Thursday, 21 September 2023 13:38

September 16 - September 22, 2023

Saratoga County Court 

Justin P.  Rodriguez was sentenced Sept. 14 in Saratoga County Court to an aggregate maximum term of 22-1/2 years in state prison in connection with actions that caused the death of Alex Bleickhardt, Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said in a statement. The incident involved a fatal crash along I-87 (the Northway) in Wilton on Sept. 15, 2022 when the 42-year-old Rodriguez approached a disabled box truck and a heavy-duty tow truck on the shoulder of the road, and making no effort to move over, slow down, or avoid a collision, rear-ended the box truck at 76 miles-per-hour, according the statement. The impact resulted in the death of Bleickhardt, the tow truck driver who was attending to the disabled box truck.  Rodriguez had a history of four prior drunk driving convictions and a permanently revoked driver’s license. Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that at the time of the crash Rodriguez’ blood-alcohol-concentration measured 0.26% - more than three times the legal limit, had cocaine and cannabis in his system, as well as being in possession, illegally, of a loaded semi-automatic pistol, Heggen said. Bleickhardt’s friends and family members attended the sentencing in Saratoga County Court, as did Bleickhardt’s canine companion, Moose, who was in the tow truck when Bleickhardt was struck and killed while attending to the disabled box truck. The sentencing included 12-1/2 to 25 years on an aggravated vehicular homicide charge and a 10-year consecutive sentence for criminal possession of a weapon.

Saratoga Springs 

Timothy Kerr, 46, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 9 with criminal possession of stolen property. 

David Sovey, 53, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 9 with act in manner injure child less than 17. 

Daniel Mooney, 34, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 7 with criminal possession of cannabis – more than 10 lbs, criminal possession of a controlled substance - hallucinogen, and criminal possession of cannabis – more than 4 lbs. concentrated. 

Trevor Temple, 27, of Ballston Spa, was charged Sept. 6 with DWI, leaving scene of a property damage accident, and moved from lane unsafely. 

Michael Kulls, 41, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 5 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and passing a red light. 

William Bonacci, 67, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 4 with petit larceny. 

Taylor Ruddy, 21, of Greenfield, was charged Sept. 3 with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

Angelo Catalano, 30, of Delmar, was charged Sept. 2 with DWI, and two driving-related charges. 

Angel Martinez, 61, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 2 with burglary and grand larceny. 

Chad Dominie, 49, of Glens Falls, was charged Sept. 2 with criminal contempt, and aggravated family offense. 

Brandon Wilson-Barrow, 18, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 2 with criminal mischief.    

NY State Police 

New York State Police issued 8,762 tickets and arrested 154 people for DWI during this year’s Labor Day weekend DWI enforcement period. The initiative, which targeted impaired and reckless drivers, began on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, and continued through the Labor Day holiday, Monday, Sept.  4, 2023. In the greater Capital Region specifically, there were 10 DWI arrests. During the campaign, which was funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Police increased patrols and conducted sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify and arrest impaired drivers. In addition to the DWI checkpoints and patrols, Troopers were also watching for distracted drivers, vehicle occupants who were not properly buckled up, and drivers that were violating the Move Over Law. As part of the enforcement, Troopers also targeted speeding and aggressive drivers across the state. Tickets that were issued during this period include: Speeding - 3,407; Distracted Driving – 203; Seatbelt violations – 383; Move Over Law – 126. Troopers used both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations.  These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. Over the 2022 Labor Day weekend, Troopers arrested 208 people for DWI and investigated 139 personal injury crashes, including three fatalities, and issued 9,748 tickets.

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