Hunter jailed in ac­ci­den­tal shoot­ing of of­fi­cer

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Pineiro-Zucker dpzucker@free­manon­ di­aneat­free­man on Twit­ter

A res­i­dent of this Columbia County town who was hunt­ing in woods off Sil­ver­nails Road was charged with felony as­sault and jailed af­ter ac­ci­den­tally shoot­ing a state en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer, state police said Wed­nes­day.

Alan Blan­chard, 55, of Gallatin, was charged with felony as­sault, ar­raigned in Liv­ingston Town Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail with­out bail, police said.

En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cer James Davey, 39, a 12-year vet­eran of the force, was shot with a ri­fle at about 5 p.m. Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to state police at Liv­ingston and the state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion. He was taken to Mid-Hud­son Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Pough­keep­sie, where he was op­er­ated on for a ri­fle shot wound in his pelvic area, police said.

Davey was listed in sta­ble con­di­tion Wed­nes­day af­ter “ex­ten­sive surgery ... to re­pair dam­age from the gun­shot wound,” ac­cord­ing to an emailed state­ment from state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sioner Basil Seg­gos.

MidHud­ re­ported the gun was a 30-30 ri­fle.

Seg­gos and state police said Davey and an­other con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer, Lt. El­iza Bob­seine, were in­ves­ti­gat­ing “po­ten­tially il­le­gal” hunt­ing off Sil­ver­nails Road when they came upon fresh tire tracks lead­ing into a cut corn­field.

While walk­ing through the field, Davey was shot one time, police said.

Police said Blan­chard and his hunt­ing part­ner, James Brown of Pine Plains, re­mained at the scene and aided with res­cue ef­forts. Brown was not charged, ac­cord­ing to state Trooper Melissa McMor­ris.

Bob­seine “is cred­ited with sav­ing Of­fi­cer Davey’s life for her quick and heroic ac­tions in the field,” Seg­gos said. “Lt. Bob­seine was able to quickly ap­ply a com­press to the wound while call­ing for sup­port and keep­ing the sus­pects un­der con­trol [a] half-mile into a field. It’s clear that if it were not for her ac­tions, Of­fi­cer Davey would not have sur­vived.”

The state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a reporter’s ques­tions about whether the of­fi­cers were wear­ing any bright-col­ored cloth­ing while in­ves­ti­gat­ing or whether any ad­di­tional charges were pend­ing.

Au­thor­i­ties said Blan­chard was ar­rested af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined his reck­less con­duct led to the ac­ci­den­tal shoot­ing.

Blan­chard is due back in Liv­ingston Town Court at 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

Seg­gos’ email said Davey grad­u­ated from the depart­ment’s Ba­sic Police Acad­emy in 2005 and is as­signed to pa­trol Columbia County. He is a Division of Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Ser­vices cer­ti­fied police in­struc­tor and re­cently be­come a cer­ti­fied firearms in­struc­tor for the depart­ment, Seg­gos said.

He is mar­ried to Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion For­est Ranger Nancy Davey.



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