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News of Otsego County

Police & Fire

PATTERSON: Thanks, power heroes

Letter from Pat Patterson

Thanks, power heroes

On behalf of everyone, I would like to extend a genuine, heartfelt, thank you to all those whose tireless efforts resulted in the restoration of our power.

While the rest of us kept warm, dry, and illuminated as best we could, these hometown heroes were out there day and night, struggling through that deep, wet snow. No doubt there were times when they encountered nearly as much snow hanging over their heads as was under them!

Fires; snowpacked, shattered branches looming overhead; hefty snow-laden branches needing to be moved; downed wires hidden under the snow … I’m sure these are but a few of the exhausting perils these brave folks faced when cleaning up after such an “upstate” spring snowfall!

So from all of us who are so very blessed to have you, may you each be richly blessed in return.

Also a very special thank you to all the workers who came from out of state to lend assistance. Leaving home and families for days is a big sacrifice. I hope they will somehow see this “thank you” or hear about it from someone.

Pat Patterson
Mt. Vision

Arrest Made In NBT Bank Robbery

Arrest Made In NBT Bank Robbery

The City of Oneonta Police Department announced this afternoon they had made an arrest in connection to the December 29th, 2021, robbery of the NBT bank on Wall Street.

Elijah Vergari, 29, of Oneonta was arraigned in Otsego County Court on Monday February 14th, for third degree robbery. Bail was set at $10,000 due to an existing pending felony charge in Delaware County.

Vergari was remanded to the custody of the Otsego County Sheriff.

Milford man arrested for domestic dispute involving knife

Milford man arrested for domestic dispute involving knife

The Otsego County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man in a dispute involving a knife in the Town of Milford, following an investigation.

Steven Keach, 29, allegedly destroyed property at a residence on January 27. He was taken into custody and charged with assault, criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and aggravated harassment in the second degree.

Mr. Keach was remanded to Otsego County Correction Facility with $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond.

 

Oneonta Police seek surveillance camera help in SUNY investigation

Oneonta Police seek surveillance camera help in SUNY investigation

As its investigation into last week’s death of a SUNY student continues, the Oneonta Police Department released a statement Wednesday, February 2, asking city residents in certain neighborhoods with surveillance cameras to check their devices for possible sightings of 20-year-old Tyler Lopresti-Castro.

The statement reads: “At this time, the Oneonta Police Department is seeking assistance from those members of the public who may have surveillance cameras covering the center-city streets west of East Street, the Chestnut Street or River Street corridors, Winney Hill Road, Oneida Street, Route 205, State Highway 28 to County Highway 48 within the City of Oneonta and Town of Oneonta.”

OPD asks residents to check their cameras for pedestrians and vehicles between midnight and 2:15 a.m. on January 27.

January in Hartwick: Maybe just an accident?

January in Hartwick: Maybe just an accident?

New York State Police said February 1 an incident they reported as a burglary in the Town of Hartwick on January 3, 2022 “appears to be an isolated incident and remains an active and on-going investigation.”

Trooper Aga Dembinska told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta “there have been no other reported incidents like this.”

Sources say the matter was never a burglary nor a home invasion but was, upon investigation, an accident in the person’s home.

SUNY Oneonta student found at OPT garage passes away

SUNY Oneonta student found at OPT garage passes away

A SUNY Oneonta student found unconscious outside an Oneonta Public Transit parking garage Thursday morning died from his injuries later that night.

Oneonta Police say Transit workers found Tyler Lopresti-Castro, 20, outside the Silas Lane garage at 6:50 a.m. on January 27. Responders took him first to A.O. Fox Hospital, then to Bassett in Cooperstown, where he died.

Oneonta Police Chief Chris Witzenberg said workers discovered Mr. Lopresti-Castro in an area that is not well lit and is, at this time, obscured by snow banks. No cause of death has yet been released, but Chief Witzenberg said there is “no indication of criminality.”

Sheriff Devlin announces bid for re-election

Sheriff Devlin announces bid for re-election

Sheriff Richard Devlin announced today his re-election campaign for Otsego County Sheriff.

The primary for the election will take place in June and the regular election in November.

State Senator Peter Oberacker, retired Senator Jim Seward, and Members of Assembly Joe Angelino,  Brian Miller, John Salka, and Chris Tague are among those endorsing Sheriff Devlin’s run.

“We will keep doing our job and concentrate on keeping the people of Otsego County safe,” Sheriff Devlin said this afternoon to The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta.

At this time, the incumbent has neither primary nor general election challengers.

 

Fire at Oneonta Motel

Fire at Oneonta Motel

About an hour ago there was a fire at Motel 88 on Chestnut St., Oneonta. Fire crews are still on the scene. Check back for more details. (Photo by Joe Harmer)

State Police make arrest in Ononta assault

State Police make
arrest in Oneonta assault

New York State Police took 29-year-old Anthony Masi into custody on January 5 after a nearly week-long search following a December 30, 2021 incident at the Budget Inn on State Route 23.

Police say Masi was arrested and charged with Assault in the first degree, a class “b” felony. The warrant for his arrest stemmed from what police called a “serious assault that occurred in Oneonta after Masi attacked a victim with a machete-type knife.”

The victim of the assault was taken to Bassett Hospital, then transferred to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse to undergo surgery.

State Police seeking suspects of alleged burglary in Town of Hartwick that injured elderly woman

State Police seeking suspects of alleged burglary in Town of Hartwick that injured elderly woman

At least one person allegedly entered the Poplar Avenue home of an elderly woman in the Town of Hartwick between the evening of Sunday, January 2 and the morning of Monday, January 3, and injured her, according to New York State Police.

The victim was transported to Bassett Hospital where she remains in stable condition.

State Police searching for assault suspect

Anthony Masi

State Police searching for assault suspect

State Police are asking for help in searching for a suspect in an alleged assault in Oneonta on Thursday, December 30.

Anthony Masi, 29, is alleged to have struck a victim with a machete-like knife, causing them to bleed profusely from their nose at the Budget Inn on State Route 23.

The victim was transported to Bassett Hospital and later transferred to Upstate Medical Center for surgery.

Contact the State Police at 607-561-7400 with any information.

Oneonta Police Department seeking help in identifying suspect in bank robbery

Oneonta Police Department seeking help in identifying suspect in bank robbery

While the Oneonta Police Department continues to investigate the bank robbery that occurred on Wednesday, December 29 at the NBT branch on Wall Street in Oneonta, they ask for the public’s assistance in finding a person of interest in the robbery, pictured above.

According to a press release from OPD, the suspect is believed to have been assisted by another individual, who drove a four wheel sedan with blue and gold New York State plates. The car, possibly red, parked in a municipal parking lot at Wall Street and Dietz Street.

OPD asks any businesses with surveillance cameras on Main Street which might have captured traffic between 10: 40 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. to contact the Oneonta Police Detective Division.

Anyone with additional information can contact OPD at 607-432-1111.

 

 

Oneonta PD investigating bank robbery at NBT branch on Wall Street in Oneonta

Oneonta PD investigating bank robbery at NBT branch on Wall Street in Oneonta

The Oneonta Police Department (OPD) is investigating a bank robbery that occurred in Oneonta on Wall Street at the NBT Branch on the morning of Wednesday, December 29.

The suspect walked in through the main entrance and demanded the teller hand over an unknown amount of cash, according to OPD.

The suspect is a male between 5’8 and 6’0, heavyset, between 220 to 250 pounds, and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, and dark pants. He is not believed to be armed or a current danger to public safety.

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