News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Cooperstown Man Arrested In Railroad Avenue Burglary

Cooperstown Man Arrested

In Railroad Avenue Burglary

The door to Upstate Companies was damaged during last night’s alleged burglary at 21 Railroad Avenue.  Ommegang’s business office, at the end of the hall, was also broken into. (Jim Kevlin/

COOPERSTOWN – A Cooperstown man was arrested hours after he allegedly broke into offices at 21 Railroad Ave. and stole items, including a computer and money.

Richard C. Abbate, 18, allegedly broke into the building after 11 p.m. last night and stole items from several offices, including a laptop from the Ommegang’s business office and meat from the Green Cow butcher shop.  He also allegedly took money from an office, and damaged several doors, including at Upstate Companies.

Couple Arrested When CPS Finds Drugs, Weapons During Child Welfare Check

Couple Arrested When

CPS Finds Drugs, Weapons

During Child Welfare Check

MIDDLEFIELD – A CPS complaint lead to the arrest of a Middlefield couple after state police allegedly found an eight month old child living in the home with loaded weapons and drugs present.

According to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer, Samantha P. Jicha, 22 and Zachary A. Mumbulo,  21, both of Middlefield, were arrested after a hotline tip to Otsego County Child Protective Services requested a welfare check on the infant at the couple’s residence on Blacks Road. When police arrived, they allegedly found loaded weapons marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

Police: Man Ordered Dog To Attack Troopers

Police: Man Ordered Dog

To Attack State Troopers

Girlfriend Disputes Allegations About Pet
George Odbert

LAURENS – State police reported Thursday that they had arrested a Laurens man, George B. Odbert III, 32,  who troopers said ordered his dog to attack officers while they were investigating a “physical dispute.”

When they arrived at the County Route 12 home to investigate last Sunday evening, the alleged victim declined to press charges.  During the investigation, however, Odbert “became disorderly and refused to comply with any verbal commands,” according to the press release.

Police Charge Oneonta Man With Attempted Murder


Oneonta Man Arrested

For Attempted Murder

David Thomas

ONEONTA – An Oneonta man charged with attempted murder after he allegedly strangled a woman and twisted her neck, causing severe injury.

The victim also had bruises and bite marks, Police Chief Doug Brenner said.

David C. Thomas, 28, was arrested after Oneonta Police responded to a domestic dispute that allegedly turned physical.

Arrest Made in Pig Abuse Case

Arrest Made In

Pig-Neglect Case

With a container of dry corn, Alicia Neilsen seeks to lure one of the four rescued pigs into the Susquehanna Animal Shelter on Monday.  Neilsen, a volunteer at Leatherstocking Veterinary Services, New Berlin, is assisted by SAS volunteer Cat Chicorelli, left.. (Jim Kevlin/
Jared Talbot

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – An Oneonta man was arrested and charged with torturing animals after Otsego County sheriff’s deputies rescued his four emaciated pigs Monday from an un-insulated shed on Fisk Road in Laurens.

Jared J. Talbot, 21, was arrested today following a civilian complaint that led deputies to his property, where four pigs were found living without food or water and in an improper shelter.




OTSEGO – Joseph Zupnik and Daniel Herman, the former executives at Focus Otsego who were charged with multiple counts of Willful Violation of Health Laws and Endangering the Welfare of the residents, plead guilty to one count of the eight-count indictment, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled person, in the Town of Otsego Court just moments ago.


Investigation Ongoing In Holding Cell Death

DA, OPD Investigate

Death In Holding Cell 

Suspect May Have Ingested Drugs,

Causing Heart Attack, Chief Says

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Kenneth Faulkner

ONEONTA – Oneonta Police and Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl are investigating a death in police custody last evening, after a man arrested on narcotics-trafficking charges swallowed what might have been cocaine, according to Police Chief Douglas Brenner.

To Brenner’s knowledge, this is the first time a suspect has died in OPD custody.

Kenneth J. Faulkner, 52, New Rochelle, was arrested on a warrant at about 5 p.m. at 85 Ford Ave., and taken to the city’s Public Safety Building, Brenner said.  About 5:35 p.m., a second warrant was served at the building, allowing “a body search. “

“He was on the threshold of the door of the holding cell, and in three seconds he had managed to close the door and get the drugs into his mouth,” Brenner said in a interview this afternoon. “The officer opened the door and tried to get him to spit out the drugs.”

Police: Man Pointed Loaded Shotgun At Girlfriend

Police: Man Pointed

Shotgun At Girlfriend

Steven Knauff

ONEONTA – Oneonta Police arrested a man following reports that he had pointed a loaded shotgun at his girlfriend during a dispute at their apartment on Main Street.

Steven J. Knauff, 35, was arrested Saturday evening after police responded to a call from 25 year old victim, who told them that earlier that evening, Knauff had allegedly pointed a loaded shotgun at her face. The victim was able to flee the apartment to a location on Chestnut Street, where she called police.

Police Identify Milford Fire Suspect

Springfield Man, 20,

Milford Fire Suspect

Gerald Althiser Jr.

SPRINGFIELD CENTER – State Police have arrested Gerald E. Althiser Jr., 20, of Springfield Center, under suspicion of starting the fire that destroyed the Milford United Methodist Church in March.

On Saturday, July 08,  State Police arrested Althiser for allegedly starting fires in two campers.  During the investigation, police allege that Althiser admitted to setting numerous fires, including the March 12 fire that destroyed the Milford United Methodist Church on State Route 28 in the Town of Milford.

Arrest Made In Milford Church Fire

Teen Arrested In

Milford Church Fire

The inside of the Milford United Methodist Church following the fire. (Ian Austin/

MILFORD – A Middlefield teen was arrested and charged with setting the fire that destroyed the Milford United Methodist Church in March.

According to District Attorney John Muehl, state police arrested a young man on Saturday, July 8, for allegedly setting fires to several storage units in that town. During the investigation, police allegedly discovered evidence linking him to the church fire, and he was arrested.

Muehl said the suspect’s name and charges would be forthcoming from state police.

The fire was originally believed to have been an accident due to faulty electrical wiring.

Breed Fitness Owner Charged With Reckless Endangerment

Breed Fitness Owner Charged

With Reckless Endangerment

Kurtis Breed
Kurtis Breed

ONEONTA – Kurtis Breed, 30, owner of Breed Fitness, was arrested after allegedly driving recklessly towards another motorist in the Price Chopper parking lot.

He was arrested after State Troopers were advised of an incident in the Price Chopper parking lot on June 5.  Their investigation determined that Breed was driving a black Audi S4 sedan when he purposely drove recklessly towards another motorist and veered at the last second and then drove away.

Otego Woman Found With Heroin, Runs From Cops

Otego Woman Found With

Heroin, Runs From Cops

Jacqueline Graves
Jacqueline Graves

OTEGO – A woman charged with DUI and possessing heroin tried running from State Troopers before she was arrested in Otego.

Yesterday afternoon, troopers allegedly observed Jacqueline Graves, 30, Otego crossing a road hazard as she was driving on State Route 7 in the Town of Otego.  An investigation determined that she was driving while impaired by drugs, but when troopers told her she was under arrest, Graves pulled away and ran a short distance before being grabbed by the trooper again.

Rome Man Arrested For Threat, Menacing

Man Charged In Threat,

Menacing In Plainfield

Jason Tuttle
Jason Tuttle

PLAINFIELD – A Rome man was arrested in the early morning hours after threatening to kill a Plainfield resident and breaking into her home in Otsego County’s Northwest Corner while her children were present.

Jason S. Tuttle, 31, was arrested after a call came into the Otsego County 911 reporting that Tuttle had allegedly broken a bedroom window and attempted to enter the home while the victim was inside with her three children.  An investigation by the state troopers determined that earlier in the day, he had called and threatened to kill her.

Oneonta Police Bust Three At Walmart In Undercover Morphine Buy

3 Busted For Morphine

In WalMart Parking Lot

Eric Wade Ferguson, Sr
Eric Wade Ferguson, Sr
Eric Wade Ferguson, Jr.
Eric Wade Ferguson, Jr.
Linda Lee Clow
Linda Lee Clow

ONEONTA – An Oneonta father and son, as well as the father’s fiancee, were arrested yesterday after they allegedly sold morphine tablets to an undercover cop in the WalMart parking lot.

On Monday morning, an undercover Sheriff’s Office investigator allegedly paid Eric Wade Ferguson Jr. 20, of Oneonta, $540 for 15 100 mg morphine sulfate tablets during a drug buy in the Oneonta WalMart parking lot.  Ferguson Jr. was immediately arrested for criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony.

Springfield Store Clerk Charged with Stealing $2,000

Springfield Store Clerk

Charged With Stealing $2,000

Brandon Demorest
Brandon Demorest

COOPERSTOWN – A former employee of a Springfield convenience store was arrested and charged with stealing over $2,000 from the register, according to the Village Police.

Brandon Charles Demorest, 26, of Springfield Center was arrested Jan. 11 on charges that he had used the error/correct key to void out sales and keep the money customers paid for their purchases while employed at the store in summer 2015, said village police in a press release.

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