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Officers honored for New year’s heroism

From front, Port Henry Fire Department Chief James Hughes stands with Essex County Sheriff's Deputies William Allen and Erin MacDougal along with New York State Trooper Michael Flaherty and Scott Tart as Sheriff Richard Cutting reads the resolutions of appreciation April 2.

From front, Port Henry Fire Department Chief James Hughes stands with Essex County Sheriff's Deputies William Allen and Erin MacDougal along with New York State Trooper Michael Flaherty and Scott Tart as Sheriff Richard Cutting reads the resolutions of appreciation April 2. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Essex County Board of Supervisors thanked those who kept others safe Jan. 1.

Sheriff Richard Cutting presented resolutions to Deputies Erin MacDougal and William Allen, along with New York State Troopers Scott Tart and Michael Flaherty for their actions in helping to protect Port Henry firefighters in the early morning hours of Jan. 1.

“We are proud to honor some officers that did an exemplary job for the community a tremendous amount of cooperation between the two organizations,” Cutting said. “These actions were tremendous in keeping public safety and the safety of those working to put out the fire.”

On Jan. 1, the four officers were called to respond to a structure and vehicle fire on Main Street in Port Henry. As they arrived, they were informed of a vehicle that had driven recklessly through the scene, running over hoses and past ladders and barricades.

The officers located the vehicle and drvier, noticing that it was turning wround to make another pass through the scene. The officers gave pirsuit and then blocked off the vehicle from being able to enter the area where the firefighters were hard at work containing the fire, sparring the emergency workers from any potential injury from the drvier.

Officers later arrested Joseph P. King, 43, a former staff member at Mountain Lakes Services, charging him with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a blood alcohol content of at least .18, more than twice the legal limit. He was also charged with five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, one count of obstruction of firefighting operations and one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief. Felony charges of arson of a structure and arson of a motor vehicle were added later.

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