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February 12, 2015 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, bergen.

Stephen J. Turkasz, 24, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Turkasz is accused of posting photos of people who are the subject of a protective order on a social media Web site, in alleged violation of the order of protection.

Malcolm A. Kea, 27, Porter Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant related to a charge of operating while registration suspended or revoked. Kea was arrested at his residence for alleged failure to appear.

Curt Thomas Randall, 27, of Swamp Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Randall was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday on Byron Holley Road, Bryon, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Benjamin G. Evans, 26, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Evans is accused of stealing from Tops Market, Batavia. Evans was arrested by State Police.

February 9, 2015 - 3:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, accidents, bergen.

A one-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported at mile marker 0.2 on eastbound Route 490. It is not blocking traffic. Le Roy fire and ambulance, Bergen fire, and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: No injuries reported.

February 8, 2015 - 1:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A motor-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported on the westbound Route 490 by the Bergen exit, in the median. Bergen fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE (1:14 p.m.): It's a van and it's in a snow bank.

UPDATE (1:19 p.m.): No injuries, according to medics on scene.

February 6, 2015 - 11:18am
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at West Bergen Road and Clinton Street Road. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding.

February 5, 2015 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, bergen.

Within the past couple of days there have been two hit-and-run accidents with suspect vehicles still at large.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for a black pickup truck with front-end damage that hit another vehicle on East Main Road, Le Roy.

They are also looking for a silver or gray Mazda that hit a utility pole and fire hydrant on Swamp Road, Bergen. That vehicle sustained driver side front-end damage and passenger side damage.

No further details available at this time.

Tips can be phoned into the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

January 28, 2015 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, Pavilion, bergen.
Joshua Baltz

A pair of investigations by the Local Drug Task Force has led to the arrest of two men, one accused of selling a controlled substance, the other of selling marijuana.

Busted were Joshua L. Baltz, 38, of Wood Street, Batavia, and Mark A. Knickerbocker, 17, of Route 262 in Byron.

Baltz allegedly sold a quantity of suboxone to an undercover agent on three separate occasions, once in Pavilion and twice in the City. 

He is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, a Class C felony.

Knickerbocker is accused of selling marijuana to a person under age 18 while in the Town of Bergen in May.

He is charged with criminal sale of marijuana, 2nd, a Class D felony.

The task force was assisted by the District Attorney's Office, uniformed deputies and Batavia PD.

January 22, 2015 - 2:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 8073 Clinton Street Road. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding. The location is in front of the feed convenience store.

UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: Bergen assignment is back in service.

January 20, 2015 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, alexander, Le Roy, Pavilion, Bethany, bergen.

Several Genesee County fire departments are helping fight a fully involved house fire on Kingsley Road in the Town of Middlebury, which is in Wyoming County. The house is at 566 Kingsley Road.

Bethany, Pavilion and Le Roy are called to the scene, along with a tanker from Alexander. An engine from Alexander is requested to fill in at Bethany's hall. York is asked to fill in at Pavilion. Bergen is asked to stand by in its quarters. Bethany is requested to send an ambulance to the scene.

UPDATE: For coverage from the Wyoming County Free Press, click here.

January 12, 2015 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, bergen.

Jason Gerard Heineman, 42, of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to keep right, driving left of pavement markings and refusal to take breath test. Heineman was stopped at 12:59 a.m. Saturday on Phelps Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Edward William Zastrow, 33, of Town Line Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, moving from lane unsafely. Zastrow was arrested by Sgt. Eric Seppala after his vehicle reportedly went off the roadway on Buffalo Street, Bergen, at 1:14 a.m. Sunday.

Devon James Schulman, 19, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Schulman is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart.

Curtis L. Williams, 34, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Williams turned himself in on the warrant.

Gregory Marcus Munroe II, 26, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a disorderly conduct charge. Munroe turned himself in on the warrant.

Kim M. Sobczak, 52, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, controlled substance not in original container and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Sobczak was arrested at Kmart at 12:30 p.m. Friday by State Police. No further details released. UPDATE: NYSP has released additional information on this case. According to police, Sobczak was caught leaving Kmart with a shopping cart full of assorted items with a value of more than $300. She was allegedly found during her arrest with a pill bottle containing acetaminophen/oxycodone and acetaminophen/hydrocodone pill tablets.

Ethan T. Ellis, 30, of Brockport, Mark J. Friga, 29, David A. Morre, 26, Victor F. Martinez, 26, all of  Rochester, were charged with trespass. The four men were allegedly found by State Police riding ATVs on private property off Circular Hill Road, Le Roy, last week. The property is owned by Hanson Aggregates.

January 10, 2015 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A car has hit a tree in the area of 7022 Clinton Street Road, Bergen.

The driver is reportedly trapped and complaining of leg pain.

Bergen Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:06 p.m.: The initial caller has called back. The driver is no longer trapped in the vehicle. He is now in the caller's car, still complaining of leg pain.

January 10, 2015 - 11:20am
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, accidents, bergen.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported, with unknown injuries, on the westbound I-490 near mile marker 2. Bergen fire is responding along with Le Roy fire and ambulance.

January 7, 2015 - 8:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A car versus tree accident is reported in the area of 7893 Town Line Road, just west of Buffalo Street, Bergen. The driver is trapped inside and possibly has a head injury. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE: Photo submitted by Anne Sapienza.

January 1, 2015 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

One person is trapped in a car following a one-vehicle rollover accident in the area of 7394 Townline Road, Bergen.

Unknown injuries.

Bergen fire and Byron ambulance responding.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Byron is transporting one to the hospital and Bergen fire is back in service.

 

January 1, 2015 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A motor-vehicle accident with a minor head injury is reported on North Lake Street and Bissell Road, Bergen.

Bergen fire and ambulance dispatched.

December 29, 2014 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Stafford, Alabama, bergen.

Ramon E. Esparza, 25, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and criminal mischief. Esparza is accused of stealing a purse while at a local restaurant. The call came in at 10:52 p.m., Friday. When police arrived and located Esparza, he allegedly failed to comply with an officer's instructions. There was allegedly a brief physical struggle before Esparza was taken into custody by Officer Marc Lawrence. Esparza was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Sade A. Poole, 22, of West Avenue, Medina, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Poole allegedly struck an employee of a local bar. The call came in at 1:16 a.m., Saturday.

William B. Coley, 44, of Frisbee Terrace, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. Coley is accused of stealing $764 from a misplaced wallet at a location on Park Road, Batavia, on Nov. 5. 

Dustin V. Gothard, 26, of Wolcottsville Road, Akron, is charged with petit larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. Gothard allegedly stole a bottle of cough medication from Tops Market. Upon his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Kayleigh Jean Allen, 22, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and failure to signal a turn. Allen was stopped at 2:57 a.m. Dec. 21 on North Byron Road, Elba, by Deputy Eric Seppala.

Jason Scott Stanley, 22, of Judge Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Stanley was stopped at 11:40 p.m., Friday, on Batavia Oakfield Townline Road by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michele Lynn Buccinna, 46, of Alleghany Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and two counts of speeding (77 in a 45-mph zone and 52 in a 30-mph zone). Buccinna was stopped at 1:45 a.m. Saturday on Pearl Street, Oakfield, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Antonio Lee Escobar, 19, of 156 Woodside Court, Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Escobar was allegedly found in possession of marijuana after a traffic stop on a suspicious condition complaint at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 21 by Deputy Christopher Erion.

Todd Wilbur Ellinwood, 54, of South Union Street, Rochester, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana, unregistered motor vehicle, uninspected motor vehicle and failure to signal. Ellinwood was stopped at 8:11 p.m. Saturday on Rochester Street, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Martha Ruth Thorn, 34, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and lights not meeting standards. Thorn was stopped at 2:49 a.m. Sunday on Main Road, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

December 20, 2014 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Hesperus Masonic Lodge.

Members of the Hesperus Masonic Lodge in Bergen gathered at the Bergen Fire Hall this morning to engage in one of their holiday traditions -- putting together Christmas baskets of food and gifts for needy members of the community.

Pictured: Harris Busmire, Joyce Sands, Richard Sands, Charles Coye and Bob Aradine.

December 19, 2014 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, byron-bergen, bergen.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District community has been doing an amazing job of providing assistance to some of our community families during the holidays for many years. 

The B-B community members, administrators, faculty, staff, and students donated toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, and more than 1,000 nonperishable food items. 

The B-B winter sports teams donated more than 500 nonperishable food items and assisted with packing fruit bags! Also, close to $2,400 was donated by the community, administrators, faculty, and staff so we could purchase gifts for families in need from our school district. 

All the food items will be picked up by the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons for sorting and packing into 90-plus food baskets for local families (as they have done for many, many years), with several community, Board of Education, and school district members pitching in to help. 

Sponsors of this holiday goodwill were organized by Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons and coordinated by Dick Sands; and include the faculty, staff, and students of Byron-Bergen CSD; the Byron-Bergen community members, and area businesses. 

Food baskets and gifts will be delivered on Saturday, Dec. 20, by the Masons, community, and school volunteers. All involved truly believe in the magic of the holiday season!

December 8, 2014 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen.

A accident is reported in the area of 7402 Clinton Street Road, near Lyman Road, Bergen.

Unknown injuries.

Traffic is blocked.

Bergen fire dispatched.

UPDATE 6:12 p.m.: The first chief on scene reports minor injuries.

November 19, 2014 - 6:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen.

In the interest of justice, John Robinson, the 51-year-old Bergen resident arrested on a menacing charge after pointing a shotgun at a possible intruder into his home, is a free man.

Town of Bergen Justice Donald R. Kunego issued his ruling today on a motion by defense attorney Brian DeCarolis that the charge against his client be dismissed.

In a four-page ruling that Kunego read from the bench, the judge did just that, saying that a man has a right to defend his castle.

"People expect to be able to protect 'their castle' from attack," Kunego said. "Mr. Robinson's castle was under attack by Mr. Crooks. People confronted with the same circumstances presented to Mr. Robinson on the day in question would unquestionably engage in similar behavior with the expectation that they were properly and lawfully defending themselves."

According to Kunego, Brockport resident Michael Crooks went to Robinson's home Jan. 13, 2013, to confront Robinson, whom he had never met in person before, over some sort of relationship between Robinson and Mrs. Crooks that Mr. Crooks didn't like.

In Kunego's recital of the facts of the case, Crooks banged on Robinson's door, yelled and threatened him and kicked at the door hard enough to damage it. When Robinson didn't open the door, he went to another portion of the house presumably to gain entry.

"Due to Mr. Crooks' relentless and persistent actions, aggressive demeanor and verbal threats, Mr. Robinson felted threatened in his own home," Kunego said. "He feared that Mr. Crooks was not going to leave until at the very least he had entered his home and physically confronted him and at worse he would physically harm him."

Kunego said he believed Robinson's response was entirely lawful and justified.

After the ruling, Robinson said he was relieved, but he also expected to prevail.

"I wasn't really that nervous because I thought I did everything right," Robinson said. "I called 9-1-1. I put the dogs away. I avoided contact with him and all I did was stay in the house and tried not to have the conflict. When I talked to the state troopers, when they were there, they said I did the right thing."

The day of the confrontation, Crooks heard later that a trooper wanted to talk with him. He went to the Batavia barracks, where he was arrested by Trooper Eric Daigler. He was charged with criminal mischief, 4th, for damaging the door of Robinson's home on Lake Road in Bergen.

The door was pretty heavily damaged, Robinson said today, as well as the screen, from Crooks kicking and hitting it.

Crooks, who had no prior criminal record, eventually received an ACD (adjudication in contemplation of dismissal). As soon as his six months of good behavior was up, he started lobbying for the arrest of Robinson. First he went to the State Police, but local troopers wouldn't even consider it, so he went to the Sheriff's Office.

There he found a sympathetic ear with a sergeant who turned the case over to Deputy Matthew Butler.

"When Officer Butler showed up 15 months later and told me I was under arrest, I couldn't believe it," Robinson said. "I was like, you've got to be kidding me, right? He told me right then and there that he didn't want to arrest me, but he had to. I don't know what he meant by that. I don't know if he was forced by his upper commanders, but that's what he told me. He said, 'John, I don't want to do it, but I've got to.' "

Robinson's arrest didn't sit well with the troopers familiar with the case, which was part of Daigler's testimony in a hearing on the motion to dismiss Oct. 1.

"I was dumbfounded," Daigler said. "First and foremost, it's common practice not to take on other agency's cases. We refer to it as 'cop shopping.' It happens. Usually, we are pretty good at stopping people who are just trying to get the right answer. They are looking for the answer they want. That's usually the Sheriff's Office policy."

The State Police response to Robinson's arrest is one element of the case that helped Kunego arrive at his decision to dismiss the charge.

"It cannot be overlooked that after a full and complete investigation of this incident by the New York State Police and after consultation with the Genesee County District Attorney's Office, a decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to even charge Mr. Robinson," Kunego said, referring to the initial investigation and consideration of charging Robinson in 2013.

"Significantly, the New York State Police still believe that Mr. Robinson should not have been charged and are not supportive of his prosecution."

Factors in Kunego's decisions, which are part of the findings in an "interest of justice" dismissal, are:

  • Menacing, 2nd, a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is one year in jail. Given Robinson's lack of criminal record, his steady employment and longtime residence in the same home, he would not have received any jail time even if convicted. The dismissal might have been harder for Robinson to obtain if any of those facts weren't true.
  • There was no real harm to anyone from Robinson wielding a shotgun inside his own home. More significantly, Kunego said, only Robinson contacted police in relation to the incident. Crooks didn't contact police until after he inquired with a family member and learned that Daigler was looking for him.
  • If the case did go to trial, Kunego said, it would be unlikely, given the facts of the case, that Robinson would be convicted by a jury, especially in New York, where a person who is protecting life and home is legally protected in taking action to advance that protection.
  • While nobody in the Sheriff's Office can be accused of misconduct in the case, Kunego said, the fact that his arrest came 15 months after the arrest cannot be ignored.
  • Sending Robinson to jail would not advance the cause of justice, Kunego said, nor would it make the community safer given the unique circumstances of the case and the lack of any prior arrests or criminal complaints against Robinson.
  • Dismissal, Kunego ruled, would advance public confidence in the criminal justice system, while further prosecution of Robinson would erode public confidence, since any reasonable person, according to Kunego, would do exactly what Robinson did Jan. 13, 2013, in the same circumstances.

"I'm glad he went this way, but I can't believe it took this long," Robinson said.

November 17, 2014 - 2:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A CSX train is reportedly leaking diesel fuel while stopped on the mainline between West Bergen Road and Dublin Road in Bergen.

Bergen fire dispatched.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: (on scene) West Bergen is blocked by stalled train. Unknown how much fuel has spilled. ESU team responding. 

UPDATE 4 p.m.: The housing on a brake broke and sent shards of metal into the fuel tank, causing two puncture points. An estimated 1,000 gallons of fuel leaked out, about 500 at the spot where the engine stopped. CSX a is bringing in a crane to lift the engine so the wheel can be replaced. CSX crews are cleaning up the spill, which is confined to the gravel track bedding, under the supervision of DEC. Bergen fire has cleared the scene. The crossing at West Bergen Road will be closed for several hours. 

Shredded wood at rail crossing on West Bergen, caused by the damaged brake cover.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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