Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell
FLANKED BY STATE Police Investigator Theresa A. Andryshak, left, and Middletown PD Detective Jerry Mishk, right, Keylon F. Beam, the suspect in a Feb. 8 shooting incident at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, is escorted from the Wurtsboro home where he was arrested Saturday.
By Ted Waddell
WURTSBORO February 17, 2004 You can run from the cops, but you cant hide.
At least not for long.
Last Sunday, authorities believe 21-year-old Keylon F. Beam of Middletown was the man who sent Orange Regional Medical Centers emergency room staff diving for cover when he allegedly tried to settle a score by opening up with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.
He left behind a live round, a couple of spent shells and some terrified folks.
For a week, Beam was on the run from the cops, reportedly hiding out in Monticello and Liberty before holing up in a small house off Sullivan Street in Wurtsboro.
Detective Mishk of the Middletown Police Department said police tracked Beam to Wurtsboro Saturday night but couldnt locate him.
Then in the midst of Sunday afternoons WinterFest 2004, law enforcement authorities got some hot tips that the suspect was hiding out in a house in the back of a pet shop.
The State Police received a phone call today that he was staying in an apartment someplace near the pet shop, said Det. Mishk.
Around 1:30 p.m., they had all four corners of the residence surrounded in a well-planned police action that went unnoticed by hundreds of folks at the annual winter celebration..
Mishk stood at the edge of the front door frame, repeatedly knocking on the door and telling the suspect to surrender himself.
About 30 minutes later, an unidentified occupant opened the door, and police swarmed in with weapons drawn in preparation of facing a suspect believed to be armed with a 9mm handgun.
We were able to talk our way in, said Det. Mishk of the tense negotiations. Once we got inside, there was no problem at all.
We tracked him to quite a few locations, he added. He was on the run for a week.
According to authorities, no weapons were recovered at the scene of the arrest.
Beam was found hiding in a bathroom, and police served a fugitive arrest warrant on him.
He was taken into custody without incident and later transported from Wurtsboros State Police barracks to Middletown by Det. Mishk.
During the takedown, Mishk was first through the door, followed in short order by NYSP Investigator Theresa A. Andryshak, Trooper Matthew Johnstone and K-9 Trooper J.T., all assigned to Wurtsboro.
It all went smoothly, said Trooper Johnstone, who is partnered with his black and tan German Shepherd.
The Middletown Police Department made the fugitive arrest with the assistance of two local NYSP investigators and four uniformed troopers.
Beam was charged with two felonies: reckless endangerment in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.
Before it ended in Sullivan County, the whole situation started with an altercation in the parking lot of Johnny Ds Diner on Route 211 in Middletown.
During the fight, 26-year-old Newburgh resident Jackie Rivera was struck by a BMW, believed by police to have been operated by Beam (the car was later found abandoned).
While Rivera was being treated in the ER, Beam reportedly walked into the waiting room with a stab wound to a hand, and seconds later, shots rang out.
As folks hit the deck, the shooter and a female companion headed out the door into the early morning light.
According to authorities, Beam has a rap sheet that includes numerous violence and weapons charges: in 2001, he was arrested for possession of a .25-caliber semi-auto handgun and 32 hits of the designer drug Ecstasy; in 2002, police pulled him out of a car at gunpoint after he reached for a knife when approached by authorities (he was arrested and charged with felony drug possession); and in October 2003, Beam was arrested on a warrant after he kicked in a door at a home in Monticello and then refused to leave.
Det. Mishk was on the case from start to finish.
In the wake of crediting the New York State Police for their assistance in the takedown of an alleged gunman believed to be armed and dangerous, he said, After 21 years, they all feel the same . . . but its good to have him off the street.