Alleged burglar, 17, charged in Ghent case

GHENT–Sheriff’s deputies charged a 17-year-old Ghent male with third degree burglary, a class D felony and petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor. Sheriff David Harrison Jr. reports that the owner of the Heavy Hauler company on State Route 9H reported a break-in and theft that occurred sometime overnight, May 24.

Deputies and investigators began a probe of the crime, which led them to the 17-year-old, whom they arrested May 25 at 11:55 a.m. The teen, who was not identified by the sheriff, made admissions concerning his involvement in the burglary and theft.

Investigators recovered computers and other electronic equipment stolen from the building. The value of the stolen property is about $1,000.

The teenager was arraigned in Ghent Court before Justice Michael Bruno and was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He will return to court at a later date.

Deputy Travis VanAlstyne and Investigators Anthony Brahm and Patrick Logue worked on the case.


John A. Coons, 23, of Valatie was charged with third degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, speeding and other vehicle and traffic law violations by Kinderhook State Police, April 28 at 8:10 p.m.

Troopers saw a vehicle, driven by Mr. Coons, speeding (81 mph in a 55 mph zone) on County Route 28. When the troopers activated the emergency lights and siren on their patrol car, the driver allegedly accelerated, continued to speed and operated his motor vehicle in a reckless manner.

Mr. Coons subsequently pulled his vehicle over in the area of the Kinderhook Boat Launch where he was taken into custody. He was issued tickets returnable in Kinderhook Town Court at a later date.


Kim Douglas, 52, of Ghent was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (Alprazolam), disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of marijuana and violations of vehicle and traffic law by Livingston State Trooper M. Radewitz, April 26.

Troopers were called to the scene of an accident on State Route 23B involving a tractor trailer. Firefighters from Claverack’s A.B. Shaw Fire Company were assisting the troopers with traffic control when Mr. Douglas allegedly became irate at having to wait in traffic tied up by the accident. Mr. Douglas allegedly swore and yelled at the volunteer firefighters. When troopers went over to talk to the man and calm him down, they discovered that he was driving under the influence of drugs. Mr. Douglas was released with appearance tickets returnable in Claverack Court at a later date.


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

*Brian Hoffman, 46, of Stuyvesant was charged with driving while intoxicated by Livingston State Trooper G. Szulis, March 24.

The trooper stopped Mr. Hoffman for vehicle and traffic law violations on Fairview Avenue, Greenport and was found him to be intoxicated. Mr. Hoffman was released with tickets returnable in Greenport Court.

*Annemarie R. Grayson, 57, of Craryville was charged with failure to keep right, driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated by Deputy Jason Garvey and Sheriff’s Sergeant William Zincio during a traffic stop on Route 23 in Hillsdale, March 24 at 1:08 a.m. She was to answer the charges in Hillsdale Court.

*Demetrius Irby, 32, of Troy was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and on a Troy City Court-issued warrant by New Lebanon Troopers John La Plante and Nicholas Lombardi, early the morning of March 24. Mr. Irby was pulled over on Route 20, West Lebanon after he allegedly failed to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic.

Mr. Irby was found in possession of a plastic bag of marijuana and to be driving under the influence of the drug. He was evaluated by a drug recognition expert.

His passenger, Michelle McMurray, 29, also of Troy, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after troopers found her to possess a marijuana grinder, a plastic bag of marijuana and a portable ashtray, containing the butt-ends of several marijuana joints. Troopers also discovered that Mr. Irby and Ms. McMurray were using a rental car without authorization. At the request of the rental company, the car was seized for return.  A computer check on Mr. Irby revealed that he was wanted by Troy City Court. Both subjects were issued tickets to appear in New Lebanon Court.  Ms. McMurray was released. Mr. Irby was turned over to Troy Police for the processing on the warrant.

*Dustin Hanford, 25, of Pittsfield, MA, was charged with driving while intoxicated by Trooper John La Plante following a car crash in West Lebanon early Saturday morning, March 24. Mr. Hanford was driving east on Route 20 just before 5 a.m. when his car went off the road and sheared off a power pole. Mr. Hanford sustained minor injuries when the air bag of his 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee struck him in the face. He and his two passengers declined transport by the Chatham Rescue Squad. The Lebanon Valley Protective Association also responded to the crash scene.

Mr. Hanford tested at a .14% blood alcohol concentration. He was scheduled to appear in New Lebanon Town Court.

*State Police charged three motorcyclists with drunk driving following an accident on County Route 11, Claverack, April 29 at 5:25 p.m.

Livingston State Police went to the motorcycle accident scene and determined that Lorie Sproule, 56, of New Fairfield, CT, and Ronald Darr, 53, of Trumbull, CT, who were part of a group of motorcycles, who had failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the roadway.

Ms. Sproule suffered a possible head injury and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, where blood was drawn to determine if alcohol was a factor in the accident. Mr. Darr refused medical treatment at the scene.  During the investigation, troopers interviewed Mr. Darr, along with Gregory Sproule, 56, of New Fairfield, CT, and Paul Salmon, 52, of Warren, CT, who were all found to be intoxicated. Chemical tests were administered which resulted in the following blood alcohol content results: Ronald Darr .08%; Gregory Sproule .09% and Paul Salmon .09%. All were charged with driving while intoxicated and issued tickets returnable in Claverack Court.

To contact Diane Valden email .


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