EXCLUSIVE: Man detained by Cayuga Nation police vows to press charges (audio)

Charles Bowman breaks his silence, promises to “press charges” today at DA’s office after being detained by Cayuga Nation Police

In a FingerLakes1.com exclusive, Charles Bowman, a non-native Seneca County resident from Fayette, is speaking out after being detained and held by the Cayuga Nation Police during a brawl that ensued after a press conference that was called by the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ seven condoled chiefs.

Bowman broke his silence by speaking with FingerLakes1.com assuring that “somebody’s got to learn a lesson” in the form of criminal charges after being beaten and battered by Cayuga Nation officers.

“I have a criminal attorney already. He’s going to be talking with the DA tomorrow to press charges because I went and filled out the paperwork at the police department today [Sunday],” Bowman told FingerLakes1.com.

Aside from already securing a criminal attorney, Bowman explained that civil rights attorneys have contacted him in the aftermath of this conflict.

“Some civil rights attorneys that have been getting a hold of me they really want to go after the state and the sheriffs and the town for not doing their job, for letting me get beat almost to death in front of everybody,” he explained.

His list of grievances is lengthy and reasoned while recalling the troubling moments from Saturday. Bowman recounted from memory the situation as it played out according to him. 

At one point, he was laying on the ground while Cayuga Nation officers were zip tying his wrists together after being accused of attacking an officer on-site. While Bowman was lying in a prone position, he admitted that he was hesitant of lowering his guard, specifically his right arm once officers already pinned down his left hand behind his back.

“I moved it and the guy on my left punched me right in the jaw knocking my tooth out. I didn’t realize it til I got home went the last night. My tooth falling out of my mouth. I gotta push it off with my tongue now,” Bowman said. “They broke my nose. They gave me contusions, concussion and the police sat right there and watched me get beat down, kicked in the face hit in the head, kneed, and they did nothing.”

Bowman, a former employee of the Cayuga Nation, who was circulating critical videos on social media that he personally recorded after the properties had been initially destroyed, convincingly felt that he was “absolutely” targeted by Halftown’s Cayuga Nation Police Department.

The Cayuga Lake Trading Store was just one of several Nation-owned businesses that were demolished overnight during an evening raid conducted by the Cayuga Nation Police Department on Saturday, February 22. Credit: Gabriel Pietrorazio, FingerLakes1.com.

“When the chiefs made their announcement, one of their top officials come up from behind and started telling all the new people, the mercenaries that’s Charlie Bowman,” he said. “He went right down through the line pointing out to all these new guys. I was targeted from the beginning.”

Although Bowman felt targeted by Cayuga Nation officers, he also believed that local-state law enforcement entities and first responders were not assisting him or others and rather standing beside the Cayuga Nation Police while containing the brawl.

“I mean, it was 50 or more local officers watching me get my a– beat to the ground and stomped… They didn’t do a damn thing. They watched me get zip tied, carried out of Cayuga Nation property,” Bowman remembered. “These guys were just beating the f— out of me. They dragged me onto a bus where they could have killed me.”

Cameron Simpson, a member of the Onondaga Nation and a friend of Bowman, captured the violence unfold, particularly when Cayuga Nation Police officers dragged away the bloodied body of Bowman to an undisclosed location.

Charles Bowman screams and shouts while being pulled away by Cayuga Nation Police officers after a violent brawl in Seneca Falls on Saturday, February 29. Credit: Cameron Simpson.

RELATED: Tensions reach breaking point in Seneca Falls over Cayuga Nation leadership

As soon as Bowman was dragged out of the shot, he claimed that he was placed inside an unmarked vehicle heading to an unknown destination.

“They searched me they take everything out of my pockets, my phone and everything through the videos. I can’t say who did or what but three of my videos that I taped during that are now gone. They put all my stuff in an evidence bag, never sealed it or anything,” he recalled. “They had me hang zip-tight on the bus while I was having a mild heart, felt like I was having a mild heart attack and I couldn’t breathe because of the pepper spray and everything.”

Once he exited the vehicle, he was placed inside an ambulance and handcuffed him after being zip tied for around two-minutes until he was released from the custody of the Cayuga Nation Police. Bowman emphasized that this situation lasted nearly for an hour on his end until eventually being sent to the Geneva General Hospital where he received medical treatment for his visible injuries while also undergoing a CAT scan.

After this traumatic incident, Bowman is concerned with his own personal safety and wellbeing to such an extent that he can no longer consciously trust local law enforcement after alleging that they stood by and watched him get beaten senselessly by Nation police.

“I can’t trust my local law enforcement is going to protect me. These guys are mercenaries, they’re nothing stops them from coming out here driving by my house and killing me. I live in the middle of nowhere,” he claimed.

Now Bowman is calling upon Seneca County to consider settling this conflict in favor of the community that has been directly affected by this violent and equally volatile situation.

“You know, we can’t just idly sit by and just watch our world go to hell. We’re Seneca County. We’re better than that,” he ended. 


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