ECO shot on duty; suspect charged


Gallatin, N.Y. — An environmental conservation officer was shot and seriously wounded last month while investigating a report of illegal hunting.

ECO James Davey, 39, was shot in the upper leg at about 5 p.m. on Nov. 29. He was in serious but stable condition at MidHudson Regional Hospital the following day after undergoing surgery.

Davey and Lt. Liza Bobseine were investigating a report of hunters trespassing and firing shots off Silvernails Road in Gallatin, Columbia County, when the incident occurred.

The suspect, 55-year-old Alan Blanchard of Gallatin, was charged with second degree assault, a Class D felony, and was sent to Dutchess County Jail without bail.

Blanchard, who reportedly remained at the scene and assisted with rescue efforts, was scheduled to appear in Livingston Town Court Dec. 8 to answer the charges.

A second individual, James Brown of Pine Plains, also remained at the scene following the incident. He was to face lesser charges in connection with the incident.

State police said Davey and Bobseine arrived at the scene and observed fresh tire tracks leading into a cut cornfield. While walking through the field Davey was shot in the pelvis area; police didn’t say what caliber rifle was used.

Early reports indicated that Blanchard mistook Davey for a deer and fired the shot after legal shooting hours.

“Investigation determined Blanchard’s reckless conduct led to the accidental shooting of officer Davey,” state police said in a news release.

State Police Lt. Gene Hallenbeck said Davey was shot in the “upper leg-hip area” and called it “a very serious injury.”

Davey was transported by ambulance to MidHudson Regional Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He was in stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit the following day, according to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

“I had the chance to meet officer Davey’s wife Nancy, a forest ranger at DEC, and other family members, who were appreciative of the outpouring of support from the DEC family,” Seggos said in a statement.

The commissioner also credited Bobseine with saving Davey’s life at the scene of the shooting.

“Lt. Bobseine was able to quickly apply a compress to the wound while calling for support and keeping the suspects under control a half mile into a field. It’s clear that if it were not for her actions, officer Davey would not have survived,” he said. “I commend the two officers for their courage in the line of duty and thank them for their dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer and his family.”

ECO Davey is a 12-year veteran of the force, having graduated from the DEC Basic Police Academy in 2005. He is currently assigned to patrol Columbia County and is a Division of Criminal Justice Services-certified police instructor, having recently become a certified firearms instructor for the DEC.

State police at ECOs were assisted at the scene by the town of Pine Plains Fire Department Rescue Squad and Northern Dutchess paramedics.

Categories: Hunting News

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