News of Otsego County

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


Oneonta Police

Police Investigating Thrift Store Robbery


OPD Investigating

Thrift Store Robbery

Volunteers at the Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans thrift store came in on Monday to find the store ransacked.

ONEONTA – Oneonta Police are investigating a burglary at the Superheroes in Ripped Jeans thrift store on South Main Street after the owners discovered on Monday morning the store had been broken into overnight. The store has low security so police have encouraged other business owners to ensure that they think about their businesses security and what they can do to improve it. For example, installing Verisure Smart Alarms is a sophisticated way to ensure your businesses protection. Other methods include getting security doors and shutters over your windows.

“We are truly disheartened to share that our thrift shop was burglarized over the weekend,” read a post on the store’s Facebook page. “This store is completely volunteer run and all the proceeds benefit the rescue. Not only did we sustain a loss, now we need to spend money on new equipment.”

Police Arrest Flasher In Neahwa Park

Flasher Arrested

In Neahwa Park

ONEONTA – Police arrested a Laurens man Monday afternoon after complaints that he was exposing himself in Neahwa Park.

Keith Holbrook, 71, Laurens, was arrested after Oneonta Police received complaints from the area of the park near the I-88 overpass. “Someone called and said they felt like he was watching them,” said Police Chief Doug Brenner. “Then he stepped out and exposed himself.”

SUNY Student Identified As Nicolas J. Stagnitta

SUNY Oneonta Student

From L.I., Police Report

ONEONTA – Oneonta Police have identified Nicholas J. Stagnitta, 20, of Patchogue, Long Island, as the SUNY student found deceased in a home on Chestnut Street on Saturday morning, according to a press release issued by the police a few minutes ago.

According to Police Chief Doug Brenner, police responded to the Chestnut Street residence at 11:10 a.m. Saturday morning. Upon arrival, police discovered Stagnitta deceased. The initial investigation and autopsy revealed that the young man took his own life.

Truitt Located In House Next To Police Department

Truitt In Basement

Of House Next Door

To OPD Headquarters

Suspect Spirited To Otsego County Jail

Accused arsonist Gabriel Truitt was found hiding the basement of 95 Main St., right next door to the city’s Public Safety building. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Gabriel Truitt

ONEONTA – Less than a week since a grand jury indicted Gabriel Truitt, 33, on first-degree murder, one count of first-degree arson, and two counts of second-degree murder in the Dec. 29 death of John Heller, 38, Oneonta Police have arrested him at 95 Main St.

The two-story apartment house is right next door to the Public Safety Building, police headquarters.

Oxford Man Charged With Stealing Guitars, TV

Police: Man Breaks Into

City Home, Takes Guitars


ONEONTA – An Oxford man was charged with breaking into a Chestnut Street home and stealing two guitars and a television after he allegedly tried to sell them at a music store in Norwich. Nobody wants to have their instruments stolen, especially if they are looking to sell them for a healthy profit. You can actually price your musical instrument at a reliable pawn shop if you are looking to sell your guitars or other instruments for good money. h
ad tried to sell them a guitar matching the “distinct characteristics” of the stolen property.

The investigation identified Begeal, who was charged with Burglary in the second degree (residence) and Grand Larceny in the fourth degree, a felony. Because some of the items were allegedly damaged, he was also charged with Criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, both misdemeanors.

Oneonta Police Officer Injured During Suspect Chase

Police Officer Injured

During Suspect Chase


ONEONTA – An Oneonta Police officer was injured after the suspect fled over a fence and down an embankment, according to Police Chief Doug Brenner.

Wanted on a failure to appear and criminal contempt charges, Christopher Youngs Jr. 19, Town of Maryland, was allegedly seen at a house at 31 Fairview St. When officers tried to arrest Youngs on the outstanding warrants, he allegedly jumped out of the second story window of the house and fled.

“He went over a fence and fell down the steep embankment,” said Brenner. “He got up and tried to hide, but officers caught up with him.”

Oneonta Police Host Active Shooter Education At Fox

Oneonta Police To Train Public

On Dealing With ‘Active Shooter’

ONEONTA – The Oneonta Police Department this week will host two interactive, discussion-based community-education sessions on what to do in the event of an active shooter in a public place.

The first session will be 11 a.m-1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, and the second 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Both will be in Classroom 1 at the Foxcare Center. Both programs are free and open to the public.

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.

Man Honored For Aiding Chief Brenner in July 4th Fight

Man Honored For Aiding

Police Chief In Fight On 4th

Franklin Weideck, Wells Bridge, receives a certificate of commendation and a commemorative law enforcement medallion from Police Chief Doug Brenner during tonight’s Common Council meeting. Weindeck came to Brenner’s rescue after an intoxicated man began to attack him during the Fourth of July festivities. (Ian Austin/

By CATHY NARDI • Special to

ONEONTA – An ordinary citizen risked injury to help the city’s police chief in a dangerous situation, and tonight Common Council said thanks.

Franklin Weideck, Wells Bridge, was attending the Hometown Fourth of July celebration in Neahwa Park when he saw Police Chief Douglas Brenner on the ground struggling to control a violent suspect.

“I was aware of an individual who seemed to have a little bit too much to drink,” Brenner said. “I wandered off of the beaten path to keep an eye on him.  I saw people around this guy. He had fallen and he had gotten up and tried to sit on a rail and fell off of that and bloodied his nose.”

Hartwick Student Arrested For Breaking OPT Door

College Student Charged

For Breaking OPT Door

Dave Hotaling, OPT transportation director, examines the shattered glass of the bus station door window. (Ian Austin/
Ellis Hancox

ONEONTA – A Hartwick College student was arrested after allegedly kicking and breaking the glass door of the Oneonta Public Transit offices over Labor Day weekend, Police Chief Doug Brenner said today.

Ellis Hancox, 20, was arrested by Oneonta Police after surveillance footage from the OPT showed him trying to board the Hillside Commons bus at 2:10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, before turning away from the bus and allegedly kicking the glass door, causing damage to the bottom glass panel, Brenner said.

Oneonta Man Arrested After 45 Minute Police Chase

Oneonta Man Arrested After

High-Speed Police Chase

Officer Lucas Harvey’s police cruiser was totaled after James Hone allegedly ran his car into the driver’s side three times, injuring Harvey.
James Hone

ONEONTA – An Oneonta man was arrested after allegedly ramming his car repeatedly into two Oneonta Police cars, injuring an officer and leading police on 45-minute car chase after police tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.

James A. Hone, 62, who was wanted on a warrant for criminal contempt after allegedly violating an order of protection, was seen pulling into his driveway on Sixth Street by patrol officer Edmund Donley at 9:38 p.m. last night. After Donley identified himself and tried to arrest Hone, Hone allegedly drove his car into Donley’s patrol car. Donley managed to dive over the hood of the car and out of the way of Hone’s vehicle and followed Hone up Fairview Ave.

A second officer, Lucas Harvey, tried to block Hone on Fairview, but Hone allegedly rammed his car into the driver’s side of Harvey’s patrol car.

Franklin Man Charged In Otsego Bicycles Burglary

Franklin Man Charged In

Otsego Bicycles Burglary

A Franklin man allegedly broke this window at Otsego Bicycles to steal two bikes early this morning.

ONEONTA – A Franklin man was arrested today after surveillance video footage showed him breaking into and leaving Otsego Bicycles with two bikes valued at $2,300, city police report.

Michael Romano, 17, was arrested by OPD officers after they were alerted at 5:40 a.m. to a broken window outside of Otsego Bicycles on Water Street.

A review of surveillance footage, police said, revealed Romano leaving on one of the stolen bikes and returning shortly to pick up a second. Police located Romano in Neahwa Park and arrested him for Burglary in the third degree, Criminal Mischief in the third degree and Grand Larceny in the fourth degree.

Naked Man Injured In Fall From Parking Garage

Naked Man Injured In

Fall From Parking Garage

ONEONTA – An 18 year old SUNY Oneonta student was injured after allegedly undressing and jumping from the top of the Municipal Parking Garage in downtown Oneonta.

At 10:30 p.m. Friday night, police received a call from a passerby that a man had fallen from the top level of the parking garage onto Chestnut Street extension. When EMTs arrived, the man allegedly told them that he was a stuntman attempting a stunt in trying to jump to the second level. He allegedly threw his clothes to the street and jumped from the top level, but caught his ankles on the railing and fell.

Three Arrested For Cocaine, LSD

Three Arrested For

Possessing Coke, LSD

ONEONTA – Three men were arrested Tuesday night after Oneonta police executed a search warren at 300 Main Street and allegedly found cocaine and LSD in the residence.

Timothy A. Baron, 37, Mark J. Fategoni, 55 and Zachery E. Meegan, 28 were all arrested and charged with possessing cocaine. Meegan was also allegedly in possession of LSD, and $9,500 in cash was also seized. Police were assisted by the Otsego County Sheriffs Department’s K9 Unit.

Amphetamines, Xanax Killed SUNY Student

Amphetamines, Xanax

Killed SUNY Student

Daniel Michaels

ONEONTA – A final autopsy report, released by Oneonta Police, showed that “multiple drug toxicity” caused the Dec. 2 death of SUNY Oneonta freshman Daniel W. Michaels, 18.

The report determined the “manner of death was accident” by “mixed drug toxicity,” showing amphetamines, ethanol, alprazolam (Xanax) & marijuana.

The investigation into the death is continuing.

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