Red Flag Law allows police to seize guns after shots fired

NEW LEBANON—A Rensselaer County man was arrested for shooting a parked pickup truck in New Lebanon and subsequently had all his guns seized under the state’s new Red Flag Law.

Robert K. King, 52, of Stephentown was charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony; second degree reckless endangerment and fourth degree criminal mischief, both class A misdemeanors, by State Police from the New Lebanon and Livingston barracks, September 3.

At 6:55 p.m. that day, troopers were dispatched to a residence on State Route 22 for a report of a bullet hole in the caller’s vehicle.

An investigation found that Mr. King allegedly fired a shot from a Heckler and Koch P7 9mm handgun, despite not having a pistol permit for the weapon, and knowing a residence was within his line of fire, according to State Police.

Mr. King was arraigned in New Lebanon Court before Town Justice Jack Nevers and was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail or secure bond.

State Police subsequently “filed an Extreme Risk Protection Order against Mr. King in a court in Rensselaer County because during the course of the investigation, it was determined that Robert King could pose a threat to himself or others,” State Police Public Information Officer A.J. Hicks told The Columbia Paper last week. The order was granted and the guns–a pistol and seven long guns–seized.

Red Flag Laws “are state laws that authorize courts to issue a special type of protection order, allowing the police to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or to others.

Often, the request for the order will come from relatives or friends concerned about a loved one who owns one or more guns and has expressed suicidal thoughts or discussed shooting people. The authorities may also request an order,” according to an August 6, 2019 article in the New York Times.

News Channel 10 reported that after Mr. King was arraigned at New Lebanon Justice Court, he made a comment in the parking lot about how it would be easier to kill himself than deal with New York State laws. His spouse told the TV news about the comment and that it was taken out of context.

Troopers took the comment seriously and later filed the Red Flag documents against him. It’s the first Red Flag case in Rensselaer County since the law took effect late last month, according to the TV news report.

Mr. King was due back in court at a later date.

Philmont

State Police arrested a Philmont man after an illegal assault rifle was found in the rubble of a fire in an apartment building at 54 Main Street.

Samuel C. Wright, 30, of Philmont was charged with third degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony, by State Police from the Livingston barracks, September 3.

Troopers were dispatched to a structure fire in an apartment building at 54 Main Street, September 2 at 3:42 p.m.

After the flames were extinguished by Philmont and Claverack firefighters, a Keltec sub 2000 assault weapon was found by fire personnel.

An investigation found the assault weapon, owned by Mr. Wright, was possessed illegally in the State of New York.

Mr. Wright was arraigned in Philmont Village Court and released on his own recognizance. He is next scheduled to appear in court September 26.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team. No injuries were reported.

Ghent

David Moore, 37, of Ghent and Deven Hotaling, 20, of Hudson were both charged with second degree assault, a class D felony, by Deputy Ryen Boehme, the afternoon of September 5.

The arrests come in connection with an August 21 incident in Ghent, during which Mr. Moore and Mr. Hotaling allegedly caused serious physical injury to a male victim. Both defendants were arraigned in Claverack Court and were released on their own recognizance. They were to appear in Ghent Court at a later date.

Clermont

John Southard, Jr., 29, of Germantown was charged with second degree unlawful imprisonment, a class A misdemeanor, and second degree harassment, a violation, by Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Eli Fieser and Deputy Ryen Boehme August 25 at 2:16 p.m.

Mr. Southard is accused of grabbing another male and preventing him from leaving a location.

He was arraigned in Clermont Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $100 bail. He will reappear in court September 19.

Hudson

Ashley Vohrer, 29, of Hudson was charged on a warrant for first degree criminal contempt, a class E felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputies Thomas Merante and Joshua Torchia, August 23 at 7:19 p.m.

Ms. Vohrer is accused of violating an order of protection issued by the Columbia County Family Court. She was arraigned in Greenport Court and released on her own recognizance with a later return court date.

*Trina Sadofsky, 45, of Hudson was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Jerald Rowell, August 16 at 6:54 p.m.

Ms. Sadofsky is accused of violating an order of protection. She was arraigned in Claverack Court and released on her own recognizance with a later return court date.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden @columbiapaper.com

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