The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

Wrestling skills help Jay student foil kidnapping


By ANTHONY R. MANCINI
ANTHONY R. MANCINI PHOTO

Suspect is taken into custody by Bedford police officer Sgt. Andrew Bellantone after an incident in Katonah on Monday, April 15.

 

& CAROLINE C. SHERWIN

An 18-year-old John Jay High School wrestler, Billy Gossett, played good Samaritan on Monday as he helped foil a kidnapping in progress in downtown Katonah.

On Monday afternoon at about 2:20, Bedford police received numerous calls reporting a disturbance outside the area of Kelloggs & Lawrence on The Parkway in Katonah.

According to police, officers were dispatched to the area following a report of a vehicle on the curb with two men standing outside the car. “Officers arrived and observed a black man, identified as Mr. Walker, behind the wheel of a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta, with two white men, an 18-year-old South Salem youth and a 22-year-old Brewster man, outside the car,” said Lt. Dickan. “The men were on either side of the car and it appeared they were keeping him from exiting the vehicle.” The suspect was later identified as Travis D. Walker.

Officers also observed a distraught woman outside the car. “She has been identified as a 37-year-old Katonah resident who was the victim,” said Lt. Dickan.

Billy Gossett, the good Samaritan from South Salem, said he heard screams while driving down Bedford Road near the Bedford Village Library and decided to investigate.

“I thought it was a child making a scene with his or her mother, but the screams continued and I had to go take a look and see what was going on,” he said on Wednesday. “I turned onto Parkway and I noticed there was a gray Volkswagen sedan that had been pulled up onto the sidewalk.”

Billy said he made eye contact with the victim inside of the Volkswagen, who screamed for help as Mr. Walker prevented her from leaving the vehicle.

“He was pulling her into her own car,” he said. “She was trying to escape out the passenger side.”

Billy said he pulled the victim from the car through the passenger side door and, soon after, the second good Samaritan approached the Volkswagen from the driver’s side, attempting to remove the keys from the vehicle’s ignition. Billy said Mr. Walker was attempting to drive away in the vehicle. He said he had to restrain Mr. Walker inside the car as he managed to take the keys out of the ignition and throw them outside the vehicle. Billy said he restrained Mr. Walker until police arrived, while the other Samaritan helped hold the driver’s side door shut.

“He was struggling. Comparatively, I was a lot stronger than him. It wasn’t much of a match,” Billy said. “He was trying to get out of my grasp. He was really trying to go after the keys.”

Billy said Mr. Walker was silent during the whole conflict.

“He actually didn’t say a word,” he said. “He was really scared though. He knew he wasn’t going to escape.”

Billy, a senior at John Jay High School, said he knew how to restrain Mr. Walker through his experiences as a Section 1 wrestler.

“We learned the defendant approached the victim as she was getting into her car and forced her into the passenger side and attempted to drive away” said Lt. Dickan on Tuesday. “The victim attempted to exit the car; her screams alerted the two Samaritans to come to her aid, helping her out of the car.”

The two who aided the victim struggled with the defendant, were able to remove the keys, and proceeded to keep him in the vehicle until the police arrived. “It is truly unbelievable what the Samaritans did,” said Lt. Dickan.

The defendant was taken into custody, and the ensuing investigation revealed he was attempting to kidnap the victim.

“Travis Walker has been charged with numerous counts, including robbery and attempted kidnapping,” said Bedford Police Lt. Jeff Dickan of the ongoing investigation. “We are absolutely crediting two good Samaritans who came to the victim’s aid and stopped a potential tragedy.”

Mr. Walker has been charged with second- and third-degree robbery, second-degree attempted kidnapping and two counts of grand larceny, which are felony charges. He has also been charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, which is at least a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. Further charges are pending. The defendant has been remanded to Westchester County Jail.

State law defines third-degree robbery as the forcible theft of property, while second-degree robbery is forcible theft that either involves aid from another person, harm to a victim, the display of a firearm or the theft of a motor vehicle.

Second-degree kidnapping is the abduction of another person, while second-degree unlawful imprisonment is the restraint of another person. Aggravated unlicensed operation involves driving a vehicle while knowing that a license has been suspended, revoked or withdrawn.



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APRIL 19, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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