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Rhinebeck Victim Says Drug Deal Gone Bad Caused Violent Bat Attack

An image of the bat attack in which a Rhinebeck man was seriously injured from a video obtained by Saugerties Police Department.
An image of the bat attack in which a Rhinebeck man was seriously injured from a video obtained by Saugerties Police Department. Photo Credit: Saugerties Police Department

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. - A Rhinebeck man who was viciously attacked by three men with a baseball bat on Wednesday, Aug. 30, during a drug deal gone bad, said a stranger who called 911 saved his life, according to the Daily Freeman.

Joseph Banks, 32, told police he traveled to a farm stand in Saugerties to buy $90 of marijuana from the men. When the deal went bad and he threatened to call the police, the men chased Banks to the Mayfield Estates where he banged on the door of one of the homes for help, said the Freeman.

The resident would not let him inside, but they did call 911, police said.

Police received the call for help around 5:11 p.m., from the homeowner at 20 Mayfield Estates off Route 32 in Saugerties for a report of a man being chased by men with baseball bats, said Chief Joseph Sinagra.

When officers arrived they found Banks lying on the ground semi- conscious, bleeding from both his face and head, Sinagra said.

Banks was treated at the scene by paramedics from DIAZ Ambulance and then airlifted by helicopter from the scene to the MidHudson Regional Hospital where he went under further treatment for soft tissue damage where his head was split open, requiring 16 stitches, Sinagra said.

Luckily, the chief said, the homeowner had a video camera which recorded the attack, allowing Saugerties Police detectives to identify the attackers.

Detectives tracked down and arrested Vincent Neglia, 31; Russel Neglia, 22, and Travis Gonzalez, 22, all of Saugerties, Sinagra said.

Russell Neglia and Gonzalez were charged with the felonies of robbery, gang assault, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. Vincent Neglia was charged with felony robbery, gang assault, and assault.

The following day, Vincent F. Neglia Sr., 63, the father of two of the attackers, and the owner of the farm stand, was charged with felony criminal liability for conduct of another/assault, Sinagra said.

The investigation found that the attackers were told by the senior Neglia to “put him (the victim) in the hospital,” the chief told the Freeman.

In an interview with the Freeman, Banks told them: "“I just fought. I fought as hard as I could."

The chief said Banks was extremely lucky to be alive, the Freeman said.

To read the entire Daily Freeman story click here.

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