Police: City man chases, rams other vehicle with 1-year-old in back seat

The City of Cortland Police Department (Photo: Provided)

A city man was arrested for using his vehicle, also occupied by a one-year-old and a woman, to crash another man he was trying to fight on Thursday night on Pendleton Street, police announced today.

No one was injured when James D. Wright, 30, of 1 Bartlett Ave., intentionally crashed into another vehicle, occupied by two men, about 9:15 p.m. on the south side of Pendleton, said Lt. Michael Strangeway.

Wright had unsuccessfully tried to antagonize the 28-year-old man driving the other vehicle into a fight during the day on Thursday, Strangeway said. He had attempted to arrange a meeting that night at the Speedway gas station near the intersection of Pendleton and Port Watson streets, but the 28-year-old did not show up, Strangeway said.

Wright was waiting at the gas station, with a woman and a one-year-old girl inside his vehicle, when he spotted the 28-year-old drive past and turn south onto Pendleton Street, police said.

“So Wright jumped in his car and chased him,” Strangeway said.

When Wright caught up with the 28-year-old, he crossed the double-yellow lines on Pendleton Street, pulled up next to the other driver as if to pass and then intentionally crashed into the other vehicle, Strangeway said.

The 28-year-old’s vehicle was forced over the curb and onto the sidewalk in the collision, losing a tire, he said.

With the other man’s vehicle disabled, Wright approached it with a crowbar, scraped the weapon down the window, scratched the glass and yelled threats to “take [the 28-year-old’s] head off,” Strangeway said.

Officers arriving on the scene arrested Wright, he said.

Wright was charged with a violent felony: third-degree criminal possession of a weapon after being previously convicted of a crime. He was also charged with second-degree menacing, fourth-degree criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment, all misdemeanors. In addition, Wright was charged with speeding and driving to the left of pavement markings, traffic infractions.

At arraignment, Wright was remanded to the Cortland County Correctional Facility without bail. He is set to appear at 2 p.m. on March 11 in City Court.