Police: Niece's identity stolen
Woman charged in
using relative's name for medical expenses
* 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,
"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
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
Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle assisted Glens Falls Police with the
Grants to fund body-armor upgrades
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
-- Raymond Christie, 63, of Whitehall, was arrested Friday for failing to
register as a sex offender after an investigation by the Whitehall Police
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
-- 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,
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
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
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
Four children will face charges for allegedly breaking about 15 headstones at
Boardman Street Cemetery, including several stones that date back to the 1800s,
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
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
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
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 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, www.whitehallpdny.org, said Whitehall Police Chief
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
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 Star.com
-- 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
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.
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.
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
By BOB GARDINIER and DANIELLE FURFARO, Staff writers
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Saturday, December 16, 2006
-- 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,
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
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
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
"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 email@example.com. Freelance writer Bob
Margolis contributed to this report.
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
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
Published on 12/19/2006
County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said Monday he has not ruled out
filing a felony drug charge against a world-renowned musician arrested Friday
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
"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
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.