NORFOLK — A Raymondville mechanic was charged with seven felonies Friday in connection to an alleged Sept. 17 hit-and-run. He is accused of using a customer’s car to run a motorcycle ridden by his ex-girlfriend and her now-boyfriend off the road and ditching the car in the woods, all in front of witnesses and during daylight hours, according to court documents.
Troopers charged Timothy A. Bethel, Raymondville, on Friday with seven felonies, including two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree assault and one count each of third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal mischief and first-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
According to court documents, at 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 17 on Marsh Road, Mr. Bethel was driving a white 1997 Buick LeSabre, headed east, when he saw his ex-girlfriend, Amy L. Baxter, heading west on the back of a 2014 Harley Davidson operated by her boyfriend, Ronald C. Brothers.
Ms. Baxter told police that she recognized Mr. Bethel, her former boyfriend of 17 years, and said he had the vehicle with him earlier that day when she was dropping one of their two children off to him at his home.
As he passed, Ms. Baxter said she looked over her shoulder to see if Mr. Bethel was going to turn around and follow them.
“... Tim always had me on edge and this was the first time Tim had seen Ronald and I together,” Ms. Baxter said in her statement. “I did not see him behind us so I assumed he did not turn around.”
Then, as she and Mr. Brothers approached Nation Road, she said the two of them were thrown from the motorcycle after they were rear-ended by the white sedan, although it was so sudden that neither occupant of the Harley could identify the driver.
Mr. Brothers told police that he believed he was thrown onto the hood of the white sedan before he joined his motorcycle skidding across the blacktop.
Both Mr. Brothers and Ms. Baxter were taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital where they were treated for minor injuries and released.
Mr. Bethel has another misdemeanor charge of second-degree aggravated harassment pending against him that involves Ms. Baxter. In that case, it is charged that on Dec. 5, while working at his family business, Bethel’s Garage, located at 8653 State Highway 56, Raymondville, during a telephone call with Ms. Baxter, Mr. Bethel made threats to kill their children. According to a statement by St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy Thivierge, Ms. Baxter said that Mr. Bethel was “aware she was at Ronnie Brothers’ house recently and that he was going to ‘kill her kids’ and that ‘someone’ is going to get hurt.”
She said the statement was unusual as the kids are his as well, but she picked up her son from school and had her daughter meet her at a residence where she was staying.
There was no order of protection issued in that case.
After Mr. Bethel allegedly hit the motorcycle, troopers said he left the scene, but they recovered car parts, including the vehicle’s Buick emblem, from the scene.
Witnesses of the crash reported Mr. Bethel as having taken a right down Nation Road and, at about 4 p.m., Casey A. Breault reported seeing the vehicle pulling into a wooded area across the street from her Louisville-Raymondville Road home but never saw it or the driver come out. A few doors down, Darlene M. Coller said she recognized Mr. Bethel as he ran down the road.
“He was wearing his Bethel’s Garage work shirt that he always wears when he is working at his garage,” she told police.
She said Mr. Bethel approached an older-model dark sedan that was parked near Route 310 and Louisville-Raymondville Road, got into the passenger’s side, and the car appeared to head south, toward Raymondville.
The following day, Sept. 18, Ms. Breault said her children were riding ATVs back in the wooded area and found the white sedan with the damaged front end.
The owner of the white sedan, Jamie H. Clark, Madrid, told police he had left the car at Bethel’s Garage between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 for what he thought was a skip in his engine. He was told the car would be taken for a test drive, but at 6:30 p.m. that night, he said police came to his home asking if he knew where his car was.
When he went to pick up the car the following day, Mr. Bethel told him that he thought Mr. Clark picked the car up the day before and that he didn’t know where his car was, Mr. Clark told police.
“I don’t know who has my vehicle or where it is, but I never gave anyone permission to use my car other than to test drive it,” Mr. Clark told police. “I believe my car has been stolen at this point.”
Mr. Bethel was arraigned in Norfolk Town Court and released under probation supervision.