Chatham man accused of sexual abuse of two young children

CHATHAM–Livingston State Police charged Franklin Tanaka, 66, of Chatham, with two counts of first degree sex abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, March 11.

Mr. Tanaka is accused of sexually abusing his friend’s two young children in the Village of Chatham. The arrest comes as a result of a month-long investigation by State Police investigators assisted by the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and Chatham Police.

Arraigned in Ghent Court before Justice David Harrison, Mr. Tanaka was committed to the Columbia County Jail without bail and scheduled to reappear March 23.

Canaan

An argument between two students at the Berkshire Union Free School on the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth Campus on Route 22 landed one boy in the Berkshire Medical Center emergency room and another in police custody, March 12.

New Lebanon State Police were called to the school after a 15-year-old student threw a calculator at a 16-year-old student. The calculator struck the student in the face, causing a gash in his eyebrow that took three stitches to close. The victim was treated and released to Berkshire Farm Center staff.

Trooper John La Plante charged the 15-year-old with second degree assault and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon. Because of his age, the boy was issued a Family Court appearance ticket and was turned over to Berkshire Farm Center security staff.

Livingston

Zachary Stevens, 19, of Livingston was charged with second degree menacing and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon by Livingston State Police, March 7.

Mr. Stevens allegedly fought with and threatened a man while brandishing a 12-inch knife.

He was arraigned in Livingston Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail.

Greenport

Kelli Tierney, 43, of Rhinebeck was charged with seven counts of first degree criminal impersonation, a class E felony, and seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance by Greenport Police Chief Kevin Marchetto and Officer Paul Calcagno, March 4.

Ms. Tierney allegedly impersonated a physician and called in prescriptions for percocet and oxycodone to local pharmacies, which she later picked up for herself.

She was arraigned and released on her own recognizance pending a future court date.

*Andrea Merchant, 26, of Philmont was charged with seven counts of possession of a forged instrument, a class D felony by Greenport Police, February 22.

Ms. Merchant allegedly forged prescriptions and purchased percocet. Police say Ms. Merchant was formerly employed by the Hearth in Philmont and used a client’s name and other information to get the prescriptions filled at a variety of pharmacies in Greenport. She was arraigned in Greenport Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

In a separate incident March 10, Livingston State Police were called to a fight at a residence in Philmont. Ms. Merchant was charged with second degree assault and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Ms. Merchant allegedly struck a woman in the face with a glass bowl during an argument, inflicting cuts to the woman’s face and head. Arraigned in Claverack Court, Ms. Merchant was released and scheduled to appear in Philmont Court at a later date.

*Duhamel Johnson, 18, of Hudson was charged with third degree assault by Greenport Police Officer Jerald Rowell, March 16.

Mr. Johnson allegedly punched a man 8 to 10 times for no apparent reason at an Arthur Avenue residence. The victim suffered a cut lip, a black eye and bruises to his chest.

Arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Francis Abitabile, Mr. Johnson was jailed in lieu of $500 bail.

*Normond Ducas, 26, of Saugerties was charged with felony third degree criminal mischief, two counts of third degree criminal trespass and three counts of petit larceny by Greenport Police Officer Jerald Rowell, February 22.

Police say security cameras at the Walmart Super Center captured Mr. Ducas stealing a variety of items, including a 26-inch monitor which he put under his shirt. But in the process of taking the item, he allegedly broke it. Additional charges are pending.

Mr. Ducas was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Robert Brenzel and jailed in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. Officer Rowell investigated the case for more than two months.

Hudson

Edward Simmons, 50, of Hudson was charged as a fugitive from justice by Deputy Brian Molinski March 6 at 7:50 p.m. Mr. Simmons was wanted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida on various felony drug charges.  Arraigned in City Court before Judge William Cranna, Mr. Simmons was sent to the county jail without bail pending further extradition proceedings. Hudson Police Officer William Wrigley assisted with the arrest.

Drugs and alcohol

The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Dwight Dottin, 20, of Hudson was charged with fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (heroin), a class D felony; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (ecstasy), a class A misdemeanor; fifth degree criminal possession of marijuana (more than two ounces) and second degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia by Greenport Police Officers Chris Link and Matt Card during a traffic stop on Fairview Avenue, Greenport, February 22.

He was arraigned before Greenport Justice Robert Brenzel and released.

*Jason Werner, 28, of Ancram was charged with driving while intoxicated and an exhaust system violation by Trooper Jeremy Proper during a traffic stop on Route 23, Copake, March 5. He was issued tickets to appear in Copake Court at a later date.

*Warren Wesolowski, 46, of Germantown was charged with driving while intoxicated by Troopers Michael Castle and Jeremy Proper, March 6. Police said Mr. Wesolowski was traveling south on Route 9 in Clermont, when his one of his tires went flat and he pulled off the road in front of the troopers, who stopped to check on his welfare. He was issued tickets to appear in Clermont Court at a later date.

*Jahmal Lee, 21, of Poughkeepsie was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and several traffic infractions by Trooper John Reppucci during a traffic stop on the Taconic State Parkway in Claverack March 10. He was issued tickets to appear in Claverack Court at a later date.

*Marvin George, 56, of Germantown was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated (having a blood alcohol content greater than .18%) and several traffic infractions by Trooper Jeremy Proper during a traffic stop on County Route 7A, Copake, March 6. He was issued tickets to appear in Copake Court at a later date.

*Christian Bush, 37, of Livingston was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated (having a blood alcohol content greater than .18%), open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, throwing refuse on the highway and other traffic infractions by Trooper Andrew Behrens during a traffic stop on County Route 19/White Oak Road, Livingston, March 7. While pulling over, Mr. Bush allegedly threw a beer can out the window. The trooper saw open containers inside the vehicle as well. Mr. Bush was issued tickets to appear in Livingston Court at a later date.

*Richard Hinkein, 59, of Germantown was charged with driving while intoxicated by Trooper Eric Buchinsky during a traffic stop on County Route 31 and Wire Road, Livingston, March 7. Mr. Hinkein was issued tickets to appear in Livingston Court at a later date.

*Taylor Wishneff, 19, of Barrytown was charged with driving while intoxicated by Troopers Michael Castle and Jeremy Proper during a traffic stop on Route 9G, Clermont, March 7. Ms. Wishneff was issued tickets to appear in Clermont Court at a later date.

*Aaron Ardeeser, 19, of Philmont was charged with driving while intoxicated by State Police during a traffic stop for vehicle and traffic law violations on Route 82, Taghkanic, March 6. He was released on tickets returnable in Taghkanic Court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email

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