CPD: Officers search for armed man charged with robbery

Alexander J. Hale/ Cortland Police

Police are searching for a city man charged with robbery and burglary, whose violent behavior is thought to be escalating and is believed to carry a gun, as well as knives.

Alexander J Hale, 25, of 7 Winter St. is charged with robbing a man in September with a knife and burglarizing a Union Street residence in July, according to the Cortland Police Department.

“Hale is known to frequent 80 Clinton Ave., 85 N. Main St. and 10 Randall St., all in the City,” wrote Lt. Michael Strangeway in a news release. “Hale is known to carry knives and has recently been rumored to possess a firearm.”

Anyone who spots Hale should call 911 immediately, said Strangeway in a phone interview this morning. Police were prompted to call for the public’s assistance after receiving new, credible information that Hale is now carrying a gun, he said.

“His behavior is showing an increasing level of violence that’s concerning,” Strangeway said. “The sooner we can get him off the street the better, before anyone can get hurt.”

In September, Hale threatened a man with a knife in the middle of Charles Street and demanded money, according to city police. The threatened man was an acquaintance of Hale, noted Strangeway. Hale was charged with robbery, but police were unable to locate Hale and take him into custody, he said.

In the early afternoon of July 30, Hale was arrested after a city resident came home to find Hale burglarizing his Union Street residence, according to city police. Hale stole military pins, antique coins, brass dice and knives, said Strangeway in July.

When city officers found Hale in Beaudry Park after the burglary, he started performing cartwheels in the grass, city police stated.

“Hale was taken into custody and later told officers he thought that doing cartwheels made him appear less guilty,” Strangeway said.

Hale was arrested twice before on drug charges, according to local news media: in 2017 on accusations of having methamphetamine and heroin in Cortlandville, as well as in 2015 for possessing heroin in Dryden.

“He’s an addict,” Strangeway said of Hale. “His crimes are mostly drug related.”

Hale is facing numerous charges from a variety of incidents, Strangeway said, including three felonies: First-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Police also accuse Hale of second-degree menacing, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, obstructing governmental administration and petit larceny, all misdemeanors, as well as harassment, a violation.

Anyone with information regarding Hale’s whereabouts is asked to call the city police department at 756-2811.