Bizarre behavior leads to heroin arrest

B y Jaime Thomas

Police arrested a young man Sunday night who had up to $10,000 worth of heroin on him that he allegedly intended to sell.

Granville Police Sergeant Dave Williams said 18-year-old Damon Townsend, of the Bronx, had taken a bus to the area where a Granville resident picked him up by car.

Officer William Kitts of the Granville Police Department received a call just after 10 p.m. Sunday that a young male walked up a Quaker Street resident’s driveway and was acting very strange. The caller said the suspect had run toward the Label Shopper parking lot.

Upon interviewing a nearby restaurant employee, Kitts found out that a man matching the description ran toward the Cumberland Farms on Quaker Street. A cashier there told Kitts she had pointed the suspect in the direction of the Pine Grove Motel after he asked.

Kitts went there and spoke with an employee, who said another person had rented a room for the suspect by telephone. Though Kitts heard someone moving in the suspect’s room, he was unable to make contact.

He then went back to the original caller’s house. The complainant told Kitts he had asked the suspect what he was doing, and the man asked him what time it was and then ran off; he thought there might be something wrong with the suspect.

At that point, Kitts returned to the motel. While there, a woman called and the Pine Grove’s owners put her through to the officer. She told him she did not know the suspect but had rented the room for a friend of a friend, whose car broke down. Kitts said the woman was very nervous and hung up quickly.

Kitts returned to patrol, and as he headed toward Cumberland Farms a vehicle flagged him down to tell him Townsend was hiding in the store and acting strange.

When Kitts went inside to investigate, he found Townsend crouching out of view and he searched him but found no weapons. He did notice the suspect looked like he had been in a fight; one of his eyes was swollen almost shut, and there were multiple cuts on his arms.

As Kitts detained him to further investigate, a store employee came out with a bag, which multiple witnesses had seen Townsend wear into the store. Townsend repeatedly denied the bag being his, and Kitts said he became very nervous and started to cry.

When Kitts searched the bag, he found what turned out to be 400 baggies of heroin, with a street value estimated to be between $8,000 and $10,000. The bags were bundled in groups of 10, which Williams said indicated they were meant to be sold.

Kitts, along with Sergeant Dave Williams and Officer T.J. Zovistoski, then arrested Townsend for third-degree criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell. He was sent to Washington County Jail for lack of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bail bond.

Williams said Townsend’s felony charges could result in up to 15 years to life in prison. New York State Police and the Washington County Sheriff were also on scene. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

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