Sheriff Donald B. Smith


Donald Blaine Smith
Brigadier General
United States Army (Retired)
Putnam County Sheriff
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Two-Hour Standoff in Putnam Valley Today Ends Peacefully

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that a two-hour standoff this afternoon between authorities and an emotionally disturbed man in Putnam Valley ended peacefully.

Deadline Nears for Recertifying Handgun Licenses

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith is reminding Putnam County handgun license holders that a state-imposed deadline to recertify many licenses is approaching.

Holders of handgun licenses issued prior to January 15, 2013 must recertify their licenses with the New York State Police by January 31, 2018. Covered licensees who fail to recertify by that date could be subject to having their licenses suspended or revoked without further notice.

The State Police offers an on-line recertification process for all handgun licenses issued in New York State (with the exception of those issued by New York City and by Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties).

Licensees can download forms and complete the recertification process online at https://troopers.ny.gov/firearms.

Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events

SHERIFF’S OFFICE OFFERING SURVIVAL TRAINING TO PUBLIC

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that the Sheriff’s Office is offering training to citizens in how to respond to active shooter incidents. The training uses a nationally devised instruction model called Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events, or “CRASE”.

Sheriff's Narcotics Unit Records Arrests in Mahopac, Southeast & Putnam Valley

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports recent drug arrests made by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Unit (NEU). The arrests took place in Mahopac, Southeast and Putnam Valley.

Body of Missing Scuba Diver Found in Underwater Mine

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that the body of a scuba diver has been recovered today from deep water in the former Tilly Foster iron mine in the Town of Southeast. The recovery concluded a search commenced after the man went missing while diving in the mine yesterday afternoon (Sunday, November 19th).

Search on for Missing Scuba Diver:

NEW JERSEY MAN LOST IN UNDERWATER PUTNAM MINE

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that a search is underway for a man who went missing yesterday afternoon (Sunday, November 19th) while scuba diving in the Town of Southeast.

Mr. Robert Thomas, aged 48, of Jersey City, New Jersey, went diving Sunday afternoon in waters at the site of the former Tilly Foster Mine (also sometimes referred to as Simon’s Quarry), located off Old Mine Road in the Town of Southeast. Mr. Thomas is described as a very experienced technical diver who has gone diving in the mine many times in the past.

On yesterday’s outing, Mr. Thomas was at the mine with two diving colleagues, a male and a female. Mr. Thomas dove into the water at about noon, and the other man went in about an hour later. The woman remained on the surface. The other male diver surfaced at about 3:00 p.m., but Mr. Thomas did not emerge.

Two Women Rescued From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Carmel Home

MOTHER’S GARBLED TEXTS TO DAUGHTER PROMPTED FRIEND’S CHECK & DISCOVERY OF UNCONCIOUS VICTIMS

WOMEN CARRIED TO SAFETY BY RESCUERS

Town of Carmel Police Chief Michael Cazzari, Carmel Volunteer Fire Department Chief David DiRienzo and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith report that two women were rescued on Monday, November 13th, after they were rendered unconscious by carbon monoxide poisoning in their Carmel home. The victims, women aged 61 and 89, survived after rescuers carried them out of the house.

At around noon on November 13th, the 61-year-old woman sent text messages to her daughter, who was out of the area. As those messages became incoherent, the daughter became concerned and tried to telephone her mother. When her mother did not answer the phone, the daughter called a friend and asked her to check on the welfare of her mother and grandmother at the house, a single family residence on North Gate Road in Carmel.

The friend went to the house, where she heard the sound of a carbon monoxide alarm going off inside and could see the 89-year-old grandmother lying unconscious on the floor in a bedroom near the front door. The friend called 911 and reported the situation.

Within a few minutes, Carmel Police Department Officer James Terrazas, Carmel Fire Department Firefighter Joseph Fernandez and Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Kristan arrived at the scene. Officer Terrazas and Firefighter Fernandez went into the house and pulled the grandmother from the front bedroom to the front door, as Deputy Kristan searched the house for more victims. The deputy found the 61-year-old woman unconscious in a back bedroom, and he and Officer Terrazas carried her out of the house.

County Receives Private Donation to Support Sheriff’s K-9 Program

PATTERSON FAMILY DONATES DOGS & FUNDS FOR VEHICLES, TRAINING & EQUIPMENT

Sheriff Smith, the Stilwell family and members of the Sheriff's DepartmentSheriff Smith, the Stilwell family and members of the Sheriff’s Department

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that Putnam County has received a generous donation from a Patterson family in support of the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.

Mr. Joseph Stilwell and Mrs. Monika Stilwell of Patterson have donated two pure-bred German shepherds to the County. The Stilwells also paid to have the dogs–a male named “Lex” and a male named “Kato”–flown from Holland to the U.S., along with an obedience trainer.

The Stilwells’ donation also included monies used for the training of the dogs and their handlers in narcotics detection, tracking and patrol. Lex is assigned to Deputy Sheriff Vincent Dalo and Kato’s partner is Deputy Sheriff Christopher Irwin. Deputy Dalo and Lex attended the New York State Police K-9 Academy in Cooperstown and Deputy Irwin and Kato attended the Orange County K-9 Academy, with the cost of their training covered by the donation.

In addition, the donation included funds for replacement of two unserviceable police vehicles with two new K-9 equipped vehicles and for the purchase of bullet-proof vests for the dogs. The two new police vehicles used to transport the new dogs on patrol are 2017 Ford

Explorers, each fully equipped with a kennel cage, special dog mats, a temperature-sensing system that activates an alarm and automatically lowers the vehicle windows if the temperature exceeds a safe level, and a remote-controlled door opener that allows the deputy to release the dog from the vehicle from a distance.

Brewster High School Instructor Charged With Having Sex With Student Is Returned to New York, Arraigned on Charges

Christopher VlangasChristopher Vlangas

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that Mr. Christopher Vlangas appeared in a Connecticut court this morning and waived formal extradition proceedings to New York. Following his court appearance, he was taken into custody by Sheriff’s Office investigators in Connecticut and was transported to the Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Carmel for processing.

Mr. Vlangas was arraigned on the charges before Town of Carmel Justice Thomas Jacobellis this afternoon. The justice remanded him to the county jail in lieu of $150,000.00 cash bail or $250,000.00 bail bond. He remains held in the jail as of the time of this post.

Suspects Charged in Putnam Valley Theft String:

THREE YOUTHS ARRESTED AFTER MANHUNT IN WOODS
STOLEN VEHICLES, GUNS, OTHER PROPERTY RECOVERED
David Lussier and Owen McDonaldDavid Lussier and Owen McDonald

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that three suspects have been arrested in connection with a string of thefts in the Town of Putnam Valley. The arrests followed a manhunt in a wooded area of the town on Saturday, October 28th. Stolen vehicles and guns were recovered in the case.

Events started to unfold early on Saturday morning, as the Sheriff’s Office began receiving multiple telephone calls from residents in the Wildwood Knolls neighborhood in Putnam Valley. Several callers reported that their vehicles, parked in their driveways, had been broken into sometime during the overnight hours. One victim reported that a detached garage on an Evergreen Way property was broken into and two motorcycles had been stolen. Another resident reported that his loaded handgun had been stolen from his vehicle.

Sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to the area and began to interview victims and canvass the neighborhood. At about 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, one of the larceny victims noticed two males riding around the neighborhood on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and recognized them as suspects in the thefts. The victim called 911 and followed the two males in his vehicle.

The two suspects on the ATV attempted to elude the following vehicle and the two vehicles collided. The suspects jumped off the ATV and a brief confrontation ensued between them and the victim before the suspects ran off into a wooded area.

A search for the suspects ensued, involving about a dozen sheriff’s deputies and Investigators, a K-9 unit and a New York State Police helicopter. Authorities, working with the Putnam County 911 Center, issued a mass telephone call to residents in the area alerting them about the search.

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by Dr. Radut