Mike Wilbur


At approximately 11:40AM on December 16, 2021 the Utica Police Department was notified of the theft of Utica Fire Department vehicle Rescue 2.  Rescue 2 is a multi-purpose, multi-response vehicle employed by UFD.  Information was provided that the vehicle was stolen by an unknown individual while it was parked on the 500 block of Bleecker St.

An undercover Utica Police Investigator noticed the vehicle on the 700 block of Bleecker St and began to follow it until uniformed Utica Police cars could attempt to initiate a stop.  Once uniformed cars got behind the vehicle they attempted to stop it, however the operator fled leading them on a pursuit.

The pursuit continued until North Genesee St where the operator then began to drive northbound in the southbound lanes striking two vehicles and continuing.  Thankfully, during these collisions neither of the motorists were injured.  The vehicle continued to flee until its reckless actions caused the Utica Police Department to terminate the pursuit.

A New York State Police vehicle in the area then began to pursue the vehicle onto River Rd, onto Route 12, and ultimately onto the New York State Thruway.  Approximately a mile west of exit 31 the driver abandoned the vehicle when it got stuck in a grassy area and fled on foot back toward the Walmart area.

Members of the NYSP were able to take him into custody within moments and he was soon turned over to officers with the Utica Police Department.

At that point his identity was learned to be Brandon Hatton age 29 of Utica.

Once his identity was confirmed, we knew Hatton to have been charged, booked, and released on three previous occasions just on December 16th alone.

The first incident occurred at Tiny’s Bar and Grill on State St when he illegally made entry into the establishment by breaking a window.  During that incident he was charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree.

After being released on Appearance Tickets he then proceeded to enter several vehicles in the Mohawk St area and steal items.  Owners of those vehicles caught him the act, and when Police got into the area to attempt to take him into custody Hatton fled on foot.  After a brief pursuit Hatton was taken into custody and booked on charges of Obstructing Governmental Administration in the second degree and Petit Larceny.  He was then charged and booked on another count of Petit Larceny and released on Appearance Tickets.

At this time members of the Utica Police Department Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division are compiling charges against Hatton, but charges he will be facing are:

  • Grand Larceny in the second degree
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the second degree
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Criminal Mischief (pending estimate)
  • Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident
  • Various NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law violations
  • Additional charges are likely

At the culmination of the completion of the charges he will be brought for arraignment to the applicable court.

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