Former Judge Charged with Assault Against Cop Credits Video for Favorable Outcome

The content below was shared by Eric Peloquin via the form at It’s unique in that it involves a charge against a former judge, though perhaps not too rare in that the charges stem from a police employee – Andrew Kohl – who claimed he had been wronged.

Ultimately, video of the exchange was said to have brought vindication. As his situation underscores – always Film The Police! That objective record can prove critical.


Judge Michael Ryan had a few drinks with a law partner. Upon realizing that they should not drive, the partner decided to leave her vehicle in a parking place but discovered that she had a flat tire.

Judge Ryan was attempting to change the flat tire when approached by Northampton Police employee Andrew Kohl who asked if he needed any help. Judge Ryan found his questions to be a violation of his personal liberty and refused to answer.

While performing a ‘pat down’ the officer illegally took Judge Ryan’s wallet. Ryan reached out to take his wallet back. Andrew Kohl claimed ‘assault and battery’. He another Northampton Police employee and two employees of the State Police out of Northampton who, by this point, had arrived, all swarmed Ryan and in a very rough manner arrested him.

A jury found Ryan ‘not guilty’ on all charges in less than ninety minutes. Ryan credits the video, albeit without audio, of securing his acquittal. He believes that without it he would have been convicted.

From the write-up Former Judge W. Michael Ryan relieved to be acquitted of Northampton assault charges by Diane Lederman at

Ryan, a former district attorney in Hampshire and Franklin counties said the police video “saved my life.” He said having audio would have helped even more. He said he is disappointed in Police Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz and senior officers who should have reviewed the video and dismissed the charges…

Ryan had refused to answer questions from Kohl about where he was coming from and where he was going. He said Kohl has the right to ask and he has the right to refuse. During his testimony earlier Tuesday, he explained those questions are pet peeves. He said he instinctively feels such questions impinge on one’s freedom.

Kohl eventually called for back-up and three additional officers arrived. Eventually Kohl ended up conducting a pat frisk which lawyers said he could legally do only if there were a crime in progress or if a suspect was deemed to be armed and dangerous.

Editors note: This subpar service seems inherent within the Northampton Police Outfit – early last year a man filming their activities – who was not interfering – was maced and tackled by Alan Borowski, then was threatened with two catch-alls.

Northampton Police Outfit




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