Cold Spring Businessman Appears in Court

Judge declines to dismiss assault charges

By Michael Turton

Putnam Valley resident Ray DiFrancesco appeared in Cold Spring Justice Court on June 11 (Wednesday) to face charges stemming from an incident in the village early on the morning of Jan. 1, 2014. DiFrancesco, who operates Whistling Willie’s American Grill located at the corner of Main Street and Morris Avenue, had been arraigned and charged with three Class A misdemeanors on Feb. 12 — third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and giving a false written statement. Wednesday’s proceedings followed an April 9 adjournment.

A Feb. 25 media release issued by Cold Spring Police Department Officer-in-Charge George Kane indicated that the victim in the case was allegedly assaulted, suffering a broken knee, after he was ejected from Whistling Willie’s. The police stated that the victim “was carried approximately one block away and left on the sidewalk in the bitter cold.”

In court on Wednesday, Putnam County Assistant District Attorney David Bishop recommended to Judge Thomas Costello that he consider “Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal” (ACD) in light of the fact that the victim had agreed to accept compensation for medical expenses incurred as a result of his injuries.

Judge Costello requested that the court receive a letter of confirmation from the victim and then addressed the possible dismissal. “I’m not saying that I agree to an ACD. This involves a charge of assault with a baseball bat … a baseball bat,” Costello said. “I find that disturbing. You’d think you were watching a TV movie.” The judge then adjourned the case until July 9. “Then we’ll go from there,” he said.

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