District Attorney Hoovler, Chief Robert Doss of the Town of New Windsor Police Department and Chief Brian Zaccaro of the Village of Washingtonville Police Department Announce Arrest in Flag-Pole Vandalism Cases
Defendant charged with destroying multiple flag-poles, and other property, at locations including a park dedicated to fallen firefighters from 9-11-01, and a Roman Catholic Church in the Village of Washingtonville
Defendant arrested after an investigation conducted by the Town of New Windsor Police Department and the Village of Washingtonville Police Department, who were aided by the Orange County District Attorney’s office
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, Chief Robert Doss of the Town of New Windsor Police Department and Chief Brian Zaccaro of the Village of Washingtonville Police Department announced that on Friday, August 14, 2020, that Andre Narbonne, 40, of New Windsor, was arraigned on felony complaints charging him with multiple felony counts of Criminal Mischief in connection with the cutting down of three flag poles and the damaging other property.
Narbonne is charged with one count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree for having damaged a sign at Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in the Village of Washingtonville in an amount over $1,500 during the early hours of July 8, 2020, as well as Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree for having knocked down and damaging a flag pole located at the Memorial Park dedicated to firefighters who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This was also alleged to have occurred during the early morning hours of July 8, 2020.
Narbonne is also charged with one count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree for having knocked down a flag pole in front of a business in the Town of New Windsor on July 9, 2020, at approximately 3:20 a.m., and damaging it in an amount over $1,500. Narbonne is also charged with Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree for knocking down a flag-pole in a Jewish Cemetery on July 10, 2020, and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree damaging a sign outside of the Town of New Windsor Police Department on Union Avenue on August 14, 2020 at approximately 7:45 a.m.
Narbonne was arrested after an investigation conducted by the Town of New Windsor Police Department and the Village of Washingtonville Police Department. They were assisted in the investigation by agencies including; the New York State Police, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the U.S. Marshall’s Service, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office .
Mr. Narbonne was arraigned by New Windsor Town Justice George J. Meyers. Mr. Narbonne was released without bail due to the charges in this case being non-bail qualifying offenses under the new bail reform provisions of the law. He is scheduled appear in New Windsor Town Court on Thursday, August 25, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. and the Village of Washingtonville Court on September 9, 2020 4:30 p.m. for further court action.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of New Windsor Police Department, the Village of Washingtonville Police Department and all the agencies that assisted them.
New Windsor Police Chief Robert L. Doss commented on the two New Windsor incidents, “I am very proud of the New Windsor Police Officers that were able to identify Mr. Narbonne as the perpetrator of these crimes and I am very thankful to our Law Enforcement partners that assisted us in the investigation. These deeply disturbing incidents involving flag poles being cut down in New Windsor are disgraceful and offensive. The fact that both flag poles involved were proudly flying American flags when they were cut down just adds to the outrageousness of these crimes. Our country’s flag has been an inspiring symbol of democracy, justice and freedom for over 200 years. It is sickening to me that someone could do something like this while not caring about the sacrifices that have been suffered by those who have defended our freedom.”
Village of Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro commented on the incidents that occurred in Washingtonville, “Today brings some closure from the unsettling incidents that were discovered in the Town of New Windsor and the Village of Washingtonville early this past July. This individual would have never expected that the damage he deliberately caused would have resulted in the mass outpouring from the community and the attention of the nation. While there is some negative publicity that law enforcement has been receiving lately, I want to point out that this arrest, is a perfect example of how different law enforcement agencies work closely together every single day to solve crimes. If it was not for the dedicated and professional men and women in our law enforcement agencies, crimes like these could easily go unsolved. But that did not happen here, we worked tirelessly and shared information with each other so we could bring closure to both our great communities. I am profoundly proud of the hard work that everyone did to bring someone to justice on these cases.”
“Obviously, the deliberate defacing and destruction of flag-poles and property in areas set aside to remember the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001, and at places of religious worship is especially distressing to all in the community,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “I am deeply grateful for the hard-work, professionalism and cooperation that our local, state and federal law enforcement partners have shown in this investigation, which is emblematic of their overall untiring efforts to protect all Orange County’s residents and property.”
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Ryan Greenbaum.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.