Owego man in jail on multiple felonies after attempting to strangle Tioga sheriff deputy


During the early morning hours on May 26th, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a suspicious person on North Avenue in the Village of Owego. It was alleged that a male subject was attempting to break in to a car and was in possession of a metal pole.

Upon arriving on scene a Sergeant of the Sheriff’s Office attempted to address the male subject, who was inside a damaged vehicle, and the male subject became irate. The Sergeant attempted to deescalate the situation however the subject became physically combative and attacked the Sergeant with the pipe. The two ended up on the ground where the Sergeant sustained an injury to his head. The male suspect then grabbed ahold of the Sergeant and strangled him while he was unconscious on the ground. A two-person New York State Police unit arrived on scene and was able to place the suspect into custody after deploying a Taser.

After an investigation by the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Michael J. Kelly Jr., age 48 of Owego, NY  was arrested and charged with the following: Two counts of Assault in the second degree, class D felonies, one count of Strangulation second degree, a class D felony, and two counts of Criminal Mischief in the third degree, class E felonies.

Kelly Jr. was arraigned on May 26th, 2021 in Tioga County CAP Court in front of Justice Dawn Olsen and was remanded to the Tioga County Jail on no bail. Kelly Jr.’s further court dates are pending.

The Sergeant was treated at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City and released later that day.