New Jersey man sentenced for killing woman in Northway crash
Vasu Laroiya receives eight and a third to 25 years in prison
ALBANY – 25-year-old Vasu Laroiya of Iselin, NJ, was sentenced to an indeterminate term of
8 and 1/3 to 25 years in State Prison before Judge William Little in Albany County Court on Friday, Jan. 26 after he previously pleaded guilty to One Count of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide on November 28..
As a part of his plea, Laroiya admitted that on or about May 28, 2022, in the Latham area of the
Northway in Colonie, he drove recklessly at speeds reaching 156 miles per hour while intoxicated and using his cell phone to make a Snapchat video, when he drove into the back of a vehicle being driven by Katie Fisher, causing her death. Laroiya also admitted having a prior
alcohol related conviction from New Jersey in 2019.
The original indictment, handed up on July 6, 2022, included charges of murder the seconddegree, manslaughter in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, driving while intoxicated, and reckless driving.
Shawn Fisher, the victim’s father, said at the hearing,
“These intentional acts demonstrate that you don’t care about the repercussions of your behavior, and I believe that given the opportunity, you would continue to make more poor, selfish choices. Because of your actions, I am fully convinced that you don’t care about anyone but yourself, and anything you say or do at this point, is merely an attempt to avoid punishment. And despite being granted a plea deal, I will always consider you Katie’s murderer, because of your depraved indifference.”
Adrianne Rickson, the victim’s mother, said “Her body was internally exploded. Her gas tank was a quarter mile down the road, and you play the victim? I can only hope that your stay in this prison system can help you figure out what is so broken inside of you, so you can fix it… She will never have another birthday, no more Christmases with our Katie. No more anything.”
Albany County Assistant District Attorney Mary Tanner-Richter said, “The lies. Saying over and over that he was on auto-pilot; that was a lie. Saying he was only going about 70 to 75 miles per hour, that was a lie. Saying that he had one drink, the Mai Tai; that was a lie of omission. He conveniently left out the two ultimate Long Island Iced Teas he consumed in rapid succession… Saying another car flew by him, that phantom car, that was a lie. And saying that Katie brake-checked him; that may be one of the most offensive lies that Vasu Laroiya told. When Vasu Laroiya comes up for parole, I sincerely hope the State of New York sees what you took from this family, and takes note of your abdication of all responsibility”
Little had the final words before sentencing for Laroiya.
“You’re arrogant, you’re selfish, you’re entitled. All you did was complain… You killed someone, but you have the audacity to complain about your ankle monitor? You have the audacity to complain about going to college? I really don’t even want to see you, to be honest,” he said.
In addition to his prison sentence, Laroiya will be subject to license revocation, and the
installation of an ignition interlock device.
LATHAM – On January 13 at about 2:57 a.m.,State Police responded to a report of a car into a guide rail on I-87 in Colonie.The driver was identified as Angel X. Colon-Ortiz, 27, of Coeymans.Colon-Ortiz was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated DWI and other vehicle and traffic law violations.
He was transported to the Latham barracks, where he refused to provide a sample to determine the alcohol content of his blood.Colon-Ortiz was issued tickets returnable to the Colonie Town Court on February 12 and released to a sober third party.
Felony DWI, no license, with child in car
COLONIE – A Schenectady man faces three felony charges after he was arrested for DWI on Thursday, Jan. 11 after three prior convictions and also having a child in the car.
According to police, Ricardo Rodriguez, 32, was driving on Curry Road near the Rotterdam Line at 7:16 p.m. when he was involved in a personal injury auto accident.
He was given and failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a test for breath alcohol on a pre-screening device on the scene. At the police station, he also refused to provide a breath sample.
A child under 16 was in the vehicle with Rodriquez when it crashed.
He was charged with felony DWI- third offense, aggravated unlicensed operation, and aggravated DWI – Leandra’s law, all felonies, and aggravated unlicensed operation and acting in a manner to injure a child, both misdemeanors, and ticketed for refusing to take a breath test, operating a motor vehicle without a license and failing to yield right of way.
Rodriquez was sent to the Albany County jail as a pre-arraignment detainee to appear the next day.
Burglary, assault and grand larceny
COLONIE – A 26-year-old Schenectady woman turned herself into Colonie police on Friday, Jan. 12 on an active arrest warrant for an incident at AT&T wireless on Central Avenue on October 17.
Nicole Charland was charged with burglary – causing physical injury, assault – on a person not involved, grand larceny and criminal mischief, all felonies.
Charland was processed and arraigned.
Larceny and warrant
COLONIE – Colonie police responded to Macy’s at Colonie Center for a report of a larceny on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:47 p.m.
After a check, officers determined that Hugo Cabrera, 47, who is homeless, also had an outstanding warrant from Schenectady.
Cabrera was charged with petit larceny and given an appearance ticket for Colonie Town Court on February 2. He was transported to meet officers from Schenectady police.
Felony DWI on Wolf Road
COLONIE – On Friday, Jan. 12 at approximately 9 p.m., Colonie police responded to Ted’s Fish Fry for a report of an intoxicated driver. When officers arrived, they observed video footage of Cindy Peppin, 64, of Troy, exiting the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the parking lot and entering the store. The staff observed this as well, according to reports.
Peppin was given and failed field sobriety tests and tested positive for breath alcohol on a pre-screening device.
At the police station, she was processed and charged with felony DWI – prior conviction, and ticketed for drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle and refusing to take a breath test.
Peppin was issued an appearance ticket for Colonie Town Court on January 22 and released.
COLONIE – Colonie police responded to Cumberland Farms on Central Avenue on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12:03 a.m. and found the subject of the call wanted.
Cynthia Clark, 53, who is homeless, had an active arrest warrant out of Schenectady. She was processed and turned over to Schenectady police.
Two for larceny and warrants
COLONIE – A Colonie man and an Albany woman were taken into custody at BJ Wholesale Club on Central Avenue on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 8:12 p.m. for taking items from the store.
Justin Flood, 41, was charged with petit larceny and police also found he was wanted for not showing up to court for an incident at Macy’s at Colonie on November 1.
Kimberly Lenney, 54, was located in the area near the store and taken into custody. She also had an active arrest warrant, but for not showing up for court for charges stemming from two incidents in the town, one in October and one in November.
Both were processed and arraigned by Colonie Town Judge Andrew Sommers.
Weapons charges, reckless endangerment
COLONIE – Colonie police charged a local man on Sunday, Jan. 14 after an investigation into an incident at his home earlier in the day.
According to reports, officers arrested Scott Rummler, 47, of Colonie, and charged him with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, both felonies. Rummler was in possession of a firearm when he was taken into custody.
He was arraigned by Colonie Judge Andrew Sommers.
DWAI – Drugs
WATERVLIET – Officers responded to a call for service on Monday, Jan. 15 on Hay Path in the Town of Colonie for the report of a driver slumped over the wheel.
When they arrived, they found a 39-year-old Latham man in the driver’s seat. He was given and failed field sobriety tests and had a quantity of drugs in the vehicle.
He was taken into custody and charged with DWAI- drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance, both misdemeanors, and ticketed for stopping on a highway.
The man was given an appearance ticket for Colonie Town Court on February 14.
COLONIE – On Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 6:41 a.m., Colonie police arrested a 27-year-old Colonie man for an incident at his home the day before.
Officers charged Mitchell Fowler with criminal mischief, a felony. He was arraigned by Judge Norman Massry.
Warrant after warrants and drugs
COLONIE – An Albany man was transported from the Albany County jail on Wednesday, Jan. 17 to face charges because he did not appear in court in December.
Naim Cook, 43, was processed and then arraigned by Colonie Town Judge Norman Massry this time.
Cook was arrested on November 18 for having two warrants and drugs after police responded to the Hannaford Plaza on Wolf Road on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11:13 p.m. to check a subject.
When police arrived they found that the person in question Cook, who was homeless at that time, had two outstanding warrants from the town from January 2023. Cook was also in possession of a quantity of heroin. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, and the two warrants, then sent to the Albany County Jail as a pre-arraignment detainee at that time, but did not show up again in December.
Colonie police ask help for missing person
COLONIE – Colonie police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing person from the Town.
Gary Washburn, 23, is a missing vulnerable adult with autism and is believed to be suicidal and may be in need of medical attention.
He was last seen driving a 2007 gray Saab 9-7X with New York registration LDR-7080. Gary was last seen wearing a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, dark sweatpants, and white sneakers. Information indicates that he may be in either Cornwall or Torrington Connecticut.
He is described as a white male, 6 foot 2 inches tall, approximately 220 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.
If you have any information regarding Washburn, please contact Colonie police through the NYS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 800-346-3543.
This story was featured on page 16 of the January 31, 2024 print edition of The Colonie Spotlight.