Sheriff, troopers press K’hook assault probe

Police executed a search warrant at the Rosenstrach home July 7 seeking evidence related to an assault. Photos by Lance Wheeler

KINDERHOOK—Official details are few and rumors are plentiful surrounding the assault of a Kinderhook man at a County Route 21 residence in the early morning hours of July 5.

The home belongs to Alex and Kelly (Briscoe) Rosenstrach.

Mr. Rosenstrach, the owner of Club Life Health and Fitness, 3143 U.S. Route 9, Valatie, was in the news recently for re-opening his gym in defiance of Covid-19 New York State Executive Orders until it was shut down by officials.

Mrs. Rosenstrach has been employed as a sheriff’s deputy for about eight years. She has served on patrol and as a school resource officer in both the Chatham and New Lebanon Central School Districts.

Columbia 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies to assist the Valatie Rescue Squad at the Rosenstrach residence July 5 at about 1:27 a.m. Deputies arrived on scene and found a man who had been the victim of an assault that had taken place during a gathering at the Rosenstrach home. The victim, who had serious injuries, was taken to Albany Medical Center for further treatment.

WNYT-13 television news reports identify the injured man as Harold Handy, a local auto mechanic, who is planning to get married next month.

The station reports that Mr. Handy’s relatives say, “He’s lucky to be alive” and was placed on a ventilator prior to his release from Albany Medical Center’s Trauma ICU, July 6. The family said Mr. Handy was the victim of a group beating early Sunday morning following a 4th of July celebration.


‘Anyone, including a member of my agency, who participated in this assault will be held accountable.’

Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett


The TV news reported that Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said the initial call was for “a drunken brawl.”

An investigation by members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is currently underway to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident. Sheriff’s investigators are being assisted with the investigation by the State Police Special Investigative Unit.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office personnel executed a search warrant at the Rosenstrach home the afternoon of July 7 seeking evidence in the case.

A Sheriff’s Office press release said the purpose of the search warrant was “to secure any evidence related to this assault investigation.”

Deputy Rosenstrach, who is pregnant, was off-duty at the time of the incident and has since then been put on administrative leave while the investigation continues.

At this point in the investigation, it has been determined that no other deputy sheriffs were at this residence at the time of the incident,” the press release said.

I requested assistance from the New York State Police in the early stages of this investigation. Our investigators, and investigators from the New York State Police Special Investigative Unit have worked side by side throughout this entire incident, along with the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office. At the conclusion of this investigation, anyone, including a member of my agency, who participated in this assault will be held accountable,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release.

Reached for comment this week, Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said the Sheriff’s Office and the State Police report to him “on a regular basis” about the investigation status, which is active and ongoing at this time.

Anyone with cell phone video, direct knowledge or other information regarding the incident is asked to call Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ian Boehme at 518-697-0191 or the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Branch at 518-828-4316, or the State Police at 518-786-2455.

To contact Diane Valden email

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