At this past weekend’s Freedom of Expression Musical Festival at West Mountain, organizers say close to 400 people enjoyed three days of music and dancing. As YNN’s Matt Hunter reports, before the fist band took the stage, the Warren County Sheriff’s office says a Queensbury man threatened festival volunteers with a gun.
QUEENSBURY, NY – “I guess people say we’re hippies, but we’re just having a good time,” Shannon Donnelly said Monday afternoon.
A volunteer at this past weekend’s Freedom of Expression Music Festival at West Mountain, Donnelly was helping to direct traffic in the parking lot Friday afternoon when she says a man pulled up in his car with the horn blaring.
“He starts screaming at me, calling us ‘druggies’ and all of this crazy stuff,” said Donnelly, who grew up in Orange County but now calls Brooklyn home.
“He [suspect] was essentially demanding compliance, he wanted the music turned down,” said Steven Stockdale, a lieutenant with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office’s criminal investigations division.
When she approached the car, Donnelly said the man deputies later identified as David Hubert, 73, of Queensbury, pointed a handgun directly at her face.
“He lifts the gun right from the front seat, right at us,” Donnelly said. “You recognize a gun, you duck and you cover.”
Festival staff called 911 and deputies arrived shortly after.
“When officers approached the vehicle, they observed a handgun on the floor of the car,” Stockdale said. “They secured it and detained [Hubert].”
Hubert, who lives a few hundred yards away from West Mountain, was arrested and charged with second degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor.
While Stockdale says they received several other complaints about the music’s volume, there were no other issues with the festival.
“He accused them of being drug addicts,” Stockdale said. “There was no evidence of any drug use.”
“This was nothing of the sort,” said Tim Sullivan, a partner in Upstate Productions, LLC, the festival’s promotion company. “We had not one incident of anything like that.”
Hubert did no answer his door when YNN reporters attempted to interview him on Monday. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail.
“It was a good festival,” said Chris Vanderzee, a member of West Mountain’s new management team.
“I understand the music is loud,” Donnelly said. “But to come to a concert with a gun is crazy.”
This is the second year the festival has been held at West Mountain. According to Sullivan, Upstate Productions obtained permits to play the music until 11 p.m. each day.
The current owners of West Mountain are currently going through bankruptcy court, with an ownership transition expected to occur this December. Spencer Montgomery, the new operator, said on Monday that it’s unlikely the mountain will host festivals and concerts in the future.