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Category Archives: Police Incompetence

Riley’s Song: Verse Two – Update on Our Investigations.

There are too many contradictions, gaps, inconsistencies in the Riley Kern case to allow anyone with any sense of decency or any trace of compassion to rest easy. While we can’t answer all questions in such a tragic event we can at least try to be honest and thorough in answering those that are answerable. We can at least meet our obligations to come forward and speak the truth. We can at least do our best to connect the dots and minimize doubt and with doubt mistrust. None of this has been done in Riley’s case, at least as far as our investigations and informants have shown. Here’s where we are as of today.

They’re gonna getcha!

Riley Kern was 19 at the time of the accident. Riley Kern’s funeral was on his 20th birthday. Riley Kern, although just before his death, was living with his mother and sister in Kansas, was a local boy. Riley Kern grew up in the RCS area and even attended Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk high school. Riley Kern’s father, Paul Gumpher, still lives in Climax, New York.

A group of local young people loved and respected Riley to such an extent that they got together and made the trip to Kansas to pay their respects and say a last farewell to Riley at his funeral. For all we have to say about today’s young people, that gesture of loyalty and love struck at even our heart chords. There’s no words to say that would do them the credit they deserve but Thank you! You really did Good!

We are asking Travis Hagen: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?

A local man, Travis D Hagen, 48 years old, formerly of Ravena, New York, now residing in the Greene County hamlet of Coxsackie, just south of Ravena, has all but disappeared from the radar. Hagen didn’t have the decency even to express his condolences to Riley’s family at the death of their son, a death caused or at least contributed to by Hagen. Hagen is even avoiding the insurance investigators in the case. This raises the obvious question of: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?

Why are you hiding?

Travis Hagen, 48, was driving a 2007 GMC pick-up truck on State Route 143 at the junction of County Route 106 (Tompkins Road) in front of the Sycamore Country Club. We might ask what Hagen was doing out there in the early evening hours of Friday, July 27, 2018, so far from Coxsackie on a sultry summer’s evening. There’s not a lot out there at that time of day except perhaps some friends and some brews. Informants share with us that Travis does like his brew. More on this later.

The Terry Hagen Golf Tournament benefiting the Lustgarten Foundation

Informants also tell us that there is an annual Terrry Hagen Golf Tournament held at the Sycamore County Club, and that the elder Hagen , now dead, was a popular denizen at the country club and an avid golfer. Dots are starting to connect, aren’t they?

Well, the Terry Hagen Memorial Golf Tourny was held at the Sycamore Country Club on August 18, 2018, so it’s reasonable to suggest that Travis Hagen was at the Sycamore Country Club taking care of “business” over a couple of brews, planning or finalizing details of the golf tourny. Sound reasonable to you? Why else would anyone be in that desolate area on a Friday evening? Now, an investigator would certainly have to question the staff at the Sycamore about Hagen’s being there that evening and what he was doing. Doncha think?

One person killed, NO accident reconstruction, and NO police photos taken.

Riley P. “Jeremiah” Kern

The NYS DMV Police Accident Report (MV-104A (6/04) shows the accident to have occurred on July 27, 2018, a Friday, at 6:22 p.m. One person killed, no accident reconstruction, and no police photos taken. That’s a bit irregular. Although our research with the National Weather Service shows that July 27, 2018, was generally sunny/partly cloudy with a high of 86 and a low of 67, there is no mention of weather conditions in the police report. Wouldn’t you think that would be important? Not according to Patrolman Ian Foard of the Coeymans Police Department, the “investigator” at the scene.

Back to the Police Report: In the Accident Description/Officer’s Notes section of the report, Riley’s vehicle is referred to as V1 and Hagen’s vehicle as V2, in the extract of the Police Report below, we are transcribing V1 to Riley and V2 as Hagen . Foard writes:

“Riley was traveling around a curve at high speed and Riley lost control of the vehicle and laid his motorcycle down.[1] Hagen was traveling Northbound [sic] on Route 143 and as Riley came around the curve it (V1 or V2? Riley or Hagen ?) traveled into the Northbound lane in front of Hagen.  Hagen swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley. Riley was ejected and struck the rear driver side of Hagen’s vehicle. Riley’s vehicle traveled under Hagen ’s causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen s vehicle and eventually ending up behind Hagen ’s vehicle. Riley did pass away from crash-related injuries at Albany Medical Center.”

According to Patrolman Ian Foard, he was the last official to arrive at the accident scene after the EMTs arrived. So where did he get all of this information? Foard’s entry in the form is undated but the report shows that it was “reviewed by” Daniel Contento (acting Police Chief, Coeymans PD) on August 7, 2018, eleven (11) days after the accident, not including the day of the accident! eleven days later. The accident occurred at 6:22 p.m. on July 27, 2018. Riley died at Albany Medical Center shortly after 10 p.m.

Typical cop fashion: Cover me!

Only one “eye witness” is given in the report (we’re withholding that person’s name for now), who was allegedly mowing his “yard” according to Foard. Our visit to the scene would complicate that witness’ claim to having been an “eye witness” because the only property near the scene is to the South and the site of the accident would have been impaired by bushes. But the eye-witness named in the Police Report by Foard and claimed by Foard to have been “mowing his yard” at the time of the accident, is a big problem. You see, the so-called eye-witness lives on Alcove Road — and we are assuming that’s where his “yard” is —, some 4 miles distance from the accident site!

The one eye-witness was, according to Foard, “mowing his yard.” The problem is, his yard is 4 miles away from the accident site!

But that’s the least of the problems with Foard’s very late report. In fact, New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 22, § 605. Report required upon accident reads (in pertinent part):

“(a) 1. Every person operating a motor vehicle, except a police officer (as defined in subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law ), a correction officer, or a firefighter, operating a police department, a correction department, or fire department vehicle respectively while on duty, if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle, which is in any manner involved in an accident, anywhere within the boundaries of this state, in which any person is killed or injured, or in which damage to the property of any one person, including himself, in excess of one thousand dollars is sustained, shall within ten days after such accident, report the matter in writing to the commissioner.”

“2. Failure to report an accident as herein provided or failure to give correctly the information required of him by the commissioner in connection with such report shall be a misdemeanor and shall constitute a ground for suspension or revocation of the operator’s (or chauffeur’s) license or all certificates of registration for any motor vehicle, or of both, of the person failing to make such report as herein required.  In addition, the commissioner may temporarily suspend the driver’s license or permit or certificate of registration of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, or of both, of the person failing to report an accident within the period prescribed in paragraph one of this subdivision, until such report has been filed.  However, no suspension or a revocation shall be made of a license or certificate of registration of any police officer, correction officer, or firefighter involved in an accident while on duty for failure to report such accident within ten days thereof if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle.”

“(c) The report required by this section shall be made in such form and number as the commissioner may prescribe.”

The law is clear on the reporting requirement and the time for reporting. In fact, in the next section, it actually states at VTL § 606. Processing of required reports:

“The commissioner [the DMV], when processing reports of accidents filed pursuant to this article, shall give priority to reports involving serious physical injury (as defined in subdivision ten of section 10.00 of the penal law ) or death.”

The investigating officer, when making his report, is an agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, that is, the “Commissioner” in the laws. Accordingly, if there is serious physical injury or death involved, the officer is to give “priority” to the report. But it took the Coeymans Police Department eleven (11) days just to get the report written and reviewed! No one is going to tell us that the Coeymans Police Department is that overworked and understaffed that it takes 11 days to fill out a form! Incompetence and indifference; criminal obstruction!

Not only is the police report late and in violation of the law, it is incomplete and inaccurate!

First of all, Patrolman Foard and Sgt Daniel Contento apparently can’t read or understand the clear labels on the form. For example, in the section “Vehicle Model” the form actually gives examples, such as “Mustang, Corvette” but Foard (Contento) insert “Motorcycle” for Vehicle 1 (V1, Riley) but “Sierra” for Vehicle 2 (V2, Hagen).

In the “Emergency Medical Services” the form requires times (in military notation; we are converting to conventional time notation here). EMS was  “Notified at 6:24” and “Arrived at the scene at 6:26 p.m.” The form shows that the EMS “Arrived (with Riley) at hospital” at 7:05 p.m. We don’t find those times to be believable.

First of all, any 911 calls go through the Albany County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center in Albany, who then take down the details and relay them to the appropriate First Responders. That alone should take several minutes. Then the First Responders have to get their acts together and get to the scene, which will take another several minutes, at least. But the accident, according to the report happened at 6:22 p.m. If we are to believe the accident report, the accident was reported after the accident occurred, naturally, that is, after 6:22 p.m., the 911 dispatcher contacted the local EMS, who then got all their information and gear, and personnel together and got to the scene at 6:26. That’s in less than 4 minutes!!! Do you believe that?

That raises yet another question: How long did it take anyone to make the 911 call once the accident occurred?

But it took them about 45 minutes to get the dying boy to Albany Medical Center! And that’s assuming the ambulance arrived at the very same moment as the EMS, which is unlikely because they were also busy trying to decide whether to medevac (Lifeline) Riley to the hospital, a decision that fell through the cracks due to “thunderstorms” in the area (Thunderstorms? No mention of these in the National Weather Service reports. Rain, maybe, but no thunderstorms in Albany County on July 27, 2018).

Back to the report: Patrolman Foard writes that the first point of impact on Riley’s motorcycle was at point 11, the left door. We weren’t aware that motorcycles, much less Riley’s bike, had left doors but maybe Patrolman Foard and Sgt Contento know more about this than we do.

Besides, if you are filling out a form, you’d indicate everything you need to indicate, wouldn’t you? It’s all done half-assed, as usual in Coeymans! We’ve always said, ”You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!”

And then you put them in uniforms and hand them guns.


Editor’s Note: New Law in New York: Serious Accidents to Trigger Mandatory Sobriety Tests in New York. The new law expands the responsibilities of police officers who are first responders to the scene of a motor vehicle accident if the collision either caused a serious injury or caused a death. Now, among the responsibilities that police have as they investigate the cause of the accident is a responsibility to assess whether the driver was in violation of state traffic law or not. Under the previous rules related to field sobriety testing, the laws in New York stipulated that it was up to the discretion of the officer to determine if a person should be tested for impairment. The new rule simplifies and streamlines the system and ensures that drivers don’t simple evade the law when a death or a serious injury happens.

According to New York State Senator Pamela Helming, who was one of the bill’s sponsors, indicated that” “Individuals need to be held accountable for their choices, especially when it leads to the death or serious injury of someone else.” Helming also warned: “Eliminating loopholes in the current law that allow drivers under the influence to escape prosecution at the expense of someone else’s life is a start.” With new evidence available to demonstrate intoxication after serious accidents, victims should be better able to pursue claims for compensation against those who caused collisions while drunk. A New York City car accident law firm can provide help to victims in taking action.

The bill was signed into law on December 18, 2017, and went into effect 30 days after signing.


Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are.

The accident happened on State Route 143 40 ft South of what Foard calls Tompkins Road. The roadway Foard is referring to, apparently, is County Route 106. Tompkins Road is not the roadway’s DOT real designation but is the street name used by locals and the Sycamore Country Club in its address, but then the Sycamore Country Club is located in the hamlet of Coeymans Hollow, not in Ravena! Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are. Foard can almost be forgiven, being from Mechanicville and given his history (see below, Editor’s Aside].

Annotated Police Report Sketch

The narrative text also states that Riley was “traveling around a curve at high speed.” How does anyone know that as a fact. Foard himself admits that he was the last to arrive on the scene, after the EMS. The eye witness named in the Police Report was “mowing his yard” and lives on Alcove Road. OK. Maybe Foard can explain how a guy mowing his lawn 4 miles away could see the accident? That guy must have one hell of a set of eyes! Or has Foard left something out? What’s your guess?

In the narrative (text) description of the accident, Foard notes that Hagen’s truck sustained “damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle” but Foard does not indicate that damage in the diagram! This raises the question of whether Foard was able to crawl under Hagen’s vehicle to inspect it and on what grounds Foard determined the damage to be caused at the time of the accident. We don’t think that a part-time patrolman has that expertise. Do you?

Foard makes an interesting commitment as to the sequence of the events: He writes that Riley “laid his motorcycle down” indicating that Riley was actually in control of his vehicle and took the emergency measure of putting the cycle into a skid to avoid the accident. This in no way would indicate that Riley “lost control of the vehicle” as Foard speculates in his narrative. Foard was not there and given the situation, it’s unlikely that any witness would be able to state with certainly that Riley lost control of his motorcycle.

Foard then writes that Hagen “swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley.” This is the black letter written narrative that likely went through some editing and, if anything had to be changed before or after Contento “reviewed” and passed the report, that something would have been changed. As it now reads, Hagen struck Riley, not the other way around!

In this narrative the sequence continues: Riley was “ejected and struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s vehicle. According to the damage diagram in the Police Report, Foard indicates in the Damage Codes for Riley’s vehicle: Point of impact 11 (left, driver side door), “Most Damage”: 8 (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: 14, undercarriage; 5, passenger side door (or right side of vehicle), and 11, driver side door (or left side of vehicle).

Foard indicates Damage Codes for Hagen’s vehicle:  : “Point of impact 1” (left, front headlight/fender), “Most Damage: 8” (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: “1”, (left, front headlight/fender); “”10”, driver side door (or right side of vehicle), and “12, driver side front panel (or left front side of vehicle). But this doesn’t seem right because the pictures taken by an EMS person do not show Driver-side damage at all!

Nothing in Foard’s report seems to agree. And it was reviewed by acting police chief Sgt Contento, and released to the Department of Motor Vehicles! How embarassing!

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(Photo Credits: Thomas Marra)

When asked about this, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that the only damage he documented was on the passenger door side, a dent, probably from impact (how else would you get a dent like that shown in the image?) When questioned further, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that if there were no damage he would not have photographed it; there was not damage on the left side, the driver’s side, of Hagen’s vehicle, according to this EMS photographer/journalist.

So this information, along with Foard’s statements in the Police Report actually damage any credibility of the Coeymans Police investigation, if there were any investigation at all, and contradict or rule out most of what Foard writes in his report!

Here’s some other information that creams Foard’s report. The manufacturer’s specs for the 2007 GMC Sierra driven by Hagen give a front ground clearance of 9.1 inches. The rear ground clearance for this vehicle is 12.1 inches, or an average of 10.6 inches along the length of the vehicle.

The 2008 Buel motorcycle driven by Riley has a width of about 29” and a length of about 78 inches. Given the condition of the motorcycle as shown in the pictures taken at the accident scene, and given Foard’s report saying that Riley’s motorcycle “struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s pickup truck” and then “traveled under Hagen’s vehicle[,] causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle[,] and eventuallyending up behind Hagen’s vehicle.” Given the specs of the two vehicles, you think the cycle would have been a mangled mess. It wasn’t — at least not until Burn’s Towing got their hands on it. (Click the link to view the insurance investigator’s photos.)

Insurance Investigator’s Photos

True to local scoundrel form, Burns + Sons Auto Repair & AAA Towing in Ravena (2537 US 9W Ravena, NY 12143 ) didn’t waste a minute getting their hands into Riley’s family’s pockets. We have learned that Burns charged the family more than $1800 ($300 for “towing” the motorcycle and $65/day for storage)! Good Lord! The cycle weighs only about 350 lbs and two men could lift it onto a pickup bed! Thank you! Burns & Sons Towing (Ravena) for confirming everything we have ever had to say about local crooks!

There’s more, much more but we won’t share it until we confirm and vet it. Stay tuned!

This is one of a long series of botched investigations that have become the hallmark of the Coeymans Police Department. It’s not only that they are incompetent and too arrogant to call in real professionals from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police, their incompetence and arrogance has and is continuing to cause good people a lot of unnecessary suffering. On top of all that, we as taxpayers are paying for this incompetence and abuse! How stupid can it possibly get?!?


Editor’s Aside — Some Notes on Coeymans Patrolman Ian FOARD

It appears part-time Coeymans patrolman Ian FOARD comes to Coeymans from the Mechanicville PD, and he brings a bit of baggage with him.

At the regular meeting of the Mechanicville City Council on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Mayor Baker and the Mechanicville City Council appointed Ian Foard to the position of full-time desk-officer at a rate of $13.47/h (Resolution #20-14)

According to the official minutes of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting of March 22, 2018 Mr. Foard was appointed to the position of Probationary Part-Time Police Officer effective March 26, 2018. Foard’s appointment was contingent upon Foard’s signing a personal services contract with the Town of Coeymans and his paperwork being filed with the Human Resource Clerk. According to the minutes, Foard would be compensated at the rate designated in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Resolution #063-18). At that same meeting, Sgt Daniel Contento was appointed acting Police Chief (Resolution #062-18).

The Albany Times Union reported on January 25, 2018, that Ian Foard was one of five Mechanicville police department employees who filed a multiple-charge complaint with the Mechanicville Human Resources Officer alleging multiple abuses by Mechanicville Mayor Baker. Foard alleges in the complaint that when Foard was dealing with a personal family matter, Mayor Baker allegedly told Ian Foard, that his father is “disgusting, weird” because he is transgender. Baker allegedly told Foard “every mistake you’ve made was because of your dad.”

The 5-page complaint was filed with the Commissioner of Accounts Kimberly Dunn who acts as the city’s human resource officer and city clerk. It was signed by Police Benevolent Association officers President Alexander Dunn, Vice President Matthew Dunn, Foard, the bargaining unit’s treasurer, and Rabbitt, the union’s secretary. Both Alexander Dunn and Matthew Dunn are the City Clerk’s, Kimberly Dunn’s sons; the rumor is that the Dunn boys were put up to the complaint by momma Dunn, who has her eye on the mayor’s office.

Later, on July 12, 2018, the Albany Times Union reports that the charges against Mayor Baker were dropped, and that Mechanicville Police Chief Police Chief Joseph Waldron “retired,” “retired” usually used to pretty up the fact of “resigned.”

Ian Foard subsequently resigned or was terminated from employment with the City of Mechanicville Police Department and was later hired as a part-time patrolman by the Town of Coeymans.

We have requested information from the City of Mechanicville relating to FOARD’s termination or separation.

See the extract from the complaint filed by FOARD and others, below.

This is an extract from the official complaint.


This is not an isolated incident with the Cold-Case Coeymans Police Department. We’ve been covering stories on a regular basis. Here are just a few of the most recent articles we’ve run about the a dysfunctional law enforcement mistake:

Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!
More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations.
We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!
Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?
Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?
Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman!
Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS

We’re in control, Rye!
We won’t let you down.

Click this link to read Riley’s mom’s response to detractors of SmalbanyRiley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.


[1] Motorcycle accidents involving a laydown by the operator of the motorcycle means that when the motorcyclist experiences a sudden emergency and he decides to lay down the bike rather than collide with another object. Because of the suddenness of the hazard, the rider applies the brakes and the bike slides on its side.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Accountability, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Medical Center, Barbara Underwood, Burns and Sons Towing, Capital District, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Department of Motor Vehicles, DOT, Ellis Hospital, EMR, F.O.I.L., FaceBook, FOIL, Geico Insurance, Governor Mario Cuomo, Hudson Valley, Ian Foard, Informants, Insurance Fraud, Investigation, John B. Johnson, Lafarge, Lafarge-Holcim, Law Enforcement, Lawsuit, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Accident, Motorcycle, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Police, New York State Police, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Paul Courcelle, Paul Gumpher, Phil Crandall, Police Dispatcher, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Senate District 46, Smalbany, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen

 

We Are Re-Opening the Case: Riley Kern, Young Man Killed in Coeymans Hollow, Sycamore Golf Course

Just when they thought they got away with it!

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The Facts are Pointing to a
COVER UP!!!

As you may recall, we wrote in a July article, “Three Articles on New Baltimore Scandals: Pick One or Read All,”, asking “Did you know?” about the case of a young man who was involved in a fatal motorcycle-pickup truck accident in Coeymans Hollow. We wrote:

Editor’s Sidebar: Town of Coeymans. We’ve received reports of a fatal pick-up truck — motorcycle accident that occurred during the evening hours of Saturday, July 28, 2018, on Route 143 in the Town of Coeymans. The operator of the motorcycle, a 20-year old man was killed; the operator of the pick-up truck was allegedly Ravena resident Travis Hagen. Strangely nothing has appeared in the local media about the accident. We have contacted the Coeymans Police for confirmation facts but have not received a response. A reader has informed us that he, too contacted the Coeymans Police acting chief, Daniel Contento, and was told only that there was an accident and the police investigated and reported it to the DMV. Is this a cover up to protect a prominent Ravena family? Doesn’t the young man’s life mean anything or do we just sweep the whole thing under the carpet? We need to start asking questions. The 20-year old man is not just another raccoon, Mr Contento!

This is Riley and a Companion.

Read more about Riley at
Ryan Parker Kern  August 4, 1998 – July 27, 2018 
and leave a note of support and condolence for his family and friends.

At the time, we were suspicious that the accident didn’t get a single word of coverage on any media, and we asked Why?

Since we published that very small bit of information, we’ve received contacts from people who have read the inconspicuous item and have contacted us with a huge amount of information and many, many questions.

In the meantime, we have received some information on Travis Hagen that points to a cover-up in the case of the young man’s death. At the very minimum, a number of people involved in the investigation of the accident and reporting the so-called “facts” are going to have to answer a lot of very unpleasant questions very soon!

Travis Hagen, 48, of Coxsackie. Driver of the pick-up truck.

There are still people in this community who think they are above the law

We are now re-opening the case and will be publishing the information as it’s verified for you, our reading public, to be sickened and outraged by what’s going on in the RCS community and what’s going on in the Coeymans Police Department. There are still people in this community who think they are above the law and can get away with trying to hide a crime. We’re here to make certain the truth gets out and they are brought to justice.

Click this link to read Riley’s mom’s response to detractors of SmalbanyRiley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.

Unconfirmed witness reports indicate that there are inconsistencies in the Police Incident Report. Is there a possibility that the driver of the pick-up truck was … !

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Accident, Acting Police Chief, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Medical Center, Barbara Underwood, Capital District, Chaplain Services, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Collusion, Columbia-Greene Media, Conspiracy, Corrupt Police, Corruption, D. W. Contento, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Department of Motor Vehicles, DOT, DOT, Driving under the Influence, Electronic Death Registration System, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, Evil, Geico Insurance, Greene County News, Hearst Corporation, Ian Foard, Immorality, Investigation, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Law Enforcement, Lawsuit, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Monitoring, Morality, Motor Vehicle Accident, Motorcycle, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Paul Gumpher, Perp Patrol, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Incompetence, Professional Ethics, Professional Misconduct, Public Corruption, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Rye, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Suffering, Sycamore Country Club, Thanatology Café, The Daily Mail, Thomas Marra, Times Union, Times Union Blogs, Town of Coeymans, Travis Hagen, Uncategorized

 

Are Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman and Son, Zachary Stahlman a Bit too Cozy with New York State Police?

Are the New York State Police Troop F a Bit Too Cozy with the Stahlmans?

Too Cozy with Suspect Felon?

The facts seem to point to a questionable relationship between the Stahlman pair, father Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman, and son Zachary Stahlman. One particular set of facts raises red flags: the Stahlmans appear to have a special relationship with the New York State Police or at least with one Trooper, presumably a member of Troop F that serves the Glenmont area. Rather than request the assistance of the local law enforcement department in whose jurisdiction the Stahlmans live, they seem to rely on the State Police to be their messengers. We find that suspect and we have contacted the New York State Police with our inquiry Why? are the Stahlmans so cozy with the State Police, so cozy that every time the Stahlmans have an itch, the New York State Police are there to scratch it for them. Could this possibly have something to do with the Chuck Stahlman’s disappearing felony in 2016?

On or about November 13, 2016, Mr Charles H. Stahlman was apprehended by New York State Police for felony passing of a false instrument (counterfeit $10 and $20 bills) at an estate sale. Stahlman was arraigned before a justice of the Bethlehem Town Court on or about November 13, 2016, bail was posted in the amount of $10,000, and Stahlman had a December 6, 2016 court appearance. After that, the case disappears. (As reported in the Times Union, “Cops: Man bought furniture with fake cash” as well as in a large number of other news media).

On or about February 4, 2016, a New York State Trooper accompanied Mr Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman to a local business to return keys to a lease property leased by Z. Stahlman, who broke the lease. Question: Why a state trooper?

On or about September 27, 2016, Mr Zachary Stahlman, Charles Stahlman’s son, testified under oath in answer to a question as to why a state police law enfocement officer accompanied Charles Stahlman to return keys, Zachary Stahlman’s response on the record (partially inaudible) was, “My father [is or has] friends with the State Police.

On or about June 22, 2018, a New York State Trooper contacted a local business man on behalf of Mr Zachary Stahlman, to investigate Mr Stahlman’s complaining of “harassment” upon being lawfully served with the business man’s answer and motion opposing Mr Stahlman’s Motion to Reargue before the Greene County Court. Seems Mr Stahlman can play shithouse lawyer and unlawfully serve anyone but the tables turn when Zachary Stahlman is lawfully served. (See our article on Stahlman and local shyster Brendan Baynes, “Shyster Meets Psycho: Brendan Baynes and Zachary Stahlman a.k.a. Fat Cat Antiques” for details.)

The circumstances of the Stahlman’s felony case disposition, the fact that several investigations in which the Stahlmans were suspects were allowed to go cold, and the fact that the Stahlmans, rather than contact local law enforcement in whose jurisdiction they reside, the Bethlehem Police. The Stahlmans seem to have a predisposition to contact the New York State Police, which in combination with the overall factual background, suggests that there may be some impropriety in the conduct of one or several New York State Police personnel and an overly cozy relationship with the Stahlmans. (See our articles, “Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman!” and “Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?” and “Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS“.)

These questions, as you can see, are not new, just unanswered, and we think that they need to be answered. Now!

Felonies just seem to disappear in the Town of Bethlehem…Just like in the Town of Coeymans!

We have requested information from the Bethlehem Town Court where Charles Stahlman was arraigned when apprehended for felony possession [and passing] of a forged instrument. At his arraignment $10,000 bail was posted and a court appearance set for December 6, 2016. After that, the case seems to have disappeared. Do felonies disappear that easily?

The North Country Gazette (“Cops: Man Used Fake Money To Buy Furniture“) goes a little bit more in detail than the Times Union does about the Stahlman felony charge:

“Charles H. Stahlman, 52, of Glenmont, was charged with first degree possession of a forged instrument, a felony.

“Troopers responded to a complaint of fake money that was used at an estate sale on Saturday. Stahlman allgedly used four $20 bills and four $10 bills, all of which were forged. As the Trooper was obtaining a deposition from the complainant, Stahlman showed up to retrieve the furniture he had purchased with the forged money earlier that day. The complainant positively identified Stahlman.”

Not only does the fake money incident raise questions about the New York State Police, it also points directly to Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, another figure who has been the subject not only of local criticism but national criticism, for his inept and corrupt practices. You see, Soares would have the final say in whether charges are brought against a perpetrator, and Soares would have the final say as to whether charges are pressed and the perp brought to trial. So if there’s some suspicious activity going on in the ranks of the New York State Police, the so-called Cuomo-the-Homo’s Private Militia, and a law enforcement body answering directly to a Democrat district attorney and Democrat governor, both being the chief law enforcement officers in their jurisdictions and calling the shots, we may have something interesting going on here. Maybe this is something the FBI should be investigating.

A contributor has contacted the New York State Police Professional Standards Bureau and the New York State Police Command Division to request investigation and comment on this situation.

We’ll keep our readers posted on this. If any of our readers has any information to add to this, we’d really appreciate your sharing your knowledge with us in total confidentiality. We will investigate and if it’s good, we’ll report on it.

In the meantime, please bear in mind that when we can’t trust those to whom we entrust the public’s safety and give what we so fondly call “police powers”, and when we start taking the deadly turn to becoming a police state in a totalitarian system, signs of which we can see already, and when we give criminals special privileges because they know someone in authority, we may all find ourselves living in fear of our lives, fear of “the camps,” fear of the death squads. It makes you wonder how many of those warriors who challenged the system and were found dead on their tractors, in their cars, or reported as human remains found in a local wooded area, might actually be the powers-to-be’s answer to the questions we ask them.

Thanks for your loyal support!

The Editor

 

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, All the Justice You Can Buy, Bethlehem Police Commander, Bethlehem Town Court, Brendan Baynes, Capital District, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Stahlman, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Constitution, Contempt of Court, Corrupt Police, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Crime and Punishment, Crystal R. Peck Esq., D. W. Contento, Daily Mail, Dan Harms, Daniel Boughton, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, David Soares, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Democrats, Drive-by Shooting, Fake Money, False Instrument, Fat Cat Antiques, Fat Cat Transport, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, Felony, Felony, Glenmont, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Gregory R. Seeley, Harassment, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Judge Davis, Justice and Courts, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lee Davis, Lee Davis, Mark Defrancesco, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Town Court, New York, New York State Police, New York State Police, New York State Supreme Court, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Paul Courcelle, Paul M. Courcelle, Police Incompetence, Possession of a Forged Instrument, Public Corruption, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, RegisterStar, Smalbany, Stahlman, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Tooher & Barone, Troop F, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!

We’ve reported on the May 12 Raccoon incident in several articles, and in each of those articles where we have published new information, the Coeymans Police Department, the Albany County DA David Soares and his corrupt office, and others have confirmed everything we reported. As our readers are aware, we rely on information either from verifiable witnesses, published sources, or information provided by the public offices on our demand under the provisions of the NYS Freedom of Information Law. We frequently have to fight to get the information but we do get it. Here we are reporting on information we forced the Coeymans Police Department to give up, and they don’t look good. Here’s why:

We forced the Coeymans Police Department to cough up the Incident Reports completed by the two Coeymans Police Department personnel who put on the circus act that went international on May 12, 2018, when they used their patrol cars to harass, abuse, run over and kill a wild raccoon in full view of shoppers at Faith Plaza in Ravena, New York. The whole sickening display by the two perverts was recorded on video by a witness and it went viral on YouTube and other social media. The incident was covered by the international press and sent the world to cry outrage. The Coeymans PD and the Coeymans Town Board had very little to say — what could they say, the video told the entire story.

The Faith Plaza Raccoon Iincident Raises Important Questions about the Morality of Our Pubic Servants.

In fact, this embarrassing scandal looms far larger than the simple-minded antics of two small-town police officers and their sikeningly clownish performance while on duty. The incident raises important questions about the morality of our pubic servants, their ethics, their characters, value for taxpayer dollars, the quality of the people and the work done by them in public service, the negligence of our elected officials and their support even of the Constitution per their oaths of office. Yes, the incident even touches upon whether we can trust them and whether they are truthful. It’s ironic that the death of a wild animal should raise such questions in human affairs but it does and we can’t continue to ignore those questions.They’re right in our faces.

The Coeymans Police Totally Ignored their Own Procedures and Instructions

If you’ve been following this incident, you’ll know that the Coeymans PD wouldn’t identify the two officers involved. That was wrong. When we demanded the standard procedures for responding to animal control incidents, we found that they dated back to 1998 and had never been revised. That was wrong. The instructions used by the Coeymans Police when responding to animal control calls instructs them to contact the Coeymans Animal Control Officer, but Coeymans doesn’t have one (they eliminated the position several years ago). But the procedure also instructs officers to contact the Animal Control Officers in neighboring communities if the local ACO is not available. They never did any of that. They even deny any sort of animal control equipment in the Coeymans PD. We don’t believe that for a minute! What happened to the former ACO’s equipment? And Why? don’t they have even a net or a catchpole?

Our investigations show Albany DA Davis Soares’ report to be a load of steaming bullshit.

Albany County DA P. David Soares in Native Albany Costume.

You’ll also know that Albany County DA P. David Soares’ Animal Abuse Division was “investigating” the incident” but that his office found no reason to prosecute the officers because there was “no malice or contempt.” Really?!? Secondly, the DA’s office mentions that the officers performed correctly because there would have been a 2-hour wait for a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation person to respond (There are “only” 300 such state employees in New York). But our investigations show this to be a load of steaming bullshit.

We have the names of the two officers involved: Stephen PROKRYM and Jeff IOVINELLI.

We have obtained the “official” incident reports prepared by one of the two Coeymans Police personnel involved in the incident. We already identified Coeymans Police Department investigator Stephen PROKRYM as one of the pervs operating one of the two Coeymans Police vehicles involved in the scandal. We now have the name of the second officer involved,Jeff IOVINELLI.

IOVINELLI prepared both of the Coeymans Police Department Incident reports Nos. 24647 and 24648. Note the consecutive numbering but note also that the Incident Reports are written the day after the incident, that is, the IRs are written on May 13, a full day after the incident which occurred on May 12. We find these IRs to be suspect for two reasons:

  • They were written fully a day after the incident, after the Coeymans PD had made their “official statement” and after the NYS Department of Health had issued their report on the animal. The IRs, therefore, are written to fit the facts rather than to report the incident. That’s dishonest and should be considered misconduct and disciplined. But then the Coeymans PD and the Coeymans Town Board would look really stupid — the IRs now prove they are realy stupid.
  • The information in the IRs written by IOVINELLI is full of contraditions and mistakes as we describe below. The Coeymans Police Department, acting chief Contento, Iovinelli and Prokrym, in particular, can’t even get their lies straight!

In the first IR No. 24647, Iovinelli states that the incident occurred on “MONDAY 03/12/18” between 8:46 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and describes the “Incident Type” as “Animal, Animal acting rabid.”  All other details in the general information appear normal.

In the so-called “Narrative” or description of the facts part of IR 24647, however, it appears that there was a first call put in to the Coeymans PD (through the Albany County 911 dispatch) to investigation “a raccoon acting sick,” and IOVINELLI writes that they found a raccoon “curled up in a ball under the area of some metal steps.” At that time IOVINELLI writes that he left the animal where it was and that individuals were advised not to bother the animal and to contact the CPD if there were any further issues. Now we remind you that that was at about 9:00 a.m.

In an UPDATE to IR 24647, IOVINELLI writes that when checking on “routine patrol [the] animal had left the area.” So, three hours had passed, IOVINELLI just left the animal where it was, did not call for any animal control assistance but, as you can read yourself, writes that the animal was behaving sick. In fact, in the general information part of this IR, you will recall, IOVINELLI writes “ANIMAL ACTING RABID.” Furthermore, we read that “individuals” were advised to leave the animal alone, so someone at Faith Plaza was aware of the animal. Our question is Who?

So, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on May 12, 2018, IOVINELLI (1) responds to an animal control call, (2) determines that the animal is not a threat, (3) advises “individuals” not to bother the animal, (3) leaves the scene and doesnt come back until (3) 1:00 pm, three hours later, to find the raccoon had gone. None of this follows the instructions of the Coeymans Police manual setting forth the procedures for handling an animal control issue.

We have a problem with a law enforcement officer describing in an Incident Report what he states to be an “Animal Acting Rabid,” simply advises “individuals” not to bother the animal, leaves the scene only to find the animal gone, and never takes any other steps!!! He says the “animal is acting rabid” for chrissake!!! He doesn’t follow procedure. He does NOTHING! Leaving the animal for three hours and then only on “routine patrol” returns to find the animal gone.

Furthermore, if we believe Albany District Attorney David Soare’s statement that the two officers had no choice but to dispatch the raccoon the way they did because they would have otherwise had to wait 2 hours for a Department of Environmental Conservation animal control person to arrive, makes no sense, because IOVINELLI, had he followed Coeymans Police Department procedure, could and should have contacted a local Animal Control Officer or the DEC; IOVINELLI had left the scene for a full 3 hours between 9 a.m. and 1:00 pm, plenty of time to get an animal control specialist on the scene. (A witness states that both cars were at the Cumberland Farms just minutes before the incident.)

Excerpt from Coeymans Police Incident Report 24647.

Let’s now move on to Coeymans Police Department Incident Report No. 24658, again written by CPD Officer IOVINELLI on May 23, 2018, a full day after the May 12, 2018 incident.

Something’s jerry-rigged in these reports.

In IR 24648 IOVINELLI states that the incident occurred between 12:54 a.m. and 1:18 pm. But in IR 24647, he states that he returns “on routine patrol” at 1 p.m., 6 minutes after the start of the incident he’s reporting on in IR 24648. How can that be? Something’s jerry-rigged in these reports. It gets better.

It was OK to allow a supposedly “rabid animal” to approach a “large group of citizens” some of whom potentially could contract deadly rabies

IOVINELLI writes that “[O]n the above date and time,” that is on May 12, 2018, at 12:54, he responded to a “second call in the area of the CVS in Faith Plaza.” When he arrived he saw a “large group of citizens in the area of CVS” and he also notices “a raccoon in front of the CVS.” (You can read other details in the extract below.)  IOVINELLI says nothing about controlling the “large group of citizens” and removing them to safety, but he does mention the behavior of the raccoon, even that the animal aproached a “nearby passerby.” Seems to us that if IOVINELLI, as he writes in his report, thought the raccoon was rabid, he was outrageously negligent in not ensuring the safety of the “large group of citizens” by clearing and securing the area!!! Did he think the raccoon was rabid on May 12 or did he write that the raccoon was rabid only on May 13, when he had the test results? And if he thought the raccoon was rabid on May 12, why didn’t he take steps to safeguard the public, which is the reason why he and PROKRYM gave for not using their service weapons and for using their vehicles to dispatch the animal. According to this report it was OK to allow a supposedly “rabid animal” to approach a “large group of citizens” some of whom potentially could contract deadly rabies for sure but they were concerned about something potentially happening if they used their service weapon. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

In his report IOVINELLI doesn’t mention calling in for support but we gather from the report that he did, which is when Stephen Prokrym would have arrived. IOVINELLI writes that the “[R]esponding officers attempted to shout and scare the officer away, throwing snow at it several times.” At the “officer“?  Why did IOVINELLI want to “scare the officer away”? Anyway, moving along. Dr IOVINELLI, a renowned expert in disease of wildlife and raccoon behavior, makes the diagnosis that “the raccoon appeared to be exibiting the signs of rabies” and that the “animal needed to be dispatched.” For those of you who are not familiar with Coeymans police jargon, “dispatched” means to be “harassed, abused, and run over;” in other words, killed.

IOVINELLI again confirms that neither he nor PROKRYM had done any crowd control and that they had not secured the area “in the interest of public safety,”  nor were they concerned for the public’s safety when they observed that the animal was beginning to “approach stores and make entry into several of the buildings,” and they were not concerned about the crowds when they were attempting to “scare away the officer” or “throwing snow” at the animal to “get it to change direction away from members of the general public, even as IOVINELLI writes in the report the animal “appeared to be exhibiting the signs of rabies.

Normally, if the general public is too stupid to avoid danger wouldn’t it be the police who would take charge of the situation and do crowd control, securing the area “in the interest of public safety”? Well, YES, in any other place but Coeymans. In Coeymans they “attempt to scare the officer away,” they “throw snow” and make “loud noises.” But crowd control or secure the area? Nope!

It is PROKRYM who advises IOVINELLI that they shouldn’t discharge a firearm and that the animal had to be dispatched “using the patrol vehicle.” Now that’s a senior law enforcement person telling the patrol officer that somewhere in the Coeymans manuals, the procedure is to use a patrol vehicle to kill an animal when it’s unsafe to use a firearm. We never were able to find that section when we examined the procedures. Maybe Mr PROKRYM can point it out to us sometime.

According to the report, IOVINELLI and PROKRYM attempted to move the area to a more open location in the parking lot.” What area? Why more the area? Doesn’t make sense but that’s what he writes. Sort of when he writes that they “attempted to scare the officer away.”

What is concerning here in this report is that the first mention of contacting any outside animal control assistance was only after the animal was “dispatched”. This is completely contrary to what is in the Coeymans Police Department manual concerning animal control calls.

Now, if Albany County DA P. David Soares, democrappy fool of an attorney that he is, made his statements after his office had concluded their imaginary investigation into the incident, he would have clearly seen that there was gross misconduct and that procedure was not followed at all. Clearly such misconduct by law enforcement is subject to disciplinary action. If Soares were worth anything as an attorney, which he’s not, he would have noted with some suspicion the many contradictions, questionable statements, and errors in these two official police documents, which would be admissible in court as true. But Soares and his teams of overpaid dumbasses probably never even saw these reports, never even asked for them. If they had, even Soares could not have missed the glaring, conspicuous errors.

But it doesn’t say much for the Town of Coeymans or the Coeymans Police Department, either. You’d think that acting police chief F/Sgt Danel Contento, investigator Stephen Prokrym, or patrolman Jeff Iovinelli would have checked the report and caught the stupid errors and maybe have corrected them before finalizing the report. And why isn’t Prokrym’s signature on the report? He’s the senior officer involved. Didn’t anyone in the Town of Coeymans or the Coeymans Police Department check these two reports? Probably NOT because they thought they were immune to attack, above discipline. 

Well, maybe acting police chief Contento, officer Iovinelli, investigator Prokrym, DA Soares and his team don’t read these things but WE DO, and now YOU DO, citizens. Now there should be some questions, some very burning questions asked not only about this incident but about the overall operations and quality of the Coeymans Police Department and its employees. Here’s one for you:

Our reps will be at the next Coeymans Town Board meeting to ask those questions.

Excerpt from Coeymans Police Incident Report 24648.

The Incident Report (IR) is the Police Department’s Official Documentation of the Facts of an Incident for Legal Purposes.

If the Town of Coeymans, the acting police chief, the two officers involved could not do a more professional job of reviewing and quality controlling an important document like the Incident Report, especially this incident report which is the Department’s official documentation of the incident for legal purposes, in this incident which got international attention and widespread national media coverage, then how accurate are the documents they prepare when reporting on an incident in which you are involved. These documents can make or break a case and they are pitifully carelessly prepared, even when they are meant to cover cops’ asses. Go figure!

We are still waiting for responses from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, and the Albany County District Attorney regarding our demands for documents, including but not limited to the Investigation Reports prepared by their departments. We expect either that no investigations were done or they were done just as carelessly as the reporting by the Coeymans Police Department’s Jeff IOVINELLI.

We have contacted all local communities who have Animal Control Officers (ACOs) and they confirm that they did not receive a call for assistance from the Coeymans Police Department in this incident.

The Adopted Town of Coeymans Budget allows almost $800,000 for the Coeymans Police Department.

The Adopted Town of Coeymans Budget allows almost $800,000, that’s almost a million dollars of taxpayer money, for the Coeymans Police Department, and yet they don’t even have a net or a catchpole to capture a raccoon, and they can’t write a coherent Incident Report to save their own asses. Coeymans taxpayers pay more than $500,000 a year in employee salaries for the Coeymans PD. Most of the arguments made in favor of keeping the Coeymans PD are being made by the elderly who think the Coeymans PD is in the rescue business!!! Don’t they realize they have a Coeymans Fire and Rescue company and a Ravena Fire and Rescue facility with blocks of each other, and both are funded by taxpayer dollars. Wake up stupids! Do you really think that money is money allocated by the Coeymans Town Board with any notion of fiscal responsibility? We don’t.

ELIMINATE THE COEYMANS POLICE DEPARTMENT AND WITH IT THE IRRESPONSIBLE COEYMANS TOWN BOARD.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, GET RID OF THAT DEMOCRAPPY RACIST FOOL OF A DISTRICT ATTORNEY, P. DAVID SOARES.

Click Coeymans Police Incident Reports

to see the complete original Coeymans PD Incident Reports.

Our Previous Articles Covering this Incident

Albany County DA Soares Affirms Double Standard Again: Coeymans Clown Cops OK (April 4, 2018)

Officer Identified!!! Coeymans PD Steve Prokrym Involved in Raccoon Scandal!!! (March 26, 2018)

Truth be Told: On the Heels of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting (March 23, 2018)

More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations. (March 21, 2018)

Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts! (March 19, 2018)

We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again! (March 12, 2018)

DUMBASS BOARD
(Coeymans Town Board)
(Baker, Yeomans, Crandall, Dolan, Burns)

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 4-H, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Aaron Flach, Abuse of Police Power, Abuse of Power, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Animal Control Officer, Animal cruelty, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Capital District, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Criminal Mischief, Cruelty to animals, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Dead Raccoon, DEC, Demand for Termination, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, FaceBook, Faith Plaza, Government, Greene County News, Hannaford, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hudson Valley, Humane Society of the United States, Investigation, James Youmans, Jeff Iovinelli, Jim Youmans, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Joseph Tanner, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Department of Health, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Public Safety, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Richard Mednick, Rick Touchette, Selkirk, Shop'n Save, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts!

Please Note: On Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 7 p.m. the Town of Coeymans will hold it’s Town Board Meeting. We have information that residents, citizens and animal organizations will address the board about the conduct of the Coeymans Police and what the Town of Coeymans is going to do about it. Be there. Make your voice heard! Or at least just show up to learn what the community has to say!


The Town of Coeymans Police Department continues to be the subject of widespread interest following the ugly display of unprofessional conduct and stupidity last Monday, March 12, when Coeymans Police responded to an animal control call and proceeded to provide a sickening circus freak show performance as they pursued a raccoon in their patrol cars (one marked, another unmarked), finally running down the terrified animal and running over it. All of this happened in the pothole-rich parking lot of the Ravena Shop’n Save (Village of Ravena, Town of Coeymans), after a call from the CVS Pharmacy that a raccoon had “tried to enter the building.”

After one courageous residents, Ms Bryana Catucci, and several other witnesses videoed the Coeymans Police yahoos and the termination of the terrified animal, those videos went viral on several Internet sites, including Facebook and YouTube, and the Smalbany blog published a detailed and informative article on the incident. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society voiced their outrage and condemnation of the Coeymans Police actions.

To give you an idea of how outraged people are about this incident, just one site, Care2 Petitions, has more than 76,000 signatures, more than 8,500 signers in NY state alone, condemning the Coeymans Police! To give you an idea of how many people 76,000+ is, it’s more than 9x the entire population of the Township of Coeymans!!! What does that tell you, dear readers?


The Coeymans Police have no up-to-date procedure for dealing with animal control issues. The town of Coeymans has no Animal Control Officer. The New York State Department of Health report on tests done on the animal sounds bogus!

I can’t believe my eyes!!! I can’t believe their horrible conduct!!! I can’t believe the lies!!!


Almost immediately following the incident, Smalbany blog contibutors filed a demand under the provisions of the New York state Public Officers Law, Article 6 Sections 84-90 Freedom of Information Law (N.Y. Pub. Off. Law Sees. 84 to 99) for the production of documents with the Coeymans Town Clerk and the Coeymans Police Department, demanding information related to the March 12, 2018, incident in which the Coeymans Police Department used police vehicles to harrass, terrorize and kill a raccoon in front of dozens of witnesses at Faith Plaza in Ravena, New York (Town of Coeymans, in the jurisdiction of the Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares).

Initial Information Provided by the Coeymans Police Department (“acting” police chief Daniel Contento (SGT)) and the news media were contradictory and confused. We decided to get the facts.

One glaring fact is that the Coeymans Police protect their own. They delete any references to the officer’s involved or anyone involved. Do you think that’s fair play? If you were picked up by the police, your face and name would be plastered all over the police blotter and the local news media. Why are the police and their cronies so protective? Aren’t they public servants, paid by us? Don’t we have a right to know which ones are bonkers and which ones are not?

The Town of Coeymans responded with the usual halfwit evasive answers but provided two important documents: the Testing Report No. RAB18ANI01172-SR-1 from the NYS Department of Health, Wadsworth Center, and an extract from what appears to be an ancient “Coeymans Police and Ravena Police Law Enforcement Manual, Administration (in the following called the PLEM/A),” Section 46.0, Subject: Animal Control/Rabies.” the Coeymans Police Department. We say “ancient” because this section dates back to October 15, 1998 — it’s almost 20 years old and hasn’t been revised, updated, or replaced — and refers to “Village of Ravena Police,” which hasn’t existed for years, and is signed by former Police Chief Scott Geroux!

Furthermore, the Law Enforcement procedure repeatedly refers to the Animal Control Officer and how the police have to notify the Animal Control Officer for assistance when dealing with an animal control issue.  According to the Law Enforcement Manual:

“46.2.1 The Animal Control Officer (ACO) is a civilian employee of the Police Department. The ACO is responsible for responding to and mitigating incidents and complaints relating to domestic and wild animal”

If the local Animal Control Officer is unavailable, the procedure requires the Coeymans Police to notify an animal control officer from a nearby jurisdiction. Again, according to the Law Enforcement Manual:

“(46.3.2.2) Request the response of the ACO to the scene whenever available.
“(46.3.2.2.1) If the case requires the immediate attention of the ACO, that information shall be relayed to the ACO. If he is still unavailable to respond an ACO from another jurisdiction shall be requested.”

Town of Coeymans PD: “The Town of Coeymans does not have an Animal Control Officer.”

Coeymans Police Department Procedures date back almost 20 years without revision!!!

The problem that we have identified in this entire Keystone Cops episode is that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department are about 20 years behind. You see, according to a certified statement provided by the Town of Coeymans, “The Town of Coeymans does not have an animal control officer.”

Well if the Town of Coeymans has no animal control officer, then the entire 1998 procedure allegedly followed by the Coeymans Police Department is absolutely useless, out of date, and a sham!!! In other words, the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department have no up-to-date guidelines for handling this type of situation.

The Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department have no up-to-date guidelines

[Editor’s Note: We have considerable information that shows that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department Law Enforcement Manual is out-of-date and obsolete in several other areas, including How to handle a traffic stop!!!]

The basic issue is leadership and how law enforcement functions or does not function in the Town of Coeymans

 

Coeymans Police on Pussy Patrol.
Did you know that cats are the domestic animals most at risk for rabies?

But this whole hullabaloo is NOT about whether an animal was sick or not. The basic issue is leadership and how law enforcement functions or does not function in the Town of Coeymans. There is no leadership in the Town of Coeymans or the Town of Coeymans PD.. The Coeymans Police Department is dysfunctional. That’s the question that is driving most people crazy right about now. Then there’s the question of how the Coeymans Police abused and tortured a defenseless animal using their patrol cars. Anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure a reasonable and safe procedure for dealing with an animal threat, if there was one, and there was none.  Just view the videos and all you’ll see is a normal appearing raccoon, terrified, running for its life and two Coeymans cop cars racing back and forth. Any sane person would, as most of the witnesses did, that the cops were a greater threat to the public’s safety than a terrified animal trying to escape them!!!

Well, we also have a copy of the Department of Health (DoH) test report done on what was left of the raccoon after the Coeymans Police had their perverse jollies. The DoH report is apparently written by a halfwit chimp. Here’s why:

First of all the report does indicate that the raccoon showed evidence of rabies infection. The report did not say that the animal was capable of infecting another animal or harming a human being. Information obtained by us from the CDC clearly states that the animal is infectious only in the very late stages of the disease, shortly before the disease kills the animal. At that late stage the animal’s brain is so far gone that the animal’s behavior is obvious: it acts like it’s drunk, it loses its balance, it staggers, it is confused. Again, the videos show none of this; in fact, the animal looks pretty coordinated as it’s running across the Faith Plaza parking lot!

Some sections of the report make it look like it’s been jerry rigged to provide the Coeymans Police with an alibi. Here are just a couple of examples taken directly from the DoH report:

“Signs of rabies: NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER; Other signs: MOVING ABNORMALLY, SHAKING.”

Who made these observations? Do the Coeymans Police have veterinary neurological training that made it possible for them to have decided that the unfortunate animal had a “neurological disorder?” They also note in the report that the animal was “moving abnormally, shaking.” Well, first of all, the DoH was unable to make those determinations because the animal was d-e-a-d, pancaked by the Coeymans Cops. So where did this information come from? Hearsay? The Coeymans PD?

Here’s more of the gibberish in the report:

“Comments: Observed acting sick at the CVS in Ravena. Killed by running over with car by Officer [Redacted] of the Coeymans Police Department (…No reported contact. Rabies test need before further testing.”

The only animals acting sick were the Coeymans cops who tortured the animal and killed it!

Again, we have the DoH sockpuppets repeating what the Coeymans PD was insisting but didn’t have a factual basis to make the statements. The raccoon was “observed acting sick at the CVS in Ravena.” Sick? Curious? Hungry? If an 8th grade science student made these statements, we’d send him or her for remedial help! But that’s in an official report. Hearsay! Not facts! The only animals acting sick were the Coeymans cops who tortured the animal and killed it by “running over [it] with car by Officer [his name is deleted from the report!].” What’s disturbing is not only the unsubstantiated statements but the fact that there was  “no contact reported.” According to the report, the animal made no contact with anyone!!!

After all is said and done, the report reads:

“Rabies testing: Evidence of Rabies was found by the fluorescent antibody test.”

The report is again incomplete because it doesn’t state which fluorescent antibody test was used. That information is very important in terms of whether the test is accurate. Furthermore, for scientific and epidemiological reasons the information provided is incomplete and practically useless! Again, whether this is the truth or not, the test results came fully 24 hours after the incident, and cannot provide any justification or support for the Coeymans Police stupidity.

Just by way of comment, the report concludes with the statement:

“Notes: [1] Submitting county was phoned with positive results. Reported to Marsha at 10:32 a.m. by JJ.”

What in hell does that mean? Who in hell is Marsha? Who in hell is JJ? But that’s supposed to be an official report from the NYS DoH in response to a serious incident. Don’t we have any standards at all in this community, in this state? Or are all of our public servants halfwits and dumbasses? We think you know the answer to that question already.

So, dear readers, you have the state of affairs in the Town of Coeymans: Useless and outdated procedures no one has had any interest in updating or revising, a team of goons who have no leadership or guidance, disgraceful and despicable conduct by local law enforcement, a very questionable report from a New York State department tasked with ensuring the public’s health, and another negative report gone viral about the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department. But you must admit, they are consistent, even in making complete asses of themselves.

We are making the documents provided by the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department available for your entertainment. Please note that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department refused to provide some documents, including the names of the Coeymans PD employees involved in the incident. They also have no records about callers reporting the animal, although acting Coeymans police chief, Daniel Contento (SGT), made public statements that “numerous calls” were received (but not by the Coeymans PD, since their listed number goes to Albany County 911). We verified only one 911 call about the raccoon. That call was allegedly from someone at or in the CVS pharmacy at Faith Plaza. We do know of numerous calls received by the Albany County 911 Center complaining about the conduct of the Coeymans Police. Maybe those are the calls Contento is referring to.

If you are interested in viewing/downloading the Coeymans Police 1998 procedure and the NYS DoH Test Report we refer to above, here are the links:

  • You can view the Town of Coeymans and Ravena Police Department Law Enforcement Manual dated October 15, 2018 here.
  • You can view the New York State Department of Health Report here.

Editor’s Notes

As we mentioned above and as we published in our initial article on this incident, “We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!” we obtained our information on rabies from several official sources. One of them was the Centers for Disease Control, the federal government’s department for disease control, prevention, and reporting. Here’s some additional information of interest:

According to the CDC, in the period of 2008-2017, a total of 23 human rabies cases were reported in the United States; most of the infections were acquired outside of the United States, most from animal bites in such places as Afghanistan, India, Mexico, etc. On average there are 1-3 cases/year of human rabies reported in the United States . (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/location/usa/surveillance/human_rabies.html) Compare that with 90 motor vehicle caused deaths each day in the United States (CDC statistics are always 3 yeas behind; in 2015 there were a total of 37,757 deaths in motor vehicle accidents (11.7/100,000 population) Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm).

Given those statistics, where to you suppose our law enforcement efforts should be concentrated? On a raccoon or on motor vehicles?

Furthermore,

  • Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a rabid animal is passed to an uninfected animal. The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. ( Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/index.html)
  • Other contact, such as petting a rabid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces of a rabid animal, does not constitute an exposure. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/exposure.html)
  • From numerous studies conducted on rabid dogs, cats, and ferrets, we know that when the rabies virus is introduced into a muscle through a bite from another animal, it travels from the site of the bite to the brain by moving within nerves. The animal does not appear ill during this time.
  • The time between the bite and the appearance of symptoms is called the incubation period and it may last for weeks to months. A bite by the animal during the incubation period does not carry a risk of rabies because the virus has not yet made it to the saliva.

According to the CDC, the Infectious Path of the Rabies Virus can be outlined as follows:

  • An animal is bitten by a rabid animal.
  • Rabies virus from the infected saliva enters the wound.
  • Rabies virus travels through the nerves to the spinal cord and brain. This process can last approximately 3 to 12 weeks. The animal has no signs of illness during this time.

A diagnosis of rabies can be made after detection of rabies virus from any part of the affected brain, but in order to rule out rabies, the test must include tissue from at least two locations in the brain, preferably the brain stem and cerebellum. [Editor’s Note: The NYS DoH report is incomplete in this respect because it does not state what parts of the animal’s brain were tested!!!]

The test requires that the animal be euthanized. The test itself takes about 2 hours, but it takes time to remove the brain samples from an animal suspected of having rabies and to ship these samples to a state public health or veterinary diagnostic laboratory for diagnosis. [Editor’s Note:  the test requires that the animal be euthanized, killed humanely and mercifully, not terrorized and run over!!!]

In the United States, the results of a rabies test are typically available within 24 to 72 hours after an animal is collected and euthanized. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis/animals-humans.html)

When it reaches the brain, the virus multiplies rapidly and passes to the salivary glands. The animal begins to show signs of the disease. The infected animal usually dies within 7 days of becoming sick. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/body.html)

(Please check out the references on our original article for more information on rabies.)


 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Power, Accountability, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Anger, Animal Abuse, Animal Cruelty, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Blog, Blogger, Bob Freeman, Bryana Catucci, Bully Cops, Capital District, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Attorney, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Board Meeting, Coeymans Town Clerk, Columbia-Greene Media, Committee on Open Government, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cruelty to animals, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, Dawn LaMountain, Dawn LaMountain, DEC, Demand for Resignation, Demand for Termination, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, FaceBook, Facebook, Faith Plaza, Freedom of Information Law, Friendship Animal Protective League, George Amedore, George Dardiani, Greene County News, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Humane Society of the United States, Incompetence, James Youmans, Jim Youmans, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Faso, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kerry Thompson, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mercy for Animals, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Health, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, North Shore Animal League America, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, NYSDOH, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Paul Courcelle, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Pete Lopez, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Police Incompetence, Police Thugs, Public Safety, Ravena Shop'n Save, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert J. Freeman, Robert J. Freeman, Ryan Johnson, Scott Giroux, Steve Prokrym, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Times Union Blogs, Todd Polverelli, Tom Dolan, Town Clerk, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Wadsworth Center, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

Perv Patrol Report: Judge needs to get a ticket or two.

Perv Patrol Report

Judge Violates Multiple Traffic Laws in One Trip

This Just in from Our Perv Patrol Reporter 

On Thursday, August 24, 2017, at about 3:30 p.m. I was leaving Price Chopper plaza in Glenmont, and was following another vehicle, a Ford F-150 ARE SUV, dark blue, and approaching Glenmont Road. There is a STOP sign there but the vehicle ahead of me ran the STOP signe as if it were invisible. No turn signals. I beeped a warning but it was too late. I pulled out and traveled towards Rt 144 and observed the vehicle to take a right turn onto Anders Lane, a short cut to Rt 144 I usually use, and he barreled down Anders Lane as if it was the Thruway (the recommended speed on that narrow tiny road is 10 mph). He attempted to run the stop sign but apparently reconsidered, seeing oncoming traffic. No signals, he made a right hand turn onto Rt 144. Going my way I followed the vehicle and watched as it weaved back and forth across the yellow line, wheels in the oncoming lane, then moving back across the road onto the shoulder, crossing the while shoulder line. I beeped again because he was obviously having a stroke, drunk or using his phone. Totally oblivious to my warnings the vehicle continue its erratic search for a lane, dangerously on the yellow line until the very last second even when several large trucks were approaching in the oncoming lane. At one point the vehicle crossed the shoulder line and I was almost certain I was going to witness an accident but he then returned to the center line. At this point I noted the license plate and attempted to take a picture of it. I was amazed! The license plate displayed the New York State seal and was an SMA plate, State Magistrates Association, the association whose members are New York State Judges!!!!  999 SMA. Gotcha!!! By now I was curious so I continued behind the vehicle all along 144 into Coeymans, and the vehicle turned right onto Church Street, again no signals. I had to go to Shop’n Save anyway so I continued following him until he turned onto Orchard Avenue and crossed Cary into Woodlawn. I didn’t follow, figuring the driver lived nearby, and so I continued on to Shop’n Save, planning to drive down Cary Street to see if I could find the parked vehicle and get an address. When I arrived at Shop’n Save Guess Who? was pulling in ahead of me! My old friend 999 SMA, the Hazardous Judge!!! I parked a short distance away hoping to get an ID on him but a woman passenger exited, and went into SnS. I tried to ID the driver but he was glaring at me so I avoided a confrontation. Driver: Male, late 50’s early 60’s.

Well, dear readers, there you are. One of our fine judiciary driving like a drunk and violating every rule in the book that he’d throw at you if you had to appear before him with a ticket or two. Of course with the SMA plates, it’s unlikely he’d have been stopped because the cops would ID him as a judge due to his SMA plates. Now is that fair? Why should someone drive like an idiot, endangering other peoples’ lives, breaking the law, and not be answerable.

We have to laugh because the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct posts on its website that judges are to be held to a higher standard of conduct than the average person. We agree but have yet to see any of these arrogant bastards behaving any better than a local hooligan. In fact, most of our local judges are local hooligans, especially our town and village justices, most of whom don’t know their asses from their elbows!

But this enema bag who was observed by our Perv Patrol really needs to be ID-ed and shamed. We have his vehicle make, a Ford F-150, ARE sticker on the rear window, dark blue. His license plate is NY 999 SMA, not going to be hard to spot.

Help us ID this vehicle and it’s owner, the Jerky Judge who can’t pick a lane and stay in it.

If you see this vehicle parked at a residence or at a local town or village office or at a city or county building, please leave a comment. We’ll be working to ID this character but would like community help in putting a finger on him. He’s answerable just like the rest of us are.

You, sir, are an idiot!
The Editor

 

Tragedy or Failure? Watch what you do; take personal responsibility for things like this!

A truly sad event occurred in the morning hours of April 25, 2017, when a young man died as the result of an unfortunate vehicular traffic accident. The event has been called “tragic” but we’d like to call it instructive and meaningful. Logan Penzabene’s death on April 25 was not just the loss of a son, a friend, a young man whose life would have been full of promise; it was a wake-up call to every single politician, law enforcement person, and every member of this bereft community and beyond. The roadside memorials will disintegrate, the tears will dry up, the body will be buried but will the problems and failures persist?

Watch what you do; take personal responsibility for things like this!

The media reports that “The tragic crash took place in the midst of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s teen safe driving campaign, and law enforcement babbles, and as Bethlehem Police Commander Adam Hornick babbles, “It’s even more unfortunate that we had this crash urging a campaign like this where we have such a concentrated effort by law enforcement to cut down on incidents like this.” Hornick hopes others will take the crash as a reminder to drive safe on the roads. Don’t we all?

Regardless of what Gov. Mario Cuomo puts out there politically or what Hornick makes as a public statement on behalf of law enforcement, the fact remains, that many reports and complaints have been made to local law enforcement and to the New York State Police regarding the safety of vehicular traffic on Route 144, where this accident occurred, claiming the life of another young person and severely injuring another.

We made a direct complaint to New York State Police at the toll plaza 22 of the New York State Thruway…

In fact, several weeks ago, we made a direct complaint to New York State Police at the toll plaza 22 of the New York State Thruway regarding the very real and present problem of operators, including passenger vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles, running the stop signs at Rt 144. Details were provided to responding State Troopers but to date we have not been able to observe any police presence at the times we reported such activity nor at any other time.

The New York State Police seem to have plenty of money, personnel and time to escort oversized vehicles down Rt 144, even when commericial escort should be available and doing that service, but the NYS Police don’t seem to have time to enforce the vehicular laws of this state. People are endangered, injured and killed as a result. Why is that?

Know what this means?

We have repeatedly reported on the careless and dangerous operation of vehicles entering and exiting the Port of Coeymans and adjacent Coeymans Industrial Park properties but we have seen no enforcement action taken at that location. Illegal and dangerous passing by motorists when a slow-moving truck pulls out in front of them. Decoy cars parked unlawfully and dangerously on the roadside but no visible control of the heavy truck traffic. Why is that?

On Aprll 25, 2017, Logan Penzabene was killed when he crossed into the on coming lane of traffic. Why was that? What caused him to migrate into that other lane and strike the oncoming vehicle? Texting, using a phone, horsing around in the car? Didn’t take more than a second and it happened! Where are we, people? In LA-LA Land?

The Penzabene Accident Scene

On the one hand we can speak of our unrealistic notion that we are in control of events and that such things are preventable. That’s part of our LA-LA Land arrogance and is somehow believing in magic. Something that is preventable reasonbably leads to the conclusion that if it happened and was not prevented that some mistake was made, and if a mistake was made, someone obviously made it, barring any notion or proof of mechanical failure. In Logan’s case, complete failure of his steering wheel. So if the accident was due to human error, what was it?

Signs pointing in the direction of failure of programs…

While we, as human beings, are blasted into reality when such an event occurs, that reality regrettably lasts only until the memorial shrine disintegrates or a couple of days after the funeral. Then it’s back to business as usual. Here’s the stupid-rule: the more stupidity, more so-called tragedies. But the real tragedy is still the stupidity. The stupidity of educators, parents, law enforcement and policy makers. These events are not just deaths, they are evidence of failures but no one seems to think of these events as signs pointing in the direction of failure of programs. So the so-called tragedies continue.

It’s half-arsed damage control…

Quite frankly, it’s half-arsed damage control when the RCS school district plays the caring and compassionate student-centered educators by announcing that “grief counselors are being made available to students and staff in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district. This follows the death of RCS grad, Logan Penzabene. He was killed in a car crash Tuesday in Selkirk.” Too little, too late  And if RCS Superintendent of Schools Robert Libby sent a letter home with each student in the district informing families about the fatal accident Wednesday, he’s going to have to do a hell of a lot more than just sending students home with letters. But does he have any clue what to do?

Cuomo’ s public announcement of a so-called “teen safe driving campaign” isn’t going to do it. Hornick’s wishful thinking and so-called efforts to cut down on inicidents” like the Penzabene incident isn’t going to come to any fruition. Why? Because they are smoke and mirror shows, empty!

If efforts and programs worked, why is it, as Hornick reports, that “[T]he community has already been through this; the town has,” Hornick said. “This is the second fatal in town in six months.” Second “fatal” but what about the others, the non-fatal ones. If Hornick’s efforts were as colorful as his title,  Bethlehem Police Commander, maybe we’d see some change.

In our May 3 article “Enuf already! Freaks and Scofflaws” we  reported on a local business vehicle apparently operated by an employee of Eagle Tools in West Coxsackie. That report was provided on the very day of Penzabene’s funeral, on May 3! That truck ran a stop sign, was traveling at a low speed, was crossing over into the oncoming lane numerous times, never used a turn signal. And that’s someone allegedly with a commercial driver’s license!

And what about the rest of you? You’re all just as guilty! Just open your eyes while you’re driving and observe what’s happening around you, and the hazards and dangers being created randomly by your fellow vehicle operators. Better still, just count the hazardous and dangerous habits you have behind the wheel. Precious cargo on board signs merely obstruct visibility even if you were using your rear view mirrors; programs and efforts don’t work unless the community actively commits to the program and actively participates in the efforts.

What are you doing to ensure you don’t get that knock at the door or that telephone call starting,
“I’m afraid I have some bad news…”

This is not the time to start thinking…

It would also help if law enforcement did less talking and responded more proactively to real complaints and reports of vehicular misconduct and careless operation.

Cuomo is a politician and spends most of his time in a very secure environment, most of the time in New York City. We have to live in the community. We have to use the roads. We have to try to stay alive despite the stupidity of those around us. What to we do about stupidity? Well, you could start by being less stupid yourselves.

So forget all the empty “You’re in our prayers” crapola. Forget the roadside memorials. Forget the sentimental expressions of superficial sympathy. Forget Cuomo and his idiotic empty programs. And forget law enforcement efforts that are practically non-existent if we can judge by their response to real complaints and ongoing problems. Do something that is really effective: Mind your manners!

While human compassion blots out reason in the acute moments of such loss, and loss it is in myriad ways, and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Logan’s devastated family and friends, we have to look at this event as having an incredible meaning for everyone: Logan’s death has become an icon, an icon that demands that we take responsibility for our own actions and accept accountability. If Logan’s death is to have any meaning at all, it’s up to his young friends, his community, and all of us to be responsible and obey our laws, take our time, be mindful of the moment, and to realize our duties and obligations not only to ourselves but to those around us as well. Period.

Read a Related Article at No Empty Chair at the Dinner Table.

Download the final article from Spirituality & GriefcareNo Empty Chair

Thank you, Logan!
The Editor