Few details made public about police-related beating in Kinderhook last month
Aug 08, 2020 12:03 am
Both the The Columbia Paper and the Times Union have updates on the police-related beating of Howard Handy at a July 4 party at the home of a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy in Kinderhook. Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka is now in charge of the investigation, which he has taken away from the Columbia County Sheriffs and turned over to the State Police. Columbia County District Attorney Czajka told The Columbia Paper that he has been talking with the state Attorney General’s Office about the incident for several weeks, but the Attorney General’s office “will not assume control of the prosecution, although I did ask” them to. Czajka said he has asked the New York State Police to take over the investigation as the lead police agency, and this week they agreed. Local business owner Alex Rosenstrach and his Deputy Sheriff wife, Kelly Briscoe Rosenstrach, hosted the July 4 party at their home located at 3193 County Route 21, where the alleged assault occurred. Handy, owner and operator of Handy Repairs, was severely beaten at the home and had to be transported by ambulance to Albany Medical Center in the early morning hours of July 5. Handy's relatives have said he was "lucky to be alive," and he was placed on a ventilator before being released from Albany Medical Center’s Trauma ICU on July 6. Other details of his injuries and recovery have not been made public. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the Rosenstrach home on July 7. Czajka said, “It is not our practice to release evidence until an investigation results in charges and ultimately prosecution,” and that he can't say whether the case will be heard by a grand jury. Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said, “We’re cooperating 100 percent,” and that he believes the investigation will wrap up in the near term. Czajka, though, put a different spin on the possible timeline. “Some of the most serious cases I have prosecuted have taken the longest time to investigate. Time frame does not predict what will ultimately happen,” he said. Read more about this story in The Columbia Paper and the Times Union.