On Nov. 13, 2021, state police responded to an address in the town of Lee regarding an order of protection violation. It was reported that Matthew J. Sullivan, Jr., 74, had violated a stay-away order of protection.
Sullivan left the scene prior to state police arrival.
Sullivan, who is known to area residents and law enforcement for hitchhiking in and around the Lee Center area, is believed to have been unknowingly brought to and from the incident location by community members who had picked Sullivan up while he was hitchhiking.
During the investigation, it was learned that Sullivan was also on probation and had failed to check in with probation as required.
State police applied for an arrest warrant for Sullivan from Lee Town Court, which was granted. On Nov. 15, 2021, members of Oneida BCI and SP Sylvan Beach, assisted by Utica Police Department, located Sullivan in the city of Utica and took him into custody without incident. During his arrest, Sullivan was found to be in possession of an edged weapon. Sullivan was also wanted by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department for similar charges.
Sullivan was charged with first-degree criminal contempt, aggravated family offense (both class E felonies; and second-degree criminal trespass (a class A misdemeanor).
Sullivan was transported to the Oneida County Jail. State police urge residents to avoid picking up hitchhikers, due to the inherent danger community members may be unknowingly placing themselves in.