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Police say man fired a rifle at officers during car chase



March 20, 2002

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Police say man fired a rifle at officers during car chase

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By STEVEN COOK
Gazette Reporter
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CANAJOHARIE - The man accused of shooting at a Canajoharie police officer Monday night continued to fire at officers during the chase that followed, police said Tuesday.

Spent shell casings were found along the route of the police pursuit of Land J. Logan, 25, of Fort Plain, who now faces charges of attempted murder.

Police said Logan continued to shoot at officers through the back window of his pick-up truck as he tried to elude them.

Despite the gunfire and the high-speed chase, police said, no one was injured.

Logan, who is on parole from prison where he was serving time on a weapons conviction, was charged early Tuesday with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, driving while intoxicated and several traffic violations.

Police say Logan shot several times at Canajoharie police Officer C.J. Jones with an "AR-15" assault rifle, missing Jones each time.

Police and town residents described the chain of events Monday night, from the initial traffic stop in Canajoharie to Logan's arrest two hours later on Old Fort Plain Road in the town of Canajoharie:

Logan was driving west on Erie Boulevard in the village of Canajoharie about 10 p.m. Monday night when Jones spotted equipment and traffic violations and pulled over Logan.

Logan provided Jones with his driver's license and other information. As Jones returned from his cruiser to interview Logan and perform sobriety tests, Logan grabbed a rifle from behind his seat, pointed it out the driver's side window and fired "several" shots at Jones, missing him, according to the police account.

Logan sped west on Erie Boulevard, but not before Jones returned fire, blowing out a rear tire on Logan's truck.

Jones and Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Kilmartin gave chase. Logan turned from Route 5-S, west onto Old Fort Plain Road, then south onto Happy Hollow Road, shooting at officers through the truck's back window as he went. Shell casings flew from the gun onto the road.

As Logan approached a narrow part of Happy Hollow Road, near the residences of Eleanor Patulski and her son, Paul, who lives next door, Logan's truck hit a guide rail and came to a stop.

He fled on foot, according to police. A passenger in the truck, Kristopher Colvin, of Fort Plain, surrendered. Colvin was not charged. He could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

"I knew it was a gun right away," Eleanor Patulski said. "I had to call my son over because I was afraid."

She said she heard the revving of what turned out to be Logan's truck and "five or six" distinct shots.

Her son was home next door, with his wife, Martha, and their 21-year-old daughter, Stephanie.

They had just finished watching a video when Paul Patulski said they heard "four or five" shots.

"We heard a car barreling up the road and heard gunshots - bam, bam, bam, bam," Paul Patulski said. "My daughter said it sounded like a drive-by shooting. We hit the deck."

The three got down on the floor.

When the shooting stopped, Paul Patulski said, he saw a person, later identified as Colvin, walking toward officers with his hands in the air.

"When you stepped outside, you could smell the gunpowder in the air," Paul Patulski said.

Police said Logan did not surrender, however. He fled north through woods. Police and deputies searched the area for two hours, warning residents to stay inside.

One of those residents was Liz Biechy, of 343 Old Fort Plain Road.

Biechy was about to return to bed, when she said she looked out the window and saw a shadow near one of her cars.

The shadow turned out to be Logan, she said.

"I heard my dog bark. This dog never barks," Biechy said. "But he did last night, and I happened to look over at where he was barking."

Biechy called police. But by that time police were already on the scene, confronting Logan, she said.

Police said Logan aimed a revolver at arresting officers, but surrendered without firing further shots.

The AR-15 rifle was found tucked inside a duffel bag in her car, Biechy said.

Logan had gotten into her car and "ransacked" it, Biechy said, apparently in search of keys.

Logan is on parole on a 1998 third-degree criminal possession of a weapon conviction. He was sentenced to two to four years in state prison, but was released in March 2001. He could have been held until July 31, according to information on the state Department of Correctional Services' Web site.

Logan was being held without bail in Montgomery County Jail following his arraignment.





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