WNYT.com

Ex-police officer charged with aggravated harassment

Posted at: 11/03/2013 2:30 PM
Updated at: 11/04/2013 9:48 AM
By: Steve Flamisch





WATERVLIET -- A former Watervliet Arsenal police officer, accused of threatening to kill his estranged wife's new boyfriend, told NewsChannel 13 the allegations against him are false.

Shane M. Murray, 25, was charged Sunday with two misdemeanor counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree. He was arraigned in Colonie Town Court and released on his own recognizance.

"I wouldn't even hurt a fly," Murray said a few hours after leaving the courtroom. "I could have gotten her for adultery. I could have just gone right to the bank with it, and I was trying to do everything that I could to avoid that."

Murray said his wife of five years told him in September that she wants a divorce. They separated and began voluntarily sharing custody of their two children: a 4-year-old boy and a 10-month-old girl. Then, on October 29, Murray learned his wife has a new boyfriend.

In a sworn statement, the boyfriend claimed Murray called him and said, "You're f---ing dead. Good job ruining a family. I know where you live, your phone number. Your done."

Murray insisted he never said that, or anything like it.

The boyfriend did not report the alleged threat to police until Sunday, when Murray blasted his wife's phone with dozens of calls and text messages. The wife and her boyfriend, who are TSA agents at Albany International Airport, walked in to the Sheriff's Department substation there.

"She showed us in excess of forty-something text messages and forty-something phone calls she had received... basically indicating threats of violence against her and her boyfriend," Sheriff Craig Apple said. "We didn't want him to act out any further than he already had."

Murray, who has a valid pistol permit, was carrying a loaded handgun when deputies arrested him a few hours later, Apple said. The deputies confiscated the weapon.

In his interview with NewsChannel 13, Murray explained he was carrying the gun because his wife had threatened to take it. He said he contacted her dozens of times because he feared she was not checking the blood sugar of their diabetic son.

"He could die if he doesn't have his sugar checked," Murray said. "If it falls too low in the middle of the night, he could actually just die in his sleep and we would never know."

Now, Murray has no contact with his children. A judge issued orders of protection. The former U.S. Army soldier and Arsenal cop -- who now works in information technology -- is due back in court on November 20. He said he is planning to get an attorney and a divorce.

"Let's just go through court like civil human beings and just get this over with so we can move on with our lives, and our kids stop getting hurt," Murray said.

His wife and her boyfriend declined to be interviewed for this story. NewsChannel 13 is withholding their names because they are alleged crime victims, and they did not wish to be identified.

Though both accusers work for the TSA, Sheriff Apple said there is no link whatsoever to the shooting of TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport last week. He called it a "horrible coincidence."

As for the charges against Murray, New York's penal law states that any form of communication that is "likely to cause annoyance or alarm" to a person may rise to the level of aggravated harassment.

A judge in Nassau County reportedly tossed a similar case two years ago, calling the law too broad and too vague.