Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame


Story ID:788
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Canaan New York USA
Person:Mr. Cullen
View Comments (2)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
One never knows when an otherwise normal, peaceful situation will erupt into the wildest and craziest behavior imaginable, and no one knows why. Yesterday is a good example of that.

There is a small town of Canaan, New York, situated on New York State Route 295 at the border with Massachusetts, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains in the northeast corner of Columbia County.

Canaan is a charming little town typical of New England with its salt box homes intermingled with grand colonials, farms and estates. Settled in 1759 by settlers from Canaan, Connecticut, it is an easy commute to Albany, New York – the state capital, and to Pittsfield in Massachusetts.

The population of the town in the 1990 census was 1773 people and grew slowly to 1820 persons by the 2002 census. It boasts an area of 36.7 square miles. Within that area are the crystal clear waters of Queechy Lake, and in the heart of the town a private road leads to the top of Merces Mountain where one may see heart stopping views of the Berkshires and the Catskills. With such beauty, why wouldn’t anybody want to live there?

This morning, an incident was being reported on the news of radio station WGY of Albany and Schenectady. The incident occurred in the town of Canaan yesterday, August 21, 2006.

A certain Mr. Cullen called 911 and reported a tree on fire in his yard. Three men and a fire truck arrived at his residence in response to his call. Mr. Cullen was waiting for them. There was no fire. Mr. Cullen explained to them that there had not been a fire in the tree, but that a cat was stuck near the top of the tree and he wanted them to get the cat down from his tree. He knew if he called to tell them there was a cat in the tree they would not come. Saying there was a fire in the tree guaranteed a response, and once there he could ask them to remove the cat from the tree.

The crew chief patiently explained to Mr. Cullen that the fire department was not there to retrieve cats from trees and that he should not call them for that. The crew chief informed Mr. Cullen that things in the real world were not like he might have seen portrayed in “Leave it To Beaver.”

In the meantime, a small boy from across the street had arrived at the scene because all small boys are interested in fire trucks and he wanted to see the truck up close and see what the firemen were about. The crew chief explained to Mr. Cullen that when the cat got hungry, it would come down out of the tree by itself and he should not worry about it.

Upon hearing this, Mr. Cullen stormed into his house and quickly reemerged with a gun. He began yelling and firing the gun. The three firemen all scattered and tried to take cover, as did the small boy. None of them wanted to be hit by one of the bullets zinging around in the area. It has not been reported what the cat in the tree did at this time.

While Mr. Cullen was shouting and shooting his weapon, the police arrived at the scene and disarmed Mr. Cullen. Mr. Cullen is now residing in the Columbia County Jail, facing four counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

It is worthy of note that the brochure of a real estate broker in Canaan describes Canaan as “a quiet town.”


Please visit my website at: www.fredsstoryroom.com.