Woman, 28, killed, 2 students injured in Route 23 crash

CRARYVILLE—A 28-year-old Massachusetts woman was killed and two Taconic Hills Central School students were hurt in a two-vehicle head-on crash on State Route 23, near the Bloody Hill Road intersection, Tuesday, September 10.

Sheriff’s Office patrols were dispatched by Columbia County 911 at about 8 a.m., according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr.

An investigation revealed that a 2008 silver/gray Kia four-door sedan operated by Tilla K. Simmons of Egremont, MA, was traveling west on Route 23, when for an unknown reason her car crossed into the eastbound lane and struck a 1996 Jeep operated by Jordan J. Fuller, 17, of Hudson. Jordan and his 15-year-old passenger were taken to Albany Medical Center by ambulance.  Ms. Simmons died at the scene. Her name was not initially released until her next of kin were notified. Deputies worked with Massachusetts authorities to notify her family.

The accident cause remains under scrutiny by investigators, the Sheriff’s Accident/Incident Investigation Unit and by Columbia County Coroner Angelo Nero. Investigators are looking into the possibility that Ms. Simmons may have had a medical problem or was otherwise distracted.

The Community Rescue Squad, Greenport Rescue Squad, Craryville Fire Company and Hillsdale Fire Company assisted at the scene. A portion of the highway was closed for some time.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office are Captain David Bartlett, Sergeant John DeRocha, Investigator Anthony Brahm, Investigator Mark Dunspaugh and Deputy David Proper.

Firefighters were back in service at 12:23 p.m.

Hudson

City Police arrested two people in connection with the August 30 animal cruelty investigation which began when police on patrol found a black and white dog tied with a rope to a gate near a salt pile at the end of South Front Street along the railroad tracks by the Hudson River shortly after midnight.

The five-year-old male dog was extremely malnourished and in desperate need of medical care. The dog is being nursed back to health at the Columbia-Greene Humane Society.

A Hudson Police investigation led to the identification and arrest of the owners of the dog. They are Juan Cintron, 42, and Brittany J. Pinnell, 22, both of Hudson, who were each charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a class E felony. They were arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge John Connor. Mr. Cintron was sent to the Columbia County Jain in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Ms. Pinnell was jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or $3,000 bond. Both were to return to Hudson City Court at a later date.

“This case was brought to a successful conclusion in part due to the overwhelming support provided by the community. The Hudson Police Tip Line 518 828-9900 and new Facebook page were utilized to gather information. When our citizens work together with our police department, crimes get solved,” Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.

*Nurnahar Begum, 47, of Hudson was charged with third degree assault (with intent to cause physical injury) and endangering the welfare of a child by Hudson Police Officer Rodney Waithe at the police station, August 2 at 7:58 a.m.

Ms. Begum allegedly punched and kicked a 14-year-old during a dispute. Arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge Mark Portin, she was released to reappear in City Court at a later date.

*Jannatul Ferdous, 25, of Hudson was charged with second degree assault (with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon),     endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon (intent to use) by Hudson Police Officer Rodney Waithe at the police station, August 2 at 7:58 a.m.

Ms. Ferdous allegedly struck a 14-year-old girl twice in the arm with a broomstick and held her down and cut off her hair with scissors during a dispute. Arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge Mark Portin, Ms. Ferdous was ordered to reappear in City Court at a later date.

*Abdul Khalek, 59, of Hudson was charged with third degree assault (with intent to cause physical injury) and endangering the welfare of a child by Hudson Police Officer Rodney Waithe at the police station, August 2 at 7:58 a.m.

Mr. Khalek allegedly punched and kicked a 14-year-old during a dispute. Arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge Mark Portin, he was released on his own recognizance to reappear in City Court at a later date.

*Martha Lee Shook, 42, of Hudson was charged with third degree criminal tampering by Hudson Police Officer Corey Skype at 830 Columbia Street, August 2 at 5:27 p.m.

Ms. Shook allegedly threw things in an apartment owned by Carlos Laguna while she was engaged in a dispute with Richard Williams. Ms. Shook was arraigned before Judge Mark Portin in City Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond to return to court at a later date.

*Kashayla R. Wright, 20, of Hudson was charged with fourth degree criminal mischief (intent to damage property) by Hudson Police Officer Nicholas Hodges at 36 North Second Street, August 12 at 9:51 p.m.

Ms. Wright allegedly broke a window in a door belonging to the victim during a dispute. She was arraigned and released pending a future City Court appearance.

Jefferson Heights

A five month old puppy was found Saturday, August 24 in Jefferson Heights, a suburb of Catskill, Greene County.

A passerby spotted the puppy lying motionless in a parking lot. Catskill Dog Control was called and the puppy was brought to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA in Claverack, where it was examined and found to have serious wounds inflicted by another dog. The puppy was rushed to the Chathams Small Animal Hospital, where it was placed in intensive care for more than week. “The puppy was a victim of a heinous dog attack and the owner apparently didn’t want to pay for medical care,” said CGHS/SPCA President/Investigator Ron Perez said in a press release.

Jerry Bilinski, DVM, owner of animal hospital, stated the puppy should make a full recovery. Chathams Small Animal Hospital will donate most of the cost of puppy’s recovery and medical expenses.

Anyone with information about the puppy should call the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigation unit at 518 828-6044. The owner of the puppy will face animal cruelty charges.

Germantown

Kent J. Stadtlander, 23, of Germantown was charged with third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor; fourth degree criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor, and driving while intoxicated, a class E felony (previous DWI conviction within the past 10 years) by State Police from Livingston, August 25 at 2:30 a.m.

Columbia County 911 assigned State Police to investigate a dispute in Germantown where the offending party left the scene in a blue vehicle. State Police located the vehicle a short while later on State Route 9G. The operator was identified as the incident suspect, Kent J. Stadtlander. Further investigation revealed that he was intoxicated.

Investigation at the scene of the incident revealed that before Mr. Stadtlander left the residence, he allegedly caused damage to the home and assaulted someone there.

He was arraigned in Germantown Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail. He was ordered to reappear in Germantown Court at a later date.

Claverack

David A. Zukowski, Jr., 25, of Claverack was charged with illegal discharge of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon by State Police from Livingston, September 1 at 3:30 p.m.

Troopers received a complaint about a person firing a gun within a neighborhood on Millbrook Road. Investigation revealed that Mr. Zukowski was allegedly shooting a .22 caliber rifle within one hundred feet of a neighbor’s residence. He was issued tickets returnable in Claverack Court at a later date.

Missing alligator, found in pond, returns safely to owner

NEW LEBANON—Kobe, a 4-year-old, 15-pound, 39-inch-long alligator, is home safe and sound.

Kobe’s owner, Rhonda Leavitt of Rhonda’s Reptiles, initially thought the alligator had escaped and then believed he had been swiped the night of August 22 as his cage was being cleaned.

Animal Control Officer Wes Powell and the community searched for the reptile that was last seen wearing a blue collar. A reward fund of $850 was set up to pay for information leading to Kobe’s whereabouts/return.

On September 5, two weeks to the day after Kobe’s disappearance, Ms. Leavitt received a tip that her missing alligator was spotted in a local swimming hole created by a beaver dam on the Wyomanock Creek.

According to Mr. Powell, Ms. Leavitt went to the place and saw Kobe sitting on the bank at the opposite side of creek, reachable only by boat. Though Ms. Leavitt had a kayak, rather than risk losing Kobe again, she jumped in, swam to the opposite shore and snapped him up.

Though Kobe was “traumatized” by his two-week excursion, Mr. Powell said Wednesday, September 11, he has recovered is back to his old self.

Mr. Powell said a person of interest was identified, but State Police have declared the case closed. In any case, Mr. Powell said Ms. Leavitt should not have any more trouble with missing reptiles as she has installed a security monitoring system. –Diane Valden

 

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