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Lawyer: Hit-and-run driver acted in self defense

2010-03-25T21:30:00Z Lawyer: Hit-and-run driver acted in self defenseBy DREW KERR, dkerr@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
March 25, 2010 9:30 pm  • 

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- A Ballston man is facing a pair of felony charges in connection with a fatal hit-and-run incident that occurred in downtown Saratoga Springs last week, an incident his lawyer said Thursday was provoked by a brutal attack on his client.

Travis M. Carroll, 23, of 43 Charlton Road, was arraigned in Saratoga Springs City Court Wednesday night, where he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and tampering with evidence.

Police said they filed the charges because they believe Carroll hit Ryan Rossley with his car while pulling out of a Henry Street parking lot and then later tried to conceal evidence of the incident by removing the windshield from his vehicle.

"Mr. Rossley was not struck by a car that just happened to be driving down the street," said police Chief Christopher Cole during a news conference to announce the charges on Thursday.

Rossley, 27, of Saratoga Springs, died at around 6 p.m. on March 18 at the Albany Medical Center from injuries suffered in the collision, which police said occurred at around 4:30 a.m. as downtown bars were closing after a night of St. Patrick's Day revelry.

Carrroll's attorney, Gerard Amedio, said his client was fleeing the parking lot in a panic, afraid for his life after being physically beaten by a group of five to seven men, including Rossley.

Amedio said Carroll, acting as a designated driver, had picked up his father and a friend and was driving down Caroline Street when he first encountered the group of men. The men were blocking the road, so Carroll honked, evoking yells and cursing from the group, Amedio said.

Carroll then parked his car at the Henry Street parking lot, just east of the Saratoga Springs Public Library, got out and encountered the group again, Amedio said.

Amedio said Carroll was not getting out to confront the men, but he was attacked with a belt, threatened with a knife and left severely bruised.

When Carroll got back into his car, according to Amedio's account, Rossley jumped in front of the vehicle and was hit. Carroll said Rossley appeared to be moving and uninjured after the impact, according to Amedio.

"He was in fear of his life, and he was just trying to get out," said Amedio.

Police said they could not verify Amedio's version of events and stressed that they are still investigating the incident. More than 70 people have been interviewed, police said, and more charges are possible.

Police are confident, however, that Carroll drove to his Ballston home after the collision and that, around eight hours later, he removed a damaged windshield from his vehicle, a 2002 Nissan Maxima that fit the description of a vehicle being sought by police.

Police discovered Carroll's vehicle on Friday in Saratoga County.

Amedio also said Carroll removed the windshield from his car so his child would not see and be disturbed by the damage, and that he never intended to hide it from police.

"He didn't destroy it; he just put it aside," Amedio said.

Amedio said he was contacted by Carroll Thursday night - shortly after Carroll learned that Rossley died - to turn himself in.

"He's very emotional, and he feels horrible," Amedio said.

Carroll, who recently moved to the area from Oregon, said nothing during his court appearance Thursday morning and did not address reporters as he was later placed in a police vehicle to be taken back to the Saratoga County Jail.

He is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to City Court on April 13.

Carroll faces up to 11 years in state prison if he's convicted on both charges.

Authorities said the case is likely to go to a grand jury where the charges may be amended, however.

Saratoga Springs reporter Thomas Dimopoulos contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Van Renss
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    Van Renss - April 01, 2010 1:06 am
    Self Defense? With two other adult males also in the "death"
    weapon! It's will be a stretch to understand the delayed reaction!

    As for the new Saratoga Springs Police Chief..."Shut up" with
    his personal remarks! His responsibility was to gather pertinent facts and evidence only!

    Along with the running personal comments of the County District Attorney on this and other cases; leave the "Social"
    and "Moral" blah blah to the newspapers! Don't prejudice juries and the court proceedings and possibly provide retrails
    for accused citizens.

    Both the D.A. and the police chief shouldn't be interfering with the Justice System!

    Will they listen????
  2. jimmyd74
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    jimmyd74 - March 29, 2010 2:08 pm
    The part of his story that will be tough to hold up is that he removed his windshield to protect his child from seeing the damage?? If he hit someone hard enough to break the windshield...I'm guessing the man who died did not seem fine right after and yet the driver drove away. Then to remove your windshield just says you are worried about what happened and are trying to hide it. My initial reaction just based on the driver's attorney's story would be the driver is guilty and will be going to jail. Sad case all around though.
  3. Raging conservative
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    Raging conservative - March 26, 2010 12:43 pm
    Brian was right. We need to wait for the evidence before we judge.
  4. wrylife
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    wrylife - March 26, 2010 10:26 am
    He doesn't look like he was "severely bruised" a week ago in his photo-and if he was so violently attacked why, as Brian said, would he not call the police instead of driving back through the people who had attacked him,hit one of them, fatally injuring him then tamper with the evidence (he replaced "part of the windshield", yes?) so he didn't get caught? I don't see much remorse here-just a fear of being found out. I have no sympathy for this young man but I do feel sad for his family- excluding his father- who did, evidently, nothing to guide his son and keep him out of trouble in the wee hours of March 18.
  5. randyinadk
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    randyinadk - March 26, 2010 9:47 am
    First, all drivers know their responsibilities to report accidents, especially those that invovle injuries or death. Guilty. Leaving the scene of an accident and not driving immediately to the police station (presuming he was in fear for his safety)- Guilty.
    Unfortunatley, it certainly appears that there was knowledge of both wrongdoing and coverup, and were I drawing up the charges, I would most likely have thrown in involuntary manslaughter as well, considering the previous two facts.

    Come on - he just wanted to spare his family from being disturbed? I'm disturbed that he would even expect a reasonably logically adept citizen to buy into that.

    Sorry, Bud. Way too many bad choices. Please stay off the streets for a while.
  6. brian
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    brian - March 26, 2010 8:52 am
    I believe in innocent until proven guilty but I'm a bit skeptical of this. Wrylife hit a lot of the key points but even if you accept the accusee's contention that he thought Rossley was okay, there's still one more thing. If I were threatened by a mob of drunks, after I got away, the first thing I'd do is call police and report the drunken mob so they could be dealt with before they hurt anyone or came after me again. But instead of doing that, he acted like he had something to hide.
  7. KellyR
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    KellyR - March 26, 2010 6:41 am
    This driver is just a baby. It's incredibly tragic that this happened with both young men having their whole lives ahead of them. If the father was in the car why didn't he intervene before things got so out of hand? I have had nights out in Saratoga many a time and I know how quickly things can shift from a good time to a fight and total mob scene late into the night, and frankly nobody really even remembers and just has a nasty hangover the next day. I could see this happening any night of the week down there because there are drunken pedestrians and drivers ambling around and just trying to dodge eachother. It's luck that it doesn't happen more often. It's got to be a living nightmare for this victim's family and the suspect's family to be dealing with such an outcome after a night that was supposed to be fun and harmless. I was really expecting to see the arrestee to be a scummy looking haggard old drunk. I really feel bad for this kid and I hope he just gets a county year.
  8. Doubter_2
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    Doubter_2 - March 25, 2010 9:01 pm
    Am I mistaken or were there earlier reports the driver was a parolee? No mention of that in this story. Am I confusing a different accident?
    At that time of the morning after St Patrick's Day celebrations I can only imagine how hard it is for the police to get even two versions of the same event that match. The 'designated driver' part of the story is key to me. If he indeed had not been celebrating I certainly can understand his "fear" when trying to reason with others that had been drinking. Not a spot I would want to be in either.
    But if the designated driver part of the story is not true then it will be an entirely different animal...
  9. wrylife
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    wrylife - March 25, 2010 6:33 pm
    And lest we forget:
    SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ryan P. Rossley, 27, a resident of Jefferson Street, died Thursday, March 18, 2010, at Albany Medical Center, as the result of an auto accident in Saratoga Springs.
    Born March 7, 1983, in Saratoga Springs, he was the son of Stephen and Maureen Cronin Rossley of Saratoga Springs. Ryan was a graduate of Saratoga Springs High School, where he played soccer and lacrosse; and of SUNY Oneonta, where he was a member of the lacrosse team.
    He moved to Raleigh, N.C., after college and worked in the construction business before moving back to Saratoga Springs to be near his family and the Adirondacks, where he enjoyed all outdoor activities. Ryan was a member of St. Therese’s Chapel in Gansevoort and was a member of ADK.
    He was last employed as a building contractor with Mike Hayes Construction in Schuylerville and was in the process of going on to graduate school to become a teacher.

  10. wrylife
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    wrylife - March 25, 2010 6:05 pm
    I gotta say I'm not buying what that kid's lawyer is selling. If he wasn't drinking why didn't he notify the authorities when he heard the man he hit was injured? Did he think someone else driving a dark car hit another person and it wasn't the man he hit? Why did he even get out of his car in the first place- he had made it past the group of men- why not just keep driving if he was so in fear for his life? He mowed a man down, and critically injured him and DROVE AWAY then he tried to hide the evidence. This young man made several VERY poor choices-and another young man is dead as a result-actions have consequences and to try to hide the crime after the fact implies the truth is NOT being told. I hope they throw the book at him... And people are worried about kids wearing bracelets with the word boobies on them-at least the kid with the 'boobies bracelet' was willing to face the consequences.


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