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Philmont man charged with break-in at Mellenville firehouse


MELLENVILLE–Robert E. Perez, 29, of Philmont was charged with third degree burglary, a class D felony, in connection with the forcible break-in of the Mellenville firehouse on County Route 9, January 10.

Deputy Joshua Oakes initially responded to the call and was assisted at the scene by Sheriff’s Investigator Patrick Logue, Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr., said in a press release.

Also, a warrant has been lodged charging Lellan Smith, 37, no address given, for third degree burglary for the firehouse break-in.

The sheriff says, the investigation revealed that Mr. Perez and Mr. Smith broke into the firehouse together.

Mr. Smith is currently in the Columbia County jail on a second degree robbery charge in connection with the armed robbery of the Cobble Pond Farms in Hillsdale, January 1.

Sheriff’s Investigator Mark Dunspaugh, Sergeant John DeRocha and Deputy Jeff Hofstetter arrested Mr. Perez February 10 at 4:58 p.m.

Arraigned in Claverack Court before Justice Michael Brandon, Mr. Perez was released on his own recognizance even though the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office had recommended he be jailed without bail.

Sheriff Harrison said the investigation is continuing.


A bicyclist was hurt in a crash with a car on Union Turnpike, a/k/a, Route 66 in front of Pit Stop Beverage, February 18 shortly after 11 a.m.

Greenport Police report that Jay Mueller, 41, of Hudson was riding his bicycle north on Route 66, when he pulled out in front of a car driven by Daniel Mack, 49, of Ghent, who was headed in the same direction.

Greenport Police ticketed Mr. Mueller for failure to yield the right of way.

A LifeNet helicopter was placed on standby and then canceled. The Greenport Rescue Squad took Mr. Mueller to Albany Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Route 66 was closed between Healy Boulevard and Maple Avenue while the accident was cleared. The Sheriff’s Office assisted Greenport Police with the investigation. Fire units were back in service by 12:30 p.m.

New Lebanon

A Troy man faces numerous charges following a police pursuit through two counties, February 18.

After Rensselaer City Police ended their pursuit of a suspect in Rensselaer County, New Lebanon and Kinderhook State Police found the suspect’s vehicle and pursued him throughout eastern Columbia County.

Police were able to box-in the vehicle and bring it to a stop on State Route 20.

Gerald Felitti, 40, of Troy, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second degree reckless endangerment, third degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer, driving while ability impaired by drugs, reckless driving  and several vehicle and traffic law charges. He was also found to be wanted by Troy Police on an obstruction of governmental administration charge.  Mr. Felitti was arraigned in New Lebanon Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.


A state trooper stopped a vehicle for speeding on the Berkshire Spur section of Thruway, February 15  at about 10:30 p.m. After initially pulling over, the vehicle, a 2002 Chrysler, sped off.

The vehicle exited at B-1 and continued westbound on I-90. Near Exit 9, troopers deployed a spike strip, which came in contact with all four of the suspect vehicle tires.

The vehicle continued on I-90 and exited at Exit 6. The pursuit ended on Clinton Avenue in the City of Albany, when police vehicles boxed-in the suspect vehicle which by then had deflated tires.

The operator, Jesse T. McElroy, 52, of Lynn, MA, was taken into custody without further incident. He was arraigned in Chatham Town Court on the initial speeding charge, several additional vehicle and traffic Law charges, and penal law charges of reckless endangerment and unlawfully fleeing a police officer. Mr. McElroy was committed to the county jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

To contact Diane Valden email

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