Officials Respond To Plattekill Assault

Photo by Robin Weinstein.


Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

A SUNY New Paltz student has been charged with attacking a woman on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 10:45 p.m. on Plattekill Avenue and South Oakwood Terrace.

Cristian L. Ynfante, 17, was charged with first degree sexual abuse, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and second degree unlawful imprisonment. The first is a felony, the latter are both misdemeanors.

Ynfante allegedly grabbed the victim, placed his hands around her mouth and pulled her to the ground behind a bush, according to a press release from the town of New Paltz police department.

Police said the victim got away from the attacker and was able to yell for help.

Ynfante was sent to Ulster County Jail with bail set at $20,000.

This is the third sexual assault in the area of Plattekill Avenue in the last two years.

Town Supervisor Susan Zimet, University Police Chief David Dugatkin and Town of New Paltz Police Chief Joseph Snyder attended the Village Board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 9 where they addressed the attack and the inadequate lighting situation on Plattekill Avenue.

At the meeting, Snyder said a “quick fix” to the lighting problem would be the addition of more street lights along Plattekill Avenue.

“There’s five telephone poles that do not have street lights on them,” Snyder said.

Dugatkin said he took a walk down Plattekill Avenue and counted 10 street lights on the southern side of the street, the campus side, between Manheim Boulevard and Hasbrouck Avenue — nine that belong to the campus and one that is a Central Hudson light.

“I know that the college is more than willing to work [on getting more street lights up] with the village and town to do this as a joint venture,” Dugatkin said.

Mayor Jason West discussed a possible grant that would go toward replacing all street lights in the village with LED lighting and deciding from scratch where all the new street lights would go.

However, West said replacing the lighting was a longer term solution.

Zimet said she attended the meeting because of the immediacy of the situation and to discuss how things can be fixed in the short term while also looking at the longer term resolution.

Dugatkin said campus police presence has increased on the north side of campus during nights when they expect a lot of students to be walking back to campus.