(Press releases pulled from the Times Herald Record Archives and Mid Hudson News.)
WALDEN — Village police thought Brandon D. Solomon was acting suspiciously on East Main Street Wednesday, even before they eventually found him hiding behind a couch, behind a house.
They were even more suspicious when Solomon gave them his name, so they took him to Montgomery town police and ran his fingerprints through the department's electronic fingerprinting system.
Turns out Solomon's real name is Brandon D. Simpson, a reputed Bloods gang member wanted on rape charges in Los Angeles and a probation violation for robbery in Arizona. Simpson, 19, was charged with false personation and being a fugitive from justice. He was sent to Orange County Jail without bail, pending extradition to Arizona.
WALDEN --- Four Newburgh residents were arrested after police found a loaded 9 mm handgun and stolen jewelry in a car that was pulled over late Monday in the village of Walden.
Village police stopped the car around 10:15 p.m. and one of the occupants, later identified as Michael King, 24, ran away. He was later found hiding behind an air conditioner and was arrested after a brief struggle.
Officers found the gun under the seat of the car and also recovered a small amount of marijuana and a homemade ski mask.
King, Justin King, 24, James Rich, 22, and Davisha Moffett, 20, who was driving the car, were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property, petty larceny and possession of marijuana.
They were taken to the Orange County Jail.
An Orange County grand jury on Wednesday indicted James Kiley of Walden
on charges that he tried to murder another villager with a gun during an
argument last month.
Kiley, 53, of Elm Street, is charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment, felonies, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.
He’s been held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond since Walden police arrested him shortly after the Feb. 19 shooting.
WALDEN — An argument between three men on Friday
night turned violent and sent two men to the hospital with non-life
threatening gunshot wounds and another man to jail, police say.
James M. Kiley, 53, of Walden is facing one count of assault in the first degree, a felony, stemming from the incident and police say as more charges are likely as their investigation continues. A search warrant in relation to the case was executed on Saturday.
At about 11:35 p.m. shots were discharged inside a residence on Elm Street off of Coldenham Road that hit a 48-year-old man in his hand and 52-year-old man in his ear, according to police.
Both men were sent to St. Francis in Poughkeepsie. The man with the ear injury was treated and released. The man with the hand injury is in the hospital awaiting surgery, police say.
Kiley is in Walden lockup awaiting arraignment.
WALDEN — Jason Corbin, 21, was charged with three
felonies after police say he tried to evade a routine
traffic stop early yesterday morning.
Walden police Officer Dustin James attempted to stop Corbin’s car on East Main Street around 3:30 a.m. for failing to dim his headlights.
Corbin sped away and struck another car, driven by Krystal Spafford of Walden, at the intersection of St. Andrews Road, according to police.
Corbin’s car then went off the road and struck a telephone pole. After the car came to a stop in the woods, Corbin climbed over his girlfriend and ran, police said. He was apprehended after a short foot chase.
Corbin was wanted by the Harriman Police Department on charges of driving while intoxicated.
He was charged by Walden police with driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation, reckless endangerment, all felonies, and several vehicle and traffic violations.
He and his girlfriend, Carolyn Roberts, were taken to the Horton campus of Orange Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.
March 30, 2008
Woman reports car stolen, cops arrest her for false reporting
WALDEN — Morghan Smith, 24, reported her car stolen the morning of March 22.
The Wallkill woman told Walden police she’d left the keys under the wheel well of her 1999 Nissan Maxima while she went to Dominick’s Sports Bar and Grill on Main Street.
By Wednesday afternoon, the cops say they had their suspect. Officer Roy Werner called Smith, told her they solved the case and asked her to come to the station.
Wtiness testimony and video surveillance showed Smith left the bar around 2:40 a.m. in her car. She crashed into a tree on Sherman Avenue, police say, then drove it back downtown, parked it behind Millspaugh Furniture and returned to the bar to call cops.
Police charged Smith with falsely reporting an incident and making a false written statement. She was released and is due in court April 9.
February 29, 2008
Police say man abused girls
WALDEN — Darren Frank, 36, of Walden wasn't committing a crime when he posed as a 19-year-old from Staten Island on the social-networking Web site MySpace and chatted with dozens of young girls on the social networking site.
Officer Roy Werner of the Walden Police Department said Frank posted a picture of a younger man, then e-mailed, posted comments, instant-messaged and eventually called girls, most between 12 and 17 years old, mostly just for idle talk. A search of his computer revealed pictures that girls sent to him but none that could be considered pornographic.
Frank's online activity came to light as police investigated allegations that the father of two provided alcohol and cigarettes to nine of his daughter's friends and touched them inappropriately. Police say that girls slept over at Frank's house regularly.
He allegedly gave them drinks, watched scary movies with them and comforted their fears. Then, when the girls went to sleep, they reported that he touched them in private areas. Seven of the victims attended Valley Central Middle School.
Endangering welfare of children
Police charged Frank with seven counts each of endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful dealing with a child and forcible touching, as well as five counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts in the third degree.
Police have also interviewed girls from around the country whom Frank chatted with on MySpace. Some of the parents were unaware that their daughters were even on MySpace.
While some parents struggle to monitor teens on the Internet, law enforcement officials are trying to step in and have MySpace better regulate its users. Just last month, state attorneys general nationwide said the site agreed to create new technology to prevent adults from contacting children. MySpace also agreed to develop online identity authentication tools, sever links with pornographic Web sites, dedicate resources to Internet safety education, provide an abuse-report tool and create a closed high-school section for users under 18 years old.
A proposed New York state law is going even further and would ban any convicted sex offender from having a MySpace profile. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act would require offenders to register all e-mail accounts and screen names.
Be smart about Internet use
Despite these efforts, Internet-safety advocates say parents and teens must be educated about Internet use. Jeff Godlis, director of communications for the nonprofit i-SAFE, advises teens not to include any identifying information on their pages, such age or location, and to choose neutral screen names. Using the examples of 1234567 versus the name "sexymama," he asked, "Which one would the predator go to?"
He also said parents need to learn about MySpace and talk about the stranger that could be on the other end of the connection.
"Students "¦must realize they can't trust that the person on the other end "¦ is who they say they are," Godlis said.
Police investigating Walden girl’s death
December 16, 2007
Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old Walden girl.
At about 8:47 p.m. Friday, agencies responded to Jania Carenard’s home on Windrift Road.
The mother, Ladedra Carenard, was performing CPR on Jania, who was not breathing and died later at the St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital. Orange County Child Protective Services placed the three other children living at the home in protective custody.
The girl's cause of death is unknown at this time. An autopsy was done and officials are waiting for pathology test results, officials said.
Meghan E. Murphy
Police busted a woman they say sold heroin to an undercover officer with her 6-year-old son in the car.
Walden police arrested 26-year-old Kristen Casey Saturday in the parking lot of a Hess station. They say the mother of two sold the drugs to an undercover officer from her car with her son in tow. Casey is now facing multiple felony drug charges. Her children are with family members.
Police say Casey was part of a three-month investigation that had officers tracking where the heroin being sold was coming from. Police say Casey had been selling drugs all over Walden.
Video : http://news12.cv.net/video/CH102MDT.wmv
June 19, 2007
Again and again, every few nights, the calls roll in to the village police stations: “Somebody stole stuff out of my car.” Was it locked? “Nope.” The thieves, police said, call it “car shopping.” Proceeds include cash, iPods, cell phones, navigation systems, flashlights, CD players – the list goes on and on. Twice recently, suspects made off with cars that had keys in them, and just yesterday, someone snatched an ATV. Each time, the culprits took the vehicles for a spin and ditched them when they were through. Walden and Town of Montgomery Police are urging the public to be vigilant about locking their vehicles. The teenage suspects seem to only steal from unlocked ones. “These kids don’t have enough ambition to get a job,” said Walden Sgt. Eric Metzger. “They just walk up to a car and if it’s unlocked they take what they want. So lock your car!” Anyone with information is asked to contact Walden Police at 778-5595 or Town of Montgomery Police at 457-9211.
December 22, 2006
Suspect drug dealers nabbed at market in Walden
Walden - When the Dodge Durango pulled into the Thruway Market, the authorities were already there, ready to wrap up a four-month investigation into crack cocaine sales. Village of Walden police, along with a K-9 unit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, stopped the SUV and searched driver Lance Faison, 29, and his girlfriend, the Durango’s owner, Twana Bodison, 29, both from the Town of Newburgh. Police said they found an “eight-ball,” one-eighth ounce of crack cocaine, in Bodison’s bra and a combined $562 between the couple. The pair were charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, police said. Faison was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony. Police said Bodison was released, but Faison was sent to Orange County Jail with no bail. Both are due back in Village Court today
December 01, 2006
Police say Walden man sold cocaine
Village police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office say they’d been watching Kenneth Holmes for months.
On Wednesday, after a three-month investigation, detectives stormed the 50-year-old Holmes house at 62 Ulster Avenue and arrested him. The police seized 13.5 grams of cocaine, 3.5 grams of marijuana and four Hydrocodone pills – the powerful synthetic heroin-like painkiller commonly known as OxyContin. Investigators also seized $656 in cash they believe Holmes earned through drug sales, and drug packaging materials.
Holmes was charged with criminal possession of a controlled susbtance in the third, fourth and seventh degrees, as well as unlawful possession of marijuana.
He was held at Orange County Jail on $10,000 bail.
November 3, 2006
Two brothers charged with selling cocaine
Walden Village Police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, ESU, K-9 and ID units conducted a no-knock search warrant early Friday morning at 91 Scofield Street in the village and arrested two men on drug charges.
Brothers Bryan Wright, 23, and Christopher Wright, 19, were taken in to custody after a two week investigation. Both subjects were selling cocaine from the residence. During the search approximately 4.7 ounces of cocaine, scales and packaging material were recovered. Police also recovered over $4,800 in cash.
New York State Parole officers responded to the scene and issued a warrant for Bryan, who is currently on parole for robbery.
Both men were charged with the Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree – two counts each, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the third degree – two counts each, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the second degree – one count each.
Both subjects were remanded to Orange County Jail.
Four Orange County residents were
arrested and charged with possession of heroin Friday night.
At about 7:45 p.m., village police spotted a “suspicious vehicle” in the rear parking lot of Squire Village Apartments, and upon inquiry found that one of the passengers, William E. Malone, 37, of Walden, had a parole warrant, according to police.
A search of the vehicle with a K-9 dog found 30 bags of heroin under the rear car seat. Malone; Luis D. Vasquez, 30, of Newburgh; Jennifer Rooney, 47, of Newburgh; and Adele Salerno, 49, of Newburgh, were all charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to police.
Salerno was given another possession charge after police said they found a crack pipe on her.
Malone and Vasquez were taken to Orange County Jail without bail. Rooney and Salerno were taken to the same jail on $25,000 bail.
Goshen - A Walden teenager made two
sales of felony-weight cocaine on Old Orange Avenue on July 6, according to an
indictment unsealed yesterday in Orange County Court.
Anthony Pittman, 18, who lives on Capron Street, was arrested Aug. 18 by Walden police, who had the sales under surveillance, according to court papers.
He was indicted on four felony charges: two counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Pittman was being held in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond, pending arraignment in County Court.
August 05, 2006
Alleged drug dealer nabbed
By Alexa James Times Herald-Record firstname.lastname@example.org Walden - Fifteen seconds was all the time it took for a dozen deputies in black masks and helmets to roll out of their undercover vans, lob two diversionary flash-bang grenades and fire a round of BB's filled with pepper spray into the tidy white house at 75 Maple Ave.
One-quarter of a minute and the man Walden cops had been chasing for nearly a decade was finally in handcuffs - this time, with felony charges they hope will stick.
"You have no idea the stress and aggravation we went through," said Officer Roy Werner, who led the Walden investigation with assistance from narcotics, emergency service and K-9 units from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "He's got a criminal history record you could wallpaper with."
When cops led Philip Legnini, 47, from his parents' home yesterday afternoon, he was wearing only white underpants and socks.
"You don't see this every day in Walden," said one bystander, laughing and gawking at the flashy display of police power in their streets.
When the pepper spray cleared, cops recovered 10.59 grams of crack cocaine, divided into "eight-balls" and ready-for-sale "50-packs." They confiscated packaging materials, scales, pencil torches, pestles and $6,500 in cash. They also found Legnini's black powder handgun in his bedroom, along with a sophisticated surveillance system that panned the perimeter of his house. Some of the cameras were mounted in bird houses on the front porch.
Legnini was charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon. He was held yesterday, pending arraignment.
Also arrested at the scene: Diane Finn, 42, of Pine Bush, was charged with felony and misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. Carol Nicol, 43, of Walden, was charged only with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said she was carrying a crack pipe.
A Walden neighbor who was mowing the Legnini's lawn when the raid occurred was taken into custody but released later without charges.
August 04, 2006
Village Board zaps offer to buy Tasers for police
By Alexa James Times Herald-Record email@example.com
Walden - A Walden man wanted to donate $5,000 to buy the village police department some Tasers and training.
The police chief was all for it. So were the officers. But the village board? They rejected the offer by a 4-3 vote, ruling that the Tasers were unnecessary and the donation inappropriate.
The decision came last week, but village police are still smarting over what they see as a wasted opportunity for a tool that protects both cops and robbers.
"I think some board members were concerned about having a policy that covers everything," said Chief Jeffry Holmes. "No matter what we do, there's a liability issue connected to it."
An increasing number of police departments nationwide are adding Tasers as a more effective nonlethal weapon - something to use instead of pepper spray or batons.
According to Taser International, the manufacturer that monopolizes the stun-gun market, its 50,000-volt products are used by more than 30 percent of the nation's law enforcement agencies. Local users include New Windsor, Monroe, Wallkill, Fallsburg and Highland Falls. The City of Newburgh has Taser-trained several officers but has not yet issued any for use.
Even so, some Walden trustees think the timing is wrong for the village police. "It's more problematic than the techniques they already have," said Deputy Mayor Mary Ellen Matise. "Our police department is great with verbal skills."
Village police said they face hand-to-hand combat scenarios at least twice a month. Officer Robert Montanaro fractured an ankle wrestling a suspect outside the Walden Diner last summer. The injury required surgery and put him out of commission for months. With a Taser, he thinks he could have quickly and safely subdued his suspect, with his ankle intact.
As for trustees' concerns about rogue cops, the chief said not every officer would be permitted to use a Taser. There are procedures, he said, to protect the public from abuse.
Walden Officer William Herlihy, one of three certified Taser instructors on the force, said the stun guns must be carried on the opposite side of an officer's gun to prevent slip-ups. And every time it's fired, the Taser electronically records the duration of the shock. Some models even have video cameras attached.
"I've been shocked by the Taser twice, and I've rode it for 5 seconds at a clip," said Herlihy.
Does it hurt like hell? You bet, but unlike pepper spray or the crack from a nightstick, he said the pain from the Taser subsides in seconds.
All about Tasers
How it works: The typical police Taser can disable a suspect in one of two ways: It can deliver an electric shock through stainless steel, fishhook-like probes to suspects up to 21 feet away, or it can be applied directly. A charge of up to 50,000 volts of low-amp electricity contracts the suspect's muscles, temporarily paralyzing him. At Taser training courses, police officers are encouraged to receive a shot from the Taser so they personally understand what it feels like to be hit.
Opposition: Amnesty International has called for a moratorium and independent inquiry on police use of the Taser. Amnesty says more than 100 people have died in circumstances related to the use of Tasers, primarily from drug complications (i.e.: cocaine) or pre-existing heart conditions.
Taser use: Police departments in 49 states use Tasers, according to manufacturer Taser International. New Jersey does not allow police to carry them. New York does not allow civilians to purchase Tasers, but 43 states do.
Compiled by Alexa James
August 01, 2006
Cops shoot for peace Walden launches first Night Out
By Alexa James Times Herald-Record firstname.lastname@example.org
Walden - Clashes between home-owning adults and loitering youth got so out of hand here last summer that entire neighborhoods stormed Village Hall, threatening to put their houses up for sale, calling for curfews, more police - whatever it took to end the chaos.
The village responded, appointing a former Marine Corps reconnaissance scout to subdue the youth.
Officer Robert "Bobbie" Montanaro, 27, keeps machine gun rounds - souvenirs from Afghanistan - on his filing cabinet. But these days, his buddies call him the "lollipop cop."
And he could care less. "I have the greatest job in the world," he said yesterday, prepping for his biggest gig since being named Walden's Youth Officer and Community Liaison eight months ago.
Tonight is the village's first National Night Out extravaganza. "It's going to be awesome," Montanaro said. "So awesome."
Events like this will be held nationwide tonight - a mass showing of solidarity against criminals. More than 34 million people participated last year, keeping their front porch lights on all night long.
Walden's Night Out begins at Wooster Grove at 6 p.m. The Community Crime Prevention Walk leaves from there at 6:30 p.m., returning for an evening of free food, drink, music, games and prizes until 10 p.m.
"We're going to blow this place out, man," said Montanaro. "Everyone's going to go home with something, at least a full belly."
For the Village of Walden, this inaugural Night Out is not just about fighting back. It's also about healing together.
Under Montanaro's watch, the residents of Valley Avenue - a hot spot for trouble among teens last summer - formed a successful Neighborhood Watch. Calls to that neighborhood are down 30 percent, and now other watches are in the works.
As for the gangs the disgruntled neighbors worked so hard to run off?
Montanaro is working on them too. "If you interview these guys, a lot of them say they want to be cops," he said. "They want that sense of authority "¦ The gang provides that."
He said he hopes a few will stop by tonight, maybe talk to a military recruiter, volunteer for the fire department or just eat a free hot dog.
For a man who sometimes misses his reconnaissance missions in the sandbox overseas, Montanaro has worked himself into a frenzy over tonight's National Night Out. He's stuffing gift bags, making arrangements with the Pepsi vendor and confirming the disc jockey.
Montanaro laughs. "It's like planning my wedding," he said, "only I feel like the bride this time."
The Village of Walden's National Night Out is tonight from 6 to 10 at Wooster Grove, off Route 208 in Walden. For information, call 778-5595 or visit www.nationalnightout
July 27, 2006
Walden Village preps for first National Night Out
Walden is gearing up for its first National Night Out, scheduled for next Tuesday, Aug. 1. The evening is designed to band communities together, encourage neighbors to go out on the streets, meet and mingle, and send a message to local criminals.
Last year, 34 million people in more than 10,000 communities in all 50 states participated in NNO events. Along with traditional NNO activities such as turning on outdoor lights and holding front porch vigils, the Walden village celebration will include a variety of vendors, family activities and entertainment.
To learn more, or to volunteer, stop by Village Hall at 7 p.m. tonight for an organizational meeting or contact Walden police at 778-5595.
June 8, 2006
Walden DWI suspect poses as brother, cops say
He said his name was Louran Dunn, and he almost got away with it.
Dunn was driving a '92 Ford pickup truck around 2:30 a.m. Sunday when police say he made an illegal left turn.
"The driver was found to be driving while intoxicated and arrested and brought back for processing," explained Sgt. Eric Metzger. "At the time, he gave us the name of Louran Dunn."
He had an ID to match the name and a face to match the ID. But while he was waiting arraignment, the real Louran Dunn showed up.
Turns out "Louran" was really George E. Dunn, 24, from Ellenville, on parole for burglary.
The man who showed up at the station looking for the truck was George's look-alike 23-year-old brother.
So on top of the DWI and traffic violation, police said big brother George was charged with four counts of second-degree forgery and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, felonies; he was also charged with second-degree criminal impersonation, a misdemeanor. He was sent to Orange County Jail on $5,000 bail.
Metzger said Dunn's case was the second time in a week that Walden cops caught suspects posing as someone else. Alexa James
May 9, 2006
Goshen Two plead guilty in Walden robbery
John Peel and William Keator each got about $150 from a gunpoint robbery of the Hess station in Walden, but they also threw away a few years of their lives.
Peel, 20, will serve four years in state prison and Keator, 19, will serve 3½ years, under the terms of plea bargains yesterday in Orange County Court.
They each pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery, admitting they both robbed the all-night gas station at Routes 52 and 208 at about 6 a.m. Feb. 11.
Peel was carrying a BB gun that looked like a real gun. Keator was his accomplice.
"You were riding shotgun?" Judge Jeffrey Berry asked Keator.
"Figuratively speaking, yes," Keator replied.
The former Walden roommates are both in Orange County Jail, pending sentencing on June 5. Oliver Mackson
March 31, 2006
Walden Crack cocaine found during traffic stop
Walden police Officer William Herlihy saw a black '98 Mercedes Benz driving on the shoulder of Route 208 Wednesday night.
So he stopped it.
Justin King, 20, of Newburgh, was just a passenger, but while Herlihy was talking to him, he saw two plastic bags fall out of King's pant leg.
About 5.5 grams of crack cocaine were in one bag, police said, and the same amount of cocaine hydrochloride was in the other.
King was charged with two counts of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and sent to Orange County Jail on $2,500 bail. He's due back in village court Tuesday. Alexa James
March 30, 2006
Walden Cops, canine find teen stabbing suspect
A Walden patrol officer noticed a crowd gathering behind an apartment building at 58 Oak St. just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.
As he headed to the scene, the group was running away from the house and 19-year-old Peter "PJ" Williams was stumbling. The Walden teen had received severe stab wounds to his left arm and side from a steak knife, police said. He was treated at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh and released.
The suspect, a 17-year-old from Walden, was located in the basement of the apartment building by Orange County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Campbell and his German shepherd, Max.
Walden police charged the Valley Central student with second-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment, both felonies, as well as fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing, misdemeanors. He was treated for lacerations on his hand at Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen, police said, and sent to Orange County Jail on $25,000 cash bail. He is due back in Village Court Tuesday.
Walden police Sgt. Eric Metzger said the department is investigating possible gang affiliations. Anyone with information should call 778-5595. Alexa James
March 23, 2006
Two women held in theft at Thruway
Walden - A Walden woman left her wallet at the Thruway Market March 9, and someone else helped herself to its contents, police said.
Two women used the debit card at the Thruway and at several convenience stores around town. The mystery shoppers also bought gas, phone cards, three packs of Newports and two CDs for a total of about $125. Last week, Walden and Town of Montgomery police arrested two Walden women: Kristen Varney, 31, and Chante Whitaker, 26.
Whitaker worked as a cashier at the Thruway. Police said store cameras caught her picking up the forgotten wallet and handing it off to her friend, Varney.
Surveillance tapes at the Extra Mart later filmed the suspects using the card and driving off in Varney's green Dodge.
Both women were charged with multiple felonies: forgery, criminal possession of stolen property and grand larceny.
Montgomery police said the women were arraigned by Justice Harry Mills yesterday and sent to Orange County Jail. Varney's bail was $1,000 cash. Whitaker, who violated her parole, did not get bail. Both are due in Town Court April 5.
Cops find large load of heroin in woman's panties
Just before 2 a.m. yesterday, Village of Walden police stopped a black Grand Am for speeding. The driver Virginia Gallagher, 32, of Walden, had a suspended license and a hypodermic needle, which she dropped during questioning.
While riding in the back seat of the police cruiser, Officer Shawn Barry said she tried to pull out of her handcuffs and discard a small quantity of crack cocaine.
Officers searched Gallagher at headquarters and found 15 decks of heroin in her panties. Each deck, or glassine envelope, would sell for about $20 locally, police said.
Gallagher was charged with a misdemeanor and two felony drug charges, as well as misdemeanor unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
She was sent to Orange County Jail on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. Gallagher is due back in village court tomorrow.
March 10, 2006
By Alexa James Times Herald-Record email@example.com
Walden - Deputy Dustin Palen parked his patrol car. He'd been with the sheriff's office for eight years, but his partner was green, fresh out of school. Palen, 30, left him in the cruiser as he went inside for a briefing from Walden and state police. The rookie was well-trained, wore a gold star badge on his chest like his partner, but was he really ready? The cops were searching for a gun. They needed it for a felony weapons charge against a man they locked up the night before on a misdemeanor harassment charge. The suspect would be sprung soon unless they found the .25-caliber pistol he allegedly fired outside his Walden apartment on Feb. 18. They called Palen because they heard his new partner was good at this type of work.
His name is Jake, a longhaired German shepherd born in Slovakia and raised in Connecticut. Not quite 2 years old and 75 pounds, he's still very much a puppy. In September, Palen introduced Jake to his wife and two kids and moved him into their hamlet of Wallkill home. The pair performed well in an extensive 12-week explosives detection program. But this was not a drill.
SEPT. 11 fueled the rapid revival of canine units in every facet of law enforcement. The nation, and New York State in particular, immediately needed more rescue, cadaver and patrol dogs. And as urban families migrated here and farther from the city, more local canine units emerged. The sheriff's office has four canine teams. Palen and Jake are the new guys. Jake has been trained to recognize about 17 different categories of explosives. When he catches a scent, he's supposed to sit and wait for his partner's command. In every scenario, the human officer must stay calm and alert. "If I'm nervous, it travels right down the lead to the dog," says Palen. "I have to trust him." To Jake, the crime scene is merely a game. "He knows if he finds what Daddy wants him to find, he gets to play," says Palen. "You actually have to make a fool of yourself. Your voice gets real high pitched. You want to make it the happiest thing." They had practiced these drills eight hours a day for 12 weeks, but the first call is always a gut check.
Palen and Jake arrived around 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the suspect's apartment. The other agencies wanted them to search the basement for the gun. If it had been fired the night before and stashed, Jake should be able to smell the powder residue.
"Seek," Palen said, and immediately, Jake traced the walls, moving fast, mouth open, whining with anticipation. In the basement, Palen tapped on objects he wanted Jake to detail: fuel tanks, boxes, the hot water heater. Near the boilers, Palen noticed a crawl space. He tapped there, and Jake reared up on his hind legs to smell.
Then it happened. Jake's mouth snapped shut. Palen saw his chest rise, heard him inhale. Jake was quiet, still.
But he didn't sit. He didn't give the signal. So they moved on, but Palen decided to double back to the suspicious spot later. The next time they passed the crawl space, Jake did it again. He snapped his mouth shut, and this time, he sat immediately.
"I moved a piece of the insulation, and there it was," said Palen, of the gun, which was "still in its holster."
When police met the suspect at the Orange County Jail, he had just made bail. He was rearrested; this time he was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree reckless endangerment and prohibited use of firearms.
The partners won't be resting on their laurels for long; Jake and Palen begin patrol school, the second phase of their training, on Monday.
February 24, 2006
2 men indicted in Walden robbery
An Orange County grand jury yesterday indicted two roommates from Walden on charges that they robbed a gas station in the village at gunpoint earlier this month.
John Peel, 20, and William Keator, 19, who live on Ulster Avenue, are accused of sticking up the Hess station on Main Street on Feb. 11. They were arrested the same day by Walden police. Peel is being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. Keator's bail was set at $10,000
February 14, 2006
3 charged after BB mayhem
A trail of broken car windows from Plattekill to Walden and a gas station robbery on that village’s main drag landed three young men in jail Saturday.
Walden police say John Peel and Bryan Anderson, both 20, used a BB gun to shoot out the windows of a dozen cars across northeastern Orange County early Saturday morning.
Then, police say, Peel and a 19-year-old friend used the weapon to steal about $300 from the Hess gas station on Main Street at about 6:25 a.m.
Those two were arrested in Walden later in the day, after police recognized them from the store’s surveillance video, and Peel gave Anderson up after questioning, according to Sgt. Eric Metzger. Most of the stolen cash was recovered. Peel and his 19-year-old accomplice face felony charges in the robbery. Peel and Anderson face criminal mischief charges in Walden, the Town of Montgomery and Plattekill for allegedly shooting the car windows.
February 12, 2006
Men still at large in gas station theft
Police believe two men are still on the run after robbing a local gas station early this morning.
A Hess gas station cashier was held at gunpoint by two men at about 6 a.m., Village of Walden police Officer Michael Taback said.
The black semi-automatic the robbers used was not fired and there were no injuries, Taback said. The Hess gas station is located at 6 Main St.
The two men left with almost $300 from the gas station. Police are still investigating the robbery.
February 04, 2006
Bartender charged in serving to teens
By Alexa James Times Herald-Record firstname.lastname@example.org
Walden - Dianne McKinstrie has gotten used to hearing the medevacs hover over her home. When a crisis happens in the village, they often land in a nearby field. If she's home, she will say a little prayer.
That's what she did shortly before 3 a.m. on Jan. 21, when a chopper's pounding woke her.
Then she heard a knock on the door. It was her church pastor, dressed in his firefighter's gear.
"Are you going to tell me that one of my boys is in the helicopter?" she asked him.
McKinstrie cares for her five grandkids.
She said her pastor started to cry and told her that her 18-year-old grandson, Bryan Steinard, was in a car accident. One of his friends was in the helicopter, but Steinard had died at the scene, in a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse wrapped around a pole on South Montgomery Street in Walden.
The driver, 19-year-old Christopher DeVitt of Crawford, remains in the intensive care unit of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. He was in a coma, police said, but is showing small signs of progress.
Yesterday, state and Walden police announced the arrest of Michael Bartle, 45, of Montgomery. Bartle was a bartender at Copperfield's, where he served the underage teens drinks the night of the accident, according to police. He was charged with two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully dealing with a child and is due back in Village of Montgomery Court on Feb. 15.
Steinard and DeVitt worked nearby, at the restaurant 88 Charles Street. Investigators said the teens walked to Copperfield's at 93 Clinton St. after their shifts for drinks and were on their way home when DeVitt lost control of the car at 2:17 a.m. The owners of Copperfield's could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Steinard's longtime girlfriend, Kristin Heddricks, 18, of Coldenham, said the boys had gone there for drinks before.
"They did because they could," she said. "It was Bryan's decision to get in the car ... but the bar should have told them no."
Since the accident, Steinard's family has sought solace in the faith and condolences of the community. Friends and family miss the young man's dry wit and easy charisma. It's what made him so good at his job, they say, and why so many faces passed through his funeral.
February 2, 2006
Fray with cops sends suspect to hospital
Village of Walden Police responded to a 911 domestic dispute call at approximately 2 a.m. yesterday. Police said Kevin Howard, 33, of the City of Poughkeepsie, kicked in his girlfriend's front door and refused to leave.
Police said Howard became combative, tried to strike an officer and then barricaded himself in the bathroom. Officers broke in, wrestled with Howard and eventually subdued him.
During the scuffle, Howard hit his head on a radiator, police said, and was transported to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh for stitches.
He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal trespass, resisting arrest and obstruction of government administration, all misdemeanors.
Howard was arraigned by Village Justice Raynard Ozman and sent to Orange County Jail on $1,000 cash bail, $2,500 bond. He's due back in Village Court Feb. 8.
January 25, 2006
Nobody has a solution; everybody gets tickets
By Alexa James Times Herald-Record email@example.com
Walden - There is no adrenaline rush, no year-end bonus, no horns protruding from under the officer's cap as he slides the parking ticket under your wiper blades.
So they say.
But 75 bucks for parking in your cul-de-sac?
"It's ludicrous," said disgruntled Sunnyside Avenue victim Wanda Betancourt. "We're in the country, for crying out loud!"
Batancourt moved out of bustling Bergen County, N.J., in part to avoid these snow-towing meltdowns. She has a driveway, but her elderly father parked on the road Sunday night, in front of her house.
When he headed out the next morning at about 10:30 a.m., his beige Toyota Camry was gone, towed and ticketed.
Batancourt said she spent $125 to get the car back and the rest of the day arguing with authorities. "He's a senior citizen," she told them. "You guys couldn't beep the horn?"
Walden police Chief Jeffry Holmes said the officers used to try playing nice, but it wreaked havoc in court. If one officer rang doorbells before ticketing and another didn't, victims would cry favoritism to the judge.
So the current village policy is cut-and-dried, or more accurately, wet.
When snow falls, the cops use a calibrated ruler to measure the accumulation in Monument Square. When it hits 2 inches, a snow emergency is declared. That means all cars in the village's four square miles must be off the streets. There's free parking in municipal lots, unless posted otherwise. The emergency doesn't end until the Department of Public Works says so.
On Monday, the snow emergency ran from 5:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Holmes said about 52 cars were ticketed and a dozen were towed.
Similar policies are in place throughout the Town of Montgomery. The Village of Montgomery police ticket cars after 2 inches of snow accumulation as well, but their tickets are only $25 and they do courtesy door knocks before towing.
Walden cops used to cruise around announcing snow emergencies through a public announcement system. Folks complained.
The Department of Public Works used to plow around cars, but after big storms, the snowbanks became icebergs, breaking plow parts and creating channels for meltwater to race through. Folks complained.
Eventually, public officials decided it was easier to blanket the village's spiderweb of steep hills, narrow side streets and cul-de-sacs with one policy for the folks in uniform to enforce.
"Trust me," said Holmes, "our officers hate doing these tickets."
January 22, 2006
Car accident kills teen, critically injures another
By Ashley Kelly Times Herald-Record firstname.lastname@example.org
Walden - A car accident early yesterday morning involving two teenagers left one dead and the other in critical condition. Police said a 19-year-old driver was traveling north on South Montgomery Street when he lost control and hit a utility pole near South Street shorty after 2 a.m. yesterday. The two were trapped in the vehicle upon impact. The 18-year-old passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla in critical condition. The identities of the two teenagers have not been released by police. Walden police Sgt. Tom McCoskery said they left the Charles Street Cafe in Montgomery, where they were employed, at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. "We are trying to find out where they were the last two hours," McCoskery said. McCoskery said alcohol consumption has not been ruled out as a possible factor, but that police are still awaiting blood tests results. Police said another vehicle was at the scene at the time of the accident, but they have not determined the driver's involvement.
January 15, 2006
Traffic stop leads cops to cocaine, police say
Two people were charged with drug possession after their car was pulled over on Orange Avenue early yesterday morning. Police said the car was initially stopped at 1:30 a.m. because it had illegally tinted windows. They said Alex Rodriguez, 31, of Bloomingburg, had a suspended driver's license and he and his passenger, Kiersten Phelps, 31, of Port Jervis, were in possession of more than 1.5 grams of cocaine. Rodriguez was charged with fourth- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, felonies, and multiple vehicle and traffic offenses. Phelps was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Rodriguez was released on $1,000 bail, and Phelps was released on her own recognizance. They are to appear in Village Court on Jan. 25.
January 9, 2006
Inspection scam leads to arrests
Village of Walden police arrested two men in connection with a vehicle inspection scam.
Scott Magill, 22, of Walden, was charged yesterday with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony. Police said he used a scanner and photo paper to replicate a New York state annual vehicle inspection sticker.
Accomplice Darrell Bronson, 49, of Walden, was charged Dec. 24 with forth-degree criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor. Bronson referred an Ulster County woman to Magill for the faux inspection, police said. She paid $20.
Both men are due back in Village Court Wednesday.
Anyone who suspects they've purchased a forged inspection sticker should contact Walden police Officer Robert McNeely at 778-5595.
July 29, 2005
Fight among neighbors ends with two treated for wounds
A fight outside Walden View apartments sent two neighbors to the hospital, village police said, one with stab wounds.
The investigation is continuing, but according to police interviews, Anthony Alvarez, 24, and Sean Caston, 24, residents of the apartment complex, got into a fight. Caston's brother, Ray Caston, and a 17-year-old cousin joined the fray.
Police said Alvarez allegedly got away from the other men and ran into his apartment but he came back outside with a metal knuckle knife.
Sean Caston told police Alvarez went after his 17-year-old cousin with the knife. Caston said he kicked his leg out to block Alvarez, and the blade gashed his leg.
Police said Sean Caston was treated at the Horton campus of Orange Regional Medical Center and released and Alvarez went to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital to be treated for facial wounds.
Police charged Alvarez with second-degree assault, a felony; two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor, and menacing, a misdemeanor. He was sent to Orange County Jail, where he was being held in lieu of $7,500 bail. Charges are pending for the other men.
July 29, 2005
Pine Bush man faces charges he put merchandise in trash
Employees at Walden's Thruway Market were shocked last week to discover brand-new merchandise in the store's trash compactor.
"It was a variety of produce," said Sgt. Eric Metzger. "It was diapers and pasta and canned goods."
The Thruway's security team called police and set up surveillance cameras around the baling machine. Later that night, cameras caught employee Michael Ciarcia, 41, of Pine Bush, loading boxes of new product into machine.
Ciarcia told police he was angry because he'd recently been suspended from the store without pay. He said he'd been loading merchandise into the machine for about a week. The Thruway estimated about $5,000 worth of goods were trashed.
Police charged Ciarcia with second- degree criminal mischief, a felony. He is scheduled to appear in court August 10.
July 21, 2005
Cop breaks leg in tussle with resistant suspect
Village of Walden police Officer Robert Montanaro fractured his left leg as he and another officer wrestled a man they were arresting outside the Walden Diner.
According to police, a woman called the station Friday at 11:55 p.m. because her boyfriend, 25-year-old Michael Hagan of Pine Bush, would not get out of her car.
When the cops arrived, Hagan had vanished.
His girlfriend found him 10 minutes later hiding in the trunk of her car. She flagged down Montanaro and Officer John Calvello, and they arrested Hagan.
Police said Hagan resisted arrest and fell on Montanaro, fracturing his lower leg. Montanaro was transported to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital and released early Saturday morning.
In addition to a charge of second-degree harassment, a violation, Hagan was also charged with resisting arrest and assault recklessly causing physical injury, both misdemeanors, police said.
He was arraigned and sent to Orange County Jail on $1,000 bail. Hagan is scheduled to appear in village court July 27.
June 30, 2005
Religious statue ruins discovered in brook
Officer John Conklin arrived at the home of Sara and Mark Merring with bad news.
The remains of their missing Virgin Mary sculpture were discovered early yesterday morning in Tin Brook, less than a mile away from their home on Wileman Avenue.
Walden police said a local man, walking in the vicinity of a new footbridge off Oakland Avenue and East Main Street, noticed the Blessed Mother statue submerged in the water.
Jim Corbett and Mike Pacione, employees of Mid Hudson Neon in New Windsor, helped Conklin drag the broken sculpture and grotto, weighing about 150 pounds, out of the water.
This is the third stolen religious icon Walden police have recovered in two weeks. Another Mary statue was found in Tin Brook, and an Infant Jesus of Prague sculpture was found behind the Valley Central High School in Montgomery.
The Merrings are offering a $250 reward to the person who helps police identify the culprits.
"These kids need to know that what they're doing isn't right," said Sara Merring. "It's not that I want to see them go to prison. I just want them to realize how they're affecting people when they steal these things ... maybe not physically, but spiritually."
All three cases are still open. If you have information, contact Walden police at 778-5595.
October 26, 2004
Man chased by cops, leaps from bridge
A homeless man – wanted by Walden police for littering – "huffed" Glade air freshener before leading officers on a wild foot chase and finally jumping off a bridge into the Wallkill River, police said.
Police said they spotted the man – also wanted for resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration – on Oak Street, and approached him. The man fled, and officers followed on foot and in a police car, finally cornering him on a nearby bridge.
As police tried to grab him, the man jumped off the bridge into the river, suffering a sprained ankle and a dislocated finger in the process, police said.
Alexander Jones, 23, who police said is on parole for burglary, was arraigned on the outstanding charges and sent to Orange County Jail on $5,000 bail.
September 17, 2004
Stop lands two in jail on drug charges
A Newburgh woman and a Montgomery man are facing felony drug possession charges after they were stopped for a minor traffic violation in Walden.
Police said that after they stopped a vehicle being driven by the woman, she gave officers a false name. The woman eventually gave them her correct name, police said, and officers found the woman's license had been suspended. She was also found to be on probation, police said.
A search of the vehicle turned up more than 4 grams of cocaine and 1.5 grams of marijuana, police said.
Police arrested Beatriz Velez, 24, and Tromain Lee, 28. Velez and Lee were both charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony. Velez was also charged with several misdemeanors.
Both Velez and Lee were sent to the Orange County Jail, where they were being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
July 22, 2004
Elderly woman mugged on street at rush hour
An 83-year-old woman was mugged Tuesday morning at 8:15 a.m. while pushing a shopping cart on Oak Street to the Thruway Market. The robber knocked her down while taking her purse.
The robbery occurred at rush hour along a busy street, the detour for Route 52. Police stopped traffic yesterday between 7:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. to distribute a flier describing the mugger, a pale, white male, between 16 and 18 years old. He had a medium build, around 5 feet 9 inches tall and 180 pounds. He was clean-cut with dirty-blond medium-length straight hair. He wore a royal-blue T-shirt.
Walden police ask anyone with information to call 778-5595.
May 16, 2004
Cops honored for exceptional work
By Maureen Nandini Mitra
Monroe – The service was brief and sincere. A color guard, a few words of welcome, roll call of the deceased, awards presentations, hymns and prayers.
"He who does justice shall live in the presence of the Lord."
Orange County's finest gathered at the Sacred Heart Church in Monroe last evening to honor their top cops of the year. Thirty-two police officers were cited for exceptional service and acts of bravery at the 11th annual awards ceremony of the county's Chiefs of Police Association.
"With Orange County being as busy as it is, each and every year it becomes more difficult to choose the top cop," said Robert Kwiatkowski, association president and Woodbury police chief.
The man of the evening was Officer Eugene Suarez of the Town of Newburgh, who was anointed Officer of the Year for risking his life to save a Wallkill man in July 2003. Suarez still has vivid memories of the day.
IT WAS HIS DAY OFF. Unarmed and dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt, Suarez was driving down Route 17K in Wallkill late in the afternoon when he saw two men running out of a driveway across the road. The younger of the two seemed to be chasing the older.
Suarez thought it was a game until the duo ran on to the highway and nearly got run over. As Suarez screeched to a halt, he saw the older man bang on the window of the car that almost hit him, screaming for help. There was blood on his shirt.
The driver kept going.
"Then I saw the younger guy raising his arm in a stabbing motion," says Suarez. He was carrying a knife.
"Get in my car," Suarez shouted to the panicked older man, pushing open his passenger side door. As the victim stumbled across to Suarez's minivan, his attacker stabbed him in the abdomen again. Suarez grabbed hold of the wounded man, dragged him halfway into the car and drove.
The attacker ran alongside the car for a while, trying to get in a few more stabs through the window, before running back toward the house.
Suarez stopped 50 yards down the road, pressed a bundled up shirt to the victim's wound, and called 911.
"That was my son," said the man, 58-year-old Dennis Ladrick.
They'd been arguing when the son, 25-year-old Jonathan Ladrick, attacked him with an eight-inch steel knife. He was charged with attempted second-degree murder.
"I've been in some hairy situations, but nothing like that," Suarez said.
The 32-year-old Puerto Rican man from Brooklyn seems to be of stuff heroes are made of, and this is the second time he's received a county-level award.
In 1996, when Suarez was a deputy with the county sheriff's department's narcotics wing, he was cited for exceptional police duty.
In 1997, when he was with the Village of Walden Police Department, he was their officer of the year.
Other award recipients
Life saving award: Awarded to an officer who, in the line of duty, is credited with saving the life of another person
Officer James Johnson – Town of Crawford Police
Officer Eric Meier – Town of Crawford Police
Officer Dominick Blasko – Town of Crawford Police
Trooper Andrew J. Stack – New York State Police
Trooper Thomas A. Fortuna – New York State Police
Trooper Jason S. Sedita – New York State Police
Officer Kelly Scheuering –Town of Wallkill
Exceptional police duty: Awarded for unusual acts of intelligence or for demonstrating special faithfulness and perseverance that contribute to a valuable police accomplishment
Detective Sgt. John P. Heppes – Town of Blooming Grove Police
Detective Sal Ardisi – Town of Chester Police
Officer Brain Kenny – Town of Chester Police
Sgt. Allen Faust – Town of Goshen Police
Officer Manny Lopez – Town of Goshen Police
Officer Richard T. Walls – Town of Goshen Police
Sgt. Robert S. Kirms – Village of Goshen Police
Detective Robert Compasso – Village of Monroe Police
Officer David Conklin – Village of Monroe Police
Officer Andrew Loughlin – Village of Monroe Police
Officer Douglas Kraus – Village of Monroe Police
Officer Fredrick R. Fayo III – Town of New Windsor Police
Trooper John J. Key – New York State Police
Trooper Darrin S. Fulton – New York State Police
Officer Roy F. Werner – Village of Walden Police
Officer James E. Baker – Village of Walden Police
Officer Christopher Korba – Town of Wallkill Police
Detective Brian Zaccaro – Village of Washingtonville Police
Detective Wayne Kirkpatrick – Village of Washingtonville Police
Officer Jennifer Sergi – Village of Washingtonville Police
Officer William Burbage – Town of Woodbury Police
Deputy Edwin O'Connell – Orange County Sheriff's Department
Deputy Modestino Giusto – Orange County Sheriff's Department
Deputy Jesse Carney – Orange County Sheriff's Department
May 27, 2004
Courtesy not cops answer on Ayr Court
By Alice Kenny
Walden – On a Walden cul-de-sac, a battle rages.
Sharon Scott-Bonnick peeked through her blinds during a recent skirmish. She was clearly outnumbered.
Six parents sat on a curb in front of matching raised ranches. Nearly a dozen children played kickball, biked and skateboarded. For the moment, they'd conquered Ayr Court.
"This is why I moved here," said Anna Stigliano. "At all times, I can come out and know where my children are."
But Scott-Bonnick moved in with a different dream.
"I thought this was going to be peace and quiet," Scott-Bonnick said. "Oh, my God, what did I do?"
The fight to control this oversized corner of blacktop has left neighbors shunning neighbors, calling the cops and protesting to village authorities. It leaves moms, dads and small children sorting out what it means to be neighborly. They're establishing whether the desires of many should outweigh the discomfort of a few. And, like feuds dating back to the Hatfields and McCoys, parents are bequeathing their fury to the next generation.
"It's a clash of lifestyles," said Walden police Sgt. Thomas McCoskery. "I have three feuds going on in the village right now. It never gets better once the police show up at your door."
Before battle lines were drawn, back when neighbors shared barbecues, Scott-Bonnick baby-sat for neighborhood children. Her four children, ages 21, 19, 12 and 9, were part of the gang. They played in the back of their one-third-acre lot or down the road at the neighborhood park. Now they are isolated.
"It's not about color," said Scott-Bonnick, who is black. The neighborhood is integrated with white, black, Hispanic and Indian children playing together and sharing a bus stop.
"It's not about playing," added her husband, Sheldon Scott-Bonnick.
"It's about respect. I have children. Everyone here has space. Why not go in the back yard? You have to respect your neighbors."
The cul-de-sac acts as a magnet. Children from side streets and main roads ride their bikes there and cut through back yards to play on the cul-de-sac. They bring skateboards, jumping up over the rain grate and onto the Scott-Bonnicks' driveway. A 1-foot hole at the driveway's bottom marks their favorite landing spot.
Racing to retrieve balls bouncing out of bounds, kids crush freshly planted gardens of marigolds and impatiens. Meanwhile, Sheldon Scott-Bonnick tosses and turns at night, trying to shut out the neighborhood noise so he can wake up in time for his 4 a.m. commute to New York City.
At first, the Scott-Bonnicks and another neighbor spoke with parents and children, asking them not to trample their property and to play somewhere else in the evening.
June Ziccardi, a leader in the battle against the Scott-Bonnicks, dismissed their complaints.
"She doesn't own the first 8 feet from the road," Ziccardi said. "It belongs to the town."
Since residents are required to put fences 8 feet back from the road, Ziccardi reasoned that the village owns the portion of land bordering the road. Police have tried to disabuse her of this theory.
So the Scott-Bonnicks met with village officials. They learned that Walden has a village code prohibiting children from playing in the streets. They told their neighbors about the law.
"I don't care what the law says," Ziccardi said. "Children should be able to play on the cul-de-sac. No cars are coming and if they do, they move out of the way."
The Scott-Bonnicks tried a different tactic. They began calling the cops.
"My children should not be afraid of you," Ziccardi yelled at a police officer recently. The officer was responding to a complaint by the Scott-Bonnicks that a child had run on to their property. "You're harassing our children," she shouted.
The officers appeared wearied by the saga.
"It's not a police matter," McCoskery said later. "We're a weapon one group tries to use against the other. Next they'll call the building inspector because the grass is too long, the DMV because an inspection sticker is expired. Then they'll call in Child Protective Services."
Sure enough, later that night, neighbors phoned Child Protective Services, accusing the Scott-Bonnicks of spouse and child abuse. The allegations have gone unproved, but the lengthy investigation continues.
In their latest salvo, more than a dozen parents packed Tuesday night's Village Board meeting, stating their demands.
Ziccardi and her group want the village code changed. The Scott-Bonnicks want it enforced.
But the issue is not one of code enforcement, McCoskery said. State law supersedes the village code, he explained. Children can only be charged when they intentionally and recklessly cause a public inconvenience.
Instead, the sergeant got the parties to agree to meet with a mediator.
"We're not the solution," he said. "Essentially, we have to get along with our neighbors. People need to see each other's perspective. Have a little courtesy."
June 11, 2004
Walden man gets 25 years for attack
A man who beat and sexually humiliated his girlfriend last year in Walden got the maximum state prison sentence yesterday.
Ray Eastwood, 31, was sentenced in Orange County Court to 25 years for felony assault on a 37-year-old woman in the apartment they shared. The woman faced Eastwood in court, testifying that he flew into a rage after drinking tequila and smoking crack in their apartment the night of Oct. 16. He beat and violated her.
The woman faced him again at yesterday's sentencing, telling Eastwood that she would never be the same because of the damage he inflicted on her.
A jury last month convicted Eastwood of 10 felonies and a misdemeanor after a week-long trial before Judge Jeffrey G. Berry.
Eastwood testified in his own defense, claiming he blacked out and didn't remember what he did to her. He also claimed he still loved her.
March 25, 2004
Seven suspects arrested in drug raid
Seven people were arrested Tuesday in a drug bust that village police Chief Jeffry Holmes said was the result of a six-week undercover investigation.
Timothy Dugan, 18, and Stanley Dolan, 25, both of Montgomery, and Scott Magill, 20, of Walden, were each charged with multiple counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance, felonies.
They were taken to Orange County Jail in lieu of bail.
Jeff Hochteil, 21, of Montgomery, and Christinia Poy, 21, of Walden, were charged with first-degree loitering, misdemeanors.
Hochteil was released from Orange County jail on $1,000 bail. Poy was released on her own recognizance.
Also, a 16-year-old male from Montgomery was charged with possession of marijuana, and a 17-year-old male from Montgomery was charged with multiple counts of criminal sale of marijuana, a felony.
Both were released on their own recognizance.
The sting took place, ironically, on the same day as the D.A.R.E. program graduation at Walden Elementary School.
The raid was the work of a newly hired village officer, with help from Town of Newburgh police and the Orange County Sheriff's Drug Task Force.
Four store employees charged in theft
Four male teens were charged following an investigation into employee theft at Thruway Market Sporting Goods.
Village police said store security told Officer Michael Farrell earlier this month they had information that several employees were "selling merchandise to friends at extreme discounts." Farrell's investigation led to four arrests last week.
Steven Way, 19, of Walden, and a Walden 17-year-old were charged with falsifying business records and petty larceny. An 18-year-old and a 17-year-old were charged with petty larceny.
Two arrested in Walden cocaine bust
|Walden Police have charged two men
with possession of drugs following an incident on Sunday.
Officer Eric Metzger spotted a Chevrolet Suburban in the upper portion of the Thruway Market parking lot. Knowing that the store was closed, the officer approached the vehicle to investigate. A check of the registration through DMV revealed that the plates were suspended for an insurance lapse.
The occupants, Stanley Dolan, III, 24, of Montgomery and David Evans, 19, of Peekskill and Beacon told him that they were there to meet a friend.
Dolan, the registered owner, could not produce a valid insurance card. Both Dolan and Evans were removed from the vehicle so that it could be impounded. Officer Metzger began to notice ripped bags with a white powder residue on them. The two men and vehicle were then searched.
Officers Metzger, Baker and Levine recovered approximately 9.5 grams of a white power substance, which the occupants stated was, crushed "No Doz" pills that they were selling as cocaine. Officers also recovered two digital scales, three sifters, and four pill crushers. The white powder, scales, sifters and crushers all tested positive for cocaine.
Dolan and Evans admitted to mixing cocaine with the crushed "No Doz" pills to sell and have been doing so for three months. Both were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third and fourth degrees and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
Dolan was also charged with numerous vehicle and traffic sections. Both were arraigned by Judge Raynard Ozman and remanded to the Orange County Jail on $5,000 bail each.
Pennsylvania trucker caught with illegal gun
|A speeding ticket has led to the
arrest of a Pennsylvania trucker for possession of a weapon in New York.
Police said on September 5, 2003, Officer James Baker from the Village of Walden Police Department attempted to stop a tractor-trailer on Orange Avenue after observing it speeding inside the village.
The driver, Russell Shannon, 36, of Lansford, Pennsylvania, failed to stop until he reached Bailey Road in the Town of Montgomery.
Officer Baker felt that Shannon was acting extremely nervous. Officer Roy Werner arrived and began to interview him. Shannon admitted that he had a loaded handgun in the driver door compartment. The handgun, a Beretta 32 caliber, was recovered and found to be loaded with seven rounds of ammunition.
Shannon was licensed to carry a handgun in the State of Pennsylvania where he lives, but not New York. He was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.
He was arraigned and committed to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
August 29, 2003
Contractor charged with fraud
By Bianca Sausa
Walden – A Walden contractor faces grand jury action after police charged him with taking money from local residents in exchange for work that he either didn't complete or didn't start.
Brett Thompson, 31, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Walden Village Court Wednesday night. His case was adjourned for grand jury action. He was arrested July 12.
Walden Police Officer Steven Reed charged Thompson with not following through on construction jobs for which he had received partial payments.
Thompson, owner of Thompson Construction, was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony, and second-degree scheme to defraud, a misdemeanor.
Reed said four victims from Walden, Montgomery, Goshen and Newburgh gave Thompson a total of $9,200 to do some type of construction work that he is accused of either not doing or not completing.
Fran Pierce of Walden hired Thompson in April 2002 after checking up on him with the Orange County Department of Consumer Affairs. She said there were no complaints filed so she hired him. She gave him a $3,500 deposit to redo her bathroom.
Pierce says Thompson gave her excuse after excuse but failed to show up to do the work after being paid.
She sued him in small claims court and won a $3,000 judgment.
Andrew Regenbaum, Thompson's lawyer, said the matter is civil and should not have resulted in criminal charges.
"He always intended to do the job," Regenbaum said, "he just wasn't able to do it in the fashion she [Pierce] wanted, in the timeliness she wanted."
Pierce has since filed a complaint with the county Department of Consumer Affairs and with the state attorney general's office.
Officials there said there was only one complaint filed and three inquiries.
"Now there'll be a red flag," Pierce said.
Anyone with more information is asked to call Reed at the Walden Police Department at 778-5595.
Walden man charged with sexual abuse
|A Walden man has been indicted by
an Orange County grand jury on charges of rape in the first and third
District Attorney Frank Phillips said in February, Jason Hall, 23, allegedly had sex with a girl under the age of 13 while he was over the age of 18. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Hall, who was arrested on February 4, 2003 by Walden Village Police, is free on bail.
March 28, 2003
Walden police aim for approval
By Bianca Sausa
The Times Herald-Record
Walden – One of the biggest complaints Walden police hear is that they don't always make follow-up callbacks, the department's chief said.
For a department with more part-time officers than full-time ones, such problems sometimes occur. But with the police department in the early stages of seeking accreditation, Chief Jeffrey Holmes said that's about to change: "The part-time officers will have to follow up."
There's more at stake than missed phone calls.
The department has been trying to become accredited for years and recently got the backing of the Village Board. There have been different board members over the past eight years, and none up until now fully supported it, Holmes said.
His goal is to be an accredited agency in about a year and a half.
The Department of Criminal Justice Services accredits police departments statewide. It requires local agencies to satisfy 144 requirements, ranging from how officers wear their uniforms to how they handle a pursuit.
The objective, said Holmes, is to have more accountability for liability and insurance purposes and to provide more "efficient and quality service" to the 6,164 village residents.
"Just trying to get a better focus," Holmes said. "The officers are doing fine."
Scott Steinhardt, spokesman for the state division of Criminal Justice Services, said accreditation should also promote public confidence.
"[It's a] progressive and contemporary way of helping police agencies evaluate and improve overall performance," Steinhardt said.
About 90 other police departments in the state are accredited, seven of which are in Ulster and Orange counties.
The process can take years of preparation, depending on the amount of work and hours a department invests in it.
Holmes said getting accredited will provide more accountability, more uniformity in how officers handle calls, as well as a more formal rank structure.
Monroe Village Police, which is smaller than Walden's department and has only full-time officers, became accredited in 2001. It is now the mentoring agency for three other police departments in southern Orange County. Lt. Alex Melchiorri said the program benefits the police department and the public.
"Everybody's going to be doing the same thing," Melchiorri said. "[It] benefits the interior structure [and] benefits the general public."
May 24, 2003
Police officer injured in car spin-out
A Walden police officer will be back to work next week after his car spun out on Main Street, hit a parked car and then a building.
Chief Jeffrey Holmes said that Sgt. Ed Shafer was headed to a fight on Liberty Street when the accident happened. Shafer was making a left onto Main Street when his car spun out on the wet road Wednesday morning. The 1997 Crown Victoria hit a parked car and then the door of Millspaugh Furniture, Holmes said.
Shafer, a 30-year veteran of the department, suffered cuts and bruises but will be back to work next week. State police investigated the accident and determined the cause to be the road conditions.
cop wins Officer of the Year
By Bianca Sausa
Monroe – A Town of Wallkill police officer won the Officer of the Year award this month for capturing a bank robbery suspect in June 2002.
Officer Charles Bodensieck was honored at the 10th annual Awards Ceremony of the Orange County Police Chief's Association May 17 at Sacred Heart Church.
Bodensieck was one of 29 officers given awards. He was honored for his actions at the Hudson United Bank on Route 211 on June 7.
After responding to a robbery-in-progress call, Bodensieck arrived on the scene to find the suspect with a loaded shotgun, holding a hostage. He took cover and then approached the suspect, whose attention was diverted long enough so that the hostage broke free. Bodensieck ordered the suspect to drop his gun, and, with the help of another officer, arrested the suspect.
Awards for valor, meritorious service, lifesaving and exceptional police duty were also given out at the ceremony.
Officer Thomas Yozzo of the Town of Newburgh police received the award for valor.
Troopers James Durkin, Bruce Furbeck and Matthew Forestire were honored for meritorious service.
New Windsor Police Officer Christopher Sager, Town of Wallkill Police Officer Darrell Algarin and Deputy Sheriff Robert Dooley were all given lifesaving awards.
For exceptional police duty, the following officers were honored:
-Sgt. Paul Weber, Cornwall-on-Hudson Police
-Detective Robert Compasso and Officer James Frankild of Monroe police
-Officers Eric Ring, David Mullen and Manuel Lopez of the Town of Goshen police
-Officer Dennis Rolon of the Town of Wallkill police
-Detectives Wayne Kirkpatrick, Brian Zaccaro and Anthony Saverino, Sgt. Paul Rapoli and Officer Michael Fallica, all from the Washingtonville police
-State Police Senior Investigators Thomas Scileppi and Michael Orrego, Investigator Stephen Riordan, Sgt. Kenneth Luttman and Troopers Andrew Stack and Frank Vitko, all from the state police
-Mount Hope Police Investigator Thomas O'Connell
-Chester Town Police Officer Janice Oppman
-Walden Police Officer Daniel Negersmith.
Police seek return of motocross bike
Village police are asking the person who inadvertently purchased a stolen motocross bike to contact them.
Officer Eric Metzger said the bike, a 1996 Suzuki RM 250 motocross bike, originally was stolen from a village residence in October 2001. Police believe the same bike was sold through a newspaper classified ad about three weeks ago.
Metzger said no charges will be filed against the purchaser. Police do not believe the seller realized the bike was stolen.
The person who purchased the bike or anyone else with information should call Metzger at 778-5595 between 4 p.m. and midnight.
Police accuse men of being drug dealers
Village police and Orange County sheriff's deputies arrested two men from the Bronx who had set up a crack-dealing operation in a Main Street apartment here, police said yesterday.
After the pair sold $40 worth of crack cocaine to undercover deputies late Friday, police said, they raided the second floor of 139 W. Main St. and arrested five people.
Wardell Johnson, 35, and Christopher Hughes, 27, of the Bronx, were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony.
Hughes was also charged with four counts of felony criminal possession of a weapon after police said they found a loaded gun and two switchblade knives in his car. The tenants of the apartment, Anthony Long, 31, and Tracey Ludlow, 35, and a friend, Ray Eastwood, 29, of Pine Bush, were also charged with felony criminal possession. All were being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of bail ranging from $20,000 to $30,000, except for Johnson who was being held without bail.
Motorcyclist hurt at end of high-speed chase
A fleeing motorcyclist suffered internal injuries when he crashed following a high-speed chase through Walden Saturday, police said.
Police said the incident started shortly before 7 p.m. when officers tried to stop the driver of a Suzuki 750 motorcycle for speeding on Oak Street. Police said Mark Mullins, 24, of Walden, was traveling 60 mph in a 25 mph zone. Mullins ignored police and took off, passing motorists in no-passing zones, police said.
The driver led officers on a three-mile chase on Route 52, officers said, and as he approached Ryder Road in Montgomery, he drifted off the road into a field. Police said the motorcycle's tire hit some rough terrain in the field and the bike flipped over.
Mullins, who was wearing a helmet, suffered internal injuries and was taken by helicopter to Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla, police said.
Police said Mullins faces charges of reckless endangerment and operating with a suspended license, both misdemeanors. He also faces numerous traffic violations, filed by Village of Walden and state police.
Teen-agers arrested on graffiti charges
Two teen-age girls have been arrested following a week-long investigation into spray-painted symbols and words in many areas of the village.
Officer Eric Metzger said the pair was arrested at 11:20 p.m. Friday after a caller reported that graffiti artists had been at work within the past 45 minutes.
Police were already investigating a spree of graffiti painting that occurred last Sunday on store walls, a post office drop box and seven street signs.
Officer Roy Werner stopped the car in which the teens were riding and Metzger and Officer Bill Herlihy approached the 18-year-old driver. Metzger said the driver, who is from Walden, had spray paint on her jacket. The 15-year-old passenger, who is from Newburgh, had paint on her palms. A can of red spray-paint was found in the trunk, he said.
The teens were charged with making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument, both misdemeanors.
One man arrested after Thruway burglary
WALDEN: Shots were fired during an attempted early morning heist at the Thruway market.
By Jason Doce
The Times Herald-Record
Two village police officers who interrupted a 3 a.m. burglary yesterday at the Thruway Shopping Center were greeted with 12 rounds from a gun.
One man is in custody, but police say they're not sure how many others got away from the attempted heist.
Shortly after responding to a silent alarm call at Thruway Sporting Goods, it became clear to police that the situation was dangerous. The suspects were still inside the store, and they were stocking up on handguns.
The officers were calling for state police backup when the first rounds were fired.
One man, John Thompson, saw it all, perched atop a grassy hill 100 yards from the scene.
"I thought the cops (fired the shots) to scare them out," said Thompson, who ducked behind a telephone pole when he heard the first six pops.
"Then I heard six more. It sounded like they were coming from in between Fleet Bank and the store. But that could have been an echo."
Thompson, carrying a radio-frequency scanner, heard the next police call. It was a simple one: "Shots fired! Shots fired!"
Police did not return any fire, said Walden police Chief Jeffrey Holmes. It is still unknown if any of the shots were aimed at officers. State police arrived, and soon arrested the first, and so far only, suspect.
"This kid came running out of the alley (between the sporting goods and hardware stores)," Thompson said. "They had the bright lights on him. They told him to drop his weapons, step forward, and lay on the ground. Then they swarmed him."
No other suspects were found.
"The one guy had a hand-held walkie-talkie," said Thompson. "They could have radioed each other when the cops came."
The shopping complex has only two exits: the front onto Oak Street – the route used by police – and a secluded rear entrance onto Albany Avenue, which connects with Route 208.
Yesterday, the Thruway Shopping Center did a typical day of business. No yellow tape, no shell casings, no bullet holes to interrupt business at the restaurants, supermarket, or Laundromat – just a single parked village police car as a reminder of the violent morning.
After hours of questioning, police last night charged Rocco C. Annarumma, 22, of Paterson, N.J., with attempted murder, burglary and a host of other charges. He was being held without bail.
"The Walden police, state police, New Windsor, Crawford, Town of Newburgh and New Paltz police were beyond fantastic ... " said George Rowley, Thruway's 34-year director of investigations. He refused to comment on how the thieves might have gotten into the store.
"They must have used the duct work," said Thompson. "(Security) at that place is tight."
Police have yet to nail down all of the particulars. "We still don't know how many suspects we're looking for," Holmes said.
Cop hit by drunken driver; chase ensues
A Village of Walden police officer was struck and thrown from the hood of a car Friday night, Walden police said.
Police said Daniel Brink drove his car into Officer Alex Landolina. Landolina was taken to St. Luke's Hospital where he was treated and released.
Police said Brink's 1995 Mazda was parked in the lot of the local Dairy Mart at about 9:37 p.m. When Landolina approached him, Brink, 21, "accelerated his vehicle toward the officer and struck him, causing him to be thrown onto the hood … and the roadway," police said.
Officer James Baker witnessed the incident and followed Brink's car south on Route 208. Brink later lost control of the car, overturning on Route 208, north of Scotts Corners in the Town of Montgomery.
Brink is charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, a misdemeanor. The investigation continues and other charges are pending, police said.
Village cops deliver baby who couldn't wait
Three police officers helped the village's newest resident into the world Thursday night.
Village police Chief Jeffry Holmes said the officers, the Town of Montgomery Ambulance Corps and Mobile Life Support Services all responded to a 911 call at 11:30 p.m. Thursday for a woman in labor.
Officers Alex Landolina and Eric Metzger, who were in a patrol car, and Officer Nina Sheldon, who was on foot patrol, were the first to arrive. The unidentified mother told the officers she could feel the baby's head protruding, Holmes said.
Metzger spoke to a 911 operator who gave him instructions, which he relayed to Landolina and Sheldon to guide them in helping the mother give birth. The baby boy was born just before a Montgomery emergency medical technician arrived, closely followed by the Montgomery and Mobile Life ambulance crews.
"It just happened quickly," Holmes said. "The officers did a good job last night." The chief said the 911 operator's help was invaluable since none of the officers had delivered a baby before. The helpful operator's name could not be learned because it is Orange County's policy not to identify them.
Holmes said the mother and baby were taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Newburgh, and they are both well. The baby's birth weight and height were not known, but Holmes said, "The officers said it was a big baby."
police win job-performance awards
By Bianca Sausa
The Times Herald-Record
West Point – Twenty-two police officers from around Orange County won awards last night for meritorious service, life saving and exceptional police duty.
Walden Police Chief Jeffrey Holmes said the eighth annual award ceremony, held at the Old Cadet Chapel at the U.S. Military Academy, also kicks off National Law Enforcement Officials Memorial and National Police Week.
Newburgh town police officers Henry Lawson and Dennis Carpenter won the highest honor, Officers of the Year, for quick thinking and courageous actions that saved their own lives and the lives of four suspects.
In March 2000, the two officers stopped a suspicious car. A man was getting out of the car when he reached for a rifle. Lawson yelled "gun,'' alerting Carpenter. Lawson then grabbed the armed suspect and knocked the weapon from his grasp.
For meritorious service, the following eight won awards last night: Trooper John J. Key; Woodbury police Sgt. Clifford Weeks; Crawford police officers John Spinato, John Avery, Eric Meier and Walter Feller; and Goshen town police officers Michael Imperio and Daniel Greak.
For saving the life of another person in the line of duty, the following officers were honored: Blooming Grove town police Sgt. A. J. Smith and officers Kevin Turpin and Gregg Panzarella, and Chester town police Officer Robert Ferrara.
Ten officers received an award for exceptional police duty or demonstrating intelligence and perseverance that contributes to a valuable police accomplishment such as an arrest and conviction. Those winners were: New Windsor town police Officer John E. Jones; Trooper Christopher A. Jones; Middletown police Officer Steven Struk; Village of Goshen police Sgt. David L. Andryshak and Officer Daniel Henderson; and Walden police officers Ronald Schwandt, William Treco, Kenneth Lennon, Eric Metzger and Steven Reed.
The New York State Police Zone 2 Community Stabilization Team and the Middletown and Newburgh police departments' community stabilization teams also won honors for exceptional police duty.
Police save girl's life after she falls in pool
Police helped save a 2½-year-old girl after she was found submerged in the family pool Thursday afternoon.
Walden Police Officer Ken Lennon said police got to the North Street home in 50 seconds after the 911 call came in at 5:28 p.m.
Lennon and Officer Eric Metzger immediately performed CPR on Trudy Amrhein.
Sgt. Ed Shafer showed up shortly after and helped the two officers until paramedics and EMT's from Mobile Life and Montgomery Ambulance arrived.
The girl was brought to St. Luke's Hospital where she was stabilized and then flown to Westchester Medical Center.
Lennon said she is in critical but stable condition and is on a respirator. "She's doing much better now," Lennon said.
Lennon said the girl was playing with two older siblings in the backyard when the group headed inside. The girl apparently didn't follow. Her mother found her floating on top of the pool liner that was filled with six to eight inches of water.
Police think Amrhein wanted to go swimming and either crawled through a hole underneath the padlocked fence or climbed a bicycle that was propped up against it, Lennon said.
Car rolls down hill and into house
A car rolled into a house at the corner of East Main Street and Valley Avenue Thursday night, Walden police said.
Officer Alex Landolina said a clerk at the Mobil gas station thought he had put his car in park when he stopped in the parking lot facing Valley Avenue. The car, however, was in neutral when it rolled down the hill, across Valley Avenue and into the bottom side of a house, police said. No one was injured and no tickets were issued.
REGION: For emergency dispatchers, the job is never routine.
By Bianca Sausa
The Times Herald-Record
To be a dispatcher you need patience and you need to know how to handle stress. Working at a police, fire department or 911 center requires lots of energy and an acute understanding of people and their quirks.
Dispatchers, or "communications specialists," work crazy hours and sometimes double shifts, never knowing who or what is going to be on the other end of the phone. And that's what makes the job all the more exciting.
Here, meet four local dispatchers, just a few of the scores who work in our region. They've seen and heard just about everything. And from the looks of it they've handled it all just fine.
Walden Police Department
She needed a part-time job. It was three and a half years ago when she talked to her friend, a sergeant in the New Paltz Police Department. He referred her to Walden, told her they were looking for someone to work there.
Kathleen McClintock now sits behind the small glass window looking out into the spacious lobby. She is a full-time dispatcher at the small village department. The department size fits her well, she gets along with the officers, even gets them to bring her dinner to make up for all the teasing she endures.
She works 4 to midnight, arguably the busiest shift around, and much different from her old job at a jewelry store. The only bad part is that she's not home with her two daughters at night.
But, she's gotten to know the people who frequently call, can recognize their voices without even a glance at the caller ID. There's the woman who lives next to Sweeney's Irish Pub who calls on Friday nights about the loud music. McClintock in her soft, humorous voice greets the woman. They both know the name of the band.
Lots of things have happened in Walden over the past three and a half years, but nothing was as big as the homicide in November 1999.
"The homicide – I worked for like 24 hours. It happened five minutes before my shift was supposed to end. It was a woman, so I stayed with her. Everywhere she went, I went with her.
"There were so many people running around. I made them coffee. I don't mind doing those things. I try to be helpful to (the officers).
"I would rather dispatch than be an officer. I get to see everything that's going on and they get to do the paperwork.''
Family friend charged with rape of girl, 12
A Middletown man is accused of having intercourse with a 12-year-old girl at her family's home in the Village of Walden, police said yesterday.
Kenneth A. Foulkes, 22, of the 200 block of North Street, was charged with second-degree rape, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. He was arrested by members of the Orange County Child Abuse Investigative Unit, which was following up on a complaint to the New York state child abuse hot line.
An investigator described Foulkes as a friend of the girl's family. The complaint received by the hot line said the girl was raped on Aug. 24, while Foulkes was visiting her family.
Foulkes was arraigned before Walden Village Justice Renard Ozman and sent to Orange County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. He was released on a bail bond Saturday, according to jail records. Prosecutors now have six months to present the case to a grand jury.
Wrong guy was
right guy, just a different guy
WALDEN: An 'America's Most Wanted' spot on an alleged child molester from Chester turns up a fugitive from New Jersey.
By Brendan Scott
The Times Herald-Record
When cops busted into a Walden apartment last week, they thought they finally cornered an alleged child molester from Chester who has been on the lam since 1998.
But, in a strange case of mistaken identity, the Walden man turned out to be a fugitive from New Jersey wanted for alleged probation violations, felony possession of cocaine and illegal possession of handguns.
The man the police were after, Gregory R. Miller, jumped bail in April 1998 after he was charged with sexually abusing two young girls in towns of Woodbury and Chester.
Police were tipped-off that Miller might be in Walden after the fugitive was featured on the Fox Television's "America's Most Wanted" on Aug. 5.
"The information we got was that this Miller guy was frequenting a bar in Montgomery and staying in Walden," Walden police Officer Ken Lennon said yesterday.
But police discovered the man fitting Miller's description was a different fugitive named Robert Cornwell.
His apartment, on Coldenham Road in Walden, was in shambles and had recently been abandoned, Lennon said.
Neighbors described Cornwell as a nuisance.
"When we started looking into Cornwell's record, we found he was wanted on a whole bunch of charges in Bergen County," Lennon said.
"It sounds bizarre, but that's the way it happened."
According to State Police Investigator Robert Leary, Cornwell had frequented local motels after fleeing his apartment in Walden.
He was arrested Aug. 15 after being identified while eating lunch at Howard Johnson's Lodge in the Town of Wallkill.
Earlier this week, Cornwell waived extradition and turned himself in to New Jersey authorities, Leary said.
As for Miller, Town of Chester Detective Sal Ardisi, who is spearheading the hunt for the fugitive, is optimistic that a recently issued federal warrant will soon lead to his arrest.
"With this warrant,'' Ardisi said, "the FBI can use all the resources at their disposal to pinpoint his location anywhere in the country."
Boy seriously injured after running into car
An 8-year-old Walden boy was seriously injured yesterday after he ran into the side of a moving car on Church Street, police said.
Officer Ken Lennon said James Elliot Jr., was flown by state police helicopter to Westchester Medical Center for head and leg injuries.
Lennon said the boy was so excited that he had found a trail in the woods across the street from his house and was running towards his house when he ran into a car driven by Kathleen Jurman, 43, of Montgomery.
His father was standing in front of his house directly across the street when the accident happened around 5:30 p.m.
Jurman had just picked up a friend and was on her way to the Thruway Market. She wasn't ticketed.
The boy was in serious condition when he was flown out. Lennon said the accident was still under investigation last night.
Legion honors police for jobs well done
MONROE: The American Legion in Monroe tonight will honor a dozen Orange County law enforcement officers.
By Christopher Mele
The Times Herald-Record
On April 19, 1999, Goshen village Patrolman Frank Jackson was just getting into his patrol car to begin his shift when his radio crackled with a call.
A sports utility vehicle had crashed through the showroom window of the Suresky car dealership.
Not your everyday kind of call, but not totally unheard of either. In the past, customers taking test drives had mistakenly put the cars into the wrong gear and smashed into windows.
But when Jackson rolled up to the showroom on Hatfield Lane, he found pandemonium. People were running around, streaming out of the showroom.
"People were yelling at me from all directions. 'She's inside! She's crazy!'" Jackson said.
The SUV was a good eight to 10 feet into the showroom. Seven or eight new cars were damaged. Broken glass everywhere crunched underfoot.
The SUV's windows were up and the doors were locked. The car was still running. With the SUV in park, the female driver was gently gunning the engine.
Jackson knocked on the window and tried to talk to her, but the driver ignored him. She was talking on a cellular phone with a 911 operator. Her hands were shaking and she had been crying.
Holding a box cutter, the woman sliced her left thigh and wrist, leaving superficial wounds. She threatened suicide.
Then the woman put the car into gear and attempted to move. "You could feel the car wanting to go,'' Jackson said.
Jackson smashed the driver's side window with his baton. When he reached in to turn the ignition off, the woman lunged at him with the knife. He disarmed her, turned the car off and took the driver into custody.
The whole harrowing incident was over in about eight minutes.
"It was a bizarre incident. Fortunately, it had an outcome where nobody got hurt,'' said Jackson, a seven-year veteran of the Goshen Police Department.
"He acted swiftly, decisively and intelligently,'' said Goshen Police Chief James Watt. "I honestly think he saved the lives of the person who was trying to kill herself as well as other people on the scene."
The Police Chiefs' Association of Orange County named Jackson Officer of the Year for his heroic actions. Jackson and 11 other officers recognized by the chiefs group will be honored again tonight, this time by the American Legion post in Monroe.
"It's a pretty thankless job we do every day,'' Jackson said of being a cop. "It's nice for a change to be recognized for the work we do, instead of being criticized or picked apart."
Other honorees tonight include:
- Officer Daniel Doellinger, Town of Chester Police Department, for his work investigating the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl by a man who met her over the Internet.
- Officer Eric O. Meier, Town of Crawford Police Department, for developing a police program in the use of physical force.
- Detective John Might, Village of Highland Falls Police Department, for his investigations of robbery, sexual abuse and drug-dealing cases.
- Officer Jeffrey W. Madden, City of Middletown Police Department, for making 324 arrests over his career.
- The Detective Division, Town of Newburgh Police Department, for its investigation of the high-profile murder of Dominick Pendino. Last week, two people were convicted in the killing.
- Trooper William Hannigan, New York State Police Troop F, for his work in arresting suspects in two robberies.
- Officers Peter A. Vesely and Michael C. Farbent, Town of New Windsor Police Department, for their work in arresting two fleeing armed robbery suspects.
- Officer Raymond Mesaris, Town of Tuxedo Police Department, for his work in solving the first murder in the history of the department.
- Officer Dennis Rolon, Town of Wallkill Police Department, for leading the department in arrests and drunken-driving arrests for the past two years.
- Officer Robert DeSaye, Village of Walden Police Department, for his can-do spirit and involvement in all the village's major cases in 1999.
Village of Walden
Florida fugitive arrested
An 18-year-old man, wanted for armed robberies in the state of Florida, is now in Orange County Jail awaiting extradition.
Mark A Bodtmann, who was staying with his aunt in Walden, was arrested July 6 by Village of Walden Police after he tried to pawn a stolen lap top in Newburgh, police said.
Police later learned that Bodtmann was wanted in Florida for home invasion robberies and for fraud. He initially gave police a false name, police said.
Bodtmann was charged with forgery and possession of stolen property. He pled guilty in Village of Walden Court and is being held in Orange County Jail.
Orange County cops honored
Monroe – Orange County Police Chiefs named Officer Frank W. Jackson Officer of the Year last night during their annual awards ceremony at Sacred Heart Church in Monroe.
Jackson, who serves in the Village of Goshen police, stopped a woman from killing herself and injuring bystanders last spring after she crashed her sport-utility vehicle through the showroom window at Suresky Chrysler Plymouth.
The woman hit two new cars and narrowly missed several people in the incident. She then locked herself in the vehicle and threatened to slit her wrists with a razor blade.
Jackson tried to calm her. But when she put her vehicle into gear, he broke her window with his baton, shut off the car, disarmed her and removed her from the vehicle. Jackson's response protected civilians and emergency workers on the scene and prevented the woman from taking her own life.
Mark B. Codd, assistant special agent in charge of the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Branch of the New York FBI office, spoke at the event.
Others honored include:
Officer Daniel Doellinger, Town of Chester Police Department.
Officer Eric O. Meier, Town of Crawford Police Department.
Detective John Might, Village of Highland Falls Police Department.
Officer Jeffrey W. Madden, City of Middletown Police Department.
The Detective Division, Town of Newburgh Police Department.
Trooper William Hannigan, New York State Police Troop F.
Officer Peter A. Vesely, Town of New Windsor Police Department.
Officer Michael C. Farbent, Town of New Windsor Police Department.
Officer Raymond Mesaris, Town of Tuxedo Police Department.
Officer Dennis Rolon, Town of Wallkill Police Department.
Officer Robert DeSaye, Village of Walden Police Department.
Village to use camera to monitor street
A new video camera with 360-degree monitoring capability will be installed on Main Street, said village manager Jim Politi.
The remote-control, direct-line video camera will provide the Village of Walden Police dispatcher with around-the-clock shots of Main Street, Ulster Avenue, and Bank Street. The camera will have zoom lenses and night-vision capability.
"It's really an extra set of eyes," said Politi.
Politi added that videotaped evidence is valuable when cases go to trial.
Board approval for the camera has been given, and $22,000 in grant money has been appropriated.
If the first camera is successful, another camera will be installed outside of Walden Elementary School on Orchard Street.
Prostitution ring yields two indictments
An Orange County grand jury yesterday indicted a village man and his girlfriend on charges that they scooped young girls off the street and turned them into New York City prostitutes.
Tyrone Johnson, also known as Keith Wilson; and Jacqueline Macy, 25, both of South Montgomery Street, Walden, were both indicted on felony charges of second-degree promoting prostitution and fourth-degree criminal conspiracy, felonies. Johnson also was charged with three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and a single count of forgery, misdemeanors. As Johnson, he's 29 years old; as Wilson, he's 35.
Walden police arrested the two last month. They're accused of providing three girls, all under 16, with clothing and transportation to New York between Sept. 1 of last year and Jan. 13.
District Attorney Frank Phillips called it "a very unusual case, a very tragic case in many ways."
Johnson and Macy have both been held in the county jail since their arrests. They're both scheduled for arraignment today in County Court.
Two jailed on drug-related charges
Walden police arrested two local residents on felony drug charges yesterday.
Migdalia Trevino, 39, was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies.
Brandon Degroat, 23, was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony.
Police said the drug was crack cocaine.
Both were sent to Orange County Jail in lieu of bail. Trevino was being held on $20,000 cash bail and Degroat on $7,500 cash bail.
Walden police worked with the Orange County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit in the month-long investigation.
Additional charges and arrests may follow, police said.
Teen-ager charged with beating infant
A 19-year-old Walden man twisted a 2-month-old infant's leg until it broke, Walden police charged Monday night.
He also bit the child on the face and punched the infant on the spine, police said.
Police did not release the man's name, citing his age.
He was charged with felony second-degree assault.
He was also charged with third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, and endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors.
He was arraigned and sent to Orange County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail, pending a hearing in Walden court.
Walden, Orange County
Boy, 12, hit by car;
vehicle flees the scene
A 12-year-old boy was injured after he was hit by a vehicle yesterday on Valley Avenue.
The vehicle left the scene of the accident. No description was available last night. The boy, whose name was withheld by police because of his age, was treated at the scene by Mobile Life Support Services and taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Newburgh with what were described as minor injuries.
The accident happened at 3:10 p.m., at the intersection of Valley Avenue and East Main Street.
Police are looking for the vehicle involved in the accident. Anyone with information on the incident should call Walden police at 778-5595.
– HEATHER YAKIN
23-year-old man is killed after an argument with his girlfriend, who says she
stabbed him in self-defense.
By Oliver Mackson and Anuradha Raghunathan
The Times Herald-Record
A woman was charged with thrusting a
knife into her boyfriend’s chest, killing him during a fracas just before
midnight Friday in their Orange Avenue apartment.
guns found during Ulster Avenue raid
A drug raid turned up heroin, crack cocaine and guns Tuesday night at an Ulster Avenue house, police said.
Walden police, assisted by the Orange County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit and Entry Team, served a no-knock search warrant at 6:35 p.m. Officer Ken Lennon said police investigated drug activity at the house after "several dozen" complaints from people in the neighborhood.
Police seized heroin and crack valued at $4,000, two rifles and drug paraphernalia, Lennon said.
Four adults and a 15-year-old were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony. The adults were Sergio Vega Jr., 18, of the City of Newburgh; and Shane W. Long, 23, Ananias D. Vasquez, 18, and Rosa Oyola, 18, all of Walden. The adults were arraigned yesterday in Walden Village Court and sent to Orange County Jail in lieu of bail, pending preliminary hearings. Bail was set at $20,000 for Vega, $25,000 for Long, $15,000 for Vasquez and $7,500 for Oyola.
The 15-year-old City of Newburgh boy was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. He was released to his parents, pending an appearance in Orange County Family Court.
— HEATHER YAKIN
Officer says treat women just like men
WALDEN -- Walden police officer Brian Jarvis doesn't believe that women convicted of murder should be treated any differently because of their gender.
Women can commit crimes that are just as brutal as the crimes committed by men, according to Jarvis, who is speaking from personal experience.
"There is no doubt they are capable of it," he said.
Jarvis knows of a woman murderer who reminds him of Karla Faye Tucker.
As a sergeant in the Marion County, Fla., Sheriff's Department in 1990, he participated in a task force that helped arrest a woman who was charged with the murders of seven middle-aged men in the state of Florida.
The woman, Aileen Wuornos, who was about 30 at the time, was tried and found guilty of one murder, and subsequently pleaded guilty to six others. She was sentenced to death and is imprisoned in the Broward Correctional Facility pending ongoing appeals. No execution date has been set.
"The murder acts she committed were among the most violent and predatory that I've seen," Jarvis said. "She killed seven men. The violence of it was corollary to any male counterpart on death row."
Using a .22-caliber handgun, she typically fired a half dozen or more bullets into her victims, according to Jarvis.
He recalled the wounds on one victim indicating that he had been shot from many angles as the victim apparently rolled to dodge the bullets.
There is another similarity between Wuornos and Karla Faye Tucker, according to Jarvis. While in prison, Wuornos claimed to be converted to Christianity, Jarvis said.
Marlboro man charged in theft of Newports
A Marlboro man was charged with petty larceny early Sunday in connection with three cartons of Newports. Cigarettes, that is.
Kevin J. Brown, 36, of Ridge Road, was also chased 12 miles at high speed by cruisers from three police departments after a clerk at the Dairy Mart on Route 52 told a Walden patrolman that Brown had just walked out without paying for the three cartons, Walden Officer Brian Jarvis said.
In addition to the larceny charge in Walden, Town of Newburgh Police charged Brown with 10 vehicle and traffic violations. Further traffic charges were pending in the City of Newburgh, where the chase ended at 2:38 a.m. Brown was sent to Orange Count Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. Court information was unavailable.
According to Jarvis, Officer Eric Metzger walked into Dairy Mart moments after Brown had left about 1:40 a.m. A clerk said Brown took the Newports after they were laid on the counter; the clerk's back was turned because Brown had then asked for two cartons of Marlboros.
Heading east on Route 52, Metzger spotted Brown's 1987 Chevrolet Suburban just inside the Town of Newburgh and turned on his emergency lights. Brown sped up, Jarvis said, and the chase continued east on Route 52. One of Brown's tires blew on East Parmenter Street in the city, his car ran into a tree and Brown fled on foot.
Police dog Shadow stopped Brown not far away, Jarvis said. Shadow works with Town of Newburgh Officer Thomas Yozzo.
-- TOM LEEK