Ithaca, N.Y. — A few dozen people are attending a meeting in the Tompkins County Legislature Chambers Monday afternoon about a recent standoff in Danby that ended with a man dead and a home damaged.

Ric Dietrich, supervisor of the town of Danby, spoke first at the public comment period of the meeting.

He said this was likely the first time he had seen his constituents “so very alarmed at what happened.”

“There is so much supposition; there are so many questions; there is so much second guessing that is going on,” Dietrich said.

Tompkins County Sheriff Ken Lansing was in attendance, as was Melissa Cady, whose husband David Cady was found dead after the over 60 hour standoff.

A video surfaced shortly after showing the house in the aftermath of the standoff.

The home after the barricade

Dietrich called for an independent review of what happened and why, and said he thought communication from the sheriff’s office was poor.

“I do feel in a lot of ways my residents were put at risk because I was not able to put out my highway equipment,” Dietrich said, noting the roads were in bad condition during the snowy period of the standoff.

Melissa Cady also spoke, saying she questioned the operation and the characterizations police made about her husband.

“I don’t know how or why or when it went as far as it went,” Melissa Cady said.

“Long story short all the rumors of my husband supposedly having an arsenal is crazy. Us driving to Pennsylvania for an arsenal is nuts.”

“I told police from the beginning that he was suicidal … he needed someone to help them and all they did was bring in more, and more, and more, police.”

She also said it was impossible that the standoff continued into Thursday night with David Cady allegedly being seen by police carrying a long-gun.

“My husband’s body was frozen solid when it was received in Binghamton. Therefore, what you’re saying about what him saying about a long gun strapped to his back Thursday night is crap. Period. It is totally impossible,” she said.

She looked at Sheriff Lansing and said she didn’t hate him but that she needed answers.

“Bottom line is he was an alcoholic with a problem … it got out of control, most definitely. Things were said by the police at the beginning that should not have been said,” she said. “I need answers.”

Of the others who have spoken at the public forum, there was a mixture of views. Some spoke in favor of the police officers as family or former officers; others criticized the police and called for them to be reined in.

A Newfield resident named David thanked law enforcement for their work and said they did the best they could.

“I understand the thought process in all that’s involved. I want to publicly thank them,” he said.

He was followed by a woman who spoke tearfully and said the police had torn apart a family. She then passed around a donation box.

See related: Sheriff says cops showed exceptional restraint in Tompkins standoff

See related: Wife in Tompkins barricade wonders if there was better way


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.