Sunday, April 25, 2004

Towanda, New York

From the Elmira Star-Gazette of April 24, 2004

Chemung man killed after apartment break-in

A Chemung man was shot to death Friday morning after breaking into another man's home in Towanda -- the fourth shooting death in the county in a month and the second in two days.

Arthur Croteau, 50, whose estranged wife was at the shooting scene, broke into Tim Philmeck's apartment at 112 Bridge St. in Towanda by forcing open a kitchen window, state police said.

When he realized that the window was being opened, Philmeck, 57, retrieved a .357-caliber Magnum from an end table, according to a police report.

Police said that as Croteau approached Philmeck, Philmeck shot him about three times in the hand, chest and neck. It was unknown whether Croteau brandished a weapon.

Croteau collapsed on a bed in the apartment, police said.

Philmeck then called 911 and waited for police and emergency medical services to come to the apartment.

No charges have been filed in the case.
From Pennsylvania’s Sayre Morning Times of April 20, 2006
No charges to be filed in shooting death of Chemung man

No charges will be filed against a former employee of the Bradford County Assistance Office who shot a 50-year old Chemung, N.Y., resident in April of 2004, according to a report published Wednesday by the Rocket Courier newspaper in Wyalusing on its Web site.

Arthur Croteau of Chemung was shot and killed April 23, 2004 after allegedly crawling through the window of an apartment being rented by Timothy Philmeck, the one time Executive Director of the Bradford County Assistance Office.

Police initially reported that Philmeck had shot Croteau with a .357 magnum as Croteau crawled through the window.

Inside Philmeck's house, according to police reports, was Croteau's estranged wife, Victoria “Vicki” Sindoni.

Police said Philmeck told them he heard the window being opened, picked up a .357 magnum revolver from an end table and fired the weapon three times as Croteau approached him. Croteau was struck in the hand, the chest area, and the neck.

After the shooting, Philmeck reportedly called 911, and waited for the police and emergency personnel to arrive on scene.

A letter has been sent to the parties involved in the incident advising them that Philmeck will not be prosecuted for criminal homicide, manslaughter or even reckless endangerment, according to the Rocket Courier report.

Bradford County District Attorney Stephen Downs told a Rocket reporter that the basis for the lack of charges is “unlawful intrusion” on the part of Croteau, but did not elaborate further.

Attempts by the Morning Times to reach Downs and Waverly Attorney Todd Miller, who is representing the Croteau family, were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Miller declined to offer a formal statement to the Rocket Courier until he speaks to family members, but he was quoted as saying, “I guess that means you can get away with murder in Bradford County.”

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