Schenectady County

Frantic 911 call: ‘I know he was no mayor’ (with audio)

Schenectady County released an audio of the 9-1-1 call made by Sarah Dingley revealing real-time det
Gary McCarthy
Gary McCarthy

Schenectady County released an audio of the 9-1-1 call made by Sarah Dingley revealing real-time details in her own words of Mayor Gary McCarthy following her to Police Headquarters last week.

Dingley, 38, of Rotterdam, called 9-1-1 a little after 1 a.m. on Thursday, May 19, reporting that a dark GMC was following her and her friend on Eastern Avenue. Schenectady County provided the audio and transcript of the call in response to a Freedom of Information Law request by The Daily Gazette.

“There is a guy that just blocked me off, said he was the mayor of Schenectady and wouldn’t let me drive,” she said sounding upset. “And he was flashing his lights at me telling me he was going to call the cops. And I didn’t do anything.”

Listen to the call

Sarah Dingley’s 911 call

Dingley told the dispatcher that she was driving to the police station and that McCarthy appeared drunk.

“I know he was no mayor,” she said.

Dingley could not be reached for comment after repeated attempts.

McCarthy said on Wednesday that he was not intoxicated during the time of the incident. He said he followed the women after he saw them near his home on Lexington Avenue, possibly picking through trash or attempting to locate unlocked vehicles.

Dingley said McCarthy accused her of picking through trash. She claims she never got out of her vehicle.

Dingley reported that the incident started at the McDonald’s on Union Street. When asked by The Daily Gazette what the two women were allegedly doing that evening, police Lt. Mark McCracken declined comment.

In the audio recording, Dingley tells the dispatcher, “He’s behind me following me right on my tail, I’m about to come up to Denny’s. Please stay on the phone with me. He is flashing his lights at me again.”

McCarthy on Wednesday said that he turned on his high beams at one point to get the van’s license plate number.

When Dingley arrived at the police station she told the dispatcher, “Please tell me there is a cop close by.”

“He is right on my ass,” she said. “Please, I hope somebody can stop him.”

She said he was blocking her van in front of the police station. “Why is he doing this,” she asked the dispatcher.

Then McCarthy appeared to get out of his vehicle and approach hers.

“Shut your car down and walk in the police station,” he said to Dingley.

She responded, “What are you doing sir? Shut my car down for what? Get away from me.”

Dingley repeatedly asked the dispatcher where the police officers were and refused to shut the van down and go inside while McCarthy was outside her vehicle.

“He is intoxicated, please hurry,” she said. “I can smell the alcohol from here. This is crazy.”

When police did come outside they approached McCarthy and spoke to him before speaking with Dingley.

At one point, before police arrived, the woman told the dispatcher, “If he’s a creeper and a sex offender then I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. He might just be a drunk idiot.”

The dispatcher asked if she wanted to press charges and she said yes.

“I think I do want to press charges on him,” she said. “Yeah, I want to press charges.”

The 9-1-1 call ends there.

The Gazette also filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the county for street camera footage in the area during the time the incident took place.

The request was denied by the county, saying the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office determined that the footage is exempt from the FOIL.

The county cited the section of the law “regarding records that are compiled for law enforcement purposes” and said that providing the footage would reveal camera locations.

No charges were filed in connection with the incident. No police report was filed.

McCracken said Lt. Wesley McGhee conducted an investigation into the incident.

McCracken said on Thursday that McGhee would not be made available for comment and that all questions should be directed to him.

Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett referred comment to McCracken. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney did not return request for comment.

McCracken declined to comment when asked what charges Dingley was looking to file against McCarthy and why McCarthy did not take a Breathalyzer test.

McCarthy did not return multiple requests for comment on Thursday. He said in a text message, “I hope she gets the help she needs.”

Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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