Border patrol agent charged with assaulting elderly couple at scene of his wife's death in Massena placed on administrative leave
By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- The Border Patrol agent charged with assaulting an elderly couple at the scene of his wife’s death is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, according to United States Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Shelbe Benson-Fuller.
Bryan C. McDonald, 34, of Lyon Mountain is facing two felony counts of second-degree assault for punching an elderly couple who stopped to assist his wife, who had been hit by a vehicle on county Route 37 on Dec. 4 and died, according to state police.“The Swanton Sector Border Patrol is fully cooperating with the investigation,” Benson-Fuller said, deferring further comment to New York State Police and the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office.
She did not say if he is still receiving pay while suspended and has not replied to a request for comment.
The charges against McDonald are felonies because of the age of the victims. State law upgrades and assault charge to a felony when the victim is more than 65 years old and the perpetrator is more than 10 years their junior.
According to statements given to police, McDonald struck Richard F. Ladue, 66 and Carol Ladue, 65, both of Massena.
Carol Ladue gave a statement to police saying she and her husband were returning home from the Massena Community Center in separate cars on county Route 37 Dec. 4 around 10:30 p.m. She said she was flagged down upon arriving at the scene and as she approached after leaving her car, McDonald started yelling at her and punched her in the face, according to her statement. Inv. Nick Arcadi filed a document with the court saying McDonald also kicked Ladue while she was down.
Richard Ladue arrived shortly after his wife, he told police. He got out of his vehicle and McDonald started yelling at him and struck him in the face, he told police. He said in his statement that he believed McDonald broke his nose.
Both Ladues sought treatment at Massena Memorial Hospital and were released, state police said.
The accident claimed the life of 33-year-old Ashley B. McDonald.
McDonald, 33, was struck and killed around 10:30 p.m. by a vehicle being driven by Megan M. Phelix, 32, of Massena.
Bryan McDonald was arraigned Massena court by Town Justice Gerald Sharlow and released under supervision of the county Probation Department.
He is to appear in Brasher Town Court Jan. 12.
The court issued orders of protection for the Ladues.
The incident remains under investigation by state troopers and the county district attorney's office.