COOPERSTOWN – Worried an ambulance might not arrive in time, Village Police officers last week transported an attempted suicide victim to Bassett Hospital in their police cruiser, gaining the praise of Chief Frank Cavalieri.
“The quick thinking and effort shown to preserve the subject’s life displayed by these officers were vital to saving the victim’s life,” said Cavalieri. “This effort, I believe, demonstrates the dedication, integrity and concern that the men and women of law enforcement in Otego County have for the community.”
COOPERSTOWN – In the end, damage to 11 of the Village of Cooperstown’s mask-ordinance signs totaled just under the $250 threshold for a felony charge.
“The total damage came to $238.74,” said Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Village Police arrested Luke Smith, 45, Cooperstown, for spray-painting Xes across four large and seven small “Masks on Main” publicizing the must-wear mandate between Main to Pioneer in the Business District. He was charged with criminal mischief, fourth degree, and issued a ticket.
On Monday, Oct. 5, village officials were notified that the signs had been taken and vandalized. According to Cavalieri, the three large signs were found spray-painted and discarded in front of District Attorney John Muehl’s office; the smaller signs from the rain gardens were found behind Pioneer Alley.
“We believe he spray-painted them there,” the chief said. “There were traces of spray paint on
The suspect was caught on camera footage provided to police by local business owners, the chief said adding, “We collected a lot of evidence.”
According to Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, the suspect turned himself in Tuesday morning. “He must have realized there was mounting evidence against him,” she said. “When you have video evidence, it’s hard to argue against it.”
“He made a mistake,” said Cavalieri. “I don’t think he’s a criminal per se. He did a criminal act, but he’s stressed and frustrated with everything going on in the country.”
Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, who helped initiate the “Mask on Main” program, said she had seen some pushback when the law was first passed.
“What surprises me the most is that it took this long,” she said. “When I first put out magnets on parking meters and trash cans, I saw immediately that some were taken or moved.”
Because the signs are printed on plastic, Tillapaugh said, any solvent used would damage the image and text, so new signs have been ordered.
“It’s the law,” Cavalieri said, “The reason for it is to protect our most compromised citizens. If you have the possibility of saving someone’s life by wearing a mask, I don’t understand why there would be pushback.”
According to Police Chief Frank Cavalieri, the alleged vandal, a white male, was arrested following an investigation after the three large signs were found dumped and vandalized in front of the District Attorney’s office. Seven of the smaller signs were found in Pioneer Alley.
COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Police are investigating the vandalism of the Village’s three “Masks on Main” signs after they were found with a black X spray-painted over them.
“We believe it happened last night,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. “We noticed it first thing this morning.”
The vandalized signs were at the perimeters of the downtown where the mask ordinance is in place, including Church and Pioneer streets, Main and Chestnut streets, and in front of the Otsego County Building.
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.
COOPERSTOWN – Friends of Cooperstown Police Chief Mike Covert have put together a GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for his kidney transplant and other medical needs.
“Anyone who has met Michael K. Covert over the years knows that he would do anything for anyone and not expect a thing in return,” wrote Mike Ten Eyck, retired Sheriff’s deputy. “Mike has dedicated his life to helping others and now he needs our assistance.”
COOPERSTOWN – A “vulnerable adult” was reported missing after he was last seen leaving Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown in January.
Chester S. Kucharski Jr, 67, Oneonta, was last seen leaving Bassett around 3:50 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25. He was reported as a missing vulnerable adult and the Police Department is attempting to check his welfare.
He is 5’11, 150lbs, Gray Hair, Hazel Eyes. Police say he had been evicted from his residence in Oneonta and had been transported to Bassett Hospital. He was discharged from the hospital and has not been seen since.
COOPERSTOWN – A hit-and-run victim is recovering today after allegedly being struck by a vehicle on Chestnut Street last night.
According to Cooperstown Police Chief Mike Covert, a 76-year-old woman was walking on the sidewalk down Chestnut Street southbound when she was allegedly hit by a vehicle backing out of a driveway. The victim told police that the operator of the vehicle did not stop to check on her, and continued driving down the street.
COOPERSTOWN – A South Carolina man was charged with assaulting a woman after allegedly yelling racial slurs at her during a confrontation in a Cooperstown restaurant, Cooperstown Police Chief Michael Covert reports.
Lawrence Andrew Mileo, 50, was arrested the Monday after Induction Weekend after a complaint of a physical dispute was made at a local restaurant.
According to police, Mileo allegedly called a 33-year-old African American woman, also from out of state, numerous derogatory names related to her race, then intentionally punched her in the face.
The Cooperstown Emergency Squad responded to the scene and provided medical care for the victim.