Local man pleads not guilty to hate crime

SARANAC LAKE – A local man pleaded not guilty to a hate crime after being indicted on charges Thursday.

Bernard McCormick, 29, entered a plea after being indicted by a Franklin County Grand Jury on the charge of assault in the third degree as a hate crime, a class E felony. McCormick was listed as living in Vermontville at the time of the crime, but the county District Attorney’s Office called him as a Saranac Lake resident this week.

He allegedly took part in a racially charged assault outside a local bar in late October. The Enterprise published two letters from witnesses to the incident who described the men attacking at least one black man. One of the writers, Rikelmy Williams, said her husband, who is African-American, was jumped by several people and had to be taken to the hospital to get five stitches on his face.

Saranac Laker Monroe F. Gladd III was given the same charge in November, and Saranac Laker Eric D. Ryan was charged with disorderly conduct.

On Thursday, McCormick was remanded to Franklin County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due back in court in early April.