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Grand jury indicts city resident on assault charge but not kidnapping

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
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— A Schenectady man has now seen a high-level kidnapping count against him reduced by a grand jury, and also secured a reduction in his bail figure Monday, though not as far as he had hoped.

The defense attorney for Haresh Ramgadoo asked for lower bail Monday afternoon, citing the lowered charges. The attorney also indicated Ramgadoo intends to fight the lowered charges.

He was indicted recently on one count of second-degree assault, a felony, and the reduced charge of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor.

He is accused of hitting a woman on the head with a beer bottle in March and then driving her to Albany County, then returning to Schenectady County after she was able to dial 911, prosecutor Jessica Lorusso said in court Monday.

He was originally arrested in March and charged with second-degree kidnapping, a charge that carries a possible sentence of up to 25 years upon conviction. But that charge didn’t survive grand jury proceedings.

Lorusso indicated further charges could be filed in Albany County, but Ramgadoo’s attorney, Brian Mercy, said none had been filed yet and any prospect of charges there shouldn’t be considered in Ramgadoo’s bail status in Schenectady County.

Court paperwork has indicated the incident began at around 1:50 a.m. March 28 at the corner of Strong and Snell streets. There, Ramgadoo is accused of hitting the woman in the left side of her head with a beer bottle.

Ramgadoo then allegedly forced her into the passenger side of her car and drove off. He told her that he loved her and that he was going to take her to Georgia, according to papers.

She eventually was able to dial 911 with his cellphone, Lorusso said Monday. “When he realizes the call was made, he pulls over in Albany County and strangles the victim,” she said.

The woman suffered bruising and striations on her neck. She also continues to have vision problems, Lorusso said.

Even with the reduction in charges, Lorusso argued Ramgadoo was a flight risk. He asked that his original $50,000 bail be lowered only to $40,000.

Mercy argued for a bail as low as $5,000, noting the top charge is now the assault. He said the assault is based on the assumption that a weapon was used — the beer bottle. Any injuries did not rise to felony level, he said.

Mercy also alleged that the woman’s entire story was made up in an attempt to get back at Ramgadoo for allegedly cheating on her. Mercy alleged she told Ramgadoo previously that she’d have him locked up for cheating on her.

Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino ultimately placed Ramgadoo’s bail at $25,000, with the condition that he turn in his passport before he is released.

 
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