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Police & Fire

Man Charged With Sending Threatening Letters To Sheriff, Judge, Cop In Area

Eugene A. Vitello
Eugene A. Vitello Photo Credit: Putnam County Sheriff

A 46-year-old man is facing multiple charges after authorities say he sent threatening letters to the county sheriff, a judge and a police officer in Putnam.

During the month of November 2018, Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley Jr. received a letter via US Mail in which the writer threatened to harm him and commit criminal offenses against his family members, according to the sheriff's office.

This was the second letter of this nature in which Langley and his family had received within the past year, the sheriff's office said. An investigation was immediately launched to try and determine the origin of the letter.

A few weeks after Langley received the second letter, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Cold Spring Police Department regarding a similar-type incident.

Multiple letters had been received by the Cold Spring Court which contained concerning and threatening language, including death threats, to the Hon. Thomas Costello, Cold Spring Village Judge and Cold Spring Police Officer Edward Boulanger.

Since the letters received by the Cold Spring Court and the letters received by Sheriff Langley were similar in critical areas, a joint Investigation between the Sheriff’s Department and the Cold Spring Police Department began.

Investigators Ryan McMahon and Paul Piazza worked with Cold Spring Police Investigator William Bujarski and Cold Spring Chief Larry Burke. The Investigators began to cross reference incidents which involved all three parties that had been threatened and Eugene Vitello of the Bronx emerged as a suspect.

It was discovered that Vitello had been arrested by Boulanger in 2013 for stalking and harassing a Cold Spring business owner and that Sheriff Langley, who was a retired Law Enforcement officer at the time, had been a witness in that matter which had been adjudicated in front of Judge Costello.

On or about January 10, 2019,  Piazza and Burke traveled to the Bronx and interviewed Vitello, who was subsequently taken into custody without incident and transported back to Putnam County for processing on several counts of aggravated harassment and stalking.

Vitello was arraigned in front of Judge Tim Curtiss, Town of Kent, for the Cold Spring Court. Vitello was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to return to the Village of Cold Spring Court on Feb. 13.

Orders of Protections were issued for all affected parties and their family members.

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