See the camp Christopher Block made to hide from police

Local News

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Only feet from one of the fairways at Skaneateles Country Club, Christopher Block spent the night in a camp he made of branches and tarps.

Block tied branches together, built a fire pit and cooked with a grill.

Many, including some police officers, assumed Block was long gone, so the Skaneateles community is surprised that Block was here the whole time.

John Logan lives between where Block ditched his bracelet and where he spent the night, but not once did Logan hear from police. He’s relieved the search is over, but now has to process how angry he is that authorities never notified him of the ongoing situation.

“Nobody has called. Nobody stopped by,” Logan said.

Now, Logan wants to call attention to how easily he could have been informed by police about a dangerous man.

These photos were taken by Andrew Donovan of the make-shift camp Block had made, about 20 feet from a fairway at Skaneateles Country Club.

The DEC issued a statement that said:

At the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, New York State Department of Environment Conservations Police Officers (ECOs) assisted in this morning’s search of the Skaneateles area for parole absconder Christopher Block. DEC’s tactical tracking team was directed by the U.S. Marshals Service to search a wooded area near Skaneateles Country Club where ECOs and their K9s discovered a makeshift lean-to and the subject.

DEC ECOs and K9s apprehended Block and detained him until the arrival of a parole officer, who took the subject back into custody.

Statement from DOCCS Spokesperson Thomas Mailey:

DOCCS immediately notified its federal, state and local law enforcement partners as soon as Mr. Block’s GPS monitor was removed and responded immediately to the GPS cut location with personnel and canine resources from its partner agencies.  DOCCS then worked around the clock with those partners to locate and apprehend Block.  As part of the initial search strategy immediately following the GPS cut, notice to the public was limited so it did not cause panic or unduly compromise the early stages of the search and force the absconder to go deeper into hiding.  Contrary to reported information and inaccurate public statements and tweets by certain local officials, all law enforcement agencies were duly notified via the National Crime Information Center, APB/BOLO, as well as through personal notification from DOCCS staff.  Also contrary to the local officials’ tweets and statements, these local agencies actually participated in the search and investigation with DOCCS and NYSP, deploying personnel, canine, and a helicopter within two hours of the cut.  Further,  DOCCS and NYSP never called off the search and staffed intense search efforts for 36 hours straight with multi-man teams operating throughout Onondaga and Cayuga counties, with a manned 24 tip line and command post in Syracuse, until Block was captured at 830 am on July 12, 2019.  Local officials called off their contributions to the search as their personnel shifts ended on July 10 and 11, 2019.  However, DOCCS and NYSP continued efforts unabated, ultimately culminating with Block’s capture, with the significant assistance of NYS DEC. 

Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck released a statement on Friday morning thanking everyone involved. It reads:

Thank you to the officers that were able to take Christopher Block into custody today and those that worked tirelessly on this case. Moving forward I will be working to try and partner with the NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to improve communication between our offices  as well as strengthen our partnerships. Our local Parole Officers in Cayuga and Onondaga Counties have a difficult job and they have always been willing to partner with our local agencies. The issues with the lack of communication to local law enforcement and the public related to this incident appear to be at an administrative level. We can do better, and I hope to be part of the solution. Also a well deserved thank you to NY State Senator Bob Antonnaci for reaching out and offering assistance.

Sheriff Brian Schenck

For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan

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