ROTTERDAM – A former Schenectady Police detective drove drunk Sunday morning as his car slammed into a Rotterdam garage, destroying it and his car in a fire, Rotterdam Police said Monday.
The driver, identified as Joseph McCabe, 46, of Schenectady, was unhurt in the 7 a.m. crash, police said.
But police determined McCabe was intoxicated at the time and charged him with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and misdemeanor reckless criminal mischief, police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey Collins said.
The crash happened at a garage on the property of Black Mountain Wine and Liquor, 680 Mariaville Road. McCabe was headed west on Mariaville Road when he lost control and hit the garage, Collins said.
It wasn’t clear what exactly from the crash started the fire, but the driver was out of the car and attempting to put it out when responders arrived. The fire eventually destroyed the garage and McCabe’s car, which Collins described as a kit car made to look like a classic Shelby Cobra sports car.
McCabe was processed on the charges and later released, Collins said.
McCabe served with the Schenectady Police Department for 17 years, until his resignation in May 2017 following charges in a 2016 bar fight in downtown Schenectady, records show. He pleaded guilty in that case to a violation harassment count.
An attorney who represented McCabe in that matter could not be immediately reached for comment Monday related to Sunday’s incident.
McCabe served his final years as a detective on some high-profile cases, including as lead detective in the murder and rape case of Herman Robinson, who is serving 100 years to life in prison for killing an infant and for the repeated rape of a child.
McCabe’s wife, Diane McCabe, died in September 2007 due to complications following a cesarean section at Albany Medical Center. McCabe sued the hospital, alleging doctors did not follow a key 2004 state health advisory. That lawsuit resulted in a $5.2 million malpractice settlement in 2010.