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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 19, 2009

With ’copters and crashed car
Day-long chase ends with arrest

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — On Monday night, a car chase led State Troopers from Princetown into Altamont, and then Guilderland, where residents were startled by the whir of helicopters overhead, and the number of police cars on the road.

Richard Christian, the man the police were chasing, drove from Princetown, up Route 146, and eventually crashed his vehicle at the intersection of 156. The car was reported stolen from New York City. Christian then ran into the woods.

The chase started after a State Trooper from Princetown recognized Christian as a suspect in a recent crime, according to James Goss, investigator with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. When police tried to pull him over, Christian drove off. Christian was on parole for a burglary charge in Westerlo last year, as well as being involved in the current investigation, said Goss.

State Police in Princetown sent helicopters to circle the woods over Guilderland and Altamont, around the area above Route 146, from approximately 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., when they called it quits for the night. They also had officers and dogs searching the woods on foot, said Goss.

On Tuesday, police were able to trace Christian to Bozenkill Road, where a 1994 Jeep was reported stolen, said Goss. Tuesday afternoon, a State Trooper recognized Christian in Middleburgh, and took him into custody; the stolen Jeep was also recovered in Middleburgh, said Goss.

Lou Domanico, a resident of Township Road, said he heard the search helicopters around 10 p.m. on Monday. He didn’t think anything of them at first, but became curious when he saw them circle continuously. Domanico said he called the Guilderland Police Department and a dispatcher told him that the situation was being handled by State Police and was under control. Domanico called Princetown State Police to get further information.

“I pay Guilderland taxes,” Domanico said. “I’d rather get an answer from my police.”

Captain Curtis Cox, from the Guilderland Police Department, said that, if there is an incident that puts residents in jeopardy, the department will put out notification as soon as it is able, either through the phone system, television, or radio. Monday’s incident was “a State Police case and that would be their jurisdiction,” said Cox.

Cox also noted that, if residents call the communications center, officers will be able to provide them with information, if they have it. “We certainly appreciate the eyes and ears of the public,” said Cox. He told The Enterprise that Guilderland Police were not aware of the situation on Monday night until after the vehicle had crashed.

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