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Party turns ugly at dorms near SCCC

By Kathy Daley
LOCH SHELDRAKE — October 26, 2010 — The frantic 911 call came in at just after 3:30 a.m. Friday, and police geared up for what they thought might be a slaughter in Loch Sheldrake.
“The report was of multiple people shot and stabbed,” recounted Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Patrol Chief Art Hawker.
The setting was Edgewood Park Dorms, a privately-owned off-campus townhouse colony for students at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC). And the event was a party that turned ugly, resulting in injuries to five students.
“For the last several years, every Thursday night this location (at Edgewood) has had gatherings,” said Hawker. “We’ve been there on more than one occasion, responding to assaults and fights.”
This time, five SUNY Sullivan students — four male and one female — were taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center for lacerations to head, face and arms, according to Fallsburg police. One of the students, who suffered a slash to his face, was transferred to Westchester County Medical Center.
None of the injuries were life-threatening, authorities said.
Samuel Fischer, who manages the Edgewood property, said that in the wake of Friday’s brawl he has hired an armed guard to report to the residence on Thursday nights. He said he has sought help from police and college officials to manage the out-of-control partying that often attracts up to 100 young people.
The Friday party took place in front of the residences, in a separate lunch building, said Fischer. “They broke in and had a party,” he said. “After drinking, they started a fight.”
Fischer added that he screens college students who wish to dorm at Edgewood. “I have 24 tenants, and we do not allow troublemakers,” he said.
Police asked for tapes from the surveillance cameras posted at Edgewood, Fischer added.
On Friday, Fallsburg officers found a .38 caliber semiautomatic hand gun at the scene and charged Reynaldo Sanchez, age 20, of the Bronx with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a felony, and menacing in the second degree, a misdemeanor.
Police said Sanchez brandished the gun at the Edgewood Dorms crowd.
In addition, five Liberty residents were charged with felony counts of gang assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. They were Joshua Tariq, age 23; Steven Jones, 24; Rolando Ortiz, 21; Kenneth Reyes, 18; and a 17-year-old.
Police said the charge of gang assault is levied when three or more individuals are involved in a fight.
None of those arrested are students at the college. Authorities said non-students from Monticello and Liberty frequently attended the weekly parties at Edgewood, along with students from the college’s on-campus dorm, Lazarus Levine Residence Hall.
The suspects were arraigned before Town of Fallsburg Judge Bart Rasnick and remanded to Sullivan County jail in Monticello. They were due for a court appearance yesterday afternoon.
Assisting Fallsburg at the scene were state Police, Liberty police, sheriff’s deputies, and detectives and the sheriff’s emergency response team. The latter went door-to-door at Edgewood to ensure there were no suspects hiding out and no more injured people, said Hawker.
Vincent Begley, the college’s public relations director, has said the school has no jurisdiction over the off-campus Edgewood Dorm.
The property serves as a Hasidic bungalow colony during the summer.

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