December 16, 2013 —
On Wednesday 12/11/13 at approximately 6:30 AM Corporal Blake Starner and Deputy Rich Morgan of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Patrol responded to a 911 call of shots fired in the vicinity of 6744 State Route 52 in Lake Huntington.
At the location, a witness directed the deputies to a nearby apartment from which the shots were believed to have been fired. The deputies observed several spent shotgun shells on the ground and one on the porch of the residence. As Corporal Starner approached the front door, he observed the muzzle of a gun poke through the blinds on the door’s window. The gun was pointing directly at him.
Starner shouted to Deputy Morgan that he observed a gun and took cover. Morgan, who had been checking the side of the residence, responded to the front porch area where Starner was. In the process, Deputy Morgan slipped on a patch of ice on the porch and fell to the ground near the front door. The suspect, who had pointed the muzzle of a gun through the blinds on the door, exited the residence and pointed a shotgun at Morgan. A brief standoff ensued as both Morgan and Starner ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect eventually complied and was taken into custody.
The deputies recovered a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun. There was one spent and one live shell in the weapon. The suspect, who was identified as John E. Manolis, Jr., 37, was charged with 2 counts of Felony Menacing of a Police Officer and unlawfully discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a dwelling. He was arraigned by Judge Steven Sauer in the Town of Cochecton Justice court and sent to the Sullivan County Jail without bail.
Sheriff Mike Schiff said that this incident is the third “close call” for his deputies in the past 14 months. On September 28, 2012 a Patrol Lieutenant who responded to a report of a neighbor dispute in Cochecton was attacked by a naked man who tried to take his gun.
On May 19th of this year, deputies responded to a report of an emotionally disturbed man who claimed to work for the CIA. The man pulled a revolver out of a night stand and then fought with the deputies when they tried to take him into custody. “In all three of those cases there were only two patrols on the road for the entire county, due to our diminished manpower”, said the Sheriff. In last Thursday’s Public Safety Committee meeting before the County Legislature, the Sheriff repeated his request for additional patrol deputies in the 2014 budget.