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Darien

August 7, 2011 - 12:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien.

Volunteer firefighters from five companies gathered in Darien today for some specialized training in dealing with big, heavy vehicles involved in accidents.

"We want these guys to know they can do this," said Jason Graber, who was leading the training session. "We want them to come into a situation like this and know it's not hopeless. They have the right tools and the right training."

Three different accident scenarios were set up -- a tractor-trailer with a sedan wedged under it, a cement mixer stuck on a cement barrier and a passenger car that has slid under the back of a school bus.

The firefighters -- from Indian Falls, Darien, Corfu, East Pembroke and Alabama -- were shown what their options were in each situation, what tools they might use to deal with the situation and then given a chance to use the tools the way they might in a real accident.

In most cases, the first thing responders need to do is get the bigger vehicle stabilized so emergency workers can rescue any victims that are trapped.

"It's a system of making sure that everything we do first makes everything safe for the rest of the process," said Graber, who is a former Darien volunteer and now lives in Virginia where he works for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and volunteers for the Leesburg Fire Department.

August 6, 2011 - 10:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien.

The quick action of residents on Broadway Road in Darien today may have helped keep a serious accident from turning tragic.

After a 23-year-old mother from Cheektowaga lost control of her car on Route 20, having it turn over multiple times before coming to rest on the front lawn of Debbie Pugilese, residents rushed to the aid of the victims.

One witness, who was driving east on Route 20, called 9-1-1 and then called his wife, Emily Toal, a registered nurse.  

Toal reached the scene before EMS personnel arrived.

"I'm an RN so I figured if I could help at all, I should," Toal said. "When I got here, I found a 6-year-old, faint pulses, faint breath sounds, and there was a 12-week-old on the ground and the mother was sitting with the 12-week-old. The mother was in shock. We got towels and tried to keep everybody warm before the shock set in. We tried to keep the 6-year-old's head stable until the EMTs got here."

Deputy Patrick Reeves was impressed by the response of the residents. He described several coming to the scene.

"The residents in the area and the witnesses helped us out tremendously until EMS arrived," Reeves said.

Steve Kidder, who lives next door to Pugilese, and like Pugilese saw the accident, said everybody pitched in to do what they could to help.

"I’m glad to have all these folks as my neighbors," Kidder said.

Both Kidder and Pugilese said they saw the silver Chevy Malibu heading west on Route 20 when the car, for an unknown reason, crossed into the eastbound lane, struck a guardrail and became airborne. The car then hit a ditch and became airborne again and rolled over. It flew over Pugilese's driveway, hit the ground and rolled again, coming to rest on the driver's side.

The 6-year-old girl was ejected.

"When I came down the woman was crawling from the car with an infant," Pugilese said.

State Police said the driver was Jelissa Jones. The names have the children have not been released.

The driver and the infant reportedly suffered cuts and abrasions.  

The condition of the 6-year-old is not currently available. The child was transported to Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo by Mercy Flight.

Responding to the scene along with the Sheriff's Office and State Police were Darien fire volunteers and Mercy EMS.

(Initial Report)

August 6, 2011 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, accidents.

One person has been ejected in a rollover accident at 2456 Route 20. Darien Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. No others vehicles are involved.

UPDATE 4:29 p.m.: Mercy Flight out of Batavia is called.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: A second Mercy Flight helicopter out of Buffalo is called. The victims are an infant a girl about 4 or 5 years old in a car seat who was ejected from the vehicle, an infant who is semi-conscious, and their mother, who is conscious and alert and has lacerations.

UPDATE 4:48 p.m.: Traffic is being shut down at routes 20 and 98. Also, no westbound traffic will be permitted on Route 20.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: The baby and the little girl are both headed to Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo via the Mercy Flight helicopters. The mother was transported by ground ambulance to ECMC. The accident reportedly occurred when the vehicle was westbound on Route 20, coming out of Alexander, and when it reached of the crest of the hill it went out of control for unknown reasons. It hit a guardrail, flipped over, hit a ditch, flipped over again, ejecting a 6-year-old girl, and came to rest. The mother is said to have crawled from the wreckage carrying the 3-month-old baby in her arms.

August 3, 2011 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, accident, alexander, Darien.

A 21-year-old driver involved in a serious injury motor-vehicle accident on Pike Road, Alexander, is being accused of driving drunk and faces a felony charge of vehicular assault, 2nd.

Wyatt J. Becker, 21, of Sumner Road, Darien, was driving a 1998 Pontiac Bonneville when he allegedly lost control of the car and struck a tree. The incident happened at 12:26 a.m., July 30.

His passenger, Luke M. Taracki, 20, of Rusher Road, Alden, needed to be extricated from the vehicle and taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC with serious injuries.

Becker is also charged with DWI, speed not reasonable and prudent, failure to keep right and refusal to take a breath test.

July 30, 2011 - 7:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, darien lake theme park.

The family of Sgt. James Hackemer, the Iraq war veteran killed July 8 when he was ejected from the Ride of Steel at Darien Lake Theme Park has filed a wrongful death suit against the two companies responsible for the amusement park.

From the Buffalo News

According to family attorney Denis J. Bastible, park employees violated Darien Lake’s own safety rules when they allowed the double amputee to ride the coaster.

“They didn’t train their employees to follow the rules and the result was tragic,” Bastible told the Buffalo News. “[Hackemer] leaves two very young children behind, and his family is doing terribly.”

Two weeks after the accident, state Labor Department investigators cited “operator error” as a factor in the death. Labor Department officials cited the amusement park for two violations, saying ride operators were improperly trained on safety requirements for the ride.

Named in the suit were CNL Income Darien Lake LLC, a real estate firm based in Dallas, owner of the park's land, and Herschend Family Entertainment, which manages the park.

According to the news article, Bastible is not concerned by remarks made by family members immediately following Hackemer's death saying they didn't hold Darien Lake accountable in the accident. Bastible said the remarks were made in the heat of the moment and the family gave thoughtful consideration to the decision to file a lawsuit.

July 28, 2011 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien.

Vyacheslav Migitskiy, 21, of Lake Road, Holley, is charged with DWI, a felony count of DWI (child under 15 in the car), failure to keep right and following too closely. Migitskiy was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident on Colby Road, Darien at 11:57 p.m., Sunday, and then fled the scene. A witness described Migitskiy's vehicle, which was later reportedly spotted on Pearl Street Road, Town of Batavia. Migitskiy was also charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, speed not reasonable or prudent, reckless driving and unsafe passing.

Kimberley Anne Showler, 46, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Showler is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Christopher Brian King, 19, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and improper left turn. King was allegedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 5:17 p.m. Monday, at Route 33 and Hartshorn Road, Town of Batavia. King reportedly made a wide left turn while allegedly driving too fast. He reportedly lost control of his car and struck curbing at the intersection. Two other people were in his vehicle. Nobody was injured.

Benjamin Gove Evans, 22, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Evans is accused of shoplifting from Bed Bath & Beyond in April.

Daniel Frank Martino, 22, of Red Maple Court, Amherst, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and following too closely. Martino was charged following a non-injury accident in the parking lot of Darien Lake. The accident was reported at 11:11 p.m. Tuesday.

Christine U. Rose, 23, of Cedar Place, East Rochester, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater) and unlawful possession of marijuana. Rose was charged after her 1998 Ford Taurus reportedly struck to parked cars at 12:39 a.m. Wednesday on northbound Route 77. There were no injuries reported in the accident. 

Jessica L. Ritch, 29, of North Avenue, North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Ritch was charged following an investigation into an accident reported at 1:08 a.m. Wednesday in the area of 9993 Alleghany Road, Darien. Ritch's vehicle was reportedly found in a ditch along the road.

Frank Joseph Oddo, 29, of Alleghany Street, Buffalo, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and no/inadequate exhaust. Oddo was charged following a traffic stop at 11:29 p.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Christine Lynn Aman, 45, of Big Tree Road, Hamburg, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, failure to obey a police officer and improper turn signal. Aman was stopped at 12:05 a.m. Wednesday after allegedly failing to stop for a deputy directing traffic at the intersection of Route 77 and Sumner Road, Darien.

July 27, 2011 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during “The Edge’s Summer BBQ” concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Tuesday:

Bruce W. Tweedie, 54, of Homewood Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is charged with criminal possession, of a controlled substance, 7th, after allegedly being found in possession of Adderall pills. Tweedie was released on $500 bail.

Sarah C. Kowalczyk, 25, of 69th Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Michael J. Kwiatowski, 35, of Davey Street, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pushing a security guard while being ejected from the concert venue.

Chad M. Patterson, 32, of County Road 4, Filmore, is charged with trespass after allegedly being found backstage without permission.

Rick C. Bush, 35, of Seneca Street, Savannah, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal mischief, 4th, after allegedly entering the venue to strike another patron who was being ejected. During the altercation, Bush broke a CSC security guard's radio headset. He also refused to be taken into custody and allegedly fought with security and Sheriff’s deputies.

Fred W. Phillips, 19, of North Creek Road, Lakeview, is charged with disorderly conduct and possession of alcohol with the intent to consume under age 21 after allegedly causing a disturbance while at the concert.

The following people received citations for allegedly consuming alcohol under age 21.

Christian D. Allen, 18, of Ridge Road, Albion
Haley R. Zilka, 19, of Boncroft Drive, West Seneca
Alexandria C. Smith, 18, of Cottage Road, South Dayton
A 17-year-old of Cottage Road, South Dayton
Edward D. Barnes, 18, of Danker Road, South Dayton
Gavin C. Doran, 20, of Big Tree Road, East Aurora
Lyndsey E. Feidt, 20, of West Cherbourg Drive, Cheektowaga
Michael A. Rauth, 19, of Chapel Glen, Hamburg
A 17-year-old of Lincoln Park Drive, Syracuse
Corey R. Crowe, 18, of Bonnie Drive, Syracuse
Timothy J. Scott, 18, of Regatta Row, Syracuse
Brandon M. Morales, 18, of Edgewood Drive, Buffalo

July 25, 2011 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien.

Mark R. Wnuk, 49, of 127 Hewitt St., Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, following too closely, improper/no signal and moving from lane unsafely. Wnuk was stopped at 6:14 p.m., Friday, North Lyon Street in the City of Batavia. During the traffic stop, he was allegedly found in possession of a metal knuckles knife, which was attached to his motorcycle. Wnuk was originally observed driving on Ellicott Street. Wnuk was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Jamie Lee Broadbent, 28, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny.  Broadbent was taken into custody on a bench warrant out of City Court.

Douglas Nathaniel Clark, 18, of Milburn Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Clark is accused of throwing a rock at the Stafford Trading Post building on Main Road, Stafford, on June 18, causing damage to a window. The estimated damage exceeds $1,100. Clark was identified as a possible suspect when his mobile phone was found at the scene. 

Michele L. DiFalco, 22, no permanent address, is charged with resisting arrest. DiFalco is accused of violating the conditions of her release under supervision (RUS) contract. The RUS was related to three previous felony charges. Batavia Police responded to a report that DiFalco was inside a business in Tops Plaza at 6:30 p.m., Friday. Officer Kevin DeFelice attempted to arrest DiFalco and DiFalco allegedly refused to comply with the officer's orders. She then allegedly struggled with DeFelice. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed on $15,000 bail.

Gregory E. Armitage, 50, of Grand Island, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3rd. Armitage is accused of taking a vehicle from the owner in early June to perform maintenance on it and then not returning the car to the owner.

Sean Michael Howell, 37, of Avenue D, Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Howell is accused of trying to evade the gate at Darien Lake Theme Park at 11:08 p.m., Saturday, and driving his vehicle into a ditch. During an investigation of the incident by Deputy Joseph Graff, Howell was allegedly found to be intoxicated.

Sammy Paul Davis, 44, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Davis is accused of sending threatening text messages to another person.

Jeffery S. Kunkel, 24, of Oehman Blvd., Cheektowaga, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and failure to keep right. Kunkel was reportedly observed driving a vehicle at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, in the left lane of Sumner Road while following his girlfriend. The couple was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute. Upon investigation by Sgt. Greg Walker, Kunkel was allegedly found to be driving while intoxicated.

Daniel Francis Maxwell, 58, of East Bethany Le Roy Townline Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI. Maxwell was charged following a one-car accident on Sweetland Road, Stafford, at 5:50 p.m., Sunday.

Lance David Compton, 19, of Washington Street, Attica, is charged with assault, 3rd. Compton is accused of getting into a fight with another individual causing serious injuries on June 25 in the Cherry Hill Campgrounds during the Tim McGraw concert at Darien Lake. Compton was also charged with possession of alcohol by a person under age 21.

Nicholas Anthony Thomasulo, 40, of Warboys Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Deputy Chad Minuto reportedly observed a vehicle operated by Thomasulo on Route 33, Batavia, stopped with its hazard lights on at 12:06 a.m., Sunday. Upon investigation, Minuto arrested Thomasulo for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

Justin Larry Balso, 20, of Loneoak Court, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by person under age 21. Balso is accused of possessing Rolling Rock Beer at 1:10 a.m., Sunday, and consuming it to the point of intoxication. Balso was arrested in the area of 8484 Route 77 by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Veniamin Boyko, 19, of Bennett Road, Hilton, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by person under age 21. Boyko was allegedly intoxicated while at Darien Lake Theme Park at 7:02 p.m., July 18.

Rubim Kozyluk, 18, of Sunset Circle, Brockport, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by person under age 21. Boyko was allegedly intoxicated while at Darien Lake Theme Park at 7:02 p.m., July 18.

Philip Jared Clark, 21, of 3763 Karl Road, Alleghany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unlicensed operation. Clark was allegedly found in a parked car blocking a residential driveway on Route 77, Darien, at 8:14 p.m., Saturday, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Nicholas Michael Hart, 18, of West Ridge Road, Brockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, operating on a suspended registration and no insurance. Hart was stopped at 1:20 p.m., Sunday, on Route 77, Pembroke by Deputy Dana Richardson.

Rachel An Fromwiller, 27, of Main Street, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and driver's view obstructed. Fromwiller was stopped at 2:37 a.m., Sunday, on Park Road, Town of Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Austin Keven Dorr, 20, of Washington Street, Attica, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under age 21. Dorr is accused of possessing and consuming alcohol while at Cherry Hill Campgrounds at 8:40 p.m., Saturday.

Joshua M. Aldridge, 24, of Jackson Avenue, Lackawanna, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to obey a police officer. Aldridge is accused of driving a 1993 Saturn westbound on Sumner Road, Darien, at 10:58 p.m., Sunday, when he allegedly failed to stop when ordered to stop by Sgt. Greg Walker.

Tyler C. Herold, 20, of Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Herold was stopped on Broadway Road, Village of Alden, for allegedly not wearing a seat belt. State Police report that an investigation revealed that Herold was in possession of a small amount of marijuana and a small baggie of white powder. The contents of the baggie are being tested. 

Cuyler C. Gentile, 24, of Le Roy, is charged with DWI. Gentile was stopped by State Police for allegedly failing to keep right while traveling on Route 33 in the Town of Pembroke.  

Gianfranco Giacchi, 24, of 825 Center Road, West Seneca, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Giacchi was stopped at 11:46 p.m., Saturday, on Pearl Street by Officer Thad Mart.

July 25, 2011 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the Lil’ Wayne concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Sunday:

Carlos Warford, 46, Normal Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant issued out of Kentucky, for alleged flagrant non-support. Warford was remanded to jail pending extradition to Kentucky.

Cody A. Tingue, 26, Pleasant Valley Road, Delevan, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly causing a disturbance at the concert venue entrance. Tingue was released on $100 bail.

Timothy J. Weaver, 20, Middlebury Road, Webster, is charged with for trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return. Weaver was remanded to jail in lieu of $350 bail.

Candace M. Hurst, 26, Bush Street, Buffalo, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly throwing a cup of beer on concert security staff.

Cory R. Vanmorrelgem, 21,  Little John Way, Webster, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Oleg Korolchuk, 18, Sugarcreek Trail, Webster, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the concert venue without a ticket.

A 17-year-old of John Glen Blvd., Webster, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the concert venue without a ticket.

Anthony E. Schimek, 21, South Road, Cherry Creek, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, after allegedly being found in possession of hydrocodone without a prescription.

Diana M. Ellis, 20, Hertle Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with disorderly conduct, being under age 21 in possession of alcohol with intent to consume, being intoxicated under age 21, and then causing a disturbance while being issued the ABC ticket.

Santino M. Mecca, 18, Marine Drive, Buffalo, is charged with trespass after allegedly being found in the campgrounds without permission.

A 17-year-old of Marine Drive, Buffalo, is charged with being under age 21 in possession of alcohol with intent to consume after allegedly being found at the campgrounds without permission, and being under age 21 possessing and consuming alcoholic beverages at a campsite.

Kayla B. Radigan, 24, Milford Street, Hamburg, is charged with trespass after allegedly being found in the campgrounds without permission.

Victoria O. Kallin, 19, Meadow Lawn Orchard Park, is charged with trespass and being under age 21 in of possession of alcohol with intent to consume after allegedly being found at the campgrounds without permission, and being under age 21 possessing and consuming alcoholic beverages at a campsite.

A 17-year-old of Ashwood Lane, Orchard Park, is charged with trespass and being under age 21 in possession of alcohol with intent to consume after allegedly being found at the campgrounds without permission, and being under age 21 possessing and consuming alcoholic beverages at a campsite.

After the jump: citations for alleged consumption of alcohol under age 21.

July 24, 2011 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

The following arrests and citations were reported by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office in connection with the Brad Paisley concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Steven M. McNally, 22, of Human Road, Sanborn, is charged with resisting arrest, criminal possession of controlled substance, 7th, harassment, 2nd, and disorderly conduct. McNally allegedly refused  to be taken into custody after striking another person in the parking lot. He was allegedly found to be in possession of a controlled substance. Earlier in the evening, McNally allegedly fought with security while being ejected from the venue. He was arraigned and jailed on $500 bail.  

Laura R. Fetto, 21, of Kensington Avenue, Cheektowaga, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly engaging in a verbal argument and blocking vehicular traffic on Sumner Road.

Ashley J. Lucas, 24, of Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, after allegedly being found in possession of a controlled substance.

Donald W. Foit, 32, of Sterling Road, Hamburg, is charged DWI and driving with a .08-percent BAC or greater after allegedly being stopped for going around two gates, blocking driveways. 

Jacob M. Maier, 26, of Harriet Street, Tonawanda, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly striking another person during the concert.

Stephanie C. Rosten, 19, of Townline Road, Ransomville, is charged with harassment 2nd after allegedly punching another person in the face.

Jacob D. Atwood , 20, of Garlow Road, Niagara Falls, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly causing a disturbance inside the venue.

Jaerd L. Atwood, 23, of Garlow Road, Niagara Falls, is charged with trespass after allegedly entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Matthew H. Wrongski, 28, of Rumsey Street, Silver Creek, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a security officer in the face.

Jason D. Kazmierczak, 27, of Meadow Drive, West Seneca, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly grabbing a chair from a Live Nation employee and attempting to punch him.

Paul R. Garland II, 33, of Brendel Avenue, Hamburg, is charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after fighting with concert security and refusing to be taken into custody.

Scott G. Sosnowski, 20, of Piper Court, Alden, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Thomas W. Davis, 19, of Enwright Drive, Fairport, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Brett C. Goodrich, 19, of Acadian Rise, Fairport, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

After the jump: The following people received citations for allegedly consuming alcohol under the age of 21.

July 23, 2011 - 10:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Darien.

A motor-vehicle accident in which a woman is complaining of neck pain is reported at Sumner Road near Route 77, close to the employee entrance of Darien Lake.

July 23, 2011 - 7:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Darien.

A fight is reported in the graveyard by Darien Lake. A Sheriff's Deputy and a State Trooper are responding.

If it's the Darien Cemetery, that's located at 10512 Colby Road.

July 23, 2011 - 12:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Darien.

A Sheriff's Deputy is stuck on Sumner Road in Darien after his patrol car had mechanical problems and caught fire. He's fine. A tow truck is responding and another deputy is sent to pick up the stranded motorist.

July 23, 2011 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

The following arrests were made in connection with the Motley Crue concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Ricky I. McAllister, 24, of 2nd Avenue, Albion, Pa., is charged with trespass. McAllister allegedly refused to leave the concert venue after being told to leave many times. He was jailed on $350 bail.

Ryan J. Vanandel, 25 of Russ Road, Grimsby, Ontario, Canada, is charged with disorderly conduct. Vanandel allegedly urinated in public. He was released on $100 bail. 

Thomas S. Ashby, 27, of Wexford Place, Webster, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Ashby is accused of pushing a security guard while being ejected from the venue. 

Matthew A. Rodak, 38, of Jerico Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Rodak is accused of shoving a security guard while being ejected from the venue. 

Christopher M. Jensen, 37, of E. Water Street, Waterloo, is charged with trespass. Jensen allegedly entered the concert area after being ejected and told not to return.

Jacob A. Steger, 30, of Buffalo Road, Alleghany, is charged with disorderly conduct. Steger allegedly fought with concert security.

Regy M. Root, 36, of Coneflower Drive, West Henrietta, is charged with trespass. Root allegedly returned to the concert area after being ejected and told not to return.

The following people received citations for allegedly consuming alcohol under age 21.

Geoffrey R. Buckert, 20, Henry Trail, West Henrietta
A 16-year-old, of Duxbury Road, Rochester
Dylan D. Scott, 18, of Long Meadow Drive, Rochester
Joseph B. Devlin, 18, of Indian River Line Road, Indian River, Ontario, Canada
Ryan J. Devlin, 20, of Division Road, Indian River, Ontario, Canada
Gregory D. Watts-Barr, 20, of Kildare Road, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
William J. S. Towns, 20, of Center Road, Lakefield, Ontario, Canada

July 22, 2011 - 11:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, darien lake theme park.

Two weeks after a disabled Iraq War veteran fell to his death from the Ride of Steel at Darien Lake, the ride was reopened shortly after a late afternoon press conference. The park's manager refused to answer questions about what ride operators said about their interaction with Sgt. James Hackemer.

What did they ask and what was said? Local and regional reporters tried at least six times to get answers and failed. General Manager Christopher Thorpe said he wouldn't "speculate" on what transpired on the ride's boarding platform.

"I don’t want to speculate as to what they knew or didn’t know, nor do I want to speculate as to the thought process of Sgt. Hackemer," Thorpe said.

Reporters told Thorpe they didn't ask him to speculate. They wanted to know what ride operators actually said about what happened July 8.

"That part of our investigation will remain confidential because it’s speculation," Thorpe insisted. "I don’t want to speculate on what was said or done, or what was behind the thought process of those individuals on that ride because I don’t know."

Earlier Thursday, the NYS Department of Labor issued two citations to Darien Lake Theme Park, placing the blame for Hackemer's death on improperly trained operators. The DOL said that operators were unfamiliar with the safety requirements of the Ride of Steel.

Even so, Thorpe maintained today that the operators had been trained.

"Our employees are trained and certified in the rules for the Ride of Steel ride, but for reasons that we will never fully understand, Sgt. Hackemer was allowed on the coaster," Thorpe said.

He emphasized that the Ride of Steel is mechanically sound and that Darien Lake has a long track record of operating rides safely.

"More than 35 million guest since 1964 have come to Darien Lake," Thorpe said. "This is the first ever ride-related death. As a native Western New Yorker, and as a father myself, I can assure you there is nothing more important than the safety of our guests."

Darien Lake has initiated enhanced training and safety procedures.

All 15 staff members who work on the Ride of Steel were "re-certified" in the safe operation of the ride, ensuring, Thorpe said, a comprehensive understanding of its restrictions and rules. The operators will be thoroughly tested verbally, in writing and through practical exams by auditors on the correct rules and procedures of the Ride of Steel, as well as the other rides in the park.

An safety auditor position has been created.

And while both the entrance and the exit of all rides had signs outlining safety rules -- and the Ride of Steel had an audio warning for guests that included a warning about physical disabilities -- new signage has been added with a safety message specifically for riders with disabilities.

"We have worked methodically with the Department of Labor to ensure this will never happen again," Thorpe said. "To that end, we’ve looked at our existing policies and procedures and enhanced our training to include recertification, increased audits and then to ensure increased information for people with disabilities."

Before boarding a ride, guests with disabilities can pick up a pamphlet outside the ride that explains the physical requirements for all rides. The information is also now posted on the Darien Lake website.

The operators were all 18 years of age or older, Thorpe said, but he wouldn't discuss them in any detail citing privacy concerns. He declined to answer any questions about whether they are still employed by Darien Lake or whether they were disciplined.

Meanwhile, WGRZ reports that somebody is preparing for a possible lawsuit in the case because a prominent Buffalo law firm contacted the news station asking for footage related to the story. A legal expert told WGRZ that the request indicates either somebody is preparing to file a site or, if Darien Lake hired the firm, the theme park is preparing to fight a lawsuit.

July 22, 2011 - 8:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Darien.

A garbage fire is reported on Broadway near Tinkham Road in Darien. Darien Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: The fire is said to be very small and not likely to "go anywhere." But Darien is responding to investigate.

July 18, 2011 - 1:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, Darien, Stafford.

Frank Nichols Vitagliano, 28, of Luther Road, Silver Springs, is charged with a felony count of DWI, refusal to take a breath test and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Vitagliano allegedly drove past officers at the front gate of the Buffalo Federal Detention Center on Federal Drive and entered the parking lot. Vitagliano's vehicle was stopped and detained by several detention center officers. Vitagliano was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Randy L. Sanfratello, 41, of 3322 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Sanfratello is accused of failure to appear in Batavia City Court and was arrested on a warrant.

Rebecca L. Santiago, 25, of 5955 Main Road, Stafford, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Santiago is accused of failure to appear in Batavia City Court and was arrested on a warrant. She was jailed on $250 bail.

Brandon M. Maldonado, 22, of 35 Maple St., lower, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Maldonado was arrested on a bench warrant related to his criminal trespass, 2nd, charge out of Batavia City Court. Maldonado allegedly violated probation and failed to report to Genesee County Jail on June 25 as directed by the court. Maldonado had been sentenced to intermittent jail time. Maldonado was released after posting $500 bail.

Matthew R. Hernandez, 18, of 129 State St., Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Hernandez is accused of displaying a knife in a threatening manner toward a young child during an alleged incident at 7 p.m., Friday.

Mark Laney, 31, of S. Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Laney was reportedly observed operating an ATV at 9:46 p.m., Saturday, in a parking lot at 49 S. Pearl St., Oakfield. Upon investigation by Deputy Howard Carlson, Laney was found to allegedly be driving drunk.

Amanda Le Carlacci, 20, of East Eden Road, Eden, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under age 21. Carlacci was cited during an investigation at 10:20 p.m., Saturday, into a report of an underage drinking party at 710 Broadway Road, Darien.

Amber Marie Williams, 20, Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under age 21. Williams was cited during an investigation at 10:20 p.m., Saturday, into a report of an underage drinking party at 710 Broadway Road, Darien.

Anibal Rodriguez, 55, Brayton Street, Buffalo, is charged with forcible touching. Rodriguez is accused of grabbing the intimate parts of a woman while at Darien Lake. Rodriguez was jailed on $500 bail.

A 17-year-old of Dean Road, Depew, is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of stealing a carton of Marlboro cigarettes valued at $59.50 from the Arrowhawk Smoke Shop on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

July 15, 2011 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Stafford.

Mark D. Tooley, 28, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with a felony count of DWAI-Drugs, felony aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. At 2:28 p.m., the Sheriff's Office received a report of a red Dodge Caravan being driven erratically on Westbound Route 33, Bergen. The vehicle was located driving on Route 33 in Stafford and observed crossing a double solid center line and weaving within its own lane. The car was stopped and Tooley was charged with the offenses listed above along with criminal impersonation, 2nd, for allegedly giving a false name and date of birth to a deputy and driving left of pavement markings. Tooley was was jailed on $25,000 bail.

Steven Keith Snyder, 46, of Westside Drive, Chili, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to reduce speed and refusal to submit to breath test. Snyder was arrested during an investigation into a property damage accident reported at 12:02 a.m. Thursday on Walker Road, Darien, by Sgt. Brian Frieday.

Earl Shateek Anthony Lockhart, 18, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lockhart is accused of shoplifting from Kmart on June 21, but he could not be apprehended that day. He is accused of stealing $54.23 in merchandise. Lockhart was jailed on $1,000 bail.

July 14, 2011 - 9:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The following arrests were made in connection with the Kid Rock concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Wednesday.

Richard W. Wilson, 16, of Lemunyan Hill Road. Wilson is charged with assault, 2nd, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and sale of imitation drugs. Wilson allegedly sold an imitation drug and then fought with deputies. A deputy was injured during the scuffle, suffering numerous cuts on his forearm, requiring several stitches. Wilson was jailed on $20,000 bail. The injured deputy is Youth Officer Chris Erion.

David T. Costrino, 50, of Brown School House Road, Holley, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Costrino was allegedly found in possession of Ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana.

Austin G. Costrino, 25, of Brown School House Road, Holley, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Costrino was allegedly found in possession of Ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana.

Travis M. Queary, 28, of 7038 Texas Road, Croghan, is charged with arrested for trespass, disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of marijuana. Queary allegedly refused to leave the concert venue after being ejected. He then allegedly caused a disturbance in the campground area and during the investigation of that incident was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.  

Tara M. Victor, 32, of Juniata Place, Buffalo, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a controlled substance not in original container. Victor allegedly possessed a controlled substance in an unmarked bottle with out a prescription.

Joseph G. Marchese, 49, of Ladner Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Marchese allegedly punched a security guard while being escorted from the venue.

A 17-year-old of Hulberton Road, Holley, is charged with disorderly conduct. The youth allegedly caused a disturbance in the parking lot. The person was jailed on $250 bail.

A 17-year-old of Allen Road, East Concord, was charged with trespass. The youth allegedly returned to the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Kelly L. Prue, 40, of Strathmore Circle, Rochester, is charged with disorderly conduct. Prue allegedly spat on a passing employee.

Burt T. Lyon Jr., 46, of Wehrle Drive, Lancaster, is charged with petit larceny. Lyon allegedly stole a display sign.

The following citations were issued for allegedly possessing alcohol under age 21:

Samuel J. Kroter, 20, of Church Street, Barton
Korey D. Hunsinger, 20, of Cole Hill Road, Nichols
Zachary K. Spaulding, 20, of Grove Street, Angola
Graig G. Leone, 20, of Grove Street, Angola
Cassondra M. Duckman, 20, of University Avenue, Atlanta
Christopher W. Moody, 19, of Cainal Lane, Grand Island
A 16-year-old of Hulberton Road, Claredon
A 16-year-old of Ridge Road, Holley
A 16-year-old of Vanderbilt Avenue, Niagara Falls
Matthew Soto, 20, of 20th Street, Niagara Falls
Joshua J. Clark, 18, of 12 C Street, Niagara Falls
Carleigh M. Preisch, 19, of 20th Street, Niagara Falls
Alexander J. Kaempf, 20, of Willow Ridge Lane, Lancaster
Tyler D. Guarasci, 18, of Williamsburg Lane, Lancaster
Chantal R. Ellis, 20, of Richland Road, Rochester
Kara M. Morris, 18, of Wendhurst Drive, Rochester

July 13, 2011 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, darien lake theme park.

Current update: 12:42 p.m.

Despite warning signs for patrons and training of employees regarding certain people with physical disabilities not being allowed on the Ride of Steel at Darien Lake, Sgt. James Hackemer was able to embark on the rollercoaster.

Hackemer should have been able to see a warning sign prior to boarding the ride that said patrons must have two legs, and the employee training manual mentions in more than one place that people with specific disabilities cannot be allowed on the ride, according to Sheriff Gary Maha.

“Darien Lake violated their own policies and procedures by allowing him to get on this ride,” Maha said.

Maha presented the findings of Sheriff's Office investigators at a press conference in Batavia this morning.

Hackemer, who lost both of his legs -- one leg was amputated up to his pelvis -- to a roadside bomb in Iraq, died at Darien Lake on Friday after being ejected from a seat at the front of the ride's red train.

Operators at the Ride of Steel were well aware of Hackemer when he boarded the ride and knew that he didn't have legs, Maha said.

The operators -- typically teenagers -- had no explanation for why they violated Darien Lake Theme Park policy by allowing Hackemer to board the ride, Maha said.

The ride rules, which are posted at both the entrance and exit, read "For the restraint devices on this ride to fully and safely engage, guests must have two legs and be within a certain range of size and physical dimension. In addition, guests must have sufficient body strength and the complete use of a least one arm and hand to hold the grab bar. No guests may ride holding anything or with artificial limbs attached."

The ride's exit ramp, in compliance with the American With Disabilities Act, serves as the entrance for disabled patrons. Hackemer boarded the ride after coming up that ramp. According to Sgt. Steve Mullen, Hackemer would have passed the sign to board the ride.

When Hackemer was ejected, his body was thrown forward and then struck the front of the train. At that point, Hackemer's body was thrown clear of the train and the tracks and landed on a grassy area below the train's third hill, which is on the Route 77 side of the ride.

"With the amount of force of the ride, he didn’t have the physical attributes necessary to be on the ride," Maha said.

Like many theme park rides, the rollercoaster has automated cameras near the end of the ride which takes pictures of patrons that can later be purchased. The picture of Hackemer's car, according to Maha, shows an empty seat with the lap bar still down and the safety belt still buckled.

"He just came out of his seat," Maha said.

Maha emphasized that the ride is safe. It was inspected the Department of Labor in May and again following the accident and no mechanical problems were found.

"I would get on the ride," Maha said. "It is safe ride."

Hackemer's nephew helped the Gowanda resident into the ride and was sitting next to him in the front car.

"There was very little discussion between the ride attendants and Mr. Hackemer or his nephew (while he as getting on the ride)," Mullen said.

There's no indication that Hackemer was in any trouble during the ride prior to the ride's third hill.

Maha described the nephew as "in shock" when investigator's interviewed him after the accident.

Darien Lake provided grief counselors to employees, Hackemer's family and any patrons who sought help the night of the accident, Mullen said.

The Ride of Steel has two trains -- a red one and a blue one -- and each is comprised of eight cars that hold four people each. The red train Hackemer was on was not full, so only about 24 people where on the train at the time of the accident.

Because ride attendants did not hold all of the riders at the location following the accident, investigators have only been able to interview those riders who have made themselves known.

While investigators would have liked to have talked with all the riders, Maha said that the few investigators could interview gave consistent reports of what they saw.

As the ride pulled into the boarding area, riders were screaming and yelling, according to Mullen, making it very clear there had been an accident and that a rider had been thrown from the train.

The accident has been investigated by both the Sheriff's Office and the NYS Department of Labor. The DOL's investigation is not entirely completed, but DOL officials met with the Sheriff's investigators yesterday to go over their findings.

The Sheriff's Office investigation was aimed primarily at determining if there was any criminal liability in the death of Hackemer and the investigation, after consultation with District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, concluded the death was accidental. Criminal charges are unlikely.

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