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Fort Plain suspect accused of attacking TV reporters

September 2, 2012
Staff reports , The Leader Herald

FORT PLAIN - A Fort Plain businessman charged with a sex crime last month was arrested again Friday on charges that he threatened a TV news crew as it tried to question him about the allegations.

In a report broadcast Friday evening, WNYT aired video footage showing the man yelling at and chasing a cameraman until police officers arrive and restrain him.

Dennis J. Todd, 62, was charged Aug. 18 with first-degree criminal sexual act based on allegations that he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy. He also was charged with first-degree assault, having been accused of striking a man in the head with a baseball bat on Aug. 16.

Village police added counts of criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and harassment Friday after the altercation with the TV news crew.

"You really don't want to become part of a story when you're covering it, but today we had no choice," WNYT's Dan Bazile said in his televised report, which can been viewed on the station's website. "This man came after us when we simply wanted to hear his side of the story."

Todd was leaving the village police station around 2:30 p.m. Friday when he was approached by the news crew, according to a news release from Fort Plain Police Chief Robert A. Thomas III.

"Todd became upset and walked away at first," according to the release. "He then picked up a building brick from the DPW lot and threw it at the camera crew."

The brick did not strike the reporters, but in the video he becomes visibly upset and chases the camera man, yelling "get out of here!"

When officers arrived at the scene, they witnessed Todd "attempting to get to crewmen," according to the police report. In the video, two officers in plain clothes can be seen restraining Todd.

He was arrested and arraigned and is being held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility without bail.

After his previous arrest, police said the investigation of the alleged baseball-bat assault led police to information that implicated him in the sex crime involving the boy.

Todd is the chief executive officer of Old Fort Plaza and owner of Dennis' Daylight Donuts, according to state Department of State records.

 
 

 

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