The Hudson Valley man who allegedly threatened to kill his 4-year-old girl and her mother by driving off a cliff has been indicted on multiple charges.
Greenwood Lake resident August Melish, 37, has been indicted on charges that include felony counts of first-degree coercion, unlawful imprisonment, reckless endangerment and attempted second-degree assault, as well as criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors dating back to an incident last month.
According to officials, Melish beat his wife on April 22 at their Greenwood Lake home, choking her and putting a pillow over her face to smother her, according to police. The following day, Melish’s wife and daughter successfully fled the home and made way to a relative’s residence on Route 17A.
Melish later showed up at the relative’s home, police said, and again attacked his wife, reportedly breaking through a bathroom door to get to her. Melish allegedly struck his wife in the face, pulled her hair and beat other parts of her body. Officials said that Melish proceeded to drag his wife and daughter to a car before police arrived.
Police said that while driving toward Greenwood Lake, Melish became irate, threatening to kill all three of them by driving off a cliff while he continued abusing his wife, while the 4-year-old yelled in the backseat. Melish tried to drive into a ravine, but the woman managed to grab the steering wheel to pull back the other way. She also noticed the key fob and grabbed it and opened her car door and threw out the key, injuring her foot as she did so.
According to police, Melish again attempted to drive into the ravine, but his wife was able to grab the steering wheel and hit the ignition, fighting Melish off while steering the car into a safe space. Melish proceeded to allegedly assault his wife again, when a nearby driver saw the attack and broke up the fight. His wife proceeded to grab the 4-year-old and locked them both in the car until police arrived.
A Temporary Order of Protection was also issued on behalf of Melish’s wife. Melish remains remanded to the Orange County Jail, where he has been since his arrest. He is due back in court later this year to answer the charges.
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