Paul T. Ricotta is a police officer from Rochester, Monroe County, New York, United States. He was one of the seven Rochester Police Department officers suspended due to their involvement in the arrest of Daniel Prude, an African-American man from Chicago, Illinois, USA, amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.
Suffering from mental health issues, Prude was in the custody of Vaughn and his fellow Rochester Police Department officers Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Sergeant Michael Magri on March 23, 2020. When Prude was having an acute, manic, psychotic episode that day, his older brother Joe D. Prude called the police for help.
Daniel became unresponsive and was sent to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where he was taken off life support on March 30, 2020. Here are 13 things about Ricotta:
- His parents Mark J. Ricotta and Pamela Livingston Ricotta are from Groveland, Livingston County, New York.
- He is a resident of Livonia, Livingston County.
- He is married to Tricia L. Ricotta. They have a son named Vincent Ricotta.
- He is the uncle of Arabella Ricotta of Conesus, Livingston County and Cole Ricotta of Leicester, Livingston County.
- He used to work at the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in Geneseo, Livingston County.
- The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office hired him as a deputy sheriff and road patrol on January 24, 2014.
- On February 24, 2014, he was one of the deputies who assisted in the arrest of Paul A. Kostraba of Avon, Livingston County, who was charged with driving while intoxicated, second-degree reckless endangerment and numerous traffic offenses, The Evening Tribune reported.
- In June 2014, he arrested Geneseo man Derek Fuocco for possession of a sexual performance by a child and Steven Dantini of Mount Morris, Livingston County for aggravated unlicensed operation.
- In July 2014, he arrested Brittani Hunt of Dansville, Livingston County for grand larceny and Anthony Bertini of Conesus for aggravated unlicensed operation.
- On December 1, 2017, he was patrolling the area around Dewey Avenue with his fellow Rochester Police Department officer Chad Brady when they noticed a black jeep sports utility vehicle driven by Anthony E. McIntyre travelling in the opposite lane. When McIntyre was charged with several drug and firearms offenses, he testified in court that he did not observe McIntyre engage in any furtive behavior while Brady said they observed the late turn signal and agreed that a violation had occurred.
- He was 35 years old when he was involved in the encounter Daniel with on March 23, 2020. He was not at the scene when Daniel was being restrained, New York Daily News quoted lawyer Matthew Rich as saying.
- On September 3, 2020, Rochester mayor Lovely Warren announced that he, Vaughn, Taladay, Santiago, Specksgoor, Harris and Magri were suspended with pay.
- A grand jury voted not to indict him, Vaughn, Taladay, Santiago, Specksgoor, Harris and Magri in Daniel’s death. On February 23, 2021, New York attorney general Letitia James explained, “Daniel Prude was in the throes of a mental health crisis and what he needed was compassion, care and help from trained professionals. Tragically, he received none of those things. We concluded that there was sufficient evidence surrounding Mr. Prude’s death to warrant presenting the case to a grand jury and we presented the most comprehensive case possible.”