Police arrest the Saranac Lake man for making a false report saying he was shot and robbed.
At 9 a.m. on Nov. 27, police arrested the victim, 55-year-old man William J. Martin of Saranac Lake. Martin was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident and making a punishable false statement. Both charges are class A misdemeanors.
“Information has developed that has led us to believe the incident didn’t pan out as it was reported to us,” Village Police Chief Bruce Nason said.
On Nov. 26 Nason said several sources who knew Martin helped them determine that the gun used in the crime, a .22 caliber rifle, which police found under the train trestle where Martin was shot, belonged to Martin.
As of Nov. 27, Nason could not say if police believe Martin’s wounds were intentional or accidental.
“All information we have developed supports it was a self-inflicted gun shot wound and that is all we can say at this time,” Nason said.
The charges against Martin stem from a Nov. 20 incident in which Martin called police at 6:45 p.m. and reported he had been robbed and shot by two white males wearing dark-colored parkas on the train trestle near Pine Street and Broadway.
Martin said the two suspects called to him by name and that a conversation ensued for a few minutes before one of the suspects pulled out a gun and demanded the victim give him what money he had.
Martin reported he pushed the gun away and as he did, he was shot in the left shoulder area.
Martin was taken to Adirondack Medical Center and then to Fletcher Allen in Burlington for surgery. Nason said the bullet appeared to have missed any vital organs. Martin has since been released from the hospital and has returned to Saranac Lake.
From Tuesday night into Wednesday morning Nason said nine officers, four State Police and five village officers canvassed the area knocking on doors around Pine Street, Main Street, and Bloomingdale.
Nason said Martin’s discharge of a firearm also broke Environmental Conservation laws which prohibit the discharge of a firearm within 500 feet from a dwelling and village laws which prohibit the discharge of a firearm within the village limits.
“We are continuing to investigate the incident and at this time we cannot say how the incident played out,” Nason said.
The police are asking anyone that may have been in the area of the train trestle, or nearby streets, including Pine St., Bloomingdale Ave., Main St., Church St., or Forest Hill Ave. around 6:15 and 7 p.m. to contact the Saranac Lake Police Department at 891-4422.