Mad River Union
Montgomery, New York – Friends and colleagues are mourning the death of Luke Patterson, a former Arcata chef and restaurateur who was shot and killed by a New York state trooper early on the morning Thursday, May 23 in the town of Montgomery, New York.
Patterson, 41, was the owner of Luke’s Joint on the Arcata Plaza and The Other Place on K Street. He was well known in Arcata and organized several of the town’s annual Thanksgiving dinners, preparing and giving aways hundreds of free meals.
According to a press release from the New York State Police, officers responded to a report of a disabled vehicle on I-84 in the town of Montgomery at about 1:55 a.m. on May 23.
As troopers arrived on scene, they received a report of a subject walking nearby on the side of the highway.
“When they encountered the individual [Patterson], one member exited the troop car and engaged the individual in conversation, while the other drove the vehicle beside them,” stated a press release from the State Police. “A preliminary investigation revealed the subject was not cooperative with Troopers, and refused to comply with commands multiple times. When the subject made a movement to enter the Troop car, one member fired his Division issued firearm, striking the subject.”
According to police, Patterson was treated at the scene and then taken to the Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, where he died.
Patterson was unarmed. According to an article in the New York Times, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James will investigate the shooting.
The Times reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order in 2015 directing the attorney general’s office to review cases in which unarmed people are killed by police.
Patterson sold his Arcata restaurants in 2015 and moved to Tannersville, where his parents have a summer home. He was renovating a house in Tannersville to create a boutique wedding destination.
According to the Times, the village in the Catskills has undergone a tourism revival thanks, in part, to Patterson’s mother, artist Elena Patterson, who created a “Paint Project” to create “dramatic pastel paint schemes on downtown buildings.”
News of Patterson’s death spread quickly through town Friday.
On Facebook, Patterson’s friend Resha Reneau wrote “You Will always be Loved and Remembered for the Beautiful Contribution the Lives Of Everyone You Touched. You Were a True Community Builder!! You Are Missed!! and Will Be Missed Deep In Our Heart We Feel the Blow Of One SO Dear who was Taken from us By NY State Police!! No Justice [heart emoji] No Peace.”
“I cannot get this tragedy out of my head. I will always remember this kind soul with a smile on his face and an innocent eagerness in his eyes. Rest in Peace,” wrote Tyler Downing Hewitt.
Friends are discussing organizing a local memorial tribute to Patterson, although as the Union went to press Monday afternoon, no plans had been announced.
According to his Facebook page, Patterson had previously worked as a line cook/prep cook at Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room in Big Indian, New York.
He was s a former line cook/prep cook at Last Chance Antiques & Cheese Cafe in Tannersville, New York.
Patterson had worked as a chef/line cook at Bouley, a high-end restaurant in New York.
Patterson studied anthropology at Amherst College in Massachusetts and studied at The French Culinary Institute. Patterson attended Bronxville High School in Bronxville, New York, according to his Facebook page.