Jury selection set for Elmira Police officer charged in investigation of Gary Strobridge death

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Officer Eduardo Oropallo is headed to court in connection to the death of 49-year-old Gary Strobridge in August of 2019.

Defense Attorney John Thweatt told 18 News that jury selection will begin Monday, December 13, 2021.

Oropallo was indicted in December 2020 and charged with assault incident after Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation into the August 2019 incident. The family of Strobridge has also filed a lawsuit against the Elmira Police Department.

On August 22, 2019, police responded to a residence on Aug. 22 for a report of an emotionally disturbed person who was on the roof of a two-story home.

Police say the man, later identified as Strobridge, came down from the roof “acting unusual” and began chasing a neighbor while shouting.

Officers attempted to take the Strobridge into custody under the Mental Hygiene Law, saying “he was clearly a danger to himself and/or others.”

Strobridge allegedly struck an officer in the face, leading to a struggle with law enforcement. An Elmira Police officer used a Taser during the incident and officers took the Strobridge into custody.

While receiving initial treatment at an unnamed hospital, police say the Strobridge was somewhat cooperative. At one point his “behavior suddenly changed and he physically attacked an Elmira police officer.”

During a second struggle with police, Strobridge suddenly became limp and unresponsive. He received medical treatment and was transported to Upstate Medical Center where he later died.

According to an attorney for Strobridge’s family, video of the incident shows that “the Officer began to punch (Strobridge), and four other Officers all then jumped in and began beating him.”

A lawsuit filed by the Strobridge family earlier this year against Elmira Police alleged “Strobridge was again assaulted and had his head slammed to the ground, while handcuffed, numerous times” and that “numerous City of Elmira police officers used excessive force and were negligent in their handling of Gary Strobridge.”

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