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Greene County man shot and killed by police

May 24, 2019 04:59 pm Updated: May 24, 2019 05:38 pm


MONTGOMERY — A Greene County man was shot and killed following a police incident Friday morning.

Luke H. Patterson, 41, of Tannersville, died after an altercation with police, according to a statement from state police.

Police responded to a report of a disabled vehicle on Interstate 84 near Exit 5A at 1:55 a.m., A second report came in regarding an individual walking along Interstate 84 west, according to police..

One state trooper got out of his police cruiser and spoke to Patterson while the other trooper drove the cruiser beside them, according to police.

“A preliminary investigation revealed the subject was not cooperative with troopers, and refused to comply with commands multiple times,” according to police. “When the subject made a movement to enter the troop car, one member fired his division-issued firearm, striking the subject.”

No weapon was found, according to the troop commander.

The troopers immediately called for assistance and treated Patterson at the scene.

Patterson was transported to Orange Regional Medical Center where he died.

The state Attorney General's office is investigating the shooting, according to a statement.

Interstate 84 was shut down for the investigation, but has since reopened.

Anyone with information about Patterson or the events leading up to the shooting are being asked to call Middletown State Police at 845-344-5300.


The victim was unarmed. He was shot. He was well known and loved as a capable chef and owner of "Luke's Joint" and, "the Other Place"- both in Arcata, California. The fact that the NYS AG's Office has announced an investigation is an indication of the troubling circumstances that would have caused a trooper to shoot a man "for not obeying instructions," "refusing to comply with instructions," or, for that matter, "attempting to enter a police car,"
My friend Ben Hamilton was killed when he was run down by a state trouper in Tabpnnersville in 2013. Main Street and Post Office Road. When my friend Ned Peyroux came to visit me in Greene County Jail (my arrests were dismissed) he was chased out into the parking lot. I was quietly reading the obituary I wrote about Ben. I was then placed into solitary confinement for a month. I. only had two visitors while there for a year and a half, Ned and Rev. Karen Monk.

Eulogy for Ben Hamilton by Scott Myers
September 22, 2013

á My friend Ben Hamilton was killed last Thursday night while riding his long board on main street in Tannersville, as he often did. He was killed by a state police officer when his patrol car hit Ben.

I've been living with Ben. What few remaining personal possessions I have are at his apartment.

He was very close with his two children, who are in their early 20s. I had just gotteri a job for his daughter Kristen as a pre-school teacher at Puddle Ducks, our new pre-school in the village.

Kristen's very pretty, bright. The job is what she was studying for in school. Any child will be happy to spend the day with her.

Ben's son works as a guide at the Zip line, at Hunter Mountain, which is a great job, outdoors, fun, challenges the Zippers to surpass their boundaries.

The name Ben Hamilton soundsá Presidential, and with his beard, fitness and fundamentalist demeanor Ben lived like a founding father.

Deeply Christian, Ben read the bible every day, quoting appropriately with passion whenever the day presented a frustration. He was genuinely loving, generous when he had very little, always kind, always proactive for his children. Deed before Creed.

Ben was always the first to dance at a tavern or a club, or if any girl was ready Ben was a willing partner. He wasn't predatory, no hidden agenda, and while dancing he had only one rule: "don't hold back." Sometimes he would dance in front of a live sax player, creating an improvised duet. The musicians loved Ben because they were trying to start the party too.

Ben didn't drive, but would hitch hike each day to an honest day's work. He was a freelance house painter.

Ben didn't have enough money for electricity, so we lived without power. It didn't matter.

He had lots of friends, people found Ben to be a caring friend, understanding of contradiction, focused on what matters even when external events were obviously corrupt, immoral or deteriorated.

He was witness to humanity's errors and a gentle commentator that these errors predict failure. I tend to agree with him.

I associate the sound of late night skateboarding as a sign that everything's all right in the village, freedom, eemancipation, fitness, the cool night's air, and a wiggle dance on black moonlit pavement started by the push of a foot and driven by gravity.

Ben got all this right. I'm privileged to know him and will continue to work to preserve the liberties our founding fathers secured for us. I'm greatful.

Scott Myers
all writes preserved, 2013