Substitute teacher, coach at THHS charged with sex crime

CLAVERACK—Sheriff’s Office investigators have arrested a teacher for a sex crime.

Christopher MacArthur, 23, of Claverack was charged with third degree criminal sexual act, a class E felony under the state Penal Law, Monday, April 8, 2019 at 1:54 p.m., according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

On April 7, Taconic Hills School Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy Cindy Madison was contacted by an individual reporting that Mr. MacArthur was having a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17.

Sheriff’s Office investigators from the Special Victims Unit immediately began the investigation, which revealed that Mr. MacArthur had allegedly been involved in a sexual relationship with a person less than 17 years old for the past several months.

Mr. MacArthur is employed by the Taconic Hills School District as a substitute teacher and as a varsity volleyball coach.

School District Superintendent Dr. Neil Howard did not respond to an email request for information about Mr. MacArthur’s current employment status with the district.

The Sheriff’s Office will not release any information that could possibly be used to identify the victim, the release said.

Mr. MacArthur was arraigned before Justice Michael Brandon in Claverack Court and was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear back in court May 21 at 6:30 p.m.

The Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with any information concerning this crime to contact Senior Investigator Mark Dunspaugh at 518-828-3344.


The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains found at 1590 Route 9J, April 7.

The remains were uncovered by an excavator moving earth at a site overlooking the Hudson River, where a new home was to be built.

Sheriff David Bartlett told a television news reporter that the bones were found between 5 and 10 feet underground and could have been there for 200 years or 2 years, he did not know exactly.

Pathologists and anthropologists have been called in to help with the investigation which is ongoing.


A contractor from Rome, Oneida County, was arrested on a warrant for collecting money for work he never did.

A Kinderhook resident met with Sheriff’s Office Investigator Kris Bauhoff to report the larceny of $4,865, November 29, 2018. The investigation revealed that the victim paid the contractor a lump sum in March 2018 to complete a project at his residence. The work paid for consisted of installing a

back-up generator, but the contractor collected the money and never did any work, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

A warrant was obtained from Kinderhook Town Court and Investigator Bauhoff contacted the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division, which located the contractor, Kenneth S. Brown, 53, in Rome. He was taken into custody and brought back to Columbia County by deputies.

Mr. Brown was charged with third degree grand larceny, a class D felony, March 20 at 12:50 p.m. He was arraigned in Kinderhook Town Court before the Justice Lisa Mills and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $250 bail or $250 bond. He was scheduled to return to court at a later date.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.

*Dylan Staats, 28, of Hudson was charged with false personation, a class B misdemeanor; second degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor; driving an uninspected motor vehicle and having an inadequate exhaust, both traffic infractions, by Deputy Ryen Boehme March 15 at 9:34 p.m.

Mr. Staats was stopped while operating a motor vehicle on State Route 9 in the Town of Kinderhook for traffic infractions. He allegedly provided the deputy with someone else’s name and personal information. He was issued tickets returnable in Kinderhook Town Court at a later date.


Hudson Police received a report that a woman was beaten up and threatened by her teenage son at their Harry Howard Avenue residence, April 3 at 9:53 a.m.

Police also learned that the son might be in possession of a handgun. Officers arrived within four minutes of the call and were met at the door by the 18-year-old son, who was quickly taken into custody without injury.

Hudson Police report that a teenage son threatened violence against his mother with this modified flare gun. Photo contributed

Detectives interviewed the mother who said her son broke through her bedroom door, grabbed her, threatened her with a knife and at one point displayed a handgun. Officers noted that she had suffered minor injuries to her wrist. The mother declined immediate treatment, and officers secured the residence.

Assisted by the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, HPD detectives applied for and received a search warrant for the house from County Court Judge Richard Koweek. Upon execution of the warrant, detectives discovered drug paraphernalia, ammunition, brass knuckles, a knife and a flare gun that had been crudely modified to fire a single shotgun round.

The 18-year-old male, who was not identified by police, was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth degree criminal mischief and menacing with a weapon, all class A misdemeanors. He was arraigned in Hudson City Court.

As a precaution, Hudson City Schools went into a brief “shelter-in-place” given the proximity of the incident to school grounds. The young man is a student in the district, but no threats were ever made to any student, teacher or staff member, Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.

*Heather Badertscher, 33, of Hudson was charged with third degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony, by Deputies Eric Ordway and Philipp Gomm March 22 at 12:20 p.m. Security Deputies at the Columbia County Courthouse detained the Ms. Badertscher when she tried to enter the building with metal knuckles.

She was arraigned in Hudson City Court and released on her own recognizance with a future return court date.


Two people were arrested for endangering the welfare of children, April 3.

State Police from the Livingston barracks with assistance from the Columbia County Child Advocacy Center charged Dakota R. Sandagato, 24, and Jeffrey N. Blake, 25, of Greenport with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.

Members of the State Police accompanied Child Protective Services to a residence on Fairview Avenue, April 3. An investigation revealed that both Ms. Sandagato and Mr. Blake allegedly possessed and used drugs in the residence with children present.

They were issued appearance tickets returnable in Greenport Court April 15.


Heather Shook, 37, of Philmont was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, by Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jeffrey Hofstetter and Deputy Peter Merante March 18 at 7:35 p.m.

Ms. Shook allegedly left a child unattended for a period of time. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Philmont Village Court at a later date.

*Crystal Bell, 25, of Greenport was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Thomas Merante, March 26 at 2:30 p.m.

Ms. Bell is accused of violating an order of protection issued by Columbia County Court. She was arraigned in Philmont Village Court and released on her own recognizance pending a future court appearance.

To contact Diane Valden email moc.r1568567285epapa1568567285ibmul1568567285oc@ne1568567285dlavd1568567285

Safety seats checked for free

GHENT—Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Sean’s Run Memorial will conduct the fourth annual Child Passenger Safety Seat Check in the Price Chopper parking lot, 2614 Route 66, Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parents and caregivers will receive one-to-one installation guidance and safety education from nationally-certified child passenger safety technicians at no charge.

Child seats will be provided, while supplies last, to low-income families who have a need for a child safety seat(s) and meet guidelines set by the State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

Guidelines to meet follow. Applicants must: have his or her vehicle present; meet income eligibility requirements; receive education on child passenger safety; complete the manufacturer’s warranty card and sign an agreement form and waiver of liability form.

Call a certified child passenger safety technician at 518-828-3344 for more information or visit

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