State Police arrest man for endangering welfare of child

GALLATIN—State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Pedro Garcia Sanchez, 35, of Pine Plains for first degree sexual abuse, a class D felony; endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching, both class A misdemeanors, June 18.

After receiving a tip, an investigation that began in March discovered that Mr. Garcia Sanchez allegedly sexually abused a victim under the age of 11.

He was arraigned before Justice Fred Schultz in Gallatin Court, who sent him to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 secure bond.


State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Brigid M. Fonda, 54, of Livingston for fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony; tampering with physical evidence, a class E felony; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors, June 10.

At 4:50 p.m., troopers stopped a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee for a violation of the vehicle and traffic law on State Route 9 in Livingston. An investigation discovered Ms. Fonda allegedly possessed about seven grams of cocaine. Once discovered, Ms. Fonda allegedly “attempted to destroy the evidence via ingestion and actively resisted arrest,” according to police.

Ms. Fonda was arraigned in Livingston Court and released on her own recognizance to reappear August 5.


Volunteers from the Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross provided immediate emergency aid to one person after a fire June 11 on Second Street.

Columbia County 911 dispatched Hudson firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad to a structure fire at 41 North Second Street, June 11 at 12:05 a.m. Catskill and Greenport firefighters provided mutual aid; Claverack, Chatham, Germantown and Stottville firefighters stood by. Columbia County Fire and EMS coordinators assisted on the scene.

Fire officials reported that the fire was contained to an apartment on the fifth floor. Apartments on the fourth and sixth floors sustained smoke and water damage. Firefighters were back in service at 1:17 a.m.

The Red Cross provided financial assistance which can be used for necessities such as shelter, food and clothing to one adult. Volunteers also offered emotional support. Red Cross staff and volunteers will remain available to help those affected by the fire as they navigate the road to recovery.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapapercom


Firefighters tackle hay bale blaze. A stubborn hay bale fire kept Chatham Fire Department volunteers busy. Columbia County 911 dispatched Chatham firefighters and State Police to the area of 2559 Route 203 and County Route 21, Kinderhook for hay bales on fire near a structure, June 16 at 4:29 p.m. A vehicle was traveling with a trailer of hay that was on fire, according to Chatham fire officials. The farmer was able to get off the road at a nearby farm where the trailer of round bales of hay became fully engulfed. “It took hard work with manual labor, assistance from the farmer and over two and a half hours to extinguish the fire.” No injuries were reported and the fire was kept from any structures. Mutual aid was provided by Valatie and Tri-Village firefighters with tankers and manpower. Firefighters were back in service at 6:48 p.m. Photo contributed

Practice pedestrian safety, ‘See! Be Seen!’

GREENPORT—In a press release Sheriff David P. Bartlett reminded everyone of pedestrian traffic safety with the warmer months here and increased pedestrian and bicycle activity in the area.

Pedestrian safety is an important traffic safety issue and public health concern for New York State. Everyone becomes a pedestrian at some point in their travels. About 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 injured by motor vehicles each year on the state’s roadways and more than 3,000 pedestrians are admitted to the hospital annually.

Injuries to pedestrians are among the top 10 leading causes of injury-related hospital admissions and death for almost all age groups in New York State, according to the sheriff’s release.

Both drivers and pedestrians need to know and follow the rules of the road to assure pedestrian safety. It is a shared responsibility and both can be subjected to fines for not obeying vehicle and traffic laws. The majority of pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes involve driver error, including distraction, failure to yield, and speeding. Pedestrians are responsible for following vehicle and traffic laws as well. One out of four crashes with a pedestrian involve pedestrian error or inattention. Children and older adults (65+) are most vulnerable to pedestrian injuries and death.

“Pedestrian-traffic related injuries are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for 1-to 9-year olds, and the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related hospital admissions for 5-to 9-year olds.

“For older adults, pedestrian-traffic injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, and second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related hospital admissions,” according to the New York State Pedestrian Safety website.

Common risk factors for children’s pedestrian-related injuries include: child darting into the street; motorist turning into the path of a child; child hidden from view by a bus and on-coming motorist does not stop; and motorist backing up into roadways, driveways and parking lots. Pedestrian safety education including instruction and practicing basic rules of the road can be effective and should be reinforced by parents and caregivers.

Older adults can also take steps to prevent pedestrian injuries by recognizing five main risk factors to avoid getting struck by a motorist: properly following signals at intersections; safely stepping off the curb; providing motorists adequate pedestrian visibility; awareness of motorist backing up into roadways, driveways and parking lots; awareness of environmental conditions; and addressing personal health concerns or impairments that could make walking safer.

In an effort to raise pedestrian safety awareness statewide, the “See! Be Seen!” educational campaign was created by the NYS Department of Health and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to provide safety tips for both pedestrians and drivers. A toolkit of resources including posters, tip cards, PowerPoint presentations, educational tools for law enforcement and video public service announcements focusing on pedestrian and driver behaviors can be found at Governor Cuomo’s Pedestrian Safety website

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