Heist attempt, three-county pursuit and crash draws prison term of up to 3 years

Thursday, April 26, 2012
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— The city man charged in a November police chase, the second such pursuit he has been involved in over the past decade, pleaded guilty to a related charge Wednesday in exchange for up to three years in state prison.

Jason Tyndall, 36, formerly of Windsor Terrace, pleaded guilty in Schenectady County Court to one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

That plea followed another last month in Fulton County Court, stemming from the same larger incident. In that case, Tyndall pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree attempted robbery in connection with a liquor store heist.

In both cases, he is to receive 1.5 to three years in state prison. The sentences are to run at the same time.

Tyndall was initially indicted in January on charges including first-degree reckless endangerment, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. He was accused of stealing a car in Schenectady on Nov. 6, then driving it to Mayfield and robbing a liquor store there.

Police caught up with Tyndall and gave chase. The pursuit reached speeds of 100 mph on Route 5 and Interstate 890 as Tyndall made his way back to Schenectady, prosecutor Michael DeMatteo has said. The chase eventually slowed enough for state police to attempt to box Tyndall in and he crashed into their cars. No injuries were reported.

As part of the plea, Tyndall will be responsible for as much as $25,000 in restitution for the damage caused.

DeMatteo said Wednesday that the ultimate sentence fit the charges. He noted there were no injuries that resulted, but there was significant damage to the cars.

Tyndall was represented in Schenectady County Court by Lauren Mack. He is to be sentenced by June.

The chase was reminiscent of another about eight years earlier that had more serious consequences. In that chase, Tyndall led police on a chase down Route 5 from Amsterdam on Sept. 7, 2003.

As the chase neared Wolf Hollow Road in Glenville, a car in the opposite direction pulled over to avoid the chase.

Tyndall, though, crossed both lanes, hitting the stopped car head-on.

He told police later that he was high on crack cocaine and trying to kill himself.

In that other car was a woman and her 7-year-old son.

The woman, who suffered a broken wrist and broken and dislocated foot, needed a walker for months. The boy suffered a broken bone in his foot.

Tyndall pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and was sentenced to eight years in state prison. He was released in April 2011.

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