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Police say man attacked girlfriend, crashed car into house

June 30, 2009
By ZACH SUBAR, The Leader-Herald

AMSTERDAM - A drunken man beat a woman, and threatened to "gut" and kill her at her apartment before breaking into another residence and later crashing his car into a third house, city police said.

Police said Michael J. McKenzie, of 12 Arthur Ave., Hudson, Columbia County, grabbed the woman by the throat, dragged her around the apartment by her hair and repeatedly punched and slapped her.

Detective Lt. Thomas DiMezza said the woman was McKenzie's girlfriend.

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McKenzie slammed the woman into a wall, choked her and poked her nose and left cheek with a knife, police said. He told the woman he was going to "gut" her and kill her, according to the police report.

Police said she tried to leave several times but was held at bay by McKenzie.

The woman then told McKenzie that she needed to get aspirin because of severe head pain - a request McKenzie apparently granted. He brought her to a store and back, after which she managed to flee to a friend's house.

Police said McKenzie went to a second person's residence, where he forced his way inside to look for the victim but could not find her. He then drove a black 1999 Lexus into the front of another house, at 210 Guy Park Ave., police said. The car and the front porch of the house were damaged.

Police said they found McKenzie in an "extremely intoxicated" state. They said he denied any involvement in the matter and denied owning the vehicle, though the car is registered in McKenzie's name.

Police said they learned of the assault on the woman when she came to the accident scene with visible injuries.

McKenzie was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and driving while intoxicated, all felonies. He also was charged with menacing and other traffic violations.

He was arraigned in City Court and is due back in court at 9 a.m. today.

The owner of the house at 210 Guy Park Ave. will pursue criminal trespass and criminal mischief charges against McKenzie on Wednesday, police said, and McKenzie is to return to court at a later date to answer to those charges.

Zach Subar can be reached by e-mail at



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