Responders’ search turns up man who meant to get lost

COPAKE—The 28-year-old man reported missing while on a hike in the area of Bash Bish Falls on the New York/Massachusetts border was found by authorities after he spent about 37 hours in the woods.

Kyle Pember of Northborough, MA, was located the morning of October 10 at 4:17. He was cold and hungry, but unhurt and indicated he had stayed in the woods on purpose, according to a press release from Sheriff David Harrison, Jr.

Kyle was hiking with his father on Columbus Day, Monday, October 8, when George Pember, Kyle’s father told Sheriff’s deputies, the two were returning to their car around 3 p.m. Kyle told his father he had to use the bathroom, so Mr. Pember went on ahead but Kyle never rejoined him. Mr. Pember then reported his son missing to County 911.

At about 11:45 p.m., October 9, Mr. Pember contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report that his son had called him by cell phone. Kyle told his father that he did not know exactly where he was. He said he was cold, scared, possibly hurt and that he “wanted to come out.”

Kyle also contacted County 911, which was able to determine the coordinates of his cell phone. The Sheriff’s Office was also in contact with Verizon Wireless which was assisting with locating Kyle’s cell phone. Using the coordinates, emergency personnel found Kyle in Copake about 1.5 miles north of Undermountain Road. Members of the Community Rescue Squad evaluated Kyle and took him to Columbia Memorial Hospital for further evaluation.

Kyle indicated to Sheriff’s Office officials that he had not stayed in the woods by accident. It does not appear that his father knew that Kyle had intentionally stayed in the heavily wooded and mountainous area of the Taconic State Park when he initially contacted Columbia County 911 to report his son was missing, the sheriff said in the release.

During the search, officials determined that Kyle was last seen on the Massachusetts side of the border and the case was turned over to authorities there. Emergency personnel including the Massachusetts State Police and Emergency Management, Pittsfield Fire and the Berkshire Fire Coordinator’s Office participated in the search, while members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, New York State Forest Rangers, Copake and Ancram firefighters, rescue squad personnel, State Park officials and police searched on the New York side.

State Police helicopters from the Massachusetts and New York assisted throughout.

Sheriff Harrison thanks the volunteer firefighters and the other agencies who worked many hours to find Kyle. The sheriff said the search was a tremendous undertaking to locate someone who was believed lost or possibly injured. He said that the District Attorney’s Office was contacted concerning the possibility of criminal charges, as well as the Columbia County Attorney’s Office concerning the possibility of taking legal action for reimbursement for fuel, equipment and overtime incurred by the emergency services agencies involved. One firefighter from Pittsfield and one from Copake suffered non-life threatening injuries during the search.

The investigation is continuing.


Cody Kocijanski, 21, of Livingston was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana by Livingston State Police, October 7 at 2 p.m.

Troopers pulled Mr. Kocijanski over on Pleasantvale Road because his Ford Explorer had an inadequate exhaust.

Mr. Kocijanski was found to have brass knuckles along with marijuana.

He was issued appearance tickets returnable in Clermont Court, October 11.


A 15-year-old Hudson boy, not identified by police because of his age, was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, a misdemeanor by Hudson Police Officer Jeffrey Keyser at 99 Paddock Place, September 28 at 9:25 p.m.

Police received a report of a person with a handgun in a wooded area on school property. Hudson Police located the suspect, who had a BB gun. He was taken into custody without incident. He was issued a juvenile appearance ticket and released to family. Assisting with the investigation were Officers Hodges, Bower, Nero, Scali and Lt. Paolino.


A man was charged with drunk driving following a crash on State Route 9 near the Cross Road intersection, September 29 at 11:38 p.m.

Deputies Peter Grzeskow and Joshua Oakes were assigned to investigate.

Brandon Hicks, 25, of Greenport was driving a 2000 Ford south on Route 9 when he swerved to avoid a deer in the road. Mr. Hicks lost control of his vehicle, which went off the road, overturned and came to rest on its roof.  He sustained minor scrapes to his hands but refused medical attention at the scene. His two passengers, a 10-month-old child and 32-year-old woman were uninjured.

Deputies determined that Mr. Hicks was intoxicated and charged him under the Leandra’s Law for aggravated driving while intoxicated, a class E felony; operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08%; driving while intoxicated and failure to keep right.

He was arraigned in Stockport Court before Justice Harold Horner and sent to the county jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail or $3,000 bail bond and will return to town court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email .



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