Categories: Schenectady County
A convicted child molester who had stayed out of trouble as a dedicated community volunteer after serving prison time was stabbed to death Friday, allegedly by a man who had been seen arguing with him recently.
As Randy Green and Raymond Pike were walking along the Rail Trail off Foster Street early Friday morning, police said, the two began arguing again and Green pulled a knife and killed Pike.
Police said Green, 26, of Willow Street, left the 63-year-old Pike’s body on the bridge over the Cayadutta Creek, where it was noticed by a passerby around 5 a.m.
Capt. James Lorenzoni of the Gloversville Police Department said it might have been the second argument between the two that night, although police are still investigating the subject of the dispute.
Green was arrested late Friday afternoon on one count of second-degree murder and was scheduled to be arraigned this morning in City Court. An autopsy on Pike’s body is also scheduled this morning, police said.
The numerous stab wounds were concentrated in Pike’s upper torso, police said. Lorenzoni said police were led to Green after conducting numerous interviews Friday and taking note of observations by patrol officers who saw Pike walking with Green in that neighborhood in recent days.
Lorenzoni said police have not recovered the murder weapon, but said the investigation is continuing and more details will be disclosed Monday.
At the crime scene on Friday morning, Gloversville detectives and officers of the state police forensic unit were observed walking along the Rail Trail in both directions, staring intently into the grass and brush that line the trail.
Officers also spent considerable time examining the bank and bed of the creek near Eighth Avenue, a few hundred yards from the crime scene.
Green has a criminal record that includes a prior stabbing. He was sentenced in 2004 in Fulton County Court to two to four years in prison for stabbing a man during a street fight in Gloversville.
Pike, a Level 3 sex offender, was remembered Friday by many city residents as a man who worked hard in the community in an effort to be liked. But in an era where the public is very conscious of the presence of sex offenders, Pike was sometimes noticeably shunned at the Gloversville Common Council meetings he regularly attended.
He was convicted in 1990 in Fulton County Court on a charge of second-degree sodomy for an incident with a 13-year-old boy that year in Johnstown. Though he apparently committed no further sex offenses after serving a two-to-six-year prison sentence, he was arrested three times in recent years for failing to register as a sex offender. After two misdemeanor arrests for failing to register he was charged in 2006 with a felony and served some jail time.
It was apparent Pike wanted to be known as the community volunteer he had become. He volunteered at area food pantries and at the twice-weekly free meal program at Trinity Anglican Episcopal Church, where he was a member.
“I thought he was a very nice person,” said Trinity meal program organizer Rose Marie Gaudreau, who said Pike was liked and appreciated in the church community.
“He helped us on Wednesdays and Saturdays and did community work for us,” Gaudreau said. “Ray didn’t hurt anybody.”
Jim Donnelly, a retired New York City police officer who serves as coordinator of the Council of Churches’ food pantry, said Pike often helped pick up food for the pantry and also assisted in the annual community Thanksgiving dinner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
Donnelly was aware of Pike’s background, but said he does not judge or get involved in personal matters.
“I like the guy; he was a nice guy,” Donnelly said. It seemed to him that Pike “was trying to redeem himself. He had good intentions. That’s the problem,” he said. “We never remember the good stuff, only the bad stuff.”
The noisy and profane people surrounding Pike alienated his neighbors as much as his criminal record.
Pike moved to his Bleecker Street apartment about two months ago after residents in his old Montgomery Street neighborhood sent a petition to his landlord. One neighbor said the petition mentioned Pike and another sex offender, but it focused on what he described as the anti-social behavior of some of the other tenants in Pike’s apartment.
Neighbor David Bertos said some of the tenants in Pike’s apartment addressed neighbors with foul language. One night he awoke to noise in the basement, Bertos said, only to discover Pike and a roommate in his cellar. They told him they were looking for their cat.
Bertos said there are numerous children in the neighborhood and he and other parents were concerned about living across the street from two sex offenders.
But, said Bertos, “It’s tragic … what happened to him cannot be justified.”
A woman who was among those sharing the Montgomery Street apartment where Pike lived for at least a year said Pike felt he had to move to Bleecker Street because of pressure from the neighbors.
“Ray was a nice man,” she said, “he wanted to show [the neighbors] how good he was doing on the outside.”