Endicott K-9 Officer Accused of Threatening Snowboarders Suspended
An Endwell man, accused of threatening two snowboarders on Pheasant Lane Wednesday evening, is the Endicott Police K-9 officer and is now suspended.
Broome County Sheriff's officials say 52 year old John Vanek was driving through the Pheasant Lane neighborhood looking for some young men who had run through his back yard.
Authorities say when Vanek encountered a 17 and 20 year old, who were returning from snowboarding at Highland Park, he was armed with a baton. The off-duty officer allegedly threatened to bash in the snowboarders' heads, unleash his dog on them and shoot them if they came on his property. He then, reportedly, got back in his vehicle and left the scene.
Vanek is Endicott's only K-9 officer and has been a patrolman for 28 years.
Investigators say they determined the two people allegedly threatened had not been on Vanek's property while three teenagers, who had been having a snowball fight, had apparently run through the yard.
The Endicott Police Department is conducting an internal investigation separate from the misdemeanor menacing charged filed by the Broome County Sheriff's office against Vanek.
Vanek was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Union Court.