Consider this a Halloween nightmare: Jason Jones, 29, a former basketball star at Catskill High School walks into the Catskill police station at 422 Main St. at about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 30, seemingly intoxicated. He allegedly pours hand sanitizer on himself and becomes confrontational with the officers on duty.

Catskill police officers use a stun gun to subdue him. But Jones bursts into flame. He is severely injured and taken to the Clark Burn Center at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse. He remains listed in serious condition.

Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione is heading up the investigation into what happened that night. The Catskill Police Department is cooperating fully with the district attorney’s probe.

Stanzione confirmed Monday that his office has obtained a critical piece of evidence from the police — a video surveillance tape of the incident. The Catskill police station is equipped with surveillance cameras inside and outside on the building.

The contents of the videotape could play a major role in the direction the investigation takes from this point, Stanzione said Monday. It’s a wise move for the district attorney not to set a timetable for the completion of the investigation.

“I don’t want to put a time frame on it,” he said. “It’s whatever time is necessary,” Stanzione said Monday.

The District Attorney’s Office will interview all of the parties involved in the police station fire as part of the investigation, Stanzione said. Jones’ family has been advised not to speak to law enforcement officials.

To put it bluntly, this investigation should not be rushed yet it should not be allowed to drag out. This is a delicate matter for Jason Jones, his family and the Catskill Police Department. All the parties deserve to know the facts. Above all, the investigation should be detailed, inclusive and fair.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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