Court documents filed in the arrest of Raymond Waldynski, a sergeant with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office, show Waldynski was arrested for allegedly trespassing at the home of his estranged wife while in full uniform and having driven his patrol car across county lines into Fulton County.
Waldynski was arrested by the state police Nov. 21 and charged with second-degree trespassing at a residence in Broadalbin on Nov. 2. The state police declined to reveal the name of Waldynski’s accuser, citing a policy not to reveal victim’s names, and would not confirm whether she was his wife.
The charge against Waldynski came after the state police received two sworn depositions from Waldynski’s wife, the first, given on Nov. 16 asking that he not be arrested, and the second on Nov. 19 changing her position.
In the first deposition Waldynski’s wife described the scene of the alleged trespassing and how Waldynski was wearing his uniform. She states the incident took place at 2:50 a.m.
“I woke up to my soon-to-be ex-husband Ray Waldynski in the hallway of my upstairs,” his estranged wife wrote. “I heard footsteps coming up the stairs which caused me to go check and see what the noise was, and that is when I saw Ray.”
“When I came out of my bedroom into the hallway Ray asked, ‘Can we talk?’,” she continues in state police’s arrest warrant. “We then went downstairs and sat on the couch and talked for like 10 minutes. We talked about the meeting we had with our lawyers that took place on Nov. 1. He also pleaded his love for me and asked me if I wanted my family together. I then asked Ray to leave and he left using the front door.”
Waldynski’s wife then wrote that she did not want him arrested. Her second deposition reversed that view.
“I have since changed my mind and wish to have Ray Waldynski arrested for entering my house without permission on Nov. 2, 2018,” reads the Nov. 19 deposition. “I would also like to have an order of protection issued for Ray to have no communication with me other than when necessary to deal with our children.”
A temporary order of protection, lasting until Dec. 31, 2019, was issued by Broadalbin Town Justice Joseph W. Gilston Sr. on Nov. 21, which required Waldynski to stay away from his wife or her place of employment and not to communicate with her in any form including by mail, telephone, e-mail, voicemail or other electronic means or any other means. He was also ordered to surrender any firearms he owns or possesses no later than Nov. 21.
The Daily Gazette has called the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office repeatedly since Nov. 27 seeking information about whether Waldynski has been placed on administrative leave, and received no response.
The Broadalbin Town Court released the court filings connected to Waldynski’s arrest after several requests from the Daily Gazette. The court first told the Daily Gazette it would require a written request, then Town Justice Gilston said he would like the request to include the Gazette’s official letterhead. Ultimately the court agreed to release the documents and the Daily Gazette allowed the court to photocopy a reporter’s press pass for its records.
Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said that court records are not subject to state’s Freedom of Information Law. Freeman said most court records are public documents, unless they involve youth offenders or have otherwise been sealed by court order. He said courts can require a written request, but any written request, with or without letterhead, should be sufficient.
In reporting the arrest, state police on their website initially did not publish Waldynski’s arrest, nor a mugshot, as is typically done. But troopers did confirm the arrest and provided a mugshot shot after inquiries from The Daily Gazette.
“My question would be, ‘Are they treating this differently because it was a sheriff’s deputy who was arrested, as opposed to John or Jay Q public?’ “ Freeman said. “It should be easy to get this information, not difficult.”
Waldynski’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 3 at 4 p.m.