Crime

Citing "misconduct and abuse of authority," court removes Monticello's mayor from office

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Above: Video footage of Monticello mayor Gordon Jenkins ranting and throwing a clock while in a booking room on a drunk driving arrest in November 2013. (Warning: There's a lot of profanity. Jenkins throws the clock at the 1:21:55 mark.)

Monticello's troubled mayor, Gordon Jenkins, has been removed from office by a three-judge panel of the New York State Supreme Court's Third Appellate Division, according to a decision the court released on Thursday, April 2.

Citing a "serious pattern of abuse of authority and misbehavior," the court wrote that Jenkins is "hereby removed from the public offices of Mayor and Village Manager of the Village of Monticello." The removal appears to take effect immediately.   Read more

Stamford man flees police barefoot with 'limited clothing' for miles over snow-covered mountain

Above: Wooded mountain terrain on the border of Delaware and Schoharie counties where a 25-year-old man spent hours fleeing police on Friday, March 27. Photo via Google Earth.

A 25-year-old Stamford man jumped out his window and fled into the woods wearing "limited clothing" when probation officers came looking for him about a probation violation on the morning of Friday, March 27, police say.

Jesse E. Papas had no shoes and wore only "limited clothing," but he led sheriff's deputies, probation officers, a New York State Department of Conservation police officer and a trained police dog for miles on frozen snow over a mountain and into the next county before being caught, according to a Delaware County Sheriff's Office press release.

Ozzie, a trained drug-sniffing police dog that works with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, was key to the chase, police say:  Read more

Woodstock gas station manager stole $48,000 in lottery tickets, police say

Above: The Cumberland Farms convenience store on Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. Photo via Google Street View. 

While Peter Dinnocenzo was managing Woodstock's Cumberland Farms gas station convenience store on Mill Hill Road in Ulster County in 2013 and 2014, he was stealing $48,000 in lottery scratch-off tickets, the New York State Police said this week.

Left: Peter Dinnocenzo, via the New York State Police.  Read more

Hancock man stockpiled 20 pounds of C4 plastic explosives, police say

Above: A satellite image of Stephen D. Esolen's residence. Esolen buried 20 pounds of plastic explosives nearby, police say. Via Google Earth. 

A 24-year-old man stockpiled a large amount of bomb-making material in his home and on another property he had burglarized in the Delaware County town of Hancock, police say. 

Left: Stephen D. Esolen. Photo via the New York State Police. 

Stephen D. Esolen was arrested on Tuesday, March 17 after New York State Police and Delaware County Sheriff's Office investigators discovered that he had buried 20 pounds of powerful C4 plastic explosives near his home on County Route 67 in Hancock, according to a State Police press release.

A pound of C4 can demolish a truck, according to HowStuffWorks.com.  Read more

The Kingfisher Project tells stories of heroin addiction in the Catskills

Above: A bag of heroin. Photo from a series of photographs shot by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio documenting heroin use.  

Heroin addiction is sweeping through the Catskills, taking lives with it. (Here at the Watershed Post, we write more crime stories about heroin than about any other drug.) 

In 2013, 89,269 people enrolled in heroin drug-treatment programs in New York state; in 2014, that number jumped to 118,000, according to data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Heroin abuse is growing the fastest among the young, among ages 18 to 34. Politicians are worried; the governor launched a statewide campaign to battle heroin abuse last fall. 

Locally, the toll is growing. A doctor at Catskill Regional Medical Center calls heroin a "public health crisis." Delaware County's undersheriff says that despite record heroin busts, "more people are using drugs, overdose deaths have accelerated and jails are crowded." Community forums on the topic are being held around the region. 

The Kingfisher Project, a collaborative storytelling and reporting initiative based at WJFF 90.5 FM in Jeffersonville, is digging deep into the heroin epidemic in the Catskills and beyond. 

  Read more

Oneonta murder-suicide: Man shot woman twice, then killed himself, police say

A man shot a woman twice and then shot himself on the afternoon of Saturday, March 7 in Oneonta, a forensic pathologist has concluded.

The two were found dead outside their rented home in Oneonta on Sunday, March 8, in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide, according to a New York State Police press release and the Daily Star

Forty-four-year-old Tifanne K. Wells and 51-year-old George L. Jones were found dead outside behind a house on County Road 47 in Oneonta at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 8 by state troopers, who were responding to a 911 call from a "concerned party." Both bodies are undergoing autopsies at Lourdes Hospital in Johnson City as part of the investigation, which is ongoing.  Read more

Fire on Main Street Delhi quickly subdued

Above: First responders at the corner of Main St. and Court St. in Delhi around 8:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4. Photo by Fred Harris.

A fire in a wood-frame building located on a densely-packed block of Main Street Delhi was quickly subdued this evening by a large number of firefighters.

The fire was reported at 122 Main St., the address of the Delaware Abstract Corporation, around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, according to scanner reports and the Daily Star.

By 8:15 p.m., a large number of fire trucks were at the scene and traffic on Main Street was being diverted, according to an eyewitness. The fire appeared to be completely out. 

Below: More photos from the scene by Fred Harris. 

Drunk driver repeatedly backed into cop car, police say

A 49-year-old man who didn’t have a driver’s license repeatedly backed into a police car when Shandaken police tried to stop him from driving drunk in Phoenicia on Monday, March 2, police say.

Kenneth A. Jackson was attempting to drive in an “intoxicated condition” on Route 214 in Phoenicia when police were called to the scene, according to a press release from the town of Shandaken police department.

When a marked Shandaken police car blocked Jackson in, Jackson reportedly drove into it, “causing damage while police were trying to remove him from the vehicle.”

Jackson was arrested on Wednesday, March 4 and charged with misdemeanor second degree reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated, criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He was also charged with unsafe backing and unlicensed operator violations.

Jackson was arraigned in Shandaken Town Court and is being held in the Ulster County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Woman stabs boyfriend with kitchen knife in Hancock

A Delaware County man has serious injuries after his girlfriend stabbed him with a kitchen knife in a home in Hancock on Monday, Feb. 23, police say. 

Left: Niki M. Patire. Photo via the New York State Police. 

Twenty-seven-year-old Niki M. Patire is being held without bail in the Delaware County Jail on first degree felony assault charges, according to a State Police press release. She assaulted her 35-year-old boyfriend early Monday afternoon, police say. 

Nathan Riegal, a state police spokesman, said that the victim's identity is being withheld to protect him, and that there is currently no more information available about the case.   Read more

Windham Mountain employee arrested for theft and coverup, police say

A 33-year-old employee of Windham Mountain Ski Resort was arrested on Friday, Feb. 20 for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the Greene County ski mountain, according to a New York State Police press release

Jessica L. Greene, who is listed on Windham Mountain's website as the sales manager for season passes, tickets and lockers, is being charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony that applies in thefts of amounts between $3,000 and $50,000.   Read more


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