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Coeymans police run over raccoon

Mar 15, 2018 1:15 pm

Melanie Lekocevic reports in Columbia-Greene Media that a video of Coeymans Police officers deliberately running over a rabid raccoon with a car went March 12 viral this week with thousands of online views and national media coverage. Police were called to Faith Plaza in Ravena after a report of a raccoon that was thought to be rabid, according to police. “Officers did find the raccoon, but it was not in an area that was safe to discharge a firearm due to the proximity of pedestrians and residences,” according to a statement. “They dispatched the raccoon as quickly and humanely as possible,” by running over it with their vehicles, a marked Coeymans Police SUV and an unmarked white sedan. “It’s being looked into at this time,” Acting Police Chief Daniel Contento said March 13, without naming which officers were driving the vehicles. “That’s all I can say with an open investigation.” There are other open investigations of the incident. "Our ACT — Animal Cruelty Taskforce — has contacted the DEC," said Cecilia Walsh, a spokesperson for the Albany County District Attorney's Office. Ron Perez, president of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA, said, “That was about as improper a thing as one could ever do.... We don’t know whether the raccoon had rabies, but regardless, it could have been handled much more humanely. The animal could have been corralled until a DEC officer could be notified. At that point, the raccoon wasn’t posing a threat to anyone.” The village of Ravena, overwhelmed with phone calls, issued a statement on its Facebook page making sure everyone knows the police department is under the jurisdiction of the town of Coeymans, not Ravena. “The mayor of the village of Ravena finds the video shocking and disturbing,” according to the statement. “Be assured that the mayor of Ravena has made his concerns and feelings known.” The reporter could not reach Coeymans Town Supervisor Philip Crandall for comment. Read the full story in HudsonValley360.com.
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