbert acted inappropriately, we are monitoring this situation and will defer any action until the investigation is complete.”

Gilbert has served as the head coach of the Marauders for the past four seasons, leading St. Joe’s to the Monsignor Martin championship in 2010 and appearances in the 2011 and 2013 title games.

Last weekend, a video surfaced on the social media website YouTube portraying a group of officers allegedly slapping and kicking a suspect who lay on the ground handcuffed. The alleged incident happened on the night of April 19 in the vicinity of Ontario Avenue and Philadelphia Street in Buffalo’s Riverside section.

On Monday, Buffalo police commissioner Dan Derenda addressed the incident but did not identify the officers under investigation.