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Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy placed on leave over alleged July 4 assault

Jul 10, 2020 6:30 am
Nora Mishanec is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media that as rumors continued to circulate countywide about the alleged brutal assault that took place at a private residence in Kinderhook over the holiday weekend, the Columbia County Sheriff's office announced that Deputy Kelly Briscoe Rosenstrach, the wife of Alex Rosenstrach, has been placed on administrative leave, effective July 9. The former school resource officer is married to the property owner Alex Rosenstrach, the owner-operator of the ClubLife Health and Fitness club in Kinderhook. “At this point in the investigation, it has been determined that no other deputy sheriffs were at this residence at the time of the incident,” according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. The statement directly contradicts social media reports that multiple law enforcement officers were present at the party held the night of July 4, and into the early morning hours of July 5. A call came into the Columbia County dispatch shortly after 1 a.m., that prompted emergency personnel to respond to 3193 County Route 21 in Kinderhook, where 31-year-old local mechanic Harold Handy, had allegedly been assaulted. Handy was then transported to Albany Medical Center for treatment. The investigation into the alleged assault is headed up by the sheriff’s office with the assistance of the state police Special Investigative Unit, despite the potential conflict of interest. The sheriff’s office defended its investigation of a case that may involve one of its employees. “We investigate every incident with the same integrity and skill,” a department spokesperson said. The state police declined to comment on the investigation. As of late Thursday, no one had been criminally charged for their role in the incident. Rosenstrach organized a pro-police rally in Kinderhook last month. Campaign records show that Rosenstrach's Clublife Health & Fitness business donated $1,500 to Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett's campaign in 2019. The business also donated $1,400 to Bartlett in 2018 and $1,000 in 2016, and $772.70 in 2015. Bartlett claimed the donations will not affect his investigation. He told WNYT, "I don't control who gives money to my campaign if somebody wants to give money to my campaign they donate and that's that. That does not make a difference if someone gives money to a campaign whether or not there's criminal charges filed against them. That's the most corrupt thing I could ever hear and that's not me." Read more about this story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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