Unwelcome visitor at B&B ends in arrest

CANAAN—Jason Bennett, 38, of Greenfield was charged with third degree criminal trespass by Troopers John La Plante and Bart Van Buren, early the morning of December 15.

Mr. Bennett, who police say was intoxicated and left on the roadside by his driver, allegedly illegally made his way to a local bed and breakfast, which is part of a resort, and entered the main building without permission.  While inside, Mr. Bennett allegedly telephoned guest rooms from the main switchboard and lit a fire in the fireplace that set off smoke alarms and drove guests from their rooms.

He was to appear in Canaan Court at a later date.

Dogs rescued from suspicious fire

Fire gutted a Philmont home early Thursday morning, December 20. The suspicious fire at 54 Summit Street broke out at 2:02 a.m. Philmont First Assistant Fire Chief Mark Beaumont told newsman Lance Wheeler, no one was home but four dogs were trapped in the burning two-story house. It is believed that a 20-year-old man was responsible for rescuing the dogs.  The Philmont, Mellenville, Claverack, West Ghent, Churchtown and Greenport fire companies fought the fire in freezing temperatures. Fire investigators from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control were on the scene conducting an investigation. The county Cause and Origin Team, Fire coordinators and the EMS coordinators office were also at the fire. One fireman was injured and the Greenport Rescue Squad was at the scene. The family that lives in the house was in Connecticut at the time. The dogs were turned over to Claverack Animal Control Officer Reg Conklin. Some units were still on the scene at 11:15 a.m.


George Simrad, 76, of Hillsdale was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of weapon, third degree menacing and trespass by Deputies David Proper and Toby VanAlstyne, December 11 at 10:30 a.m.

Mr. Simrad allegedly went on private property in Hillsdale and threatened a 41-year-old man with a baseball bat. Released with an appearance ticket, Mr. Simrad will answer the charges in Hillsdale Court at a later date.

New Lebanon

Rodney Paris, 60, of Peru, VT, was stopped by Trooper John La Plante on State Route 22 for having a bad exhaust, the night of December 11.

The trooper discovered that Mr. Paris had accumulated nine suspensions on his driver’s license for not answering traffic tickets in Columbia, Suffolk and Nassau counties. He was charged with second degree aggravated unlicensed operation and arraigned in New Lebanon Court. He was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail and ordered to return to court at a later date.


Natasha S. Blake, III, 39, of Hudson was charged with second degree menacing (weapon), two counts of endangering welfare of child and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon (intent to use) by Hudson Police Officer Nicolas Pierro at 826 Union Street, December 7 at 11:15 a.m.

Ms. Blake was involved in a dispute during which she allegedly possessed a knife and threatened a man while in front of children.

She was arraigned before City Judge John Connor and sent to jail.


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

*Brittany Copeland, 24, of Hudson was charged on a Columbia County probation warrant by Deputies Kelly Briscoe and Peter Grzeskow, November 25 at 11:45 a.m. Ms. Copeland was convicted June 23, 2009 of fourth degree criminal possession of narcotic drug and was sentenced to a period of probation. When she allegedly violated terms and conditions of her probation, Judge Jonathan Nichols issued the warrant. She was sent to the Columbia County Jail and was scheduled to appear in county court at a later date.

*Sandra Alworth, 50, of Boiceville was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated by Livingston State Police, December 4 at 1:15 a.m. Troopers stopped for what they thought was a disabled vehicle on State Route 9G in Greenport. They detected the odor of alcoholic beverage and administered field sobriety tests, which the drive could not perform. Ms. Alworth submitted to a breath test resulting in a .18% blood alcohol content. She was arraigned in Greenport Court and released to reappear at a later date.

*Frederick C. Healy, 51 of Oneonta was charged with failure to keep right on a two-lane road, illegal signal (from a parked position), refusal to take a breath test, not equal power/less than two lamps, and driving while intoxicated (third offense) by Hudson Police Officer Mishanda F Franklin-Cox at 347 Warren Street, December 9 at 6:49 p.m.

Mr. Healy was stopped for operating a vehicle which failed to signal and did not have its headlights on. He showed characteristics of intoxication, failed several field sobriety tests and had two previous convictions of driving while intoxicated. Mr. Healy failed to submit to a breath test. He was arraigned before City Judge Mark Portin and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or bond.

*Andrew Darcy, 30, of New Lebanon was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and speed-in-zone by Trooper Jerrad Weber, December 11 at 2:41 p.m. Mr. Darcy was pulled over for allegedly speeding past the Walter B. Howard Elementary School, Route 20 in West Lebanon, Tuesday afternoon. He was found to have a .28% blood alcohol concentration, three-and-a-half times the legal limit. He was to appear in New Lebanon Court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email .



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