Monday, December 11, 2023

2 men report being assaulted on South Street by 3 youths on bikes, ‘blood on the roadway’

By Zander Frost, Chronicle Staff Writer

Jody Brown, 61, suffered a black eye and contusions. He said he had open heart surgery three months ago. Photo provided
Two brothers in their 60s told The Chronicle they were ambushed and one beaten with a metal object in an assault involving three apparent youths on bicycles very early Sunday morning, Sept. 24, on South Street.

Jody Brown, 61, said he suffered a black eye and contusions to the back of his head, and saw his “blood on the roadway.”

He said he had open heart surgery three months ago. “I’m hoping they didn’t do anything to my chest where they wired it together” during his surgery.

Mr. Brown said an ambulance responded. He said he was treated but elected not to go to the emergency room. “That would have been a $500 bill, you know?”

He says he’s in pain, but hadn’t seen a doctor “because I’m getting billed for my operation…These people saved my life by doing open heart surgery.”

Mr. Brown said that after the assault they called Glens Falls Police, who arrived five minutes later. “They took a statement…that we signed.”

The brothers said they were returning home from a party at Downtown Social, celebrating the semi-pro Glens Falls Greenjackets’ “thrilling victory” earlier that night in the New England Football League Championship game. The Greenjackets won 12-6 in “sudden death” overtime on a 37-yard touchdown pass fromCaleb Condon to John Styczinski.

Mr. Brown said his son plays on the team, and that he and his older brother, who visits from Vermont, “hold chains” all season for the team. He said the attack took place around 2 a.m.

“We were doing the right thing. We were walking to the bar, so we wouldn’t get a DWI,” Mr. Brown said.

After the party, “we’re walking home laughing and having a good time. And these kids came,” he said.

“It was right in front of Beamers,” a South Street bar, Mr. Brown said.

He said three assailants on bicycles attacked them.

“We seen them drive by, and they yelled stuff at us, of course. And then I looked back and all of a sudden I see them turn, and my brother goes, ‘they’re coming back!’”

He said they turned around on Elm Street. “Next thing you know, they’re right on top of us,” Mr. Brown said. “They jumped off their bikes while their bikes were going and pushed them into us.”

“I fell down,” he said. “My brother was a Marine, so he’s pretty tough. He didn’t fall down.”

“Next thing I know, I’m getting hit with something really hard in the back of the head,” he said.

“I think it was a bicycle chain with a lock on it. Because it wrapped around the back of my head and hit me in the eye.

“I went down on my knees. And then I seen blood, right on the roadway.”

“I get up and I see the kid right behind me again. And he hit me two more times in the back of the head.

“Then my brother started fighting with [the other] two of them…He got them off me, and then they took off.”

Mr. Brown said, “One kid yelled, ‘I’m only 12 years old. I’m only 12. You can’t hit me, you can’t do anything!’”

Mr. Brown said his brother said at the end, “‘What the hell’s the matter with you guys? We’re two old guys…Look what you did to him, he’s bleeding, he’s got blood all over his head!’”

He said one assailant was wearing a ski mask. “The other ones were just wearing hats. I couldn’t tell because when I got hit in the head, I was out of it for a little bit.”

He said, “I have a black eye. It was real-ly bad Monday and Tuesday. And I have abrasions above my eye. And then on my side there where they kicked me I think I might have a cracked rib or something.”

Mr. Brown said he works a physical job, putting “trailers in the doors” at the Target Distribution Center in Wilton.

He said he lives nearby to where the attack took place. He said he’s never seen anything like this before.

“I don’t even lock my car. People think this is a bad part of town, but I have a great landlord. I’ve been here like seven years,” he said.

He said he went to the police station that evening, on Sunday, seeking information.

Mr. Brown said at the station, the police told him one assailant had already been turned in by his father “because he’s the kid that beat up the patron on Park Street.”

He said the police officer told him the father had already been arrested once due to his son’s conduct.

“I said ‘Well, he must have a good dad,” Mr. Brown said.

He says the police officer replied, “No, his dad just did it because he didn’t want to spend a night in jail again.”

Mr. Brown said of the police, “They couldn’t say anything. They couldn’t tell me anything, and that it all goes through Family Court. They wouldn’t tell me the father’s name in case I wanted to sue him or whatever.”

As of Tuesday, over a week after the incident, Mr. Brown said no one had contacted him.

“That’s what pisses me off,” he said. “I figured I’d hear something from Family Court. Or somebody…Not one phone call. Nothing.”

Mr. Brown gave The Chronicle permission to use his name.

Police Chief says, aware of assault on South Street; ‘investigating’ but scant progress

By Zander Frost, Chronicle Staff Writer

Reached for comment Tuesday about the Sept. 24 South Street assault, Glens Falls Police Chief Jared Smith said, “We’re fully investigating it.” He said one suspect, a juvenile, has been identified.

The Chronicle told Chief Smith that victim Jody Brown expressed frustration that no one from the police reached out to him after he spoke to police at the crime scene and then visited the station later that day.

The Chief said, “He is very well aware that he needs to come to the police station to give us a statement. So we are waiting on him.”

“The officer has indicated they were supposed to come in and give a statement Saturday [Sept. 30], and the victims haven’t come in yet,” he said.

“The victims at the time declined — they didn’t want anything done at the time,” Chief Smith said “At this point it’s in the victim’s hands.

Is the identified assailant off the street?

“It’s a juvenile…Until we get a statement from the victim, there’s no paperwork going to be filed in Family Court,” he said.

“We can’t beg people to come down and give us a statement. A lot of times, they don’t want to get involved,” the Chief said.

Mr. Brown told The Chronicle Tuesday that he visited the Glens Falls Police Department twice seeking information.

First, later on the day of the assault, Sunday, Sept. 24.

Then again this past Saturday, Sept. 30, at around 10 a.m., with his brother, visiting from Vermont. Mr. Brown said his brother intended to provide a statement.

“That’s absolutely a lie that we didn’t show up Saturday,” he said.

Mr. Brown said he already gave, and signed, what he believed was a statement at the crime scene. He said if he knew he needed to do something more, “I would have done it.” He said he never declined to make a statement.

Mr. Brown said the police told him Saturday, “the guy in charge works midnight. And that he would call me at like 11:15 p.m. or 6 a.m. They said it to me real sarcastic, like, ‘would you like that call at that time?’ I was like, that’s great. I work nights. It doesn’t matter to me.”

“Of course, nobody ever called,” he said.

Mr. Brown said he has been to the police station twice, his brother once.

At the police station he says, “You talk in that phone, and then they make you sit there for like a half hour be fore they come out. Both times they did that,” he said.

“They make it so frustrating. You’re like, I survived. Screw it,” Mr. Brown said.

Mr. Brown provided various details to The Chronicle from his first visit to the police station, including that police told him one assailant had been identified.

When presented with these details, Chief Smith acknowledged that Mr. Brown may have visited the police station.

The chief said, “Okay. Probably what happened is the way that our procedures is, you either end up having to talk to the sergeant that was on duty or you end up having to talk to the officer that handled the case, because we don’t get other officers involved in taking statements and that kind of stuff for continuity. So it’s possible that the officer that initially was there wasn’t working that day. So he was probably told to reach out to him.”

“It’s also very possible, because I’m just reading this case, the officer may have more information,” Chief Smith said. “Not everything gets documented right away in the case. So that’s all I’m going off right now.”

The Chronicle asked to speak to that officer. “The problem is…he works 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.,” the Chief said.

“And that’s part of the issue is when you get a case at one o’clock in the morning, and you only work till seven — the follow-ups,” the Chief said. “So that has to be coordinated.”

So, asked The Chronicle, is it possible Mr. Brown already came to the station?

“If he has that information, he probably did,” Chief Smith acknowledged.

If a victim comes to the police station and the officer on the case is not in, does the victim need to come back again?

“That’s how it works, yes,” said the Chief. “He needs to leave a message with whoever he speaks to indicating that the officer can give him a call and schedule a time to come in to give a statement.”

Chief Smith said, “I’m going to follow up with the officer to see if he has any more information. Just to try to move forward with. It sounds like the victim wants to cooperate, and it’s just a matter of coordinating.”

Mr. Brown said that when he went to the station for the second time, Saturday, eventually an officer told him the police “don’t know anything, and they’re [the alleged offenders are] kids, and not much they [police] can do about it.”

He said of the statement he gave at the crime scene, “I asked for the copy on Saturday. And the guy said, ‘I have no idea where it is.’”
There is a discrepancy in the victim’s account and the file the Chief referenced. Mr. Brown told The Chronicle he and his brother were two victims attacked by three assailants.

Chief Smith said “persons listed” for the case are “one victim and one unknown suspect and one juvenile suspect” — one victim attacked by two assailants.

When asked, the Chief said the other victim, Mr. Brown’s brother, is mentioned elsewhere in the report.

Chief Smith said he could not provide The Chronicle a copy of the report because “it’s a current open investigation.”

“It indicates that they were walking home on South Street, and they were passed by juveniles on bicycles. The juveniles stopped, turned around and started assaulting both of them,” the chief said.

Last week Glens Falls Police issued a press release in which Chief Smith said there had been juvenile and adult arrests in recent incidents attributed to minors involving bikes and an Aug. 22 assault.

The Sept. 24 South Street assault is a new case, “not included in” last week’s press release, Chief Smith says.

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