According to Warwick Police Lt. Thomas Maslanka, August Melish, 37, was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife at their home in Greenwood Lake on Sun., Apr. 22. During the course of this dispute, Melish allegedly choked his wife and tried to smother her with a pillow.
Melish’s wife left the residence the following day, Mon., Apr. 23, and went to a family members home in Bellvale, where she planned to stay for a while with the couples four-year-old daughter. Melish showed up at the residence, and after a brief discussion, he allegedly became violent.
“He started slapping her, choking her and pulling her hair. When a family member attempted to intervene, she grabbed her daughter and locked herself in the bathroom,” said Lt. Maslanka. “He kicked in the bathroom door and forced his way into the bathroom. While the family member called 911, they saw the defendant dragging the victim and the four-year-old to his car where he put them in his car and drove away.”
Police said that, according to the victim, Melish told her he was going to kill them all and drive the car off of a cliff as he was heading up the mountain toward Greenwood Lake, where he made a left onto Kain Rd. and allegedly attempted to drive off the road down the ravine by the Bellvale Farms Creamery.
“While this is going on the four-year-old is in the car saying ‘please don’t hurt my mommy, please don’t kill mommy’,” said Lt. Maslanka.
Lt. Maslanka further stated that the wife grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to get the car back on the road and discovered the key fob, which she threw out of the window. Melish allegedly struck her again, got her off the steering wheel, and allegedly attempted to steer the vehicle down the ravine, said Police. She shut the ignition off and pulled the wheel back which caused the vehicle to go across the roadway where it struck an embankment on the mountainside of the road. Melish allegedly starting hitting the victim until a man pulled up in his vehicle and got out. The wife then grabbed her daughter and locked herself in the bystander’s vehicle.
When Police arrived, they arrested Melish and charged him with Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree, and Obstructing Breathing by Choking. He was arranged by Judge Peter Barlet and was remanded to the Orange County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.
The victim was treated by Greenwood Lake Ambulance at the scene and released.