Dutchess medical examiner following up

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

An investigator for the Town of Fishkill police department on Sunday (Jan. 25) stated that the man found dead of an apparent gunshot to his head in a Breakneck Ridge parking lot on Route 9D is thought — as earlier surmised — to have committed suicide and that the Dutchess County medical examiner is pursuing the case.

Also on Sunday, a Cold Spring resident recalled passing the scene of the incident shortly after police became involved on Friday and described the flurry of activity she saw at the site, located a short distance north of the Breakneck tunnel and just across the border into Dutchess County and the Town of Fishkill from Putnam County and Philipstown.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority police force officer discovered the vehicle and body around 1:20 p.m. on Friday and called in other law enforcement personnel. Various units responded, and pursuit of the case then fell to the Fishkill town police department.

As of Sunday, “I have no further information, other than to state that tentatively it does appear to be a suicide,” Sgt. John Berlingieri, a Fishkill police investigator, told Philipstown.info. “I am not prepared to be releasing the identity of the individual,” which must come from the medical examiner, he added, apologizing for the lack of specifics so far.

An investigator in the office of the medical examiner said Monday morning that only the medical examiner himself, who was out of the office, was authorized to provide such details as the official cause of death or the identification (if known thus far) of the deceased.

(However, the medical examiner, Dr. Dennis Chute, reportedly confirmed to The Poughkeepsie Journal over the weekend that the man died from a shot to the head from a gun.)

Cold Spring resident Marynorma Colbert was driving south along Route 9D from Beacon around 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Traffic slowed near the parking lot, which contained a variety of law enforcement cars, she said. “When I looked over, it was every municipality you could think of,” including New York State Police, at least one sheriff’s department, local police who, she believed, came from Beacon and beyond, and others.

“There was ‘brass’ out there,” said Colbert, who once worked for a police department and used a term referring to higher-level officers. “Brass usually doesn’t come out for that” unless something significant happened, she added.

“You could see the car” with the victim, she explained. “The front windshield was covered. I knew that whoever was in it was dead. You could see somebody in the car — at least, it looked like somebody in there. I was stunned,” Colbert said. “It was sad. It’s a shame.”

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Armstrong was the founding news editor of The Current (then known as Philipstown.info) in 2010 and later a senior correspondent and contributing editor for the paper. She worked earlier in Washington as a White House correspondent and national affairs reporter and assistant news editor for daily international news services. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Areas of expertise: Politics and government

3 replies on “Fishkill Police Say Breakneck Area Death Suicide”

  1. Sad but why is this newsworthy? There are many suicides, most disturbing are the very large numbers of U.S. servicemen who were unable to go on with life after taking part in the the killing fields of Iraq or Afghanistan or other places where the US is engaged in incessant and in my view unnecessary “wars.” On that note, a recent movie, “American Sniper” massively distorts the truth and has a plot that would embarrass a Walt Disney production. As a friend of mine commented, “It should be called American Psycho, but they already made that movie. “

    1. It is newsworthy because it happened close to our small Village, and along a road that I’m sure many Philipstown residents travel on a daily basis. Curiosity is natural and I’m sure anyone from the area who passed by the “flurry of activity,” just like Marynorma Colbert, would like to know what prompted a large police presence in the area. The fact that this is the article you chose to voice your opinion on American Sniper is insensitive. A person decided to end their life, a person who has not yet been identified in this article. This is not the appropriate place to criticize Hollywood.

  2. After reading your comment and re-reading the article, there was no mention of the deceased as being a member of the military. But, thanks to our ancestors who fought and died for our freedom of speech in said “unnecessary wars” this gives you the right to post such views.

    And therefore I’m posting mine. Save your comments for a movie review, not because some person thought it best to end their life. It was considered “newsworthy” because of the intense police scrutiny involved with a shooting, whether it was self inflicted or not.

    I hope that this person’s family find comfort in dealing with their loss and find strength to learn of their loved ones struggle with whatever it was that caused them to end their life.

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