Exclusive: After 8 years, new witness, new report shed light on Darryl Mount chase, injuries
There’s new, never before seen information and video related to the controversy surrounding the death of Darryl Mount.
After eight years, a witness came forward recently to say he saw Mount fall from scaffolding in Saratoga Springs.
Now, the man who oversees the police department is out with the only detailed report in eight years, and suggesting a way for the controversy to end.
It happened on August 31, 2013. Police witness a confrontation on Caroline Street between 21-year-old Mount and his girlfriend. Mount shoves his girlfriend’s head against the outside wall of a bar. Officers give chase and when Mount doesn’t stop, they try to shoot him with a Taser, but miss.
Mount, who was on parole, climbs over a fence and into a construction site. Police follow, but lose him in the darkness.
What happens next is at the center of more than eight years of controversy and recently, heated protests.
Mount, who is bi-racial, is found by police and witnesses lying face down near some scaffolding, critically injured.
Beginning that very night, after he was rushed to Albany Med, his family accused police of brutality.
"The record indicates that Ms. Jackson, that night, called the police department and registered her complaint, quite forcefully, that her son was beaten," said Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino.
The former prosecutor, defense attorney, and county court law clerk has pored over every available document, photo, video and witness deposition.
"I believe that I’ve seen and read every document that’s out there," said Montagnino.
There’s at least one witness the commissioner hasn’t seen.
"I looked up and I saw this kid, like, flailing around, stuff was falling off the scaffolding," said Tommy Kvasnack.
He was a long-time bartender at Gaffney’s and was having a drink outside at the end of his shift that night. Commissioner Montagnino and John Aspland, the attorney representing the city in the Mount litigation, say surveillance video confirms Kvasnack was where he says he was that morning.
During a recorded deposition done in December and obtained exclusively by NewsChannel 13, this is what he said he saw.
"All of the sudden, I didn’t see him jump from the walkway up there, but I saw him grab ahold of the railing, his body hit the side of the railing and he went down to the ground," said Kvasnack.
John Aspland, the attorney representing the city in the Mount case asked Kvasnack if he saw anyone throw Darryl Mount off a scaffold, throw Mount off a fire escape, or beat Mount. Kvasnack said no.
Commissioner Montagnino just released his much-anticipated report late Sunday night, providing legal insight and plain spoken analysis of all the actions of the responding police officers and the police leadership.
He points out that there have been no witnesses who claim to have seen police assault Mount, but he blames then-Chief Greg Veitch for not conducting an internal investigation.
"Not only did he fail to appoint an internal affairs officer who would have the ethical obligation to be impartial and to marshal the evidence before coming to a conclusion, he didn’t do that, but took the position and made it absolutely clear to everybody, ‘I’ve decided what happened here, and anybody who dares to say otherwise, I’ll be the one to question them and while I’m questioning them, I know they’re lying,’" said Montagnino.
He has much more to say, including how he wants to see this resolved. Also, why, after eight years, did Tommy Kvasnack finally come forward?
Mark Mulholland will have the answers to that, Monday on NewsChannel 13 Live at 6, and on WNYT.com.