New York Club Manager Threatens to Kill Citizen Video Recording from Sidewalk; Cops do Nothing (Updated II)



A nightclub manager in New York threatened to kill a man for video recording an altercation involving police and apparently a patron that had been thrown out of the club, but police stood by and did nothing.

In fact, Cortland police sided with the man identified as Joe Hage, general manager of the Stone Lounge in central New York state, shining their flashlights into the man’s camera, then ordering him to leave the area. 

If New York is anything like Florida, then there’s a good chance those cops were working off-duty for the club, meaning they will be hard-pressed to bite the hand that feeds them.

As of now, not many details are available on the video that was published on Youtube earlier today and is quickly going viral, but several viewers confirmed it was Hage, stating he doesn’t have the best reputation in that area.

The man recording is a local student named Blake Dudek who remained calm despite Hage charged at him in a very aggressive manner, telling him “to get the fuck out of here” and “I’ll fucking kill you.”

The video doesn’t show the actual altercation, but we can hear a man yelling that “I’m not resisting,” so we can imagine he was getting a beat down.

Especially if the cops and Hage did their best to thwart Dudek from recording.

The video is also being discussed on Reddit.

Joe Hage in a rage
Joe Hage in a rage

UPDATE: A reader with some familiarity to the story sent the following email. When I speculated that the cops were working off-duty, it doesn’t mean they would be out of uniform, which is the long-standing tradition in Florida. But even if they were on duty, they obviously sided with Hage the Rage.

Couple corrections on your story. Here in the little city of Cortland, home of what ESPN dubs “The biggest LITTLE rivalry in the nation” in the annual Cortaca Jug football game between Cortland State and Ithaca College, there are no off duty police officers hired or working at any of the bars or clubs. Also, the cops in the video, they were all in full uniform, and on duty!!!
The truely messed up part of the who thing, which I hope you include in your story is this…
This past summer, just a few short months ago, the Cortland Police Department pushed for AND GOT THE OK to install surveillance recording cameras about a block up Main Street from the exact location in the video, at a cost of over $43,000 in tax payer money! And they seek to add an additional 20 cameras down Main/South Main ( at and near the same location) at a cost of just over $21,000 each
to tax payers. Yet, Mr. Joe Hage didn’t tell THEM, the CPD to turn their cameras off and stop recording, nor did he protest those cameras going up at all.
Part of their reasoning at the city meeting for getting the cameras put up was that if you are doing nothing wrong, it shouldn’t be a problem to have cameras up recording citizens…so, that same logic can go against the cops and Mr. Hage’s position…if the cops were doing nothing wrong, it shouldn’t matter if they were being recorded.

In the video, the female officer asks “why are you recording video?” the question should be made to her, “why not?”…and her attempt to answer that question can be used as reasoning against the CPD putting up cameras up

UPDATE II: I’ve been receiving a multitude of emails from Cortland residents who have nothing nice to say about Joe Hage, accusing him of everything of paying off police to coercing himself sexually on the nightclub’s barmaids.

But the latest email included what is apparently a message from the victim who was getting arrested in the video, which I’ve posted below.


About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • Paschn

    This (un) democratic republic is rather like a card game between strangers…. high stakes. When a player has an uneasy feeling HE’S being played, he can push his chair back, cash in his chips and simply say, “This ain’t right” and leave.
    Well, “this ain’t right” any longer. Government working WITH the private Central Banks to economically conquer us, cops being trained by a foreign nation, (and showing it obviously), legislative branch pissing on our constitution almost daily, (“patriot” act, DHS, NDAA, lying us into one war after another, passing into law bills giving an elected official the power to KILL you w/o a trial, legal representation…confiscation of all your assets…).
    It might be a very good idea/time to demand your state legislature begin action to secede from this rotting from within cesspool called the “union”. Other than a bloodless military coup, I see no other way. And let’s not start with that “….civil war already decided that” crap! The civil war decided nothing other than the tyranny unleashed on the Confederate States’ right to leave a (even then), corrupted union.

    • Voice-Of-Concern


      • Paschn

        Frankly? More like Head-Sand. Which honestly, has brought us to this.

    • Proud GrandPa

      There is a move to liberate Vermont and New Hampshire from the union. I heard that something like 22 states agree with them. Personally I’d like New York, Mass, and N.J. to leave!

      • inquisitor

        The states have whored themselves out the federal government’s money and authority to such a degree that most would not be able to survive by leaving the union.
        Then to not have the support of the federal government with many states leaving the union would leave the nation weakened and ripe for a Sino-Soviet-Muslim invasion.

        • Beerfart
          • inquisitor

            Your mother…on her knees…at my house…in her anus…dry.

            Not one state has left the union, and not one state ever will.
            And if one state every tried then the feds would work them over in every way to prevent that right from the very start.

            You don’t think with feds don’t have that shit already worked out?
            Man…you are fooling yourself.

  • Difster

    First, can we please make vertical video a crime punishable by death? I realize that goes against my normal libertarian leanings, but jeez people! Figure it out!

    That being said, it’s good the cops did nothing, if they had, they would have joined in.

    I’m surprised they didn’t all get together and beat the photographer. I just wish he would have stood his ground and kept filming.

    • rick

      Hold the camera however you please so long as you record the interaction. If comfortable and camera slap-happy cops are at distance remember that landscape orientation is more pleasing to the eye and captures more of the scene.

      • Jim Holmes

        “landscape orientation”?
        Can’t remember how to spell HORIZONTAL?

        • Shawn

          Considering your response, I presume that you’re not a photographer.

          • Difdi

            As is demonstrated by the quality of video (especially the vertical ones) I’d say most of the people taking videos we see on this site aren’t either.

            I’m am amateur photographer, I understand either term. But the people who just own phones that happen to have cameras in them are more likely to understand the word horizontal than landscape.

          • Flashing Scotsman

            True, but they don’t need to get rude with people who do understand photography.

        • Michael Blitch

          Landscape vs portrait.
          Try not to comment on a photography orientation discussion if you know nothing of photography and its distinct terminology.

          • Difster

            Try not being a photosnob.

            Google the term “vertical video” and you’ll see that popular usage trumps your technical terms. “Vertical video” is both catch and accurate. That it does not conform to actual photographer lingo is of no concern to me whatsoever.

        • johnnyjihad

          Congrats! You are the dumbest person on the Internet!

      • AnotherSmith

        Seems to me there’s more to worry about here than the video orientation. Geez!

  • Pádraig Pearse

    What a bunch of assholes.

  • Jeremy

    It’s hard to make out, but I think the club manager says why the f*** are you video taping (vertically). Just go f***** home and learn about landscape.

    Obviously should be an assault on the club manager and cops shining lights in cameras should be considered as violation of bill of rights.

    • Proud GrandPa

      In the dark a camera looks like a gun. The cop is justififed in shining a light on it. Once he saw it was only a camera phone, he had stopped. No foul there.

      • Difdi

        And if you see a dark shape backlit by bright lights and can’t tell who the guy shouting inarticulately at you is, you’d shine a light on him…to which many cops would respond with gunfire.

        If it’s an unlawful assault or a prelude to a murder attempt when a private citizen does it then it’s not a good idea for cops to do it.

      • inquisitor

        You are a complete fucking fool with your head up your ass.

        The cop yelled at the kid twice to put his CAMERA down before shining the light on him.
        Pretty hard to make a convincing case that a CAMERA that an officer has identified and called a CAMERA is now going to be mistaken for a gun after the fact.

        • discarted

          Thank you.

  • Zach

    Few things in this article are not true. 1. No those cops do not work for stone lounge at all and were not and never off duty working for stone lounge. 2. The original guy across the street wasn’t getting a best down. But yes the cops handled this wrong and joe have is a fucking scum

    • Carlos_Miller

      I was only speculating about the cops working off-duty because I’m not sure about the practice in NY. It’s very common down here.

      What can you tell us about Joe? And why wouldn’t the cops set him straight?

      • Zach

        I can tell you he is a piece of shit. He use to manage another bar in cortland and got booted out. He also does not own a percentage of the bar like another poster refered. The kid in the video was not arrested either like another poster said.

        They probably did not set him straight because most of the city pd are younger guys who use to drink there before becoming a cop as it’s a small town. The cops seem to respect all the bar owners and managers in the town and give them passes on some things. Which is not fair or right at all

        • inquisitor

          Cops give club owners a pass because they are sometimes hired as security and the cops also get to oversee and manage the illegal drug trade going on within these clubs and make a couple extra bucks, then there are the whores working there as well. Cops are the best protection device for these illegal activities.

      • jcfromnj

        Is Joe “affiliated” with anything? find out who really owns the bar, and you might be closer to finding out why Joe seems to have some leeway with the local LEOs’.
        One gang looking after another ?

      • inquisitor

        It is common for cops to work off-duty in NY for clubs.
        It is also common that if you own a club that you have to pay the mafia and the cops off every month to stay open.
        You can defer some of this extortion cost if you choose to hire the mafia or the cops to work your security detail at the club.

        • CortlandBarback

          probably not accurate for all the bars.. maybe for stone lounge.. certainly not for others.. several have only college kids as security.. no mob or cops.. dont be dumb

          • inquisitor

            I used to own a successful club in gramercy park and I know the score.

            Don’t be dumb.

  • ebog

    Indeed, to say that someone up there will be a priority. Apparently so. That’s not what this strange world. The weak shall be subject to rejection only

  • cortland local

    Joe is the manager of Stone and owns a percentage. He is always above the law. You don’t think they call Stone the underbar for no reareason. The majority of course kids are under 21 and they know that. They always seem to avoid tickets despite clearly having underage people there. Who ever taped this snowed or tried to show how aggressive cops here can be. It is true what they say drugs are involved between cops and the owners of the bar but also a small town like this, cops pick and choose who they want to give tickets to. Now if NYS liquor were to do a random visit during Cortaca they would give out thousands of underage drinking tickets at Stone in one weekend. Joe has private facebook pages with his staff so I’m sure he’s trying to make this seem like he did nothing wrong. But if you know him you know he is crazy and very aggressive. Cops would never arrest him. I hope the kid that got arrested has money and a good lawyer. He will need it.

    • Proud GrandPa

      If I were a cop, I’d gladly arrest him for serving drinks to minors. Probably get fired too, but I don’t care. Do right.

      • Difdi

        Which would probably lead to you being involuntarily committed for a psych evaluation if you were in the NYPD.

        Edit: Ah, downrating someone’s post because you dislike the person even as he says something you yourself might agree wholeheartedly with…if someone else had said it. Total, complete fail there.

        • Proud GrandPa

          And don’t forget to add the Philadelphia PD. They don’t even try to hide the violations of free expression.

  • Paul

    the funny thing about this is that blake dudek is the one that runs macho burger that kitty-corner from the stone lounge isn’t that kinda of ironic lol.

    • inquisitor

      …so the victim photog here is actually a local business owner who has his business right in this area?
      Even more justifiable as to why he is standing in this area and filming.

  • 4scoren7yrs

    Here is what I do know. The Cortland Police may have a relationship with
    bar owners but they don’t allow underage drinkers to frequent these
    place. There have been multiple arrests and bar closings because of this.
    The owner in this video was indeed out of line and should be punsihed.
    That being said, we don’t know what happen with the manager after the
    cameras stopped rolling. Also, we don’t know what happened BEFORE this
    guy turned his camera on. If the guy had cooperated from the beginning
    he may not have gotten this treatment. I’ve seen what goes on downtown.
    In the last few weeks there have been multiple stabbings resulting from
    bar fights and also a shooting. Crime has skyrocketed in Cortland.
    Sorry, but I don’t feel sorry for the guy. Don’t be an asshole and you
    won’t get arrested. And the punk with the camera is trying to drudge up
    controversy. Unless he could tell the WHOLE story, he shouldn’t be

    • inquisitor

      The young guy was across the street, standing on a public sidewalk and filming.
      He does not need to cooperate with anyone concerning anything.
      The young guy with the camera wasn’t drudging up anything by filming.
      Cops and Joe the club guy had to walk across the street to harass and assault the photog who was doing nothing wrong or inappropriate.

      In fact, when Joe threatened to actually kill this young man, the young man would have been within his rights and justified to pull out a firearm and shoot Joe right between the fucking eyes for making such a terroristic threat to actually kill him.

      • ExCop-Lawyer

        “In fact, when Joe threatened to actually kill this young man, the young
        man would have been within his rights and justified to pull out a
        firearm and shoot Joe right between the fucking eyes for making such a
        terroristic threat to actually kill him.”

        Actually, that is pretty much a one way ticket to Sing-Sing. Nothing that Joe said is justification for shooting him. You have to have more, you know, like a real, imminent threat.

        • Truth For Students

          all you have to show is the state of mind of the shooter. you don’t have to prove a “real” threat existed.
          learn your law “law student”

          • Difdi

            Not just wrong, but ludicrously wrong. While it’s true that you can defend yourself when you reasonably feel threatened, self-defense laws are not murder licenses.

            If you use force that is wildly disproportionate to the threat, odds are the judge will not allow you to plead self-defense. If a self-defense plea is rejected by the court, then shooting someone right between the eyes is what is known as second degree murder.

            ECLS is a bit annoying at times, but he does know the law quite a bit better than you do.

          • WithinThisMind

            Unless you want to shoot a minority. Then, apparently, it’s all just fine and dandy.

          • Proud GrandPa

            Another absurdity. Do you troll often or only when you forget your welfare check?

          • Difdi

            Hey, attack the argument not the arguer.

            Downrated why exactly?

          • WithinThisMind

            Sorry, I’m not a 65+ white male. I have to rely on my own abilities, not societal handouts.

          • Difdi

            Yeah, Trayvon did decide to kill himself a minority, Zimmerman is about as white as Obama is.

            The key difference that you are (perhaps willfully) missing though is that Trayvon Martin was bigger, heavier and a better hand-to-hand fighter than George Zimmerman, pinned the man to the ground and began murdering him by beating him to death.

            There’s quite a big difference between being physically and verbally alarming and actually physically attempting to kill someone. Words are not actions, there is a reason why actions are said to speak louder than words.

            Self-defense laws are not murder licenses, as Trayvon Martin would have learned if he had actually beaten George Zimmerman to death. If Martin had killed Zimmerman, Martin would now be on death row, since the evidence would have supported a first degree murder charge. He stated an intent to kill a ‘cracker’ before he engaged in combat, then proceeded to fight in a way that would have resulted in Zimmerman lying dead on the ground. Martin also stated his belief that the ‘cracker’ was an actual police officer. None of which would have helped Martin get anything but a sentence of execution.

            Zimmerman, on the other hand, was a member of the neighborhood watch, doing EXACTLY what a neighborhood watch is supposed to do. Notice suspicious behavior like trespassing while concealing faces at night, follow the suspicious individual(s), and if necessary report them to the police. Neighborhood watch members are not supposed to physically apprehend people themselves and Zimmerman DIDN’T — Martin hunted Zimmerman down, after Zimmerman was no longer following Martin, with the intent to kill a ‘cracker’.

            If Zimmerman were the evil man you desperately need him to be, he could have shot Martin at any time that night and emptied the gun at him. But he’s not an evil man no matter how much people like you demand he must be. He only shot Martin when it became clear the alternative was his own death, and he only fired one bullet, because one bullet was enough to save himself.

            There were no charges filed against Zimmerman originally because all the evidence supported the same finding the court eventually reached after a corrupt prosecutor brought inappropriate charges. Not guilty because it WAS self-defense.

          • WithinThisMind

            So, it was Trayvon that stalked Zimmerman? That being the key issue, which you are willfully disregarding.

            Trayvon was the one acting in self defense, as Zimmerman was the aggressor who started the whole mess.

          • Difdi

            Well, let’s assume for the moment that Zimmerman did somehow break the law when he followed Martin. Let’s also assume that something about Zimmerman’s behavior posed an immediate threat to Martin’s life in some way.

            So Martin feels threatened by Zimmerman’s behavior and decides he needs to defend himself. So he looks around, and Zimmerman isn’t following him anymore. Zimmerman is walking away, heading towards his vehicle, in preparation to drive away. So Martin follows Zimmerman, sneaks up behind him and tackles him, pinning him to the ground. Martin still feels threatened, so he decides to kill Zimmerman by beating him to death.

            Unfortunately for Martin (and your irrational need for Zimmerman to be the bad guy), this is not how self-defense works. Self-defense is not a murder license.

            For self-defense to be legitimate, the belief that someone poses a threat to your life must be reasonable and the threat must be immediate. Someone following you does not create, all by itself, a reasonable belief that they intend to kill you or cause you great bodily harm, unless the only possible explanation for them following you is that intent. A man sprinting at you raising an axe over his head, for example. But not a man following you while talking on a cellular phone.

            A man who has his back to you, who is leaving is probably not an immediate threat to you. He’s certainly not an immediate threat if you have to travel nearly three hundred feet to get into position to attack him from behind. He’s certainly not an immediate threat to you once you have him restrained.

            But if, once you have him helpless, you decide to kill him by beating him to death, YOU are an immediate threat to HIM.

            It doesn’t matter legally speaking, if Zimmerman following Martin “started” the incident. In fact, from a legal perspective, the first person to commit an illegal act started the incident. The first illegal act was trespassing, and Martin was the one who did that.

            Zimmerman did not break any laws, from the start of the incident to the end. He did his duty as a member of the neighborhood watch by following a suspicious individual without getting physically involved, and reporting the individual to police. Martin, on the other hand, committed several crimes. Starting with trespassing, finishing with attempted murder.

            It’s not illegal to use the proper amount of force to stop someone who is in the act of murdering you.

          • WithinThisMind

            Objection – assuming facts not in evidence.

            No, Martin didn’t ‘sneak up on Zimmerman’. That is not what happened. The fact that you had to tell a flat out lie to try to justify your stance is sufficient evidence to dismiss your stance.

            Zimmerman is a racist. Based on your post, I think I can safely assume the same of you.

          • Difdi

            So what lie are you claiming I told?

            Did I lie about how self-defense laws work? Nope.

            Did I lie about Zimmerman having a lawful reason to follow and observe Martin? Nope.

            Did I lie about Martin following Zimmerman 300 feet and then blindsiding him? Nope.

            So what did I lie about? Oh, I know! I said truthful things that conflict with your bigotry and prejudices against Hispanic men! That’s the WORST kind of lie, the kind you can’t disprove!

          • WithinThisMind

            —-Did I lie about Martin following Zimmerman 300 feet and then blindsiding him? Nope.—


          • Difdi

            Nope. Zimmerman was parked about 300 feet from Martin’s house. Zimmerman followed Martin to near that house, then walked back to where he had parked. Martin’s body was found by police near that vehicle.

            The physical evidence such as the angle of the shot, the blood patterns and the location of Martin’s body all supported Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. Martin was sitting on top of Zimmerman near Zimmerman’s vehicle, pinning him to the ground and hitting him repeatedly. It’s not self-defense if you chase someone down and attack them when they are not a threat to you. But it is self-defense to kill someone who is attempting to murder you. That’s why the police didn’t arrest or charge Zimmerman that night, because the evidence they collected showed that Martin’s death was self-defense.

            All the misplaced outrage in the world won’t change the facts.

          • WithinThisMind

            It’s sad that you are desperately trying to rewrite reality to demonize a black kid enough to justify his murder.

            Zimmerman chased Martin down for no reason other than Martin was existing while black. Martin was the one ‘standing his ground’. Zimmerman murdered him.

            You are correct, it is not self-defense if you chase someone down and attack them when they are not a threat to you. Which is why Zimmerman is a murderer. Zimmerman, while armed with a loaded firearm, hunted Martin down, an act which resulted in him killing Martin.

          • Difdi

            The only thing I am trying to rewrite here is your pathetic willful ignorance.

            I don’t need to rewrite reality to depict Trayvon Martin as a murderous thug, because that’s exactly what the evidence that came out at Zimmerman’s trial does.
            Zimmerman didn’t chase down Martin. Martin was concealing his face, trespassing in people’s yards and going behind their houses. This is classic behavior for someone scouting houses in preparation for burglaries. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white or green, if you act in that way you are a suspicious individual.

            Zimmerman had a reasonable articulable suspicion at that point that Martin was going to commit a crime and began following the suspicious individual. He called police to report the behavior, and continued observing. For the sake of his safety, the dispatcher advised Zimmerman to break off his observation, but he was not legally required to obey a 911 dispatcher. The fact he kept following and observing was not an illegal act.

            He followed Martin to Martin’s house, and then the dispatcher finally convinced him to withdraw and leave the matter to police. Zimmerman did so. At that point, any reasonable threat Martin might have considered Zimmerman to represent ceased to exist.

            The fact that Zimmerman had a firearm while he was not violating any laws is utterly irrelevant because Martin was not aware Zimmerman was armed. Following someone who is acting suspiciously isn’t illegal, so therefore being lawfully armed while doing so isn’t illegal either.

            Zimmerman was parked about 300 feet away from Martin’s house. All of the physical evidence that could be found shows that the fight started near Zimmerman’s vehicle. Not near Martin’s house. If Zimmerman chased Martin down and attacked him, that fight would have happened near Martin’s house. The fact that it didn’t means Martin wasn’t standing his ground, he was advancing towards trouble which makes him the aggressor at that point.

            Zimmerman claimed that he was blindsided by Martin’s physical attack. The injuries both men suffered supported this claim. Zimmerman further claimed that Martin pinned him to the ground and was slamming his head into the concrete — an attempt to break someone’s skull is deadly force. Again, the physical evidence supports this claim. When Zimmerman claimed that when he felt his life was in danger and shot Martin, Martin was still pinning him to the ground. The angle of the shot supports this claim.

            For the fight to have happened where it did, Martin had to have chased Zimmerman down, not the other way around. Zimmerman was near Martin’s house, and then LEFT. Martin followed.

            Stand your ground laws have absolutely nothing to do with the incident on either side. Martin pursued Zimmerman back to Zimmerman’s truck, then attacked him there and won the ensuing fight. Martin tried to make his win permanent by murdering the man he had pinned to the ground. Zimmerman was unable to retreat and Martin was the aggressor. Stand your ground simply did not apply to either of them.

            Self-defense is not a license to hunt someone down and murder them like Martin attempted to. The threat must be immediate and reasonable — having a mixed martial arts fighter who is larger, stronger and a better fighter than you pinning you to the ground trying to bash your brains out on the concrete IS a reasonable, immediate threat to your life.

            At the moment the fight started, Zimmerman was only a threat to Martin because Martin had chased him down and confronted him. Doing so made Martin the aggressor at that moment, what had happened in the past didn’t matter because it was in the past, it was already over. At the moment Martin was shot, he was holding Zimmerman down and inflicting injuries that constitute deadly force. It’s not self-defense to kill someone after you have restrained them.

            Being threatened by someone who leaves after threatening you does not give you a license to go find the guy later and attack him. Self-defense is immediate or it’s not self-defense. The best self-defensive action Martin could have made if he felt threatened by Zimmerman was to go inside his house and call police. By following Zimmerman when Zimmerman left, Martin destroyed any chance he had of claiming self-defense against Zimmerman.

            Zimmerman did not pull out his gun until his life was in immediate danger, and he only fired the number of shots necessary to save his own life — just one. That’s self-defense, pure and simple.

          • WithinThisMind

            I see you still have naught but blatant lies and double standards. That’s about all I expected from a racist.

          • Difdi

            I have done nothing but tell the truth and talk about proven facts.

            You have responded with wishes that reality was different than it is , and called me names because I kept pointing out that wishes do not change reality. Ad hominem attacks are how you forfeit arguments because if you could beat the argument, you wouldn’t need to make personal attacks. You can’t refute my argument without telling lies, so you resort to calling me a racist to give yourself an excuse to ignore what I’ve said. Intellectual dishonesty won’t change reality, I’m afraid.

            There is no double standard in my arguments. Self-defense is not a murder license. What Martin did to Zimmerman was not self-defense, because Martin was the aggressor at the moment he was killed. What Zimmerman did to Martin however, WAS self-defense because the alternative, had Zimmerman not acted as he did, was Zimmerman’s death.

            If someone shoves you, it is self-defense to shove him back, perhaps to restrain him if he keeps attacking you. But if you use deadly force in response to his shove, YOU are the aggressor because you escalated the level of force.

            Assume Martin did feel threatened and did ‘stand his ground’ as you put it. So what? The proportionate level of force to being followed is verbal, not physical. If Zimmerman did physically attack Martin after Martin followed him, the proportionate level of force is to fight until he is restrained or runs away. Attempting to shatter someone’s skull AFTER he is helpless is MURDER.

            Who is defending and who is the aggressor in a fight can change several times within the same altercation. Being the aggressor strips you of any legitimate claim to self-defense at that force level, but if your defense escalates the force level, you are no longer defending, you are the aggressor.

            Self-defense is not a murder license, and when he exceeded the level of justifiable force, Martin became the aggressor no matter who threw the first punch. Martin tried to murder Zimmerman, and Zimmerman defended himself.

          • WithinThisMind

            I’m sorry, but I have nothing more to say to a lying racist.

          • Difdi

            Your life must be so convenient. If anyone tells you something you don’t like, declare them a liar and a racist and then you don’t have to think about anything they say. Whether they actually are telling you the truth would then be utterly irrelevant, since racist liars never tell the truth.

            Just one problem: since I’m not lying and I am less racist than you are, the more you do it the less in touch with reality you’ll be. If you don’t care about that, so be it. But if you ever declare yourself a mature, reasonable person…you’ll be the one who is lying.

          • WithinThisMind

            Hey, found a picture of you –

            I’m sorry you are willing to lie to justify murdering a teenager whose only crime was existing while black. I’m sorry you are too ignorant to see beyond your privilege and learn some empathy. And I’m very sorry that it will be people like my lovely nephew, the children of my good friends, and many other innocents that will pay the price for the ignorance of people like you.

          • Difdi

            Hey, I found a picture of you too!

            Of course, the true irony here is that that is the first lie I’ve told in this entire overly-long thread. Whereas you have yet to say anything that ISN’T provably untrue.

            I’m sorry that you can’t see past the fact that a racist, murderous thug who wanted to kill a cop was 17 years old. I’m sorry that you are too racist to see the truth of what actually happened, solely because the murderer was black. I’m sorry that it will take many more good people who have done nothing more than what is right and decent being dragged through the mud like George Zimmerman was to get through to you. I only hope that it is not you being dragged through the mud by a corrupt prosecutor that finally opens your eyes to reality.

          • WithinThisMind

            Hey, look, as it turns out, just like we all said, Zimmerman is a violent asshole who uses his gun to intimidate people then plays the crowd – . It’s almost like he had a pattern of such behavior that you chose to ignore in your efforts to paint the black kid as the villain.

          • Difdi

            Have you considered the possibility that he just has bad taste in women? He’s unusually vulnerable to false accusations of violence, particularly violence with guns, due to all the people who deep down inside NEED him to be guilty of SOMETHING.

            As for Trayvon Martin, have YOU considered the possibility (supported by all the available evidence) that Martin was a racist thug who stated his intention to murder a police officer on the phone just before he turned and chased down Zimmerman as Zimmerman left?

            Going by the evidence, Martin looks to be MORE guilty of wrongdoing here than Zimmerman, even if Zimmerman was a bad guy too.

          • WithinThisMind

            Did you consider that all Jeffrey Dalhmer’s victims wanted to be eaten? Seriously?

          • Difdi

            No, but what does that have to do with anything? You appear to have gone through some extremely bizarre logical gymnastics to reach that point.

            Of course, since you’d have to have done nearly as extreme a set of logical gymnastics to get Trayvon Martin as Zimmerman’s victim based on all the evidence for and against it, your mental flexibility shouldn’t surprise me.

            If your theories bear no resemblance to reality and fail the Occam’s Razor test on top of that, perhaps you should reevaluate them. And if they mark you out as an extreme racist and bigot (against Hispanics) you should definitely keep them to yourself until you do.

            Arguing with you is like arguing with a religious fundamentalist. No matter how many times facts backed up by evidence contradict your zealotry, no matter how many times your fanatical belief is smacked down by reality itself, none of that ever fazes you. You know you’re right, you have absolute faith that you are right…and all the facts that prove you wrong? You choose not to believe in them because they contradict your religion. Will you declare Zimmerman to be the Satan figure of your religion next?

        • Difdi

          Exactly. The level of “force” that is probably appropriate is to yell right back that if he attacks you, you’d defend yourself. Assuming you did feel he was coming to attack you, the proper force level would be bare hands to restrain him or shove him away, not gunfire.

          Self-defense laws are not get-away-with-murder licenses.

        • inquisitor

          I would take my chances with the jury.

          First, after he said he was going to kill me…I thought I saw a knife in his hand and a he had a bulge in his shirt which looked like a gun.
          But it was dark.

          Second, I would gamble he has a record with multiple violent offenses.

          Third, it was clear that he had police protection as he made a threat to kill me while escorted with two armed officers who did nothing to warn, stop, detain or arrest him for disturbing the peace, assault me or threatening to kill me.

          Fourth, I have no record…not even a traffic citation or a parking ticket.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            First, unless you have something to show an imminent threat, it doesn’t matter. Plus, the witnesses will state he was unarmed.

            Second, if you didn’t know that he has a past record at the time you shot him, any past record is not material and probably not admissible.

            Third, the two (or more) police officers would likely gun you down as soon as you drew your weapon, making a trial potentially moot, since the state doesn’t prosecute those who have been killed by the po-po.

            Fourth, plenty of people in prison for murder have had no prior record – and they are still rooming with Bubba for the next 15 to 25.

          • Difdi

            First, a reasonable belief he is armed is enough to justify treating him as if he is armed. Police use that defense all the time, and it’s just as lawful when a private citizen uses it. Of course, as long as he stays verbal proper self-defense is also verbal — but if he gets physical, it’s not a crime to defend yourself with proportionate force. If he acts armed and appears to go for a weapon to back up a physical attack, it’s lawful to treat him as being armed.

            Third, if they draw and start to aim at you in response to a legitimate act of self-defense, it’s also a legitimate act of self-defense to shoot them. I’d recommend headshots, since they likely have body armor on.

          • Flashing Scotsman

            Taking your chances with this situation would be mighty risky, to both your life and your freedom. He was verbal, so the laws in NY might only allow verbal response. I understand your thinking, to defend yourself. But the laws these days are not on the side of the innocent.

    • Boomer

      Have you actually read the title of this website? If you think the young man with the camera was committing a crime, could you explain to us exactly what crime he was committing? As for crime skyrocketing in Cortland, isn’t it worth knowing that this man was documenting such activity, and the police response to such?

      How exactly was he out of line? By being across the street? By not interfering? You said it yourself, we don’t know what went on prior to or after the video. How do you know he was asked to do anything at all which warranted your note on him not cooperating?

      As for “don’t be an asshole and you won’t be arrested”, your comment is proven false by the video of Joe Hage behaving in a textbook “asshole” manner, and actually threatening to kill the man with the camera. He wasn’t arrested or even detained by the police.

      So, apparently, you can act like an asshole all you wish in downtown Cortland as long as you have the police on your side. Don’t you think that behavior is something the citizens of Cortland have a right to know?

      Photography is not a crime. I’d have thought you’d know that by now.


    • Getreal13045

      Wow 4 scorn you are a complete idiot!! Let’s put the incident that got the police there aside, the man recording was absolutely mistreated, had his rights violated and threatened. All of which should have gotten the ass bar Manager arrested. Wake up! I’m from here and there hasn’t been any stabbings, the shooting was 3 blocks down in the middle of the day. None of which was bar, club or alcohol related. Wake up and don’t speak to things that have no validity or common sense involved.

  • Bartender

    Actually Joe does own a percentage because I have worked there for years. There are more than one owner. He is the manager and has a tiny percentage invested in it. Which really serves no argument because what he did was wrong. Because I work there for years I see and hear a lot of shit Joe does. Fact is he gets away with a lot. That bar would have lost its license to serve liquor if it wasn’t for the cops out here.

  • inquisitor

    Joe has some anger issues that are compounded by apparent cocaine use and resultant psychosis.

    Amazing that Joe could threaten to kill someone who is only filming from across the street and not a threat to anyone right in the presence of police officers and not get arrested for making that highly illegal threat.

    Shows me who the cops are working for in this situation.

    • Difdi

      But I bet that if someone had answered him, with equal intensity at equal volume that if he started something they’d finish it, the cops would have been all over them for assaulting him.

      • Flashing Scotsman

        All depends on who’s signing the paychecks, hmmmmmm? The cops protected their boss. When on duty, they don’t see the citizens as their boss, they see the city as their boss. So they protect the city from the citizens, instead of the other way around.

    • shania

      amen dude

  • discarted

    Here’s the mayor’s info. Contact him, let him know what you feel about Joe Hage and the Cortland Police.

    Brian Tobin, Mayor
    City Hall
    25 Court Street
    Cortland NY 13045
    (607) 753-0872

  • Class of 05

    How many people are simply not getting it. Joe is the manager and owns a percentage and Evan and Jimmy , known as the Greek brothers own the majority. They are family with Joe and will always stand by him. Now cops , ha well I ask any of you to walk into the bar on a Wednesday,Friday and Saturday night and look around and perhaps ask people jokingly about their fake I’D and you will see more than half are not even 20. It’s called facts , mostly likely you are not a freshman in college at 21. You will see cops standing around and talking to Joe and maybe asking for a few ID checks. But I will promise you, you have NYS whatever it is called undercover without the local police to tip of Joe, and they will hand out 100 plus tickets just at Stone. Go there on Cortaca in November. Please anyone with authority and you will see young 18 females drinking away and clearly their I’D is fake but they don’t really check IDs they glance anf show it to the camera and that’s it. Ask anyone where to find the under bar in Cortland, they will say Stone Lounge.

    • CortlandBarEmployee

      SL. is known as the freshman bar. CPD pulls people out of other bars almost every weekend. I personally work at one and see it happen all the time.

  • Skinner

    joe simply will not turn up for work or home 1day he will get a bullet in the back of his silly looking head

  • Cortland citizen

    The man being arrested had punched a girl in the face inside Stone Lounge, and when the bouncers approached he picked up a chair hitting nearby bystanders. When the cops tried to arrest him, he stood there with his arms crossed his chest saying “I am not resisting” and that’s when the police had to restrain him to get him into custody. Did the guy deserve to be tackled down by the police? Yes, he assaulted a woman and hit innocent people with a chair. Does something deserve to be done to Hage? Yes, he’s a scumbag.

    • Difdi

      Absolutely wrong. It’s not the job of police to try, convict, sentence and carry out sentence on someone. It’s their job to investigate crimes and if necessary make an arrest.

      He assaulted a woman and hit people with a chair? Sounds like he needs to be arrested. But since he already surrendered and isn’t fighting the cops, they don’t need to fight him or violently subdue him. Just because he committed a crime doesn’t make it okay for police to commit crimes too.

      • Proud GrandPa

        Let me differ with you, counsellor. Did you know that drunks and cocaine users can turn on a dime from calm to killer? No?
        The standard procedure is to overwhelm with force so the perp cannot lunge for weapon. Even his hands can be lethal.
        The LEOs are trained to make the perp lie down and cross legs so he cannot easily get up to attack them. The behavior of the perp was resisting arrest. The cops were reasonable in taking him down. The fight started when he tried to fight them.
        Moral to the story is that he asked for a fight and got it.

        • Difdi

          The then those police are very poorly trained and not qualified to be out on the streets.

          You don’t act on what someone MIGHT do, you act on what they are doing. If he resisted a lawful arrest then by all means, use enough force to end the resistance. But the police absolutely DO NOT get to beat the guy into a hospital bed because what what he did in the past but is not doing now. His hands were in plain view and in a disadvantageous position for an attempt at resistance — what would police assume he is doing if he is about to be arrested and put his hands behind him where they can’t see them? Or raised them in a possibly martial arts pose on the way to hands-in-the-air or on top of his head?

          If what someone MIGHT do lawfully justified a full violent response, then it would also lawfully justify him to resist police — because they MIGHT decide to simply beat him to death instead of taking him into custody.

  • WolfOfSiam

    Can someone confirm that Joe Hage is a cokehead? He behaves just like a major league coked-up a$hole I knew in Cortland.

  • ExCop-Lawyer

    Carlos, you may want to rein in some of the comments – accusing someone of being a “cokehead” without any evidence to support that is defamatory, and while you can probably get out of it under federal law, do you really want to go through all of that?

    • inquisitor

      I am just making the same cursory on-the-street analysis of the guy’s hyper-aggressive behavior with absolutely no threat against him or justification for doing so just as a cop would do.

      No different an analysis than a cop determining by someone’s demeanor or physical actions if they are under the influence.

      • ExCop-Lawyer

        So? It’s still defamatory.

        • Difdi

          Opinions are protected speech, as are insults. You ought to know that, you have enough opinions of your own, after all.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Opinions are protected. Stating that someone is a drug user or a felon (i.e., cokehead) is per se defamatory and actionable.

  • Nemo

    Why aren’t the cops arresting this Hage feller for “endangering them” by being too close to their “investigation”? Or is it that only photographers “endanger” cops performing their functions, and then only when the cops’ pictures are being taken?

    And Hage is certainly full of himself, if he believes that he is in charge of who can use public property. Maybe he should go the f@ck home, himself, and stay there, the petty little tyrant wanna-be.

  • past cortland dweller

    I bet a majority of people here commenting and reading have never been to Cortland… it is a place full of under aged alcoholic kids impossible to reason with. Not saying its right throwing out threats… but don’t be so hard on the cops, they deserve a lot more respect than they get from these readers and those who are the reason the cops usually work all night. Cops aren’t social workers. They are not mommies to those that give them reasons to work. If one does not respect the law, the people around him or her self, then why should one feel that they should be given a teddy bear, thrown into a foam pit and be cuffed with hand cuffs made out of candy and rainbows?

    • Flashing Scotsman

      If what you say is true, then the cops should be relieved that the guy filming is sober and just filming. They should protect him from insane club managers running across the street with death threats.

  • Mouthy86

    Joe Hage is a scumbag!!! How you gonna straight up threaten to kill someone on camera at that and get away with it? So many people I know that know for a fact there are drugs slinging out the back room it’s not funny… The definitely need to send under covers in there for awhile… Everyone should be required to get the new ids if they want to go to bars… Time to clean out cortland of all the drugs and scumbags