Town of Newburgh Man Dies After Hit by Vehicle

By Mark Gerlach

A 69-year-old Town of Newburgh man blowing leaves outside of his Pressler Road home died after he was hit by a vehicle on Sept. 24.

Michael Jordan Sr. was blowing leaves onto the street, standing in front of his home, when a vehicle traveling southbound struck him. The vehicle was driven by a man in his mid-80s. The driver, who lives nearby, thought he hit a deer. He turned around, but eventually went back to his own home, Lt. James Nenni of the Town of Newburgh Police Department said.

Jordan was reportedly taken to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

The driver said he didn’t see Jordan, and no charges were filed. He seemed confused about the incident, police said. A routine toxicology report is being conducted, but there is no indication that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to police. (Because no charges were filed in the incident, the driver’s name was withheld from this article.)

Jordan was a longtime Newburgh resident, and graduated Newburgh Free Academy in 1965, his obituary said. He served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1970.

Police, Community Continue Dialogue at Forum

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(photo by Bob Root)

Members of the community and the City of Newburgh Police Department, as well as other area offices and departments, joined forces for a forum called Strengthening Police and Community Relations. The purpose of the forum is to help foster dialogue between city police and residents. “This forum was our fifth since Jan. 2015 and was, once again, very positive,” Police Lt. Richard Carrion said. “These forums allow the Police Department to discuss our many community policing initiatives, receive feedback and suggestions from our community and to continue building the partnerships necessary to mutually solve problems and keep our community safe.” The forum was held on the evening of Aug. 18 at Newburgh Free Library, located at 124 Grand St. Discussion topics included a juvenile detention alternatives initiative, group violence and crisis intervention, and national police-community relations. Police Chief Daniel Cameron is seen here during a presentation at the forum.

Emergency Drill Preps College Security, First Responders

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(photo provided)

Mount Saint Mary College held its annual emergency preparedness exercise on Aug. 4. The City of Newburgh Police Department, Mobile Life Support Services, and other local agencies joined forces for the exercise, which helped prepare the agencies for an active shooter situation. A simulation was conducted where a single shooter injured 14 people and placed small explosives in a campus building before being apprehended by police. Actors, portraying victims, were evacuated from the building. More than 60 people participated in the drill, including representatives from Orange County Emergency Management, SUNY Orange, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, the state Office for Fire Prevention and Control, the City of Newburgh Fire Department, and Hudson Valley Boy Scouts. The exercise helps the college better its emergency planning and test programs to handle severe storms and power outages.

Newburgh Mirrors Nation In Grief, Concern About Race Relations

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Bishop Jeffrey Woody leads his congregation in a service to pray for peace both locally and across the nation at The House of Refuge on July 13. (photo provided)

By Laura Giner Bair

The Newburgh City Council meeting on July 11 reflected the range of emotions set off throughout the nation by the deaths of two black men fatally shot by police – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minn. – as well as, the slaying of five police officers gunned down in Dallas, Texas.

Community activist Omari Shakur alleged city police used unduly harsh tactics to subdue a 30-year-old man during a recent incident.

However, Rasheda Worth, director of cultural affairs at Life Stations Centers of Excellence, assuaged the emotions of many people when she took the podium. Worth said she sat with the family of the 30-year-old man and city Police Chief Daniel Cameron to review tape of the incident, which was recorded using police body cameras.

“There is no big incident here,” Worth said. Worth and the man’s family were “satisfied that this was not any situation that would cause an uproar from the community,” she said.

Newburgh-based Life Stations Centers of Excellence is a non-profit organization that “aims to improve the quality of life for black men and their families,” its website says.

“No one can describe what we have gone through as a nation, but we are different here in the City of Newburgh,” Councilwoman Karen Mejia said toward the end of the meeting. “That’s what I want to hang onto… anger, fear, and biases, should not overrule humanity. We have to have the difficult conversations. If we don’t talk about our history, we keep repeating it. Black Lives Matter. Just honor that space. It doesn’t negate anything.”

Black Lives Matter is an activist movement that originated in the African-American community after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old, unarmed African American high school student.

For the complete story see the Friday, July 15 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.

Questions Surround Cameron’s Future With City

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City of Newburgh Police Chief Daniel Cameron. (photo provided)

By Mark Gerlach

A Newburgh Civil Service Commission letter circulated this week pertaining to the potential hiring of a replacement for City of Newburgh Police Chief Daniel Cameron. The letter emerged along with news that Cameron took an Orange County police chief’s exam earlier this year. Cameron received the top score on the exam, which is for vacant town and village police chief positions.

Two members of the Newburgh Civil Service Commission, Chairman Thomas Murphy and Commissioner Vera Best, sent a letter to City Manager Michael Ciaravino on June 16 called “Termination of Provisional Appointment – Police Chief.”

The letter discussed the eligible list of candidates for police chief, which was “established” during a June 15 Newburgh Civil Service Commission meeting, the letter said. Four candidates, none of which were current city employees, were on the list at that time.

A 60-day clock began to wind down counting toward the termination of Cameron after the list was established. Cameron has “retention rights to his permanent position of police lieutenant with the City of Newburgh Police Department,” the letter said.

“At this point Dan Cameron is our police chief until further notice,” Ciaravino said.

Candidates who successfully completed the city’s police chief test are being contacted to see if they’re still interested in the job. One candidate is no longer interested in the position, so the candidate number has been deflated to three.

For the complete story see the Friday, July 1 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.

Washingtonville Police Vital To Drug Bust

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A marijuana grow farm in Greenville was recently busted with the help of the Washingtonville Police Department. (photo provided)

By Eugenia Moskowitz

Washingtonville Police Department officers played a key role in the Orange County Drug Task Force’s operations, which on June 15 involved executing a search warrant at 41 Schoolhouse Rd. in Greenville and recovering large amounts of marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and an illegal gun.

Drug Task Force investigators, along with the Deer Park Police Department, ascertained that drugs were being sold from the location.

Approximately eight pounds of marijuana, a grow operation containing 65 marijuana plants, concentrated marijuana oil, hallucinogenic mushrooms, a .22 caliber hand gun, and $8,300 was found. Child Protective Services removed a child from the residence.

Louis Iribarren, 42, of Greenville was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon second degree, criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of controlled substance, and endangering of the welfare of a child. Iribarren was taken to Orange County Jail.

The week prior, Washingtonville Police Department officers took part in Operation Spring Maintenance, which also involved the Wallkill, Goshen, and Warwick police departments. Officers purchased drugs from and arrested eight suspects.


False Alarm: Gun Threat A Recording

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Police were notified after office workers overheard a production company conducting voiceovers of a man threatening people with a gun. The incident, a false alarm, caused surrounding buildings to be evacuated and a portion of Route 9W to be closed. (photo by Bob Root)

By Mark Gerlach

A swarm of police activity buzzed at 436 Robinson Ave. in the City of Newburgh Monday afternoon at about 3:33 p.m. Police were reportedly searching for a man threatening people with a gun. However, the threat heard was a recording from a production company working on voiceovers.

The violent recording was heard by nearby office workers, and the police were notified.

Filmmaker Courtney Allen was working with director Shawn Strong and actor Gary Sauer on a voiceover for a web series called “At Risk,” a press release issued by the producer after the incident said. The production company is called Phanatics Entertainment.

Both the city and town of Newburgh police departments responded to the scene, as the building is located on the line between the town and city. A perimeter was established around the building, surrounding buildings were evacuated and traffic on Route 9W was blocked off. SWAT teams searched the offices.

For the complete story see the Friday, June 10 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.


Alleged Gang Members Charged With Gun, Drug Charges

Nine alleged members of the Yellow Tape Money Gang in Newburgh have been charged with gun and drug charges.

The gang “pumped large quantities of crack cocaine into the streets of Newburgh,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release. An indictment was unsealed in White Plains federal court on June 1.

The following were charged with narcotics conspiracy: Tyrin Gayle, Laquan Falls, Gabriel Warren, David Brown, Brendan Germaine, Rashun Evans, Laquavious Boykin, Brittany Hall and Christopher Johnson. The suspects allegedly conspired to sell crack cocaine in the Newburgh area from about Oct. 2015 to May 2016, police said. Narcotics conspiracy involves the possession and distribution of 28 grams, or more, of crack cocaine. The charge carries a minimum prison term of 5 years, and a maximum of 40 years.

Evans was also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charge carries a minimum prison term of five years and a maximum term of life in prison.

For the complete story see the Friday, June 3 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.

Former Town Of Newburgh Police Officer Kills Kids, Self

By Mark Gerlach

John Casullo, 48, a former patrolman in the Town of Newburgh Police Department, killed his two kids on May 26 before turning the gun on himself, a state police bulletin said.

Casullo, a resident of the Town of Wallkill, was found dead at about 5:25 p.m. with a single gunshot wound to the head, police said. Also found deceased were Casullo’s children: 8-year-old James Casullo and 12-year-old Kathleen Casullo. Each child suffered a single gunshot wound to the head.

Casullo, who retired from the Town of Newburgh Police Department around 2008, used a .45 caliber pistol to murder his children while they slept in their bedrooms before firing the gun on himself, police said. The bodies were discovered after Town of Wallkill police responded to a 911 call for an unresponsive male.

No one else was in the home, located at 559 Fifth Ave. in the Town of Wallkill, at the time of the shootings, according to police.

State police are investigating the murder/suicide with the assistance of the Town of Wallkill Police Department.


Three Gunshot Victims Wounded After Shooting

Three victims, including a teenager, were injured in a shooting that occurred outside 845 Lounge on Broadway on May 21.

City of Newburgh police responded to a shots fired call at about 2:05 a.m. Town of Newburgh and state police, as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, also responded to the scene.

Two victims were located at the scene, police said. A 21-year-old male from Newburgh sustained a gunshot wound to his lower back, and a 26-year-old female from the Town of Newburgh suffered a gunshot wound to her lower left leg. Both were transported to St. Luke’s hospital via ambulance.

A third victim, a 19-year-old male from Newburgh, was discovered at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his upper right shoulder.

The names of the victims, as well as their medical statuses, weren’t released by police. However, none of the injuries appeared life-threatening, police said.

Police urge anyone with information about this incident to call the City of Newburgh Police Department at 845-561-3131. All calls will be kept confidential, police said.