By HEATHER NELLIS
Recorder News Staff
Amsterdam police arrested three women late Sunday night and charged them all with felony counts of second-degree gang assault in connection to the double stabbing at the Woodrow Wilson townhouse complex.
Those arrested include S'ade Faulks, 24, and Jessica Ramos, 22, both of 135 Market St., Apt. 4, and 17-year-old Mareesa Darby, of 68 Mechanic St., Apt. 1.
Name-calling between kids on the basketball court Easter Sunday reportedly spiraled into an argument between their parents, which prompted one of them to leave and get backup before initiating the attack, said Det. Lt. Kurt Conroy.
He said one of the suspects was visiting family members at the townhouses for the holiday. Her child was playing basketball with another child who lives at the townhouses, and they exchanged words and insults at one point, he said.
"One mother got upset and confronted the other mother, and she didn't like what was said during the initial disagreement, so she came back with some friends," Conroy said.
That happened around 4:45 p.m., when the department received back-to-back 911 calls, first about a disturbance, then a stabbing.
Conroy said the aforementioned mother, age 34, and her boyfriend, age 32, were both stabbed in their chests and abdomens outside on the basketball court. He said the department is not planning to release the names of the victims, but estimated they are in fair condition and are expected to recover.
Officers at the scene were advised that several females arrived in two vehicles, then fled the scene in a blue vehicle with out-of-state plates.
While additional officers arrived at the scene, they observed a vehicle matching the aforementioned description carrying four females. A traffic stop was initiated, and the women were invited to police headquarters for questioning.
Conroy said Ramos, Faulks and Darby, who were in the blue vehicle, were arrested after the female victim was interviewed at the Albany hospital. He said the woman positively identified the suspects from an array of photos.
State penal law says a person is guilty of gang assault in the second degree when, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, and when aided by two or more other persons actually present, he or she causes serious physical injury to such person, or to a third person.
Conroy clarified that the charges don't allege any type gang activity, rather they're indicative of the number of people involved.
No weapons have been recovered, but the investigation is continuing. Conroy said the department has reason to believe there was more than one knife involved.
Other arrests are always possible, but Conroy said the department believes it has arrested the three people involved. He doesn't anticipate the victims will be charged.
"[The suspects] were the ones who went there and confronted those people at their house," Conroy said, again noting the victims were residents of the complex, while the suspects were not.
Ramos, Faulks and Darby were arraigned in city court before Judge Lisa Lorman, and remanded to the Montgomery County jail in lieu of $2,500 bond.
Conroy said Ramos was additionally arrested on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court, while Darby was charged with petit larceny in connection to an unrelated incident.
Anyone with additional information about the incident is encouraged to call Conroy at 842-1100.