VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Following the third incident in a month where someone has shot at law enforcement in Broome County, Sheriff David Harder said the solution to the recent uptick in violent crime was for legislators to reimplement tougher penalties.
Asked what his plan was to remedy the recent spate of violent crimes, Harder claimed he could not do anything except push lawmakers to impose harsher punishments for crimes, including reverting loosened bail laws that were implemented in 2020.
“The only thing we can plan is asking the legislative body to tighten up on the laws or come out with some decent penalties that will maybe get people to stop doing what they’re doing,” Harder told reporters in a press conference Thursday.
Harder called the press conference to share details following an incident late Saturday evening in the Town of Windsor. According to Harder, a woman was lost in the town and was performing a “k-turn” toward the end of Jamie Crowley’s driveway when he fired at least one shot at her car. The woman then called 911 to report the incident.
Harder said when authorities approached the residence to question Crowley, he pointed a .44 Taurus revolver at the two deputies and refused multiple commands to drop the handgun. One of the deputies, Harder said, then fired a single round at Crowley’s arm before he fired again at the officers before surrendering.
Neither deputy was injured during the incident. Crowley was taken to the hospital before being released and immediately remanded to Broome County Jail. After receiving a search warrant for the home, law enforcement agencies said they discovered several firearms, none of which were registered in New York. They included the .44 caliber revolver, a semi-automatic Adler 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip and vertical grip, another semi-automatic handgun as well as a semi-automatic 9mm rifle.
Crowley was charged with the following:
- Aggravated possession of a weapon (Class C Felony)
- Three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the 3rd degree (Class D Felony)
- Two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the 3rd degree (Class D Felony)
- Two counts of menacing a police officer (Class D Felony)
- Reckless Endangerment (Class A Misdemeanor)
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th degree (Class A Misdemeanor)
All of the felony counts except menacing a police officer were revised as part of the 2013 SAFE Act in New York, which implemented penalties for possessing most assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
The SAFE Act passed in 2013 after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Harder was one of several sheriffs who said they would refuse to enforce parts of the law.
Harder’s press conference came a day after Governor Andrew Cuomo likened the recent uptick in violent crimes to an epidemic and instituted a statewide disaster emergency declaration on gun violence.
“The governor doesn’t care,” Harder said in reaction to the governor’s order. “Really. This is just a big thing for him now to come out in headlines and look like he’s doing something. He hasn’t done a thing to protect the public from people using any kind of weapons at all.”