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The Albany Times Union, (NY)
August 16, 1997
Author: BRUCE A. SCRUTON Staff writer
When Kenneth Neil set aside the .357 handgun down to help his invalid mother down the stairs, deputies and troopers moved in, ending a three-hour standoff late Friday afternoon. Although there was a small struggle as Neil fought with the four arresting officers, there were no injuries reported and no shots had been fired, police said.
Neil was later charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree possession of a weapon. Following arraignment, he was ordered held without bail in Rensselaer County Jail and to undergo a psychiatric examination. According to police, the 911 dispatcher received a call about 2:20 p.m. from a friend of Neil’s who said Neil had called him and threatened suicide.
Deputy E.C. Miller was the first at the scene, a dirt road on the border with Grafton, and spoke directly to Neil who said there was no problem in the house and ordered the officer to leave. Miller asked for other residents of the home. When Ethel Neil, 86, tried to talk to the officer, her son pulled a gun, later identified as a .357 handgun, pointed it at the deputy’s chest and ordered him away, police said. Miller left and called for assistance. Over the next three hours, police talked intermittently with Neil by telephone, said Sheriff’s Capt. Lawrence Walraed, who usually was the one talking with Neil. “He said he had taken some pills, about 30 anti-depressants , and had knocked back a couple of scotch and waters,” the captain said.
Neil expressed concern for his mother, saying he didn’t want her around when he killed himself and so, the captain said, they were able to convince Neil to help his mother, who uses a walker, to leave the house. As he was helping her out, he put down the handgun. Deputies Matt Werger and Regina Cocchiara, who were hidden in front of the house, got Neil’s attention while Troopers Ed Phillips and Ken Kippen, who were around the side of the house, moved in. The four officers were able to subdue Neil, who did struggle some, the captain said. Walraed said the endangerment count stems from pointing the gun at the deputy. He said while Neil does have a pistol permit, the gun used Friday, which had a scope, was not on the permit.