CATSKILL — Charges against a former Greene County public defender were upgraded to attempted murder Wednesday, Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said Friday.
Anthony Pastel, 37, of Freehold, turned himself in to state police at Catskill on Wednesday afternoon and was reprocessed on the new charge, state police Senior Investigator William Fitzmaurice said Friday.
Pastel was then taken to Greene County Court in Catskill, where he was arraigned on the charges of attempted murder and second-degree assault, both felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, Stanzione said.
Pastel was first arrested by state police Aug. 4, following an investigation into an assault that occurred in the village of Athens, state police Public Information Officer Steven Nevel said.
At that time, Pastel was charged with second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation, both class D felonies; endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor; and driving while intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor.
Following Pastel’s arrest in August, he was placed on administrative leave from the Greene County Public Defender’s Office, Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said.
Pastel is no longer employed by Greene County, Linger said Friday. The public defender’s office could not confirm if he resigned or was fired, chief public defender Angelo Scaturro said.
Pastel had worked for the Columbia County Public Defender’s Office from 2016 to 2018.
The unidentified victim was taken by Town of Catskill Ambulance to Albany Medical Center with serious injuries, Nevel said.
A child was present at the time of the alleged assault, but was not injured, police said.
Pastel left the scene of the alleged assault that night. Nevel said. The victim gave police a description of his vehicle.
Catskill police recognized the vehicle and Pastel was taken into custody, Nevel said.
Evidence in the case was presented to a Greene County grand jury in Catskill earlier this month, Stanzione said.
The grand jury listened to, and evaluated, all of the evidence before determining that Pastel should be charged with attempted murder, Stanzione said.
Pastel was arraigned on the new charge Wednesday before Rensselaer County Court Judge Debra Young, who ordered him held on $25,000 bail.
Pastel was released after posting bail, Stanzione said. Pastel has retained the services of attorney Lee Kindlon of Albany.
A hearing on the case is scheduled to be held in Greene County Court on Dec. 9.