A 17-year-old Basom resident admitted in County Court today to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.
Isaac Abrams entered guilty pleas to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony.
There is no sentencing cap on his possible prison term, which is a maximum of seven years, but the sentences on both charges would run concurrently, according to the plea agreement.
Abrams was being held in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 bail, but after listening to both attorneys on his bail status, County Court Judge Charles Zambito agreed to release Abrams under the supervision of Genesee Justice with a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. He must continue to reside at his mother's residence on Skye Road during the term of his release or get permission from the court to move.
First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued that Abrams has demonstrated a poor record of obeying the lawful commands of police officers, first in the Aug. 28 incident in the city and then during his confrontation with troopers and deputies Sept. 30.
His attorney, Vanessa Guite, said that Abrams has been successfully participating in Alcoholics Anonymous, completed his high school education while confined, and she added that that her client's second arrest was a real wake-up call for him.
"You can see from his demeanor in court that he is taking this deadly serious," Guite said.
In October, Abrams became a father. He has yet to see his baby, Guite said.
While out of jail, Guite said, "He will be fully engaged in taking care of his baby."
Details of the incident that led to Abrams' arrest in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28 are not available. There was no press release at the time of his arrest and today the Batavia PD computer system is down so the information isn't available. (Correction: There was a press release, but Abrams' name was redacted from the initial release by Batavia PD, so we couldn't find the prior publication.)
Abrams was originally charged with three counts of attempted assault in the first degree, along with the reckless endangerment charge, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd.
UPDATE: At 5:46 p.m., Aug. 29, Batavia PD responded to a disturbance at Burger King at 230 West Main St., Batavia, where a person was reportedly struck by a vehicle. Abrams reportedly fled the scene and was apprehended on West Main Street.
His plea satisfies all six charges along with any pending traffic tickets.
As for the Oct. 30 incident, Deputy Andrew Hale handled the case and Hale said today that the arrest was the culmination of about a week of deputies dealing with Abrams.
He said there was an incident at a gas station on the reservation where Abrams allegedly got into a fight with a patron and the owner of the gas station asked Hale to arrest Abrams, whom he said was previously barred from the property, for trespass.
There was another incident, Hale said, where Abrams allegedly hit an employee at a smoke shop. The State Police handled that incident.
Hale sought an arrest warrant for Abrams and received it Oct. 30.
That day, there was a traffic accident on Route 77 and traffic was redirected down Meadville Road. According to Hale, Abrams and his friends, whom Hale said had all been drinking, decided to set up a roadblock and charge a toll for motorists coming onto the reservation.
Troopers responded and Abrams and his friends challenged the troopers to a fight. Hale was notified and he responded because he had the warrant for Abrams.
Upon his arrival, Abrams was positioned behind cars, near a house and a tree line.
According to Hale, Abrams yelled, "You want to play with guns. I'll play with guns."
He also threatened to shoot Hale and Deputy Lonnie Nati.
He then started to reach into a vehicle and Hale said he warned Abrams not to reach for a gun. At that point, Abrams went into the residence and Hale and Nati circled around to the back of the house. When Abrams came out, there was a brief confrontation and then Hale and Nati managed to take Abrams into custody.
No weapons were recovered at the scene, but the house was not searched because the deputies did not have a search warrant for the residence.