Valatie teen drowns in Chatham


Chatham, NY- Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett reports that Columbia County 911 dispatched Sheriff’s Deputies and multiple emergency service agencies at 4:46pm this date for a reported drowning in a section of the Stoney Kill Creek, located behind River Road in the Town of Chatham.

Witnesses notified Columbia County 911 when they saw a male swimmer go underwater and not resurface. This specific area of the creek is posted for no swimming.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Dive Team, Hudson Fire Department Dive Team, and Greenport Rescue Squad Dive Team all responded to the scene. Divers recovered the body at approximately 5:50pm in about 15 feet of water.

Coroner Blasl responded to the scene where the victim was pronounced dead. The victim was identified as 19-year-old Brett Cappelli of Valatie NY. The victim was swimming with friends when this tragedy occurred.

An autopsy will be performed at St. Peters Hospital.

Also assisting at the scene were Chatham Fire Department, Chatham Rescue Squad, Niverville Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team, Columbia County Fire Coordinators, Columbia County EMS Coordinator, and the NYSP.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office are Sheriff David Bartlett, Captain John DeRocha, Lieutenant Wayne Lopez, Senior Investigator Mark Dunspaugh, Investigator Anthony Brahm, 1st Sergeant Louis Bray, Deputy Jerald Rowell, and Deputy David Pulcher.

The two photos attached are provided by Lance Wheeler.

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