OldArchive / District Justices

Jeffrey Hollister, Montrose


 When state police responded to an accident on SR 29 near Liberty Park Rd. in Liberty Township on Aug. 9, they found a Chevy S-10 pickup in a field with severe damage and emergency medical personnel treating a man with multiple lacerations on his head. The man, identified later as Matthew Ward, Montrose, initially claimed that he had been a rear seat passenger in the truck, which had five other occupants, none of whom were discovered at the scene. On further interview with the police, however, his story changed. Ward followed the passenger story with a claim that he had not been in the vehicle at all and was not involved in a crash. Police ran the vehicle identification number and learned that the truck was registered to Ward. When confronted with that information, Ward then stated that the police were lying, that there was no wrecked vehicle at the scene. He then added that he’d gone out after work with friends and that some unknown person must have stolen his vehicle from his residence, wrecked it, then dropped him at the scene to set him up. Following that tale, he came up with the possibility that the vehicle registration information was false, because there was another man with the same name living in the same town who used his identity and had keys to his truck. After that, he added that he, in fact, never went that far north from Montrose on Route 29, but then stated that he drives that way going to work in Conklin, NY, but never coming home from work. And finally, he went back to the five missing occupants, claiming that he did not know who they were but that they had assaulted him, then adding that he did know them, but he was “no rat.” Police noted a strong smell of alcohol on Ward and that he was unstable and swaying with bloodshot eyes. He did not complete the field sobriety tests, refusing the instructions of the officer, and was subsequently taken into custody and transported to Endless Mountains Health Systems (EMHS), where his blood alcohol was measured at .16. He was charged with two counts of DUI, as well as failure to stay in lane and traveling at unsafe speed for road. Ward is ordered to answer these charges in district court on Oct. 3.

      Lucas Baker, Springville, will also appear before the magistrate on Oct. 3 on DUI, stemming from an accident that happened in Springville Township. According to reports filed, Baker lost control and hit a bridge and spun around on the afternoon of July 10. He admitted to investigators at the time that he had taken both blood pressure medication and four Xanax. He was reported to be obviously under the influence of some controlled substance at the scene, reported police, as his balance and focus were poor and his speech was slurred. He was arrested and taken to EMHS where his blood showed the Xanax and benzolegonine. He was charged with a first offense DUI, failure to stay in lane, traveling at unsafe speed and careless driving. He released into the custody of his father.

      A Montrose woman will face charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and theft by deception based on a complaint filed with the DA's office in July. Victim Meagan Kenyon, Baron, NY, alleges that she wrote a check for services to Amanda Frey in Oct. 2010, a down payment on the supplies and scheduling of the installation of a new roof by Frey’s husband, Kurt Frey. Kenyon contacted the Freys in May of this year and asked for a date for the work to begin, but received no response, although her check had been cashed. In June, Kenyon called and requested a refund and followed that with a certified mail written request, again with no response. Detective Debra Strong of the DA’s office also sent notice in July and received no response. Amanda Frey is ordered to appear on Oct. 3.

      The disappearance of a John Deere skidsteer belonging to Down to Earth Rentals in Montrose, has led to charges filed against Michael Mudge, New Milford. According to reports, Mudge rented the equipment, valued at $24,800, on or about July 1 of this year, and it was delivered to a quarry on Hunsinger Rd. in Liberty Township. Four checks totaling $2,619.53 were written by Mudge as payment for the rental and all were returned for NSF, prompting the request for return of the item. On Aug. 24, representatives of Down to Earth attempted to retrieve the skidsteer from the quarry and it was not there. Several requests for return and reimbursement for the bad checks were made, and Mudge agreed to have it back at the quarry for pick up on Aug. 26, and to make good on the checks, but neither was done. Mudge is slated to appear in court on Oct. 12.

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