New York State Police have charged John S. Mehne, age 25 of Sarasota, Fla. and Ithaca, N.Y. with the Felonies of Burglary in the first degree, Robbery in the first degree, Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.
On Tuesday at approximately 9:45 a.m., New York State Police were dispatched to a 911 call of an accident on Interstate 81 northbound near milepost marker 3, just three miles north of the Pennsylvania border. When troopers arrived, they located a 2016 Audi A5 disabled in the driving lane and facing the wrong direction with no operator.
Troopers discovered that the Audi was reported stolen from Sarasota, Fla. An investigation revealed that Mehne was operating the vehicle in the northbound direction, driving erratically and struck the guiderail.
Mehne reportedly got out of the vehicle and as traffic was slowing down, he attempted to jump on the back of a van but was unsuccessful and then jumped into the back of an unsuspecting pick-up.
The driver of the pick-up pulled to the shoulder and Mehne ran in a westerly direction into the woods toward railroad tracks. A search ensued and troopers were assisted by K9 officers, New York State Police Aviation, and members of the Broome County Sheriff’s Department.
Shortly after 4 p.m., New York State Police received a call from a resident on Duell Road reporting he came home from work and found Mehne in his chicken coop. When the homeowner asked Mehne what he was doing, he told him he was killing the chickens then picked up an ax and began chasing the resident. Mehne subsequently stole an ATV from that residence on Duell Road and drove off in a westerly direction where troopers later found it abandoned.
Troopers concentrated their search in the rectangular area between Colesville and Fox Hollow Roads to Duell and Springer Roads. A K9 training involving the Broome County Sheriff’s Department, Binghamton City Police and the City of Johnson Village Police was taking place in the area and they assisted troopers. The Department of Environmental was also called to assist.
A short time later, troopers received a call that a white male, with blonde hair, was naked in a chicken coop on Springer Road. Mehne was subsequently located and taken into custody by a City of Binghamton K9 that bit him, and Deputies from the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.
As members of the New York State Police continued to conduct interviews in the area, they learned Mehne committed a burglary at one residence on Springer Road and tampered with a deck at another residence. In one case, a resident reported he came home from work and found blood on the floor of his Springer Road home and after troopers conducted a search they found that Mehne killed a family dog. The second incident reported that lattice under a deck had been tampered with on Springer Road.
Mehne was treated at Binghamton General Hospital that he sustained from the K9 bite. He was processed then arraigned at Broome County Central Arraignment where has was remanded to the Broome County Jail on no bail.
Investigators are working with the Broome County District Attorney’s Office. There is an on-going investigation and more charges are possible. Investigators are asking anyone who had damage to their property in the area or if they find any property or clothing in the area to call (607) 775-1241.
The State Police are thankful for the vigilance of the community, quick dissemination of information from the media and the assistance of local law enforcement agencies.