New York Cuffs & Collars – October 16th, 2015

Emotional Survival Training
(Saratoga County)

ECO Jason DeAngelis and Lt. Jim Hays, who are both members of DLE’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team, attended the seminar Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement given by Kevin Gilmartin, Ph.D.  Dr. Gilmartin is a behavioral scientist, USMC veteran and former police officer who specializes in issues related to law enforcement. 

Prison break search
(Clinton and Franklin Counties)

Region 5 was assisted by Regions 4 and 6 during the three-week long massive search for two escaped prisoners, Richard Matt and David Sweat. The Division of Law Enforcement’s Special Operations Group and K-9 teams also played a large role in the intensive manhunt. Sector officers provided all facets of support to the operation. Some of these duties included manning security checkpoints, transporting other agencies to remote locations, and acting as crew bosses for search teams. The tactical teams and K-9s were tasked with checking the many remote hunting cabins that are situated throughout the conservation easement lands. All officers involved performed admirably while working in dangerous conditions.

Keeping the Bronx clean
(Bronx County) 

A local community board member of the Hunt’s Point area of the Bronx contacted ECO Taryn Czora regarding a waste hauling company parking its trailers on public streets when they were full of municipal waste. The community member was concerned because they were leaking profusely onto city streets and the liquid was free-flowing into city sewers. He was very frustrated because he had spoken to several city organizations and there had been no action taken. Czora explained to the community member that releasing a noisome fluid onto streets and into sewers are misdemeanors under environmental conservation law and taken quite seriously. She successfully documented on two different occasions the company semis leaking a noisome fluid (released during the putrefaction of garbage) onto city streets and flowing into New York City sewers. Czora later issued a notice of violation to the owner of the company, who was hopeful that the situation could be remedied as he was going to cease hauling municipal waste. The waste hauler paid a penalty to DEC for $3,000, with another $3,000 pending if he is caught violating the law again. When Czora contacted the community member he was extremely relieved to hear that justice was served and that the waste hauler was switching his business to target construction and demolition debris hauling.           

Non-deposit deception
(Putnam County)

ECO Dustin Dainack inspected six retail locations for bottle bill violations as part of a large-scale returnable beverage container compliance check. All six locations were found to be in violation of selling non-deposit containers. Often it was the customer who paid the price for these products as they were charged the five-cent deposit but then could not return the container to be recycled and receive the deposit back. Dainack issued each of the six stores a ticket for selling the illegal product.    

Commercial vehicle detail
(Westchester County)

ECOs Tom Koepf and Peter Jackson and Lt. Meg Filmer participated in a multi-agency commercial vehicle enforcement detail on Westchester Avenue in the town of Pound Ridge. The detail was attended by town of Pound Ridge PD, New York State Police truck inspection team members and Westchester County Solid Waste Commission inspectors. The officers issued four tickets for pesticide violations and depositing noisome substance on the highway. The other agencies issued a total of 33 citations for Equipment/Transportation Law offenses and other offenses. Fifteen out-of-service violations were found and 11 vehicles were towed as a result.  

Opening burning of solid waste
(Delaware County)

Otsego County ECO Timmy Card received a call about an individual dismantling and burning a trailer in the town of Davenport. Card responded to the location and found the smoldering remains of the trailer with nobody around. He took evidence pictures and turned the over case to Delaware County ECO Vern Bauer the next morning. The individual admitted to burning the trailer debris and was subsequently issued two tickets for the violations. 

Medical waste
(Nassau County) 

Lt. Tom Gadomski received a call from the New York State Medicaid Inspector General’s Office requesting the Division of Law Enforcement’s assistance after their investigators conducted a random compliance inspection at L.I. Family Dentistry in Freeport, discovering multiple medical waste violations. Officers Denise Ferraro and Mike Unger responded and found deplorable conditions with numerous violations. Tickets were issued for failure to separate medical waste, failure to store regulated medical waste in closed containers, failure to store sharps in sharp container, failure to store medical waste in red bags, and discharge without a permit. Additionally, Ferraro forwarded information and photos to the village of Freeport regarding an illegal sewer hookup that was found. The village confirmed it will be issuing a summons for the code violations. Medicaid investigators have since closed the facility.

Bear cub rescue
(Greene County)

ECO Anthony Glorioso responded to Palenville for a report of a bear cub with a large plastic tub stuck on his head and running into houses and objects. When Glorioso arrived he located a mother bear with three cubs (including the cub with the large tub stuck on its head) high in the top of a large pine tree in the woods. Glorioso was later joined by Lt. Kevin Beiter and, after a four-and-a-half-hour wait, they observed the mother and three cubs come down the tree. While Beiter kept momma bear at bay on the side of the tree, Glorioso was able to catch the bear cub.   Armed with a pair of tin snips, he was able to quickly cut the plastic tub loose off its head and safely reunite the cub back with its family.   

Holy tires!
(Broome County)

In June, ECO Andy McCormick received information from a village of Johnson City police officer that there was a large quantity of waste tires behind an abandoned building in the village near the police department. The officer advised McCormick that there was a subject that used to operate a mobile, on-site tire business out of the building. After receiving the information McCormick began an investigation and visited the site, and saw over 1,000 waste tires stored there. Checking with Broome County Real Property it was determined that the county actually owned the building. There was also a name and phone number for the suspect who was responsible for the waste tires.  

McCormick met with the suspect at the site of the complaint. When confronted with the violations present, the man was advised that the tires needed to be legally disposed of at a permitted facility. The suspect stated he would work to legally dispose of the tires. During the course of the interview the suspect started providing additional information implicating other people who were in the tire business, and accused another individual of storing in excess of 1,000 waste tires.

Following up on the information provided, McCormick responded to an address in the city of Binghamton to begin an investigation at the other site. During the course of that interview the officer witnessed waste tires on site. There were waste tires visible in the backyard and additional waste tires were visible in a large barn, as well as another two-bay garage on property owned by the man. When McCormick requested consent to look inside the barn and garage, the man denied access, telling the officer to come back with a warrant. McCormick thought that was a fine idea, and promptly drafted a search warrant application that was reviewed and signed by a Binghamton City Court judge. 

On June 30, McCormick, accompanied by Lt. Ric Warner and ECO Eric Templeton, responded back to the residence, warrant in hand. The man seemed surprised that it was actually happening, and with assistance from the Region 7 Division of Materials Management, Air Quality and Operations personnel, over 1,300 waste tires were stacked and counted, with even more waste tires on site. The tires were seized in place and the man was informed that the tires needed to be lawfully disposed of. Charges again both suspects were pending.

Illegal burning leads to warrant
(Otsego County)

DEC Officer Brian Fetterman was contacted by Otsego County 911 regarding an anonymous complaint of an open burn. The complainant mentioned that household goods, such as plastic, were being burned. Fetterman investigated the fire area and observed remnants of plastic containers, wall board with wallpaper attached, and a roll of wallpaper burning in the fireplace. Further investigation led to a suspect from Oneonta. He was also wanted by the New York City PD in Queens County. The warrant had been issued for identity theft in the second degree, which is a class E Felony. With the assistance of the New York State Police and Otsego County deputy, the suspect was taken into custody and was brought to the magistrate of the Oneonta Town Court and was arraigned on the open burn charge, warrant for the Class E felony secured, and was sent to the county jail without bail.

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