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

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.

Trooper Injured In Fatal Shootout Returns To Duty

BROOME D.A. CLEARS OFFICER

OF ANY WRONGDOING IN CASE

Trooper Injured

In Fatal Shootout

Returns To Duty

SIDNEY – Trooper Timothy Conklin, the 28-year state police veteran shot in the shoulder in a fatal shootout with a suspect Jan. 28,  has been cleared to return to duty.

Troop C Commander William McEvoy said Conklin’s assignment is still to be determined.

An investigation into the incident by Broome County District Attorney Stephen K. Cornwell Jr. and state police determined Conklin justifiably utilized deadly physical force to defend his life and the life of others.

IN MEMORIAM

Lyall H. Sage, 86; State Trooper

Guarded Rockefeller At Otesaga

Lyle Sage

FRANKLIN – Lyall H. Sage, 86, a state trooper who served on Nelson Rockefeller’s detail when the governor visited The Otesaga, passed away peacefully, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at the Veterans Home in Oxford.

He was born on March 21, 1932, in Sayre, Pa., the son of Edna Sage. He graduated from Towanda High School in June 1950.

He married Roberta Moody Sage in Dushore, Pa., on May 3, 1952.

Troop C: Suspect Advanced, Firing Semi-Automatic

Troop C: Suspect

Advanced, Firing

Semi-Automatic

Man, 30, Died At Route 17 Scene;

Officer Wounded In Left Shoulder

Troop C reported the suspect killed in last night’s shooting began firing through his back window with a semiautomatic when he was pulled over.  These bullet holes are in the window of Trooper Conklin’s cruiser.  (Troop C photo)

Editor’s Note: Troop C, which includes Otsego County, released this account of the shooting exchange last evening in the Town of Kirkwood, Broome County, where the investigating trooper was injured and the suspect killed.

Trooper Conklin lights a candle at last July’s funeral in Vestal for Trooper Nicholas Clark, shot in a standoff. Last night, Trooper Conklin had a narrow escape.
Philhower

On Jan. 28, 2019 at approximately 6:09 p.m., the State Police at Binghamton received a report that Nicholas P. Philhower, age 30, had taken his mother’s motor vehicle without her permission and she requested he be located and arrested.  At approximately 6:20 p.m., Trooper Timothy S. Conklin, a 28-year veteran, observed the suspect vehicle traveling west on State Route 17 in the Town of Kirkwood.

Philhower observed Trooper Conklin approaching and took evasive action, traveling through the median at the intersection with Interstate 81, and then onto State Route 17 east bound, coming to a stop shortly thereafter.  At that point Philhower, who was armed with a military style semi-automatic rifle, immediately opened fire on Trooper Conklin through the rear window of the vehicle.

Troop C Officer Shot, Killed Man After Car Chase

CAR CHASED NEAR BINGHAMTON

Troop C Officer

Shot, Killed Man

After Car Chase

Press Conference Due At 2:30 Today

BINGHAMTON – A trooper in Troop C, which includes Otsego County, shot a suspect after a car chase early yesterday evening on Route 17 in the Town of Kirkwood, south of Binghamton.

The suspect later died, according to a press release issued today by Troop C, Sidney.

A press conference is planned at 2:30 p.m. today to release further details.

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