County Executive’s Corner: The Day Terrorists Attacked Rockland

By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

Years before our nation was attacked on Sept. 11, there was a terror attack right here in Rockland.

Oct. 20, 1981 – the day that domestic terrorists with a violent ideology that made sense only to them attacked was Rockland’s Sept. 11.

Just like Sept. 11 changed our nation, the Brinks robbery changed Rockland County forever.

Let’s set the record straight. Judith Clark is a cold blooded killer of two police officers and a guard. Judith Clark is a domestic terrorist.

She was tried and convicted.

Now the governor has betrayed us, betrayed the memories of the men killed that day, betrayed law enforcement and betrayed Rockland by commuting the life sentence imposed by a court of law. This criminal will appear before the parole board soon and could be eligible for release.

We will do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Judith Clark is where she belongs and we will do all we can to see that she stays there.

She was in a gang of criminals that robbed an armored Brinks truck making a delivery to a bank at the Nanuet Mall.

These criminals shot and killed Brinks guard Peter Paige in cold blood. They did not give him a chance.

Then they changed cars and headed toward the New York State Thruway, hoping to make a get-away with $1.6 million in cash.

The car was stopped at the thruway entrance in Nyack. Two Nyack police officers stood their ground, fighting automatic weapons with six-shooters. Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown were killed on the spot.

Judith Clark drove one of the cars. She wasn’t “just a getaway driver.” She was deeply involved in the planning of this heinous act and was reaching for a gun when she was taken into custody.

Judith Clark is a domestic terrorist.

Thirty-five years ago, Judith Clark appeared in the Rockland County Courthouse to answer for her crimes. She was arraigned on three counts of murder.

She wasn’t a kid. She was a 31-year-old woman with a child who chose to participate in anarchy, anarchy that led to a bank robbery that left three people dead.

Judith Clark denounced our justice system. Judith Clark mocked the laws that bind our society together and the men and women who enforce them.

Even so, Judith Clark was given a fair trial, with the right to a lawyer and a right to defend herself.

She spurned that right and was so disruptive and disrespectful that she had to be removed from the courtroom.

Our justice system determined that she was guilty. The judge who sentenced her said that she and her co-defendants “hold society in contempt and have no respect for human life.”

He saw no chance for future rehabilitation.

Our justice system did its job. Justice was meted out to Judith Clark.

Our justice system decided that she needed to spend 75 years to life in prison to answer for her role killing three members of law enforcement.

Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown and Brinks guard Peter Paige were not given a second chance.

Judith Clark earned her sentence. Let her serve it.

Nothing should stand in the way of the justice that was handed out to Judith Clark.

The families that have spent the last 35 years grieving the loss of husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles who died because of Judith Clark’s choices should not suffer anew by having to battle the parole board every two years to fight her release.

It is up to all of us who remember that terrible day 35 years ago when terrorists invaded Rockland to make sure that she continues to be held accountable.

All of us who care about the laws that hold our society together as well as the men and women who enforce them need to make sure she serves her sentence fully.

I’m going to write to the parole board, to explain to them what Judith Clark did to all of Rockland when she helped kill two police officer and a guard.

I ask you to honor the lives of our law enforcement officers by doing the same:

Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
247 Harris Road
Bedford Hills, New York 10507-2400
Re: Judith Clark
DIN 83G0313

Or via email at
http://www.doccs.ny.gov/letters.html