News of Otsego County

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

Walton Man Charged With DWI, Walmart Vandalism

Walton Man Charged With

DWI, Walmart Vandalism

ONEONTA – One of the three men wanted for allegedly vandalizing the Walmart fabric aisle with craft paint was arrested and charged with DWI over the weekend, according to Trooper Aga Dembinska, public relations officer, Troop C.

Devin K. Castillo, 19, Walton was arrested in Sidney Center after troopers received a complaint of a car rolled over on Main Street in Sidney Center at 3:36 a.m. on Saturday, Jan 11. When troopers arrived, they saw that four cars had been damaged, as well as a utility pole.

State Police Seek Three For Vandalizing WalMart Craft Aisle

State Police Seek 3 For

Vandalizing Walmart

ONEONTA – State Police are seeking three males who allegedly vandalized the craft and fabric aisle of the Oneonta Walmart, according to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C Public Information Officer.

At 8:33 p.m., a trooper was dispatched to Walmart after employees reported that three suspicious males damaged the craft and fabric aisle with craft paint around 7:14 p.m. The three then reportedly left the store through the grocery entrance then tried to enter Office Max, but were unable to enter and did not cause any damage.

Amish Tot, 3, Falls Out Of Minibus; Hurt, OK

Sidney Troopers Handled Mishap

Amish Tot, 3, Falls Out

Of Minibus; Hurt, OK

KIRKWOOD – A 3-year-old Amish child fell out of a minibus yesterday afternoon on I-81 southbound near Kirkwood, Troop C at Sidney is reporting.

The boy suffered cuts, bumps and bruises, but was alert and crying at the scene, the troopers said. He was treated at Wilson Medical Center.

Snowmobiler Falls Through Ice, Dies

Snowmobiler Falls

Through Ice, Dies

WALTON – A snowmobiler died, possibly from a heart attack, when his sled went through the ice Friday on a pond along Chipmunk Hollow Road in the Town of Walton, state police at Sidney reported today.

It is believed that Jeffrey M. Benson, 46, succumbed to “hypothermia/cardiac arrest.”

Worcester Man Had Multiple Gunshot Wounds

‘Multiple Gunshot

Wounds’ Felled

Worcester Victim

Fifth Suspect – Fourth Juvenile – Held

For Burglary In Murder Investigation

Scott Heggelke, Captain of the Bureau of Criminal Investigators, Troop C, said that Kenneth Robinson was shot multiple times with long guns at his home in Worcester on Thursday. Five people, four of them juveniles, were arrested and charged, four with murder in the second degree and burglary in the first degree and one with burglary, first degree. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special To www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – State police confirmed today that Kenneth Robinson, 53, was shot multiple times with a “long gun” in the course of a robbery at his home on Head Road on Thursday, Oct. 10.

“The first responding troopers saw a man lying just inside his door,” said BCI Capt. Scott Heggelke, Troop C, in a 12:30 press conference at the State Police Oneonta Barracks. “The house was on fire, but the trooper pulled him outside, and it was obvious that he was the apparent victim of multiple gunshot wounds.”

Woman Dies In Early-Morning Crash In Otego

Unadilla Woman Dies

In Early-Morning Crash

OTEGO – A Unadilla woman died early this morning after she allegedly crashed her car into the wall by the Betty Beaver gas station on Route 48 in Otego.

According to Trooper Aga Dembinska, public information officer, Troop C, troopers from Oneonta responded to a crash at 2:50 a.m. in Town of Otego and found the victim, a 27-year-old from Unadilla, deceased inside a 2015 Kia.

Motorcycle Crash Leads To Gun Arrest

I-88 Motorcycle Crash

Leads To Gun Arrest

WORCESTER – A Virginia man was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm after a motorcycle crash allegedly lead state troopers to discover he had two loaded pistols and no pistol permit.

According to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer, Phillip M. Davis, 25, Strasburg,. Va, was arrested after a trooper responded to an accident involving a motorcycle on Interstate 88 in Worcester.  Davis told the trooper that when a tractor trailer passed him, he applied his brakes and lost control of his Harley, but he he did not suffer any injuries.

Three Charged After False Abduction Report

Three Charged After

False Abduction Report

ONEONTA – Three people were charged after an Oneonta girl made a false report of abduction and her father shot at the alleged driver, state police reported today.

According to a release by Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officerCassandra A. Davi, 19, Oneonta, allegedly sent a text to her father asking for help while she was in a vehicle belonging to Charles O. Hall, 30, New Lisbon. Her father, Anthony M. Davi, 54, Davenport called 911 to report Cassandra had been abducted and went to locate his daughter on his own. Anthony located Hall’s vehicle and shot at the vehicle while on State Highway 23 in the town of Kortright and left with Cassandra.

Oneonta Honors Our Servicemen and Women

With 2 Eagles Overhead,

Oneonta Honors Veterans

As two eagles circled, Oneonta’s Memorial Day celebration was conducted this morning at the memorial at the end of Veterans’ Memorial Walkway before the start of the parade. American Legion Commander Gary Ballard, top photo, oversees Troop 23 Boy Scouts Giovanni Hromada, Ben Casola, Kaleb Bergeron, Andrew Pierce, Caneb Casey and Noah Miller as they place wreaths at stations marking the different branches of the military. At right, OHS Valedictorian Aben Carrington recites Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address alongside Master of Ceremonies Les Grummons, to the crowds gathered in the park. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Fleeing Car Hit Deputy’s Cruiser In Westbound Lane

BULLETIN

Fleeing Car Hit

Deputy’s Cruiser

In Westbound Lane

Ending a few minutes ago in the Oneonta State Police Barracks, BCI Capt. Scott Heggelke and county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. give particulars on Tuesday’s hot pursuit and fatal crash. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Mateunas was parked in the westbound lane of  Route 20 in his Chevy Tacoma with his emergency lights flashing when Matthew All, fleeing state police in hot pursuit, plowed into the deputy’s cruiser at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at 115 mph, according to a just-completed press briefing at the Oneonta State Police Barracks.

Earlier reports had the cruiser on the side of the highway.  There was no evidence All braked or tried to avoid the collision, County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. and Capt. Scott Hegelke of Troop C’s BCI unit said during the briefing.

The impact of All’s Buick LaCrosse pushed Mateunas’ SUV 200 feet, the equivalent of twice the length of the Oneonta barracks building on Oneida Street.

The autopsy showed All, 23, of Sharon Springs, was not intoxicated.  The briefing revealed All and Robin Church, the woman he was arguing with in front of the Richfield Springs State Police Barracks before the chase ensued, had been co-workers at some point, and he had been “harassing” her for a year.

CHECK BACK BY 3 P.M. FOR FULL STORY

Officers, Use Judgment: Law Allows You To Provide Mugshots To The Public

EDITORIAL

Officers, Use Judgment: 

Law Allows To Provide

Mugshots To The Public

The recently completed state budget contains a measure, championed by Governor Cuomo, that prohibits police departments from releasing mug shots of suspects.

The other day, Monday, April 22, Trooper Aga Dembinska, Trooper C spokesman, declined to release a mug shot of Gabriel Truitt, 33, suspect in the Dec. 29 arson fire on Oneonta’s Walling Avenue, where former city firefighter John Heller was killed.

Dembinska advised that, while the governor has yet to apply his signature to that part of the state budget that will make mug shots closely held in the future, the Department of State Police, which is under the governor’s administration, has put it in place, anticipating its approval.

“No one will get anything from us anymore,” she said.  Granted, she and Maj. Brian Shortall, Troop C commander, are simply following orders from headquarters, as they must.

At the time, Truitt was at large. As it happens, he was wandering in our midst.  But without the mug shot, how could anyone have identified him? This newspaper circumvented the ban by obtaining Truitt’s mug shot from a 2018 arrest report, but that’s going to be harder to do as time goes on.

Originally, Cuomo had intended to bar release of all police reports, in effect enabling secret arrests, anathema – and historically unprecedented – in our system of open justice.  And so is the mugshot ban.

Welcome to the Cheka, Albany style.

In proposing the mugshot ban, the governor put it this way in an interview on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio:

Pastors, Officials Offer Support To Local Sufis
CHRISTCHURCH MASSACRE REMEMBERED

Pastors, Officials Offer

Support To Local Sufis

A Cooperstown contingent – seated from left, Methodist Pastor Tom LeBeau, and Presbyterians Carol Beechy and Pastor Elsie Roades – attended Sunday evening’s service of solidarity at the Sufi community in Sidney.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By IAN AUSTIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Attendees include the Rev. Craig Schwallenberg, pastor of Oneonta’s UU Church.

SIDNEY CENTER – Spiritual leaders, mayors, law-enforcement officers, friends and neighbors gathered Sunday evening at the Sufi Muslim community of Osmanli Dergahi here to express solidarity after the mass shooting in Christ Church, New Zealand.

“You coming here shows you care.” said Junaid Khan, a leader of the community. “Facebook, twitter, they don’t matter. Thank you for taking action and coming here. It means a lot to us.”

A gunman entered Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch during Friday Prayer on March 15 and shot almost 100 worshipers, killing 50, in the worst mass shooting in that nation’s history.

Trooper Broke Hand In Father, Son Feud

K9 Unit Deployed To Break Up Fight

Trooper Broke Hand

In Father, Son Feud

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Michael Lubrano
Gary Lubrano

WORCESTER – A state trooper broke his hand and another injured his jaw and lip when they tried to break up the fight between a father and son last night alongside I-88 in the Town of Worcester, according to a release from Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer.

After a passerby alerted 911 that two males were apparently fighting on the roadside, a trooper responded and attempted to place Gary Lubrano, 65, Cobleskill, under arrest, according to the release. He resisted, and a physical altercation ensued; his son, Michael Lubrano, 34, Cobleskill, joined the fray, police said.

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