Violent cross-county encounter includes baseball bat and aggressive driving

HILLSDALE–A dispute over a debt turned violent, according to State Police at New Lebanon. Believing an 18-year-old Hillsdale man owed him money, Nathan George, 19, of Columbiaville, armed with an aluminum baseball bat, took off in his vehicle looking for the man, August 8.

Mr. George allegedly ran the man off the road on Collins Street, then got out of his vehicle and smashed out the front windshield of the victim’s car, showering him with broken glass.

The victim drove away, making his way to Route 22 and headed north. Mr. George followed the man, tailgating him and trying to pass him on both sides through the towns of Hillsdale, Austerlitz and Canaan, according to police.

The victim was able to call 911 on his cell phone near the B-3 entrance to the Thruway. Trooper John La Plante intercepted Mr. George on Route 22 near Cherry Lane in New Lebanon. Mr. George allegedly threw the bat out of his window when he saw the trooper, but State Police found the weapon in a culvert.

Mr. George was charged with third degree criminal mischief, a felony; fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon; second degree reckless endangerment and second degree harassment.

He was arraigned in New Lebanon Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. He will appear in the Hillsdale Town Court at a later date.

Canaan

Joseph Partridge, 17, formerly of Ashland, a resident of the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, was charged with third degree criminal mischief, a felony, and second degree harassment by Trooper John La Plante, August 9.

Allegedly angry at the staff who denied his departure from the facility, Joseph allegedly destroyed the contents of his cottage bedroom, causing over $1,000 damage. When a staff member tried to calm him, Joseph allegedly pushed and punched the man. He was arraigned in Canaan Court and was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail. He will return to court at a later date.

*Three Berkshire Farm Center residents were charged with stealing items from vehicles after they went AWOL from the center, August 5.

A 15-year-old, originally from Newburgh, and a 14-year-old, originally from Philmont were each charged with petit larceny and were issued tickets to appear in Family Court. The third boy, Carlos King, 16, originally from Poughkeepsie was charged with two counts of petit larceny. He was ticketed to appear in Canaan Court at a later date.

Two local residents discovered that items were missing from their cars. An investigation by Trooper Dillard Waring revealed that while off the grounds, the trio allegedly ransacked two cars and stole money from each.

Copake

Copake Police charged four teens with second degree reckless endangerment after receiving numerous reports from motorists about things being thrown at them.

Officer Larry Edelman first went to Route 22 near Weed Mine Road after receiving a complaint at 9 p.m. August 2, but found no one around. Then about an hour later after receiving more calls that perpetrators were at it again, Officer Edelman returned and chased the suspects through the woods apprehending one of them. He was subsequently able to find out who the others involved were.

Four local boys, two 14 years of age and the other two age 15, allegedly threw paintballs, corncobs and sticks at passing motorists on Route 22, according to Copake Police Chief Rob Lopez. One woman had a paintball hit her windshield and not knowing what it was turned on her windshield wipers, which caused the paint to smear and the driver was unable to see where she was going. Chief Lopez said the situation was potentially dangerous and he was glad the perpetrators were stopped before a major accident occurred. The boys were issued tickets to appear at the Columbia County Probation Department.

Greenport

Greenport Police Officer Patrick Meister was summoned by Columbia County 911 for a distraught person on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge July 30 at 9:30 p.m.

The officer arrived to find a 34-year-old Hudson man talking about suicide and threatening to jump. The distraught man had a friend with him. Officer Meister and the man’s friend were able to walk the man off the bridge to an area where they could talk. The man then agreed to go to Columbia Memorial Hospital for evaluation. He was taken there by the officer and turned over to medical staff. This is the second person in a month that has considered taking his life. Greenport Police Officer Corey Cox was able to talk a Greenport man off the bridge back on June 5. Persons in need of assistance should contact the following numbers: Columbia County Mental Health Department Crisis Line 518 828-9446 or Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center 518 689-4673. Greenport Police urge people to seek professional help during a time of distress. Catskill and Hudson Police also assisted at the scene.

Hudson River

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit Deputy Heath Benansky and Deputy John Rustici were dispatched for a boating accident on the Hudson River 3.5 miles north of Hudson in Greenport, July 30 at 12:20 p.m.

An investigation revealed that Brian Mathew, 42, of Ghent was operating his 1996 Rinker 21-foot boat northbound on the Hudson River.

Mr. Mathew’s brother, Brett Mathew, 44, of Charlotte, NC was following the boat on a 1998 Yamaha Jet Ski. Brian Mathew saw a large barge coming southbound on river and reduced his vessels’ speed to avoid the barge’s wake.  At the same time Brett Mathew was crossing over his brother’s wake and did not notice the reduction in speed. Brett Mathew’s Jet Ski struck the transom of his brother’s vessel causing damage to both vessels. No one on the boat was hurt, but Brett Mathew did hit his face on the Jet Ski sustained minor injuries.

Brett Mathew was ticked for reckless operation and operation a personal watercraft without a safety certificate. Also responding to the accident were the Greenport Fire Company and Rescue Squad.

*Deputy Benansky and Deputy Rustici of the Sheriff’s Marine Unit responded to a report of swimmers in the river hanging onto rocks and possibly in distress, July 30. The deputies located three individuals holding onto the rocks at buoy #140 in Greenport. The individuals had decided to swim across the channel and were going to return to the island where they were camping after a short rest. They were not in distress at any time.  Greenport Rescue Squad also responded to the incident and gave the three individuals a courtesy ride back to their campsite on their pontoon boat. This squad’s vessel was used to safely navigate the shallow water near the island.

Drugs/alcohol

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

*Donald Quinn, 44, of New Lebanon was charged with driving while intoxicated by State Police at Livingston, June 29. Police stopped Mr. Quinn for a loud muffler on State 20, New Lebanon. He was released on tickets returnable in New Lebanon Court.

*James Penta, 47, of Cranston, RI, was charged with driving while intoxicated and tested at a .12% blood alcohol content during a traffic stop on Route 20, West Lebanon after committing a lane violation, July 7.  Police say Mr. Penta had just left the Lebanon Valley Speedway. Trooper Nicholas Lombardi issued Mr. Penta tickets to appear in New Lebanon Court.

*Brian Jones, 21, of Petersburg was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and unlawful possession of marijuana by Trooper John La Plante, July 2. Police say Mr. Jones left an event at the Lebanon Valley Speedway, then passed a car in a no-passing zone, failed to stop for a stop sign and failed to signal for a turn on Adams Crossing Road in West Lebanon. He tested at a .07% blood alcohol concentration and was issued tickets to appear in New Lebanon Court.

*Jack E. Lester, 25, of Germantown was charged with failure to keep right and driving while intoxicated by State Police at Livingston, July 8 at 11:50 p.m. Mr. Lester failed field sobriety tests. He submitted to a breath test resulting in a .11% blood alcohol content. He was issued tickets returnable in Germantown Court.

*Peter J. Jenrich, 35, of Valatie was charged with driving while intoxicated twice within a few hours by State Police at Kinderhook. Late the night of July 5, troopers were conducting a vehicle and traffic stop on State Route 9 in Valatie, when they saw Mr. Jenrich drive by, fail to move over and come in close proximity to the trooper alongside the road. Troopers returned to their vehicle and stopped Mr. Jenrich, determined he was intoxicated and charged him with DWI and failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle (Move Over Law).  He submitted to a breath test resulting in a .17% blood alcohol content. He was issued tickets and released.  At about 12:10 a.m. July 6, troopers saw Mr. Jenrich operating a motor vehicle which failed to stop for a stop sign at the intersection of New Street and Main Street in Valatie. They stopped him again. He was taken into custody and submitted to a breath test resulting in a .11% BAC. He was charged a second time with DWI and various vehicle and traffic law infractions. He was again issued tickets and this time released to a family member.

To contact Diane Valden email .

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