Local man gets jail term for hate-crime assault

SARANAC LAKE – A local man was sentenced to six months in jail this week for his role in a racially charged assault outside a Saranac Lake bar last fall.

Monroe Gladd III, 36, was indicted in March on a charge of third-degree assault as a hate crime, a felony. He pleaded guilty to the charge in April, and on Monday, Franklin County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr. sentenced Gladd to 180 days in the county jail and five years of probation.

Gladd was one of two people village police arrested for being involved in a melee in the early morning hours of Oct. 28 on Bloomingdale Avenue outside Romano’s Saranac Lanes.

The Enterprise published two letters from eyewitnesses to the incident, including Jeffrey Brown, a Romano’s employee at the time. He said one man involved in the incident directed racial slurs at another person and threatened to go home, get his AK-47 and “blow all of these (N-word)s away.”

Another writer, Rikelmy Williams, said in separate letter that her husband, who is African-American, was jumped by a “group of guys and was hurt to the point of going to the hospital and getting five stitches on his face.” She also mentioned the racial slurs and the death threat. Williams was upset that police, at that point, hadn’t made any arrests.

On Nov. 11, police arrested Bernard McCormick of Vermontville and charged him with third-degree assault as a hate crime. Gladd was arrested on the same charge the following day.

After Gladd was indicted, he initially pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He could have faced a maximum of two to four years in state prison. At a pre-trial conference, however, the prosecution offered to accept Gladd’s plea to the felony charge in return for six months in jail and five years of probation.

“When the court committed to that, he pleaded guilty,” Assistant District Attorney David Hayes said Wednesday.

Hayes said the prosecution was comfortable with the shorter jail term because Gladd will have to abide by the conditions of his probation and because, until this incident, he had kept out of trouble for a roughly 12-year period.

The agreement also required Gladd to testify for the prosecution during last month’s trial of Nancy Nixon, who was ultimately acquitted of charges that she set fire to a Park Avenue apartment building.

“He testified about seeing Ms. Nixon that night with (two other people) at the Rusty Nail (bar),” Hayes said.

At the time of Gladd’s initial arrest in November, police said he was a Saranac Lake resident. When he was indicted, the district attorney’s office listed him as a resident of Bloomingdale. A court summary provided this week by the DA’s office said Gladd is living in Lake Placid.

Hayes said McCormick, who was indicted on the same charge as Gladd and has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go to trial in August.

Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.