NEWS RELEASE DETAILS

DATE/TIME: Monday, September 15th, 2003 / 02:30 PM
SUBJECT: ROBBERY @ YWCA – PERP ATTEMPTS “SUICIDE BY COP”


At about 9:05 yesterday morning, a man visiting the YWCA @ 44 Washington Ave., was using the phone in the office. While the man was on the phone, the female staff person left the office momentarily. While he was alone, the man saw a cash drawer in a desk and took $50 from it. As he was doing this, the staff person returned and confronted the man. The man then fled the office. The woman attempted to stop him, but the subject pulled away from her and ran out of the building. The woman then phoned police and provided a detailed description of the man.

Shortly after receiving the call, Officers Steven Sheldon and Darryl Mallard were checking the area for the subject, and spotted a man fitting his description walking on lower State St. near the Kentucky Fried Chicken. When the officers approached the subject, he ran and Officer Mallard chased him on foot. As Officer Mallard came around a corner at South Ferry and Liberty Streets, the subject was pointing a loaded handgun at him. Officer Mallard immediately ducked back around the corner of the building for protection, and the suspect then ran across the street and threw his gun down. He was taken into custody in front of 109 South Ferry Street. The subject did not fire the gun at Officer Mallard.

A computer inquiry on the gun revealed that it had been stolen from Rensselaer County in March.

James Hamilton, 39, of 13 State St., Schenectady, has been charged with the following felonies: Criminal Possession of a Loaded Firearm-2nd degree, Robbery-3rd, Reckless Endangerment-1st, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property-4th. He has also been charged with the following misdemeanors: Menacing-2nd and Resisting Arrest.

Hamilton was arraigned in Police Court and remanded to the Schenectady County Jail.

Hamilton indicated that he wanted police to catch him, and pointed the gun at Officer Mallard so that he would shoot him. Hamilton then changed his mind because he did not want Officer Mallard to have to live with his committing “suicide by cop.”

Officer Mallard has been with the Department for only 2 months and is currently in the Field Training Program. Although he would have been justified in firing his weapon at Hamilton, Chief Michael Geraci commends Officer Mallard for the great restraint he used in the incident.

Incidentally, this Department has seized more than 70 guns to date, thereby eliminating the possibility that they will be used in a future crime.