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Sheriff, Officers Present Detailed Overview of Hornbrook Road Incident

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Sheriff, Officers Present Detailed Overview of Hornbrook Road Incident

Monday, January 12, 2015

Before the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee, Tompkins County Sheriff Ken Lansing and other officers who responded to the four-day incident on Hornbrook Road in the Town of Danby provided a detailed recap of the events that began when barricaded subject David Cady fired at police during an attempt to serve a felony DWI arrest December 30, and ended January 2, when Mr. Cady was found deceased inside the residence from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Public Safety Committee Vice Chair Jim Dennis, who had requested the presentation, noted that there have been few incidents in the county such as this, and expressed hope that the discussion will convey valuable information that will result in benefit for the future.  About 50 people attended the meeting and, prior to the presentation, a dozen of them spoke, many expressing concern and several asking for investigation—one of them Danby Supervisor Ric Dietrich, who requested an independent review of the incident’s after-action report.  Among those speaking was Cady’s widow, Melissa Cady, saying she doesn’t hate police, but questions leadership, that her husband was suicidal and needed help.

In the detailed presentation spanning nearly an hour-and-a-half, Sheriff Lansing and other officers provided a detailed summary and timeline of the events that transpired over the three-and-a-half days, based on information that the Sheriff said is available at this time—some of it, such as a full coroner’s report, has not yet been received.  He said that the operation was handled by a group of individuals experienced with this type of operation—including those who assisted from other agencies.  As part of the presentation, critical incident negotiators reported that there was considerable negotiation with Cady, and ongoing attempts to communicate, but that he did not respond and leave the residence.  Officers said armored vehicles were deployed, both to protect responders from gunfire and from the cold; and that tear gas, robots, and an armored Bobcat to breach the building were all used as tactical approaches, but none succeeded in getting Cady to come out.  The aim throughout, Sheriff Lansing stressed, was to get the suspect out of the house safely, and to not use any deadly physical force against him, even though that would have been justified by law. 

Legislator Martha Robertson, a member of the committee, thanked the Sheriff and officers for the presentation.  “I suspect there are still unanswered questions, but I believe this is an important first step in getting information out to the public,” she said.

A video file of the Public Safety Committee meeting will be posted at the Meeting Portal of the County website at http://tompkinscountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx(Click on “January 12 Public Safety Committee meeting/Video.”)  Questions may be e-mailed to Legislature Chair Michael Lane or Vice Chair Jim Dennis through the Legislature Office at legislature@tompkins-co.org.