Richard J. "Joey" Aubin led police on a high-speed chase through downtown Schroon Lake March 5, traveling northbound on State Route 9.
Tom Tyler was watching an episode of “Cops” in his home along State Route 9 in the town of North Hudson around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.
Tyler said that the area of road he lives next to is “probably the only good passing stretch along this route for miles,” so it does not surprise him when cars go zooming by his house.
However, this night the car going by his house was going really fast and being followed by a number of police cars.
“You could hear the sirens coming down the hill toward the house,” Tyler said. “They had to be going at least 80 (mph). It may have been more. All I know is that it was well above the speed limit.”
At the front of the pursuit was Richard J. “Joey” Aubin, 28, who was trying to elude police. Minutes later, he would be dead, shot by New York State Trooper Leston W. Sheeley as he tried to take possession of the firearm of fellow Trooper Marcia L. Pooler after abandoning his car and fleeing into the woods.
As the cars passed by his house, there was a bystander vehicle thatwas forced to the side of the road.
“I came out, and the person had just got out of the car,” Tyler said. “I asked if they were OK, and they said that they were.”
As Tyler came out of the house, he heard a loud bang, which he believes now was Aubin’s vehicle hitting the spike strip that was deployed by Troopers. A few minutes later, Tyler heard two more loud bangs, which he said sounded like gunshots.
“We had the scanner on at the time and heard that the suspect was down,” Tyler said.
Witnesses to chase
While the chase ended in North Hudson, it started southbound on Interstate 87, as officers clocked Aubin going 95 mph and attempted to pull him over. Instead, Aubin increased speed and led troopers on a high-speed chase along the Northway until exiting near Pottersville. The chase then continued northbound on State Route 9, going through Pottersville and Schroon Lake.
“I was on the Northway when the chase first started and saw the cars go by,” said Muryle Rice, who lives above Pitkin’s Restaurant where she works. “I didn’t think much of it at that time, but by the time I got home, they were coming right by the restaurant. They were hauling.”
Pitkin’s is located in the heart of Schroon Lake, along a very narrow stretch of road often lined with parked cars.
Luckily, Rice said, no one was in the way.
“It happened to be the perfect time, I guess,” she said. “No one was driving along the road at the time and no one was walking across the street.”
Up the road at the Mt. Severance Country Store, Tyler Sabia was at the counter when he noticed a black truck, later identified as Aubin’s, “flying by.”
“It was really slow in the store,” Sabia said. “The truck was right on the tail of another car that pulled in here to get away from him. Then there were about six police cars that followed. They all were flying.”
“He had to be going about 100,” Jackie Haina said. “There were two troopers who were right on top of him, and then the other cars came behind after.”
Rice and Haina both said that when they heard the sirens, they turned on their radio scanners to listen to the rest of the chase play out.
“When you hear the sirens, it always gets your attention,” Rice said.
“We all listen to the scanners because there is usually nothing going on so when you hear the sirens and see the cars flying through, we turn to it,” Haina said.