Sunmount resident walks off campus, is brought back in quickly

TUPPER LAKE — A resident of a Sunmount group home on Hosley Avenue left the premises on Monday afternoon.

Sunmount staff called state police at 1:23 p.m. to help locate the resident, who was reportedly on voluntary placement at the facility, state police Troop B spokeswoman Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said.

She said the resident was back at the facility prior to police arrival. Fleishman could not provide additional information on the incident as the police report was unfinished.

Tupper Lake Police Chief Eric Proulx said he overheard a radio transmission to state police that a consumer had walked away from Sunmount and immediately called Sunmount’s safety department, which said they had already apprehended the resident. The village police department did not have any further involvement.

The incident is the latest in a string of instances where Sunmount consumers have walked out of their on-campus residences.

In three separate occurrences, Level 2 sex offender Adam Vanvalkenburg, a voluntary resident of Sunmount, left his group home on Hosley Avenue without permission. He first left the home in March 2016 and was reported hitchhiking on state Route 3 near Coreys Road. He was found 10 miles north of Sunmount by a safety sergeant who transported him back to his residence.

In April 2016, Vanvalkenburg left the group home again, walking out and making it 48 miles to Hazen Road in Jay, where he was found by Sunmount security. He returned to the custody of the Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services Office six hours after leaving.

In May 2016, Vanvalkenburg departed his group home for the third time not making it far before Sunmount security located him and returned him to the home. He left the residence again the same day, refusing to return and threatening to kill himself.

Safety officers apprehended him and handed him over to state police under the Mental Hygiene Law. He was taken to Franklin County Jail after the incident as he violated the terms of his probation to comply with treatment.

Vanvalkenburg was convicted in July 2014 on one count of second-degree sexual abuse/sexual contact with a person less than 14 years old, a Class A misdemeanor, for an incident involving an 11-year-old girl. He was sentenced to six years of probation under the supervision of Essex County.

In November 2014, Level 3 sex offender Samantha Cole exited through a window of her group home on Hosley Avenue and was found 3 miles from her home at Holy Name Catholic Church on Main Street shortly after she left. Cole was convicted of third-degree rape in 2011.

Just weeks before in October 2014, a Sunmount resident jumped out a second-story window in the laundry room of his residence and walked to McDonald’s on Demars Boulevard. The Tupper Lake Police Department responded to a call from the restaurant and the Sunmount Safety Department picked the resident up shortly after.

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