Loved ones call for arrests in beating death of Sullivan County man
Loved ones are not giving up the fight for arrests in the unsolved case of a Sullivan County man who died two years ago after he was allegedly fatally beaten by several people at a party.
State police say 61-year-old Israel "Ira" Zolchonock, from Swan Lake, was assaulted and killed by a group of partiers in his neighborhood May 19, 2021 after he confronted them about their loud music.
Authorities say witnesses identified the suspects, but that no arrests have been made.
“They knew exactly who did it, and nothing has been done about it,” said James Cole.
Cole is a longtime friend of Zolchonock.
“I miss Ira every day,” said Cole.
State police say Zolchonock was found unresponsive at 11:38 p.m. in a backyard on Stanton Corners Road after witnesses who weren’t involved in the attack reported he asked the group to turn the music down using a racial slur.
“There was a 17-year-old boy there that started pushing him. The other guy hit him in the side of the head," said Cole. "He fell and then the three of them proceeded to start kicking and punching him."
News 12 asked state police why no arrests were made but they referred our questions to the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office. News 12 reached out to acting District Attorney Brian Conaty, who wasn't in office at the time of the fatal assault. Conaty returned News 12's call late Thursday evening and said, "The Zolchonock investigation remains under investigation. I will be calling the family into my office soon."
“I blame everyone in this case. We’ve got nothing but a runaround from all the people we’ve spoken to," said Cole. "Regardless of what happened that night, there’s no outcome that should’ve resulted in his death."
In the meantime, loved ones continue to press for answers and keep Zolchonock’s memory alive.
A motorcycle ride for Ira is planned for next month.