Police: Man fired flare gun at opponent during Saugerties fight

A Kingston man is in jail after police say he fired a flare gun at another man during a fight on Partition Street Saturday evening, causing burns to the man’s wrist and shoulder.

Saturday, September 21 at 6:38 p.m. Saugerties Police responded to a 911 call for a fight in the area of 78 Partition Street. Police were told five to six individuals were fighting and that a firearm had been discharged and someone had possibly been stabbed with a knife. While responding, officers were advised that some of the individuals involved in the fight had fled in a vehicle.  The vehicle was spotted on Route 212 by responding officers and stopped at the intersection of Route 32 in the town of Saugerties. The vehicle was occupied by three males and a female. Officers also located two of the parties involved in the fight on Partition Street.

While interviewing the occupants of the vehicle, officers observed that one of the passengers, 18-year-old Raven Banks of Port Ewen, had burns to his arm and shoulder. Banks reported to officers that during the fight he had been shot with a flare gun. Paramedics from DIAZ Ambulance responded to the scene and treated Banks for his injuries.

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Officers on Partition Street located 18-year-old Syler T. DeGroat, of Hunter Street, Kingston, and a 17-year-old male from Kingston, both whom had been involved in the altercation. The 17-year-old had several lacerations to his arm, which he believes were caused by a knife used during the fight. Paramedics treated the 17-year-old at the scene for his injuries. Investigation by police detectives established that DeGroat and the 17-year-old male had come to Saugerties earlier in the day to get a tattoo. While at the tattoo business, DeGroat reports he received a phone call from a male indicating that he knew DeGroat was at a tattoo shop, stating, “we are going to find you.”

At the time of the incident, witnesses report that a car had pulled up to 78 Partition Street and three males exited the vehicle. The males reportedly picked up a table and multiple chairs that were in front of Bina’s Café and began striking two individuals standing on the sidewalk. The altercation then turned into fist fight, at which time, DeGroat told detectives that he removed a flare gun that he was carrying in his waistband, shooting the gun at Raven Banks. The flare struck Banks on the wrist, then deflected onto his shoulder, causing burns to both his wrist and shoulder.

The three males, Banks, 20-year-old Robert Rivera of Albany Avenue Kingston, and a 17-year-old male from Kingston, then fled the scene in a vehicle operated by 19-year-old Emily R. Wood of Kingston.

Today, Saugerties Police Detectives charged DeGroat with the felony of second-degree attempted assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. DeGroat was arraigned in the Village of Saugerties Justice Court and remanded to the Ulster County Jail in Lieu of $5,000 cash bail.

The flare gun was recovered by police.

Investigation is continuing and additional arrests and charges are pending.

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