Case against landlord who allegedly abandoned tenants at Ghent cemetery dismissed | Columbia County


ALBANY – The case of an Albany landlord accused in February of abducting two of his tenants, tying them up and driving them to Columbia County, where he deposited them in Union Cemetery from Ghent late at night, was dismissed, according to a statement from the Albany Criminal Court. confirmed Thursday.

A justices secretary said in an email late Thursday afternoon that the case had been filed and sealed. No other details were released.

Shawn Douglas, 49, was accused of throwing pillowcases at two tenants’ heads and kidnapping them at gunpoint because he was angry that COVID-19 restrictions prevent him from deporting them.

Douglas’ attorney, Raji Zeidan of Poughkeepsie, was not immediately available for comment on the case. The Albany County District Attorney’s Office did not return a phone call requesting information about the dismissal Thursday afternoon.

Douglas had been charged by Albany police with second-degree kidnapping, a Class B felony. Both victims lived in the Grandview Terrace apartments, Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement on February 24.

Between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. on February 21, Douglas allegedly assaulted the two while they were sleeping and forced them into his Dodge Durango. The man and woman were tied up and taken to a motel believed to be in Colonie before being driven to Ghent Union Cemetery and dumped in the snow, Soares said.

One of the two alleged victims was able to break free and run to a house on Route 9 near the Ghent Union Cemetery and call for help, County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Rivero said. from Columbia in February.

Douglas allegedly bound the two together with duct tape and zip ties.

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies requested medical attention for the couple due to cold temperatures that night, Rivero said. They were identified by Soares as a 21-year-old female and a 32-year-old male. Their names have not been released.

After being examined by paramedics, the man and woman were taken to the Greenport Sheriff’s Office for questioning. They told police the name of the man allegedly responsible for their abduction and two other men they did not know who allegedly helped him, Rivero said.

Police drove to Greenport, picked up the two people and drove them back to Albany, Rivero said.

Douglas was arraigned virtually in Albany City Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ghent Union Cemetery is a public burial site operated and managed by local residents.

Journalist Bill Williams contributed to this story.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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