Pair of pursuits this week in Cortland County

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The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department reported two separate incidents this week where potential suspects attempted to evade their custody by vehicle and on-foot.

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Officers responded to Chelsea Drive in the town of Cortlandville just before 3:30 pm Wednesday (June 3), where 27-year-old Michael Thornton had been in a physical disturbance before fleeing the area in a vehicle before they arrived.

Moments later, a marked patrol car attempted to pull Thornton over on Starr Road, at which point he exited his vehicle and made a run for it.

Thornton was caught up to and arrested a short distance later behind the Plaza Movie Theater.

His charges include the following:

  • Reckless Driving, (Misd.)
  • Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 2nd Degree, (Misd.)
  • Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd Degree, (Misd.)
  • Speed not Reasonable, Unlicensed Operator, Fail to keep Right, Cross Hazard Markings, Improper Turn, Fail to Comply, Resisting Arrest, Harassment in the Second Degree (Violations)

He was arraigned later that evening and released on his own recognizance.

The next evening, just before 6:30 pm Thursday (June 4), officers attempted to stop a pick-up truck on Creal Road in the Homer being driven by a man later identified as 25 year-old Kyle Dayton, of Blodgett Mills Road in Cortland.

Instead, the truck sped away onto Route 41 heading northward in an attempt to elude police.

Eventually, Dayton lost control of his vehicle during an attempted turn onto Houghton Hill Road in Homer, striking an embankment at the intersection with Route 41 before exiting the vehicle and escaping on foot.

With the help of a NYSP K-9 unit, Dayton was located in a barn on a nearby farm and taken into custody, then brought to GCMC for a lower leg injury.

His passenger, 21 year-old Jastinee Catalano of Norcliffe Road in Cortland, was uninjured.

Cortland City Police also helped with the investigation.

(Photo/Cortland County Sheriff’s Office)

Both individuals were hit with drug charges, included with the following:


-Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle 3 rd (Misd.)
-Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument (Misd.)
-Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2 nd (Misd.)
-Reckless Driving (Misd.)
-Speed Over 55mph
-Unlawful Possession of Marihuana 2 nd (Violations)


-Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7 th (Misd.)
-Unlawful Possesion of Marihuana 2 nd (Violation)

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