NORTHUMBERLAND — A Northumberland man was arrested Sunday for allegedly punching a pregnant woman’s abdomen in an effort to kill her unborn child, police said Monday.
Stephen J. Miller, 39, of Colebrook Road, was charged with second-degree abortion, a felony, and misdemeanor reckless endangerment after he “repeatedly” punched the abdomen of a woman he knows who is 26 weeks pregnant, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.
Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said Miller was trying to cause a miscarriage.
“His intentions were to harm the baby,” Zurlo said.
The woman was treated by medical professionals, and neither she nor the child were believed to have been injured, Zurlo said.
“The mother and baby were both fine,” the sheriff said.
Police did not say whether Miller is the child’s father.
Miller fled the home before police arrived but was later located in Mechanicville. He was arraigned in Northumberland Town Court and released on his own recognizance.
An abortion charge can be filed when a person commits an “abortional act” upon another person that is not justifiable, according to state Penal Law. It is punishable by up to 4 years in state prison.
Zurlo, a former sheriff’s deputy and investigator for decades before he was elected sheriff, said he had not seen a case where that charge was filed in Saratoga County before, but he said it seems applicable under the circumstances.
Sheriff’s Deputy J.S. Mancini handled the case.