News of Otsego County

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

Police Chief Doug Brenner

Missing Oneonta Man Found Safe


Missing Oneonta

Man Found Safe

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Chester S. Kucharski

ONEONTA – Chester S. Kucharski Jr., reported missing after leaving Bassett Hospital in January, has been found safe and in good health, according to Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner.

“He checked into the Super 8 Motel on Southside and used his own name,” said Brenner. “The clerk recognized him and called us.”

Kucharski, 67, was last seen on camera leaving Bassett around 3:50 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25. He was considered a “vulnerable adult” at the time he was reported missing.

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.”

Leads Poured In, Leading To Arrest Of Oneonta Man, 34


Leads Poured In,

Leading To Arrest

Of Oneonta Man, 34

Police, Fire Chiefs Detail What’s Known

Fire Chief Pat Pidgeon, left, and Police Chief Doug Brenner detail what they know at a 5 p.m. press conference in Oneonta City Hall. For a video of the press conference, click here.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Terrence Truitt

ONEONTA – Within hours of Saturday morning’s fire that claimed the life of former Oneonta firefighter John D. Heller, the leads began to pour in.

“We had more than 70 leads,” said Police Chief Doug Brenner an hour ago at a press conference held jointly with Fire Chief Pat Pidgeon. “And the investigation is continuing.”

The men reported Terrence Truitt, 34, Oneonta, was arrested and charged with first-degree arson, which investigators believe started on the second floor of 5 Walling Ave.

Heller and his fiancee, Amber Roe, lived on the top floor, and had their four nephews staying with them that night. Heller and Roe helped the children escape, but then was unable to get out of the building.



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.

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.

Investigation Into SUNY Student Death Leads To Drug Arrest

Investigation Into Student’s

Death Leads To Drug Arrests

ONEONTA – Two people living in the house where Daniel William Michaels died were arrested and charged with drug possession, according to Police Chief Doug Brenner.

Steven A. Fleming, 20, Levittown, and Luke J. Spencer, 20, were both arrested after a search warrant issued during the investigation into Michaels’ death allegedly turned up marijuana and cocaine in the residence at 34 Academy Street, where Michaels, who was not a resident of the address, was found unconscious on Saturday, Dec. 2.

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