Schenectady man accused of hitting local pub owner, 73, with vehicle

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The owner of a popular bar and grill continues to recover after police said she was hit by a vehicle driven by a patron.

Ravenswood Grill and Tavern is a favorite stop for many neighbors in Clifton Park, but on Wednesday, they were stunned to hear what happened to the woman they affectionately refer to as “mama.”

Stephanie Vanauken, 73, is the beloved owner of Ravenswood, a restaurant many consider to be a staple in the neighborhood.

“Great place to eat and drink,” Chris Porter said.

“It’s very popular; very homely, very inviting,” Ashley Mahserjian said.

Vanauken continues to recover from serious injuries she received on June 3 when police said she was hit by 57-year-old Christopher Jones, of Schenectady.

“It’s just unbelievable somebody would do that,” Daniel Moss said.

According to the police report, Jones was in the Ravenswood parking lot when Vanauken exited the building. While in his vehicle, he hit her and another pedestrian before speeding off.

Police later arrested him in Schenectady. He faces numerous charges, including Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident which Resulted in Serious Injuries and Driving While Intoxicated.

“I’ve been going there since I was a little kid,” Mahserjian said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. You don’t see something like that happening anywhere around here.”

NEWS10 ABC stopped by Jones’s home and rang the doorbell, but there was no answer. In the meantime, many people who know Vanauken are angry and upset.

“Terrible. That’s awful,” Porter said. “Worst thing I’ve heard in a while.”

“Just to think that someone would do that, especially to an older woman; someone that is a nice individual,” Mahserjian said. “It’s really scary.”

For now, Vanauken continues to recover from two fractured hips, and community support is pouring in.

“I hope all is well, and I hope for a good recovery,” Moss said.

Vanauken’s son is a manager at Ravenswood. He said his mom is doing well, and he appreciates the support his family has received.

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