ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Body cam footage showing an incident that, in part, led to the termination of former Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz has been obtained by WENY News through a Freedom of Information Act request. The footage from December 9th, 2022 appears to show Alvernaz drive directly into the path of a fleeing man in an unmarked police car, and then assisting in his arrest by briefly driving his knee into his back and cuffing him while sitting on him. 

Afterward Alvernaz is later seen walking back to his unmarked police car while other officers complete the arrest. The man in question was later charged with obstructing governmental administration 2nd.

Alevernaz was subsequently terminated on January 9th, 2023 after being given a choice of retiring or being terminated. According to a letter written by Elmira City Manager Michael Collins previously obtained by WENY News, Alvernaz was fired in part, for what we now know to be this incident. 

The man received a laceration on his foot that was deep and bleeding profusely police say occurred during the pursuit. Body cam footage shows the man complaining that he is pain and can't breathe, and an officer better positions him to help his breathing and repeatedly tells him to take deep breaths. 

The incident occurred on December 9th of last year, and according to police reports started when police were dispatched to a house on Riverside Drive for a 911 hang up. After several more calls were received, additional officers responded to the back of the residence. 

It was soon determined one of the people in the house had a Officer Safety flag with a history of running from police. He was ordered outside by police before running barefoot down the street.

"Chief Alvernaz did not find that simply ignoring the 911 calls was a viable solution/option as all 911 calls should be investigated fully to assure that there is no emergency," Alvernaz wrote in a police incident report dated December 12th. 

In the incident reports filed by the officers and Alvernaz, none of them mentioned the former chief driving the unmarked police vehicle into a home's front lawn; instead mentioning the vehicle being driven into a driveway and on the sidewalk. On police body camera footage, the car can be clearly seen driving onto a front lawn. 

Although the city of Elmira has released documents, audio and video recordings regarding the December 9th incident, no specific action or behavior by Alvernaz has been identified as the reason for his termination.