Liberty man, 23, arrested in attempted sexual assault of SUNY New Paltz student
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — A 23-year-old Liberty man was arrested Thursday evening in connection with the attempted sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman who attends SUNY New Paltz, according to town Police Chief Joseph Snyder.
The arrest of Lakari Byrd — for felony criminal sexual act and misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment — was announced at a Town Board meeting at the request of Supervisor Susan Zimet.
Snyder said Byrd was arraigned before Town Justice James Bacon and sent to the Ulster County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Snyder said the assault occurred at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and that Byrd allegedly targeted the SUNY student because she was walking alone on Plattekill Avenue, across from the New Paltz Village Hall. Snyder said Byrd dragged the woman behind a nearby residence.
“She basically just ran from him. There was a police car right in the vicinity ... that she ran to,” Snyder said. “The perpetrator, defendant now, ran off.”
Snyder said Byrd, who has no previous arrest record, was arrested in Liberty following interviews by police and admitted only to being in New Paltz at the time of the incident.
Snyder also said the suspect was willing to speak to detectives without an attorney present.
Footage from video surveillance cameras owned by village businesses was used by police to complete the investigation, Snyder said.
Byrd is scheduled to reappear in Town Court at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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