Maj. Robert Patnaude speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, June 13. (Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
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COLONIE – The woman who went on television and claimed four people ran her and her son off the road and beat her car with a baseball bat and frying pan while screaming racial epithets wasn’t there, according to State Police.
Natia Shim, a 35-year-old woman from Troy, now faces the misdemeanor of filing a false written statement.
Meanwhile, a fourth person is charged with forcing her son, the lone occupant of the vehicle, off the road and beating on his car on May 10.
Shim gave television interviews stating a group of people “were yelling that they were white supremacists and we n-words do not belong in their country. It’s a life or death situation, they threatened to kill us.”
She also criticized police for not acting quickly enough in making arrests.
“The African American community, locally, was upset and rightly
so,” said State Police Maj. Robert Patnaude during a press conference on Wednesday, June 13. “But we determined what she said was not true. The comments she made, that were televised, were not true. She was not there so she did not hear any comments like that.”
Patnaude said there was an incident on May 9 in Watervliet where a friend/family member of the four who now face charges was injured. A day later, the injured man called his father and told him he just saw the car involved in the incident the day prior.
Four people then pursued Shim’s son’s vehicle and it was initially cornered on Alternate Route 7. Shim’s son got away and a high speed chase took place before the State Police became involved.
He said some of the people who are now facing charges did call 911 while everything was transpiring on May 10 at shortly after 3 p.m.
“All they should have done was call us and get a plate number and we would have tracked it down and determined if they were involved in the Watervliet incident and made the appropriate investigation but instead they took matters into their own hands and now they are facing charges,” Patnaude said.
The major would not say if the son was involved in the Watervliet incident, and would not say if the four facing charges did hurl racial slurs the son’s way. He did say the only racial component involved is that one party was “white and one was black.”
He did, though, staunchly defend the time it took to make the arrests.
“If we could take everyone at their word our job would be a lot
easier,” he said. “We received some criticism initially for not moving on this faster but the night it happened our troopers felt the information was contradictory and might not be true so we took our time and made sure we were doing the right thing and arresting the right people.”
Since she was not there, there is no way she could have heard the racial comments – if they were even spoken – so the four were not charged with a hate crime.
On May 17, State Police arrested a pair from Watervliet – Phillip Quandt, 50, and Kristen Wright, 51. They are charged with felony criminal mischief as well as the misdemeanors of reckless endangerment and menacing.
Two days later Christopher Allen, 34, of Troy, was arrested and he faces charges of felony criminal mischief and the misdemeanors of menacing and reckless endangerment.
On Wednesday, June 13, along with Shim, State Police said they arrested Logan Tardiff, a 21-year-old from Halfmoon, and charged him with the misdemeanors of reckless endangerment and menacing.
All four are due back in Colonie Town Court.
Patnaude said the State Police investigation is complete and no other arrests are expected. The status of the case in Watervliet is not clear at this time.