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Potsdam man files notice to sue village for false arrest

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POTSDAM — A Potsdam man who says he falsely was arrested in an alleged incident of road rage has filed paperwork reserving his right to sue the village.

Thomas L. Roberts, 79, of 64 Coon Road, filed a notice with the village to sue for personal damages after being arrested on Sept. 26 and accused of pointing a gun from his vehicle toward another motorist at Maple Street and Clarkson Avenue.

Potsdam police charged Mr. Roberts with second-degree menacing, criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use and failure to obey a traffic control device. Mr. Roberts pleaded not guilty in Village Court on Oct. 4.

Mr. Roberts was scheduled to reappear in that court on Nov. 1; however, that has been adjourned to an unspecified date.

A notice of clam is required to be served within 90 days of the incident to commence a civil lawsuit, according to the General Municipal Law. Mr. Roberts has one year and 90 days from the date of his arrest to bring his lawsuit.

Mr. Roberts claims he did not have a gun in his possession that day and says he wrongfully was charged after an inadequate investigation by the Village Police Department.

Potsdam officials declined comment about the notice of claim filed by Mr. Roberts.

“This is just a claim, not yet a lawsuit. I guess we will just have to wait and see how this evolves.” Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis said.

Mr. Roberts is being represented by Canton law firm Nash, Palm & LeMay. Calls for comment from the firm were not returned.

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