Man flees police, drives car into river

Photo contributed

HUDSON—Tuesday, October 12 at about 9:15 p.m. Hudson Police Department (HPD) received a call about a domestic dispute at a residence on North Second Street.

A woman reported that she and her boyfriend had been arguing, and that he was breaking her property. Upon the patrol’s arrival one minute later, the man was seen exiting the house and leaving in his vehicle, a black 2002 Jeep Cherokee.

As he sped away, he nearly struck the HPD cruiser, and proceeded to hit two parked cars, damaging both.

The patrol pursued the fleeing vehicle to the waterfront. The operator of the Jeep proceeded south on a maintenance road that parallels the railroad tracks. Officer Randy Strattman broke off the pursuit owing to safety concerns as well as the amount of dirt and debris being kicked up by the Jeep. He was joined by a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy as they followed south in search of the subject.

The patrols drove south to a turn-around near the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, then came back north to recheck the route. Amtrak was advised to put trains on hold.

At 9:28 p.m. the vehicle was located partially submerged in the river, just north of Hallenbeck Road. Evidence at the scene indicated that the Jeep had traveled several hundred yards off the road, through dense vegetation, until it hit a telephone pole and went airborne into the river.

Officers at the scene took Michael K. West, 29, of Hudson into custody. Mr. West complained of back injuries and was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital by the Greenport Rescue Squad.

While at the hospital, Mr. West allegedly kicked an attending nurse in the head, causing injury. He has pending charges to include DWI (refusal), assault, criminal mischief and numerous vehicle and traffic tickets. As of this writing, Mr. West has not been arraigned.

“There are a lot of people to credit for the safe resolution of this incident. Our patrols had a one minute response time to the domestic incident, and showed good judgment by breaking off the pursuit when it became too dangerous. I am thankful for the response from the Sheriff’s Department. Not to be overlooked was the professional removal of the vehicle from the river by the towing company Hillsdale Repairs. They handled the job quickly and safely under extremely difficult conditions. Lastly, I want to acknowledge our nurses who are often put at risk while trying to perform their duties. I think we sometimes take their frontline service for granted,” Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said in a press release.

*October 14 at 1:41 a.m. the Hudson Police Department received a call from a resident on the 200 block of Union Street who said his house was being burglarized.

At 1:44 a.m. patrols arrived at the residence and found that a subject wearing a plaid hoodie had just fled the scene. At 1:47 a.m. Sergeant Nick Hodges located a subject that matched the description one block away on Union Street. Some proceeds of the burglary were found on the suspect, including a bottle of wine.

Charged with burglary was Isaac O. Gray, 29, of Hudson. He was taken into custody without incident and arraigned in front of Hudson City Judge Brian Herman. He was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or $2,500 bond.

Officers learned that a guest of the homeowners who had been sleeping in a bedroom was awakened by someone in the doorway shining a flashlight. The guest, assuming it was one of the homeowners, turned on the bedroom light only to find a complete stranger standing in the room. The guest screamed and the suspect, later identified as Mr. Gray, fled the scene.

Sheriff’s Office mourns the passing of canine Deputy Kira

GREENPORT—After serving the residents and visitors of Columbia County and enjoying retirement, K9 Kira has passed onto “the other side of the canine rainbow,” according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

K9 Kira/ Photo contributed

On October 5, during the early morning hours, Kira died from natural causes at her home with her loved ones. K9 Kira was a female German shepherd from East Slovakia who was acquired through a grant from the NYS Department of Homeland Security in 2010. Since joining the Sheriff’s Office, Kira specialized in explosives detection, patrol and tracking. Deputy Travis Van Alstyne was Kira’s handler and partner. During the course of their partnership, the two tracked several missing and wanted persons, performed many explosive sweeps and assisted many other agencies across the state of New York and Massachusetts.

Kira was most adored when she took part in many community events and demonstrations throughout the county. She had a special personality that allowed her to educate the public on the role of K9s in Law Enforcement.

Kira retired to stay at home with Deputy Van Alstyne and his family. She quickly grew to enjoy retirement playing with her school aged family members. Although she missed going to work in the police cruiser, she quickly acclimated to rides in a pickup truck and walks on nature trails with the family.

“Losing a member of our department is a tragic event. This is no different if it is a police dog. Kira served with distinction. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Deputy Van Alstyne and his family,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release.

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