JOHNSBURG — The North Creek man who was arrested earlier this year after he claimed that he was stranded overnight on a ski lift at Gore Mountain Ski Center was convicted Friday of making a false statement to State Police.
Isaac Hyde, 37, was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge in connection with a sworn written statement he gave to State Police after he claimed that he spent the night of last March 31-April 1 stuck on a lift at the ski resort.
The Warren County District Attorney’s Office asked for a jail sentence as punishment, but acting Johnsburg Town Justice Eric Schwenker sentenced Hyde to a one-year conditional discharge and fined him $1,000. The conditional discharge requires him to avoid re-arrest and meet other conditions, or risk re-sentencing to up to a year in Warren County Jail.
Hyde was arrested by State Police about three weeks after he claimed he was left stranded on the lift by its operators, 30 feet off the ground, for about 15 hours during a light snowstorm. He was discovered around 8 a.m. on April 1, when the lift was restarted and Hyde got off at the top of the mountain, sans skis and poles.
He did not deviate from his story, but State Police questioned the fact that he was not hypothermic or exhibiting any signs of frostbite, and charged him with the false statement count when Gore officials concluded he could not have been stranded based on policies and practices that were followed.
Hyde had formerly worked at Gore.
Hyde’s lawyer, Marc Zuckerman, said he did not agree with the verdict, and said it appeared his client was victimized twice — once by Gore Mountain’s staff and then by the criminal justice system.
“I feel for him, because I believe him,” Zuckerman said.
He said Schwenker imposed a fair sentence, and it was unclear Friday whether an appeal would be pursued.
Schwenker did not specify what portion of the statement was deemed false.
The verdict came after a three-day trial that saw 16 witnesses testify and over 90 exhibits of evidence entered. Warren County assistant district attorneys Avi Goldstein and Marat Shkolnik prosecuted the case, and Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone praised their efforts with the case.
Hyde has sued Gore’s owners, the state of New York and the Olympic Regional Development Authority, and the conviction is clearly not a good development for that litigation going forward.
Zuckerman is not handling that case, and a call to Hyde’s civil case lawyer, William White, was not returned Friday.