If you’re going to finish your long life of crime and drug abuse at the age of fifty-one shot dead in the street during a fight with a state trooper, you at least want the police to say nice things about you when you’re gone:
Police knew [“Curley” Baynes] as an old-school fighter. One officer complained Baynes cracked his vertebrae in 1991 during a fight. Officers had responded to a harassment complaint and ended up in a brawl. They pressed assault charges, and Baynes countered with claims officers smashed his face into a brick wall and clubbed him. A jury dismissed the assault charges at trial.
Paul Weber remembers the day he saw Baynes leaving a neighbor's house with sacks-full of jewelry. Weber, a former college wrestler, was starting his career with Newburgh police at the time. Weber was off-duty, but he chased the bigger man for blocks on South Street before Baynes got tired of running.
"He just turns and squares off in the middle of the street," Weber said. "He fought like a champ, and I was right there with him."
Curley’s friends remember him as “good at heart,” the kind of guy who “baked cookies for friends.”
Read all of Doyle Murphy’s story at the Times Herald-Record. Photo by Jeff Goulding/THR.
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