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Police: Niece's identity stolen

Police: Niece's identity stolen

Woman charged in using relative's name for medical expenses



Published on 10/5/2006


GLENS FALLS * A Whitehall woman who has been arrested on felony charges three times in the last two years was charged Wednesday with giving her niece's name in running up $876 in medical bills at Glens Falls Hospital earlier this year, police said.

Renee E. Doran, 35, of Queen Street, was charged with the felony counts of second-degree forgery and second-degree identity theft, as well as a misdemeanor count of third-degree forgery, said Glens Falls Police Detective Sgt. Paul Frettoloso.

She is accused of using her niece's name when she sought medical treatment for a back problem at the hospital on Jan. 2 and Feb. 5, Frettoloso said.

The niece, who lives in Virginia, discovered the debts on her credit report recently and contacted police.

The person who ran up the debt gave the hospital a fake address in Whitehall, which prompted her to suspect her aunt, who had a history of theft arrests, police said.

"Her niece gave me her name," Frettoloso said. "She figured it was her aunt because she lives in Whitehall."

Police believe Doran sought the medical treatment to get prescription painkillers, and additional charges are possible as police get medical records to determine whether she got prescriptions under the niece's name, he said.

While identity theft is one of the nation's fastest growing crimes, thieves generally target credit cards or bank accounts. Frettoloso said the case involving the use of a fake name to get medical treatment was a first for Glens Falls Police.

The arrest is the latest legal trouble for Doran, who in May was arrested in Fair Haven, Vt., on a felony charge alleging she used another woman's name to get prescription drugs. Frettoloso said she told police she was on probation for that arrest.

And in 2004, she was prosecuted on a felony grand larceny charge for stealing more than $3,000 from her employer. She pleaded guilty to grand larceny and was sentenced to 5 years on probation.

Doran was arraigned in Glens Falls City Court and released on her own recognizance.

Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle assisted Glens Falls Police with the case.





Grants to fund body-armor upgrades

Published on 10/14/2006


Three local police agencies have been awarded federal grants that will help them purchase new bulletproof vests.

Sheriff's Departments in Warren and Washington counties and Whitehall Police received money from the U.S. Department of Justice to purchase new body armor.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department will receive the most money of the three agencies -- $4,462 that will be used to buy six vests for members of the department's newly created emergency response team, said Washington County Sheriff Roger Leclaire.

The Warren County Sheriff's Department will receive $3,847 for 18 new vests, six of which will replace old ones and 12 for new officers that Sheriff Larry Cleveland has asked county leaders to hire.

Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle said the $3,115 his department has been chosen to receive will go toward 11 new vests to replace older ones.

LaChapelle said the department's members have some vests that are 10 years old. The federal money will pay about half the tab, with the village picking up the rest, he said.

"You do have to replace them every so often," he said. "We're going to go to a lot lighter vest."

The grants were announced this week by U.S. Sen Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Leclaire said the Washington County Sheriff's Department also received word recently that it will receive a federal grant of $24,681 to purchase an iris scan machine. Iris scans use the colored area around a subject's pupil as a means of identifying people.

Leclaire said the new machine will be particularly useful for identifying children and Alzheimer's Disease patients.

"When we get it, we'll make it available for use by any surrounding agencies," he said.





Police: Sex offender failed to register

Published on 10/15/2006

The Post-Star


WHITEHALL -- Raymond Christie, 63, of Whitehall, was arrested Friday for failing to register as a sex offender after an investigation by the Whitehall Police Department.

Christie was arraigned in the Whitehall Village Court and remanded to the Washington County Correctional Facility for lack of $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond, police said.

The arrest was made by Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle.




Two men arrested twice in 24-hour period

Published on 10/15/2006


WHITEHALL -- Matthew Mantone, 20, of Burlington, Vt., was arrested at 1:05 a.m. Saturday for criminal possession of a controlled substance after being stopped for speeding on Poultney Street by the Whitehall Police Department.

Mantone had a couple capsules of the stimulant Adderall, police said.

His passenger, George Paticopoulos, 20, of Troy, was arrested for appearing in public under the influence of the drug Diazepan, a controlled substance, and for possession of a driver's license not issued to him, police said.

After officers found a ticket in the car, the two men admitted they had been arrested for possession of marijuana in New Jersey during the past 24 hours, police said.

The pair was released to appear in court at a later date. The arrests were made by Whitehall Police Officers Thomas Ruby and Tim Hardy.






Police receiver leads to drug arrest

Published on 10/23/2006

The Post Star


WHITEHALL * A Vermont man was arrested after Whitehall Police officers found 30 grams of Psilocybin mushrooms, a hallucinogenic drug, in his car during a traffic stop Friday night.

David F. Bacon Jr., 18, of Ruby Road, Poultney, was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and use of a police receiver in a vehicle, a misdemeanor, police said.

Officers overheard the police scanner when they pulled Bacon over at 11:05 p.m. on Broadway in Whitehall, police said.

Bacon was arraigned in Whitehall village court. He was sent to the Washington County jail in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bail bond.

The arrest was made by Whitehall Police officers Thomas Ruby and Timothy Hardy.





Kids face charges in cemetery vandalism

Published on 10/24/2006


WHITEHALL * Four children will face charges for allegedly breaking about 15 headstones at Boardman Street Cemetery, including several stones that date back to the 1800s, police said.

The children, whose names were not released because they will be prosecuted as juveniles, will be directed to appear before the Washington County Probation Department for possible prosecution in Family Court, said Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle. They are ages 10 to 12.

LaChapelle said the children are believed responsible for a spate of headstone-tipping that involved a total of about 35 grave markers and destruction of a number of flagpoles placed on veterans' graves.

The vandalism apparently happened last month, but wasn't discovered until last week because the cemetery is in a remote spot and lawn mowing there has halted for the season.

There has been no final repair estimate compiled, but the tally will be thousands of dollars, Chapelle said.

If the children are convicted, their parents could be forced to pay restitution for the damage.

LaChapelle said one 12-year-old seemed responsible for most of the vandalism. The boy apparently was looking for snakes under the headstones, LaChapelle said.

It was unclear from a photo of one toppled stone how snakes would have gotten between the headstones and the stone bases they sat on.

The others children were present when the damage was done, and may have taken part to some degree as well, Chapelle said.

The cemetery is owned by the village of Whitehall, and Mayor Pat Norton said she was "thoroughly disgusted" by the damage.

"It's a very sad situation," she said. "Many of them are Civil War veterans."

She said the vandal or vandals also snapped a number of flagpoles that were among those placed on veterans' graves annually by members of Whitehall American Legion Post 83. A number of flagpole holders were also stolen.

LaChapelle said the children have denied they took or damaged the flagpoles or their holders.

James Lafayette, Americanism chairman for the American Legion Post, said it will cost the post hundreds of dollars to replace the flagpole holders.

"This was very upsetting to all of us," he said.


P.S.: Notes from our Notebooks

Published on 10/24/2006

The Post-Star

The Whitehall Police Department is the latest local police department to establish a presence on the Internet, with the department putting up a Web site it hopes will help residents interact with the agency.

Whitehall Police Patrolman Tim Hardy designed the site,, said Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle.

The site includes links to send in crime tips, locate sex offenders, see who is wanted on arrest warrants, learn about department members and see how the traffic-ticket system works.

"We thought it would be good for the department and residents," the chief said.

A number of other area police agencies, including Glens Falls, Hudson Falls and Warren County Sheriff's Department, have set up sites.

-- Don Lehman




Phish lead singer arrested in Whitehall

The Post

WHITEHALL -- He said his name was Ernest J. Anastasio, and he lived in Vermont.

That name did not register with police, until he said he went by the nickname "Trey."

That's when Whitehall Police Patrolman Andrew Mija realized he had just arrested one of the biggest rock stars in the world, the vocalist/guitar player of the former jam band Phish.

Anastasio was charged Friday with misdemeanor drug possession, driving while under the influence of drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation after a 3:30 a.m. traffic stop in the village of Whitehall.

Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle said Mija pulled Anastasio over for veering left of the double yellow line on Poultney Street, and suspected he was intoxicated. The singer/guitar player was traveling alone in a black 2004 Audi sedan and told police he was headed to Burlington, Vt.

He failed field sobriety tests, and was found to have a bottle that contained three different types of prescription drugs, including two powerful painkillers, none of which he had a prescription for, LaChapelle said.

He also told police he had smoked hashish and taken prescription drugs before he was pulled over, the chief said.

His license was suspended for not answering a 1998 speeding ticket in the town of Chester, officials said.

Anastasio, 42, who gave police an address in Richmond, Vt., was pulled over as he headed toward Vermont, the chief said. Mija spotted the car crossing into the other lane, and Anastasio pulled over promptly.

Mija suspected he was intoxicated, and Anastasio failed field sobriety tests, though LaChapelle said he did not know what tests were performed.

"He (Mija) couldn't smell alcohol and he had him do a (breath) test and it was negative," LaChapelle said.

A prescription bottle containing about 60 prescription pills of the painkillers Percocet and hydrocodone and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax was found, but he told police he did not have prescriptions for them, the chief said.

LaChapelle said a felony drug possession charge could be brought, based on the amount of pills. He said whether the charge is upgraded will be up to the Washington County district attorney's office.

District Attorney Kevin Kortright was not available for comment Friday.

LaChapelle said Anastasio also gave a urine sample that will be tested for the presence of drugs.

The chief said Anastasio was "very remorseful" and accomodating to police.

"He's a real nice guy," LaChapelle said. "He said 'You know what, I've got a problem and I've got to take care of it. Everything happens for a reason.'"

The license suspension occurred for an August 1998 speeding ticket in the town of Chester, officials said. He was ticketed for driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, but did not respond to the ticket so his license was suspended.

He was released to a friend pending a court appearance on Jan. 10. The charges are punishable by up to a year in Washington County Jail.

He and three acquaintances picked up his car about 10:30 a.m. Friday at Dudley Towing, the Route 4 towing company where it was taken earlier in the day. All drove separate cars, she said.

Tonya Dudley, whose family runs Dudley Towing, said Anastasio got behind the wheel and drove off after paying the $80 towing fee.

She said she did not know who he was until told by a reporter, whose visit to the towing company came about 10 minutes after Anastasio had departed. She said she also did not know he didn't have a driver's license.

"I can't believe it," she said.

Anastasio and his former bandmates in Phish are originally from Vermont. The band broke up in 2004, and Anastasio has performed solo since then.

Efforts to reach him Friday were unsuccessful.



Traffic stop puts ex-Phish singer center stage

Trey Anastasio arrested in Whitehall on charges he was driving under the influence of drugs


Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Saturday, December 16, 2006



WHITEHALL -- One of the world's highest-grossing rock stars was arrested in this small Adirondack village early Friday morning and charged with driving under the influence of drugs after police say they spotted his car swerving.

Ernest J. Anastasio -- better known as Trey -- was stopped at 3:30 a.m. by Patrolman Andrew Mija, who said the former Phish frontman failed field sobriety testing and appeared high, according to Patrolman Tim Hardy.

Anastasio, 42, lives in Richmond, Vt., about a two-hour drive north from this Washington County community. Authorities said he was driving with a license that had been suspended in New York. Anastasio was also found with an assortment of prescription medications, including hydrocodone, Percocet and Xanax, which had been prescribed to another person.

He was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, seventh-degree drug possession and DWI for drugs, police said. He was released from custody with appearance tickets for a later date.

Anastasio's license had been suspended in the state because he failed to answer a previous ticket, Hardy said.

Phish, which was formed in Burlington, Vt., in 1983, evolved into a behemoth jam band with a Grateful Dead-style following of fans, who spent months traveling from show to show and to the band's many weekend festivals.

The band officially called it quits in the summer of 2004 with a farewell festival on farmland outside of Coventry, Vt.

Anastasio, who has been pursuing a solo career since Phish broke up, is scheduled to appear at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Dec. 29. A source close to Anastasio's management said the tour will proceed.

Anastasio issued a brief statement late Friday.

"I feel terrible about what happened last night, and I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment I have caused my friends, family and fans," said Anastasio.

The date of birth on the police photo reads April 13, 1966. However, Anastasio's birth date is Sept. 30, 1964. The incorrect birth date on the police photo, coupled with an apparent rumor in the Phish fan community that "something was going to happen on Friday," led to dozens of calls to newspapers and Whitehall police by fans who were convinced Anastasio's arrest was a hoax.

"I can assure you, it is not a hoax," Hardy said.

News of the arrest quickly spread on the Internet, and sites like The Smoking Gun posted Anastasio's mug shot.

Albany resident Christy Articola spent years following the band and was the editor in chief of a fan magazine called Surrender to the Flow, which published from 1998 until 2004. She said she hoped the arrest will convince Anastasio to get clean.


"He is a smart guy, with a good head on his shoulders and generally good intentions. He just needs to think things through," said Articola, 30. "Based on decisions he's made in the past, it appears he doesn't always do that. I don't know if he needs to go to rehab, but like anyone, he certainly could benefit from taking a step back and from looking at this as an opportunity to make a change."

In an interview with the Times Union last year, Anastasio discussed the role drugs played in the band's final years and in his decision to call for its end.

While fatigue was generally seen as the culprit, few fans were willing to chalk it up to anything more than artistic torpor or road-weariness after the band's breakup announcement in 2004.

"I thought it went without saying how deep into our scene hard drugs had gone," said Anastasio in the November 2005 interview.

"That's why I was surprised at people saying, 'How could you do this?' How could I not do this? What's the alternative here? I always thought our scene was so transparent, that everybody knew everything. That's why it was hard to hear the anger and frustration from Phish fans," he said.

"I just want to say to them: I love Phish, too. But because of what was happening to Phish and happening to me, the decisions came from a place of love and respect for the same thing that you all loved and respected. That same light was going out pretty damned fast.

"We got through the '80s and '90s without encountering hard drugs, which is pretty miraculous considering what those eras were like and it is a testament to the guys in the band, in how intent we were from keeping those type of drugs away.

"Once we let our guard down around 1998, the scene started to eat itself and there was a massive loss of perspective. ... The whole thing was being crushed under its own weight. The germ of the thing, that feeling between the four of us is still there, but we were getting unhealthy and tired," he said.

The band went on hiatus in the fall of 2000 and didn't return to the road until the end of 2002. "We came back and it was even worse," Anastasio said. Furfaro can be reached at 454-5097 or by e-mail at Freelance writer Bob Margolis contributed to this report.

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2006, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

*Article courtesy of the Times Union Newspaper.


Busting famous people

P.S.: Notes from our notebooks

Published on 12/19/2006

The lead singer of Phish, who was arrested last week on drug charges in Whitehall, wasn't the only famous person to have dealings with the Whitehall Police Department in recent weeks.

Earlier this fall, a village patrolman pulled over former presidential candidate Howard Dean after spotting Dean speeding, said Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle. He was clocked at 48 mph in a 30 mph zone, but he was let go with a warning, LaChapelle said.

Dean, the former governor of Vermont who is the head of the Democratic National Committee, told police he was headed back to the Green Mountain state after appearing on a talk show in New York City.

-- Don Lehman


Musician may face felony charges

Washington County DA says charges still a possibility for Anastasio


Published on 12/19/2006

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said Monday he has not ruled out

filing a felony drug charge against a world-renowned musician arrested Friday in Whitehall.

Kortright said he wanted to review the State Police crime laboratory report on the drugs Ernest "Trey" Anastasio allegedly possessed at the time of his arrest, results of a urine sample and the rest of the evidence Whitehall Police assembled.

"We're going to take a look at it all and make a decision from there," the district attorney said.

Anastasio, 42, of Richmond, Vt., is the former frontman of Phish, a hugely popular jam band that broke up two years ago.

He was arrested in Whitehall about 3:30 a.m. Friday on misdemeanor charges he drove under the influence of drugs, illegally possessed 60 prescription painkillers and an antianxiety drug and drove with a suspended license. He was on his way to Vermont at the time.

The pills were in a bottle that had the name of a New York City man on the prescription sticker. Police said Anastasio told them he had smoked hashish and taken pills before he was stopped for crossing over the center line on Poultney Street.

Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle acknowledged that amount of pills could lead to a felony drug possession charge, but said his office decided to file the misdemeanor possession charge and

allow Kortright to decide whether a felony was warranted instead.

"I don't like to overcharge people," he said. "Some people would have charged him with that (a felony). But I hate taking a case and having it (the charge) reduced or thrown out."

LaChapelle said Anastasio told police he knew he had "a problem" and that he hoped to take care of it. Anastasio released an apology late Friday.

"He was most concerned about how this was going to affect his involvement with a youth orchestra in Vermont," LaChapelle said.

New York courts have drug court programs to assist those with drug problems, but because Anastasio is a resident of Vermont, he would not qualify for it unless he moved to New York, Kortright said.

Should Anastasio be convicted, LaChapelle said he'd like to see him sentenced to some type of community service that could assist the area.

"They should make him do something around here. How about a free concert in Whitehall?" he said with a laugh.

Meanwhile, LaChapelle said the media and Phish-fan frenzy that began when news of the arrest got out Friday morning continued into the weekend. LaChapelle said Court TV and a number of national news organizations contacted his office.

And on Saturday, a Phish fan from the Albany area made a trip to the Whitehall Police Department, telling officers he wanted to see where the arrest happened and meet the officers involved, the chief said.







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