Kansas man sentenced to psychiatric care for Hartwick hit-and-run

Vicky Klukkert | The Daily StarGeorge Wang, right, was sentenced to a state psychiatric center Monday, Dec. 6, in Otsego County Court. Also pictured is public defender Michael Trosset.

A Kansas man, accused of attempted murder in Hartwick, was sentenced Monday to treatment a state psychiatric center.

George Wang, originally of Lawrence, Kansas, was in Otsego County Court Monday, Dec. 6, for sentencing. He pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect on Nov. 1.

Judge John Lambert placed Wang in the custody of the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department pending a transfer to a state psychiatric center for treatment. 

Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl said in November it was clear to everyone involved in the case that Wang didn’t know why he was in Otsego County or what he was doing when he struck a pedestrian along state Route 28 in Hartwick.

Wang was indicted in March on charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault, both violent felonies. He is accused of intentionally driving a 2013 Hyundai off state Route 28, over the shoulder and into the grass in front of the Tops plaza, striking and seriously injuring Michael Stats, a pedestrian, on Nov. 18, 2020.

Witnesses at the scene reported that the vehicle failed to stop, re-entered the roadway by swerving around other vehicles in the area and fled the scene at a high rate of speed, traveling south on state Route 28, according to the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department.

The vehicle, exhibiting extensive front-end damage, was found by a State Police patrol in the area of state Route 28 and the Interstate 88 interchange. Troopers stopped the vehicle and detained Wang for the deputies.

While in the state facility, Wang will receive care from a psychiatrist or psychologist until he is deemed no longer a threat to himself or others, Lambert said. 

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221.

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