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Darien

January 2, 2016 - 6:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, fire.

Darien Fire Department is called to respond to the possible rekindle of the trailer fire at 9590 Simonds Road, on the Miller dairy farm.

January 1, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien.

An 11-year-old child apparently suffered a broken leg in a snowmobile accident in the area of Smithley Road, Darien.

Darien fire and ambulance responding. Alexander fire requested mutual aid with its Gator.

UPDATE 2:44 p.m.: A landing zone has been established for Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 3:10 p.m.: Mercy Flight in route to Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

December 31, 2015 - 12:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Darien.

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A fully involved trailer fire that is next to a barn is reported at 9590 Simonds Road, Darien. That's the Miller farm. A person was injured jumping out of a window because of the fire. Darien Fire Department is responding, along with mutual aid from Corfu and Alexander. Mercy medic #4 is called to the scene.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: A first responder on scene reports half the trailer is burned. Everyone is out of the structure, which is adjacent to a large barn. The patient has lacerations to his right hand and arm and is inside the residence at the farm.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: A crew from East Pembroke is requested to fill in at Corfu's fire hall.

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: An employee at the dairy farm, Jamie Mitman, said an employee was sleeping inside the trailer and told her that "he woke up, smelled smoke, panicked and jumped out the window. ... Cut up his hand pretty good -- (to the extent) where he'd need stitches." Jeff Lucker, Darien's first assistant chief, said when he arrived the mobile home was 50-percent involved with flames showing in half the structure. The man who jumped out the window was not seriously injured, Lucker said, and he was transported by private vehicle to a hospital for treatment of cuts and abrasions to his arms, legs and hands. Alden Fire Department filled in at Darien's hall. Fighting this type of fire typically requires a low volume of water and is straightforward, which was the case here, Lucker said, adding that "It's probably fortunate that today is New Year's Eve so that a lot of people are at home and not at work and so we got a quick response."

UPDATE 1:56 p.m.: Fire is out. All units are clearing the scene.

UPDATE 3:27 p.m.: A Darien crew is asked to assemble to deal with a small rekindle of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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December 23, 2015 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, mental health, synthetic drugs, bath salts.

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Ryan C. Bergman
Photo courtesy the Bergmans

Just before Thanksgiving, 2013, a month before his death, 26-year-old Ryan C. Bergman sat at the dining room table after an evening dinner with his parents in their home on Fargo Road, Darien, and talked with his mother about his mental health.

At age 10, his fourth-grade year, all his troubles seemed to start, Ryan told his mother as they talked through his life on a chilled and snowy November evening.

That made sense, Bernadette Bergman said. She always thought there were two turning points, downhill points, really, for her son — when he was 10 and when he was 13.

Ryan spent that fourth-grade year with a Pembroke teacher whom Bernadette described as rude, cruel and largely uncaring about Ryan’s struggles.

Bright, articulate but unable to stay focused, Ryan was a misfit among his peers. He was oblivious to social norms, craved attention and found it difficult to complete his assignments in the manner expected by his teacher.

To a public school teacher with 30 other kids to manage and guide, Ryan was, perhaps, more like a distraction than a promising literary master, a potential mathematician or computer scientist.

Bernadette, herself a teacher, recalled one parent-teacher conference that didn’t go well.

She had a notebook with her from a parenting workshop with information meant to help a student like Ryan, but Ryan’s teacher dismissed the binder and its contents as useless.

“She literally, right in front of me, ripped it apart page by page,” said Bernadette, mimicking the teacher ripping page after loose-leaf page from the book.

“‘Oh, he doesn’t need that. He doesn’t need that,’” Bernadette recalled her saying.

“If you’re rude to the parent, you can imagine what she was like in the classroom,” Bernadette said.

Her husband Richard added, “We learned from other kids later that when he got kicked out of class, he would go to the class of the grade above and he would just be rolling around in the back and the teacher would ask the class a question and nobody would know the answer, no hands would go up, and Ryan would yell out the answer. He wasn’t even paying attention and he would know the answer and shout it out.”

The first inkling the Bergmans got that Ryan might be struggling to find his place in the world came after a day out sledding with neighbors who had children right around Ryan’s age.

Ryan was a bit disruptive and the other mother told Bernadette that Ryan was “a little wild.” Bernadette was unfazed. He was just a squirrelly kid.

Later, at a pool party with the same family, Ryan found ways to irritate both children and adults. He would annoy, pester and bother, ignoring the social signals other children might decipher and realize their behavior went a little too far.

“Ryan would just do aggravating things to get people’s attention,” Richard said. “Like, he might poke you under water. He wasn’t nasty, maybe borderline nasty, just to get their attention, with it never clicking in his brain that maybe they were going to want you around less.”

Ryan was trapped in a world where his verbal skills allowed him to converse knowingly with adults, but as a matter of age and experience, his time was properly spent with children, and typically, children with minds that couldn’t grasp his meaning and tongues muted by more limited vocabularies.

Ryan’s mind worked fast, fueled by a voracious appetite for printed words.

He was reading above his grade level when he started kindergarten.

“It was like a switch,” Richard said. “A switch went off and he could read and that was it. He could read.”

From kindergarten on, he always had a book open, if not in his hand, within arm’s reach.

“He would read everything,” Bernadette said. “He would read anything. You couldn't be any place and he wouldn't read. He would read the toilet tissue roll, you know what I mean. He just loved the language. He spoke early. He loved to play with words. When he was real little he would say things like 'uppy duppy, potty watty,' all the rhyming stuff. He would just do it naturally. Ryan just loved it. He just loved the language.”

The Bergman’s think Ryan’s advanced skills with the English language drove some teachers crazy. One counselor warned Ryan’s teachers not to engage with him verbally, “because he’ll just chew you up.” Some teachers couldn’t accept that this elementary school student might be smarter than they were. 

“There’s always going to be kids who are smarter than you,” Bernadette said. “I don’t care who you are, just suck it up and embrace it, you know, because there’s other things you can teach them. In Ryan’s case, it was organizational skills.”

The lack of organizational skills is what led to Ryan’s second turning point, downhill, when he was 13, in sixth grade. Ryan was accepted into an advanced mathematics program at the University at Buffalo.

It was an odd fit. Ryan, the word guy in an advanced math class at a university. He really wasn’t good with numbers, but his innate ability to reason through puzzles made higher level mathematics, where it becomes more about theory and logic than formulas, easy.

Except for one problem: Ryan didn’t grasp how he arrived at his answers. In mathematics, where part of the problem-solving regime is showing your work, Ryan couldn’t explain how he arrived at his solutions.  He got the answers right, he just didn’t know how he got there.

Also, he often didn’t turn in his homework.

"In his mind, 'OK, here's the homework,' ” Richard said. “ 'I did the homework. It's done.' But you have to turn it in. You have to hold onto that piece of paper, you've got to take it with you, you got to turn it in, but in his mind, 'I did it.’ ”

Pok-e-Mon was big at the time and Ryan had a collection of cards. When Bernadette met with the UB teacher about her son’s difficulties in the class, the teacher had a hard time buying that Ryan innately lacked organizational skills.

The teacher noted Ryan’s well organized box of Pok-e-Mon cards. Surely, that was proof, she said, that he was capable of being organized when he was motivated.

“I told her, ‘One, I organized them for him so he would fit in, so that he could use them,' ” Bernadette said, adding, “ ‘but, two, he lost them here. He has no clue where they are.’ ”

Ryan was devastated when he was sent back to a regular math class at Pembroke.

“He just shut down the math side,” Bernadette said. “He was embarrassed. Here was something he could have flourished at, but now he’s back at Pembroke.”

And none of the professionals picked up on Ryan’s growing mental issues.

“The tip off (to the professionals) should have been, verbally, he was very strong, in the 99.8 percentile, but the math part, he lagged behind,” Richard said. “That’s usually a tipoff that something is going on. When you get into the gifted math program, you go, ‘How can that be?’ ” But on standardized testing, he was superior in language and was behind in math.”

Even in areas where he should have excelled socially, he became a pariah.

In the pre-Internet days, computer geeks formed social clubs, called LAN groups (LAN: local area network). They would bring their bulky desktop computers to a group member’s house, string them together with Ethernet cable and a network hub and play computer games.

“He was very good with computers,” Richard recalled. “He would, you know, actually read the manuals. He was able to do things other kids couldn’t.”

For some kids, superior knowledge is a pathway to friendship. I help you and you help me. For Ryan, he could use his advanced computer skills to bully the other kids.

“It got to the point where he (the kid who hosted the group) didn’t want Ryan coming over any more,” Bernadette said. “He didn’t want Ryan over because his other friends didn’t want him over. He would screw up their computers and sitting next to them, he would aggravate them either physically or verbally.”

Like many children with attention difficulties and a tendency toward hyperactivity, Ryan was prescribed drugs, such as Ritalin. Sometimes, Ryan would take his medication as prescribed. Sometimes, he wouldn’t. He would hide his pills around the house and then take several pills at once just to see what it was like.

A psychologist — the same one who warned teachers Ryan could out talk them — told the Bergmans that children like Ryan, superior verbal skills, struggling to fit in socially and academically, who were once at the top of their class, but lost their way as organizational skills become a part of the educational process, typically become depressed and take their own lives.

At age 16, Ryan tried to do just that, using the prescription medication he had available to him.

“He was still under care of this doctor and still going to Pembroke,” Richard said. “The doctor was like, ‘I didn’t see this coming.’ And we thought, ‘You’re the one who warned us and now you say you didn’t see it coming?’  ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I thought his ego strength was so large that he would never do it.’ And we were like, ‘His ego strength is there because he’s covering up for the fact that he doesn’t fit in.’ ”

Richard and Bernadette Bergman have all the attributes of ideal parents — steady jobs, a stable home life, community involvement, an active church and social life, and an abiding desire to be parents.

Ryan isn’t the first child Richard and Bernadette tried to adopt. First, there was Jeffrey, a special needs child who has never lived with them, but still has a room in their house and often spends the holidays, some weekends and other special days with the Bergmans.

Jeffrey is now 46 years old and lives in a group home in East Aurora.

“We call him our voluntary son,” Richard said.

Then Richard and Bernadette learned of a single mother who was going to give birth to a baby girl, so they arranged through an attorney to adopt that child upon her birth.

Preparations were made, documents signed and on the day the child was born, Richard and Bernadette were waiting for the child to be brought to them from the hospital when they learned the mother had changed her mind.

The Bergmans were disappointed. The attorney felt horrible about the turn of events. He promised, “when the next child becomes available, you’re at the top of the list.”

It was 1987. A 15-year-old girl in Erie County gave birth to a little boy. He became Ryan Bergman. He came to live with them in their turn-of-the-century home in a little hamlet in the Town of Darien that once was known as Fargo Village, with a train station on the Delaware, Lackawana & Western Railroad line and a little schoolhouse at Fargo and Sumner roads.

At some point in Ryan’s young life, the Bergmans learned through a sister of the birth mother that the young lady had her own struggles with alcohol, as did her father.

Scientists are still learning about the role of dopamine (a biological chemical critical to brain and body functions) in people’s lives, but it is an apparent factor in drug and alcohol abuse and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These traits could be hereditary.

The Bergmans knew this.

“We warned him, 'Smoking, alcohol, anything you can be come addicted to, you can become addicted to, because there seems to be a correlation,' ” said Bernadette, who has long been involved the Genesee County Mental Health Association.

From a young age, Ryan had a preoccupation with alcohol, not that he was drinking at a young age, but he talked about it, asked questions about it, was curious about it.

There wasn’t much alcohol around the house, though Bernadette liked to have an occasional drink, but Ryan was fixated on the idea of alcohol.

“He was obsessed with talking about it,” Bernadette recalls. “In our mind as lay people, that just seemed, you know, an obsession.”

The response of GCASA (Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse)?

"We don't see any problem here. Kids always talk about alcohol."

Ryan decided he was Irish. And the Irish, of course, have a reputation for boozing it up.

“He was starting to embrace the idea by the time he was a teenager,” Bernadette said. “We have no idea if he has any Irish blood in him or not, but he decided he was going to be Irish.”

Ryan started going to parties with friends. Richard and Bernadette weren’t sure if there was alcohol involved or not, but they suspect there was, then one night he came home plastered.

They think Ryan might have been the one supplying the drinks. He had a job. He had money of his own to make the purchase. He was savvy. He could have been buying beverages and supplying them to his peers.

“It was a way for him to be accepted,” Richard said. “If you’re an outsider, this is an in. ‘I can get you alcohol.’ ”

Despite his struggles, Ryan did graduate from Pembroke High School, earning his diploma in 2005.

In August, he entered the Army, but washed out of basic training and was home by October.

It was tough for him to keep jobs. The Genesee ACE Employment program helped and Ryan landed one of his longer term jobs at the Kutter Cheese Factory, working there from July 2009 to February 2010.

He floated in and out of jobs and friendships, apparently using drugs and grappling with his mental health issues. He wound up in a program at GCASA and was working at Pioneer Credit when he met a woman who was 10 years older, married, with four children and a husband and a house in Oakfield. Ryan moved in with the woman and her children, along with the teenage friend of one of the woman’s daughters.

To support their drug habits, they got into property crime, along with a man who was recently released from prison and was on parole.

They broke into a fire hall in Orleans County and were caught because Ryan, disorganized, forgetful Ryan Bergman, left his mother’s mobile phone in the building. The night before the Orleans deputies showed up at the Bergman’s house, the group had broken into a gun club in Cowlesville and stole a computer.

Ryan insisted the woman wasn’t involved in his crimes.

“He was very loyal,” Richard said. “He wouldn’t turn her in because she had kids. He went to jail so she wouldn’t have to.”

He was sentenced to several months in the Genesee County Jail for breaking into cars, followed by weekends in the Orleans County Jail.

“Most parents worry about where their kids will be when they turn 21,” Richard said. “Ours was already in jail.”

He also spent nearly a year in the Erie County Jail when he was caught driving the wrong way on a street near the Buffalo Airport while high.

It was during this time, Ryan became friends with a person who already had some experience with bath salts. 

When a friend of the family lost a daughter to heroin, Ryan’s response was, “I don’t do heroin,” Richard recalled, “like it was a lesser drug.”

Bath salts, though, were the product of chemistry, and presumably safe because, at least at the time, they were legal.

They could be bought on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, and soon thereafter at locations in the City of Batavia. But when law enforcement swooped in and cut off the local supply, Ryan turned to mail order.

Bath salts are easy to find and buy online and can even be purchased as “samples,” which makes hits more affordable.

“It was the best of both worlds,” Richard said. “It was an amphetamine and he could get high or whatever he was taking them for, and it was legal. At least that was the selling point in the beginning.”

The Bergmans were trying to get their son help in those late fall and early winter months of 2013. It was a struggle.

Certain synthetic drugs are known to induce paranoia, and Ryan may have tended toward suspicion already. When he was in the grips of synthetic drugs, he could distrust anybody and everybody.

A family friend, an attorney, named David, found him out and about and tried to help him. Ryan asked him, “How many pieces of silver was Jesus sold for?”

David said, “I don’t exactly remember.”

“See, David would know the answer to the question, so you’re not David.”

Eventually, David got Ryan home and told the Bergmans, “This kid needs to go to the hospital.”

They tried.

One time, Ryan was taken to a mental health institution and the social worker called the Bergmans at home.

“She said we can give him a ticket at the bus station, or he can stay in a homeless shelter or we can sign him into the facility for care.”

To Ryan, in-patient treatment was tantamount to jail.

“I was on my way there to read him the riot act and by the time I got there, he had sweet talked her -- he was very charming -- and he had her talked into letting him go to out-patient treatment,” Richard said. “He just had her wrapped around his finger and now I was the bad guy.”

Ryan didn’t think it did him any good to be taken to facilities in Buffalo, but he thought he might get help at the hospital in Warsaw, so when he would agree to be checked in someplace, he would agree to Warsaw.

But agreeing and actually getting there were two different matters.

Bernadette learned once the decision was made, she had to get the car started, the windows up and ensure the child safety locks were on. Otherwise, once he got into the car, if he did, he might try to escape at some point.

“We’d maybe go around and around for an hour before he would get in the car,” Bernadette said. “Twice, once we got to Warsaw, after we got there, he just ran off. Once a deputy found him at Tim Horton’s (Cafe).”

In December 2013, Richard Bergman realized there hadn’t been mail delivered to his house in a few days.

“I’d come home and Ryan wouldn’t be there, and I’d ask him where he was when I came home, and he said he went out for a walk to blow off steam,” Richard said. “Well, Thursday, there was no mail. Friday, no mail. Saturday, no mail. Then a notice comes and said, ‘OK, we’re restarting the mail you had suspended for three days.’ I asked him, ‘Did you suspend the mail?’ He said he didn’t know what happened, ‘but your name is on it.' ”

Richard confronted Ryan about getting drugs through the mail, but Ryan denied it.

The Bergmans now know that Ryan was getting samples of Alpha PVP from China delivered to their mail address. The evidence: an envelop with the synthetic drug and a packing slip arrived in the mail a couple of days after he died.

In December 2013, Alpha PVP was little known in the drug or law enforcement community, but over the past year news about its deadly effects have burst into the news under its most common street name, "Flakka," and those reports are what prompted the Bergmans to contact a local reporter more than a year after his initial interview request.

They’re very concerned about how easy it is for young people to buy these dangerous drugs. They don’t know the answer, but they think people should be more aware of what’s going on.

“If you can’t control in anyway how this stuff is getting into the country, you’re never going to be able to address it,” Richard said. “If it’s that easy to obtain, it’s like, how can you blunt that?”

Bernadette remembers sitting in court one time waiting for Ryan’s case to be called and another drug addict accused of a crime stood with his lawyer before the judge.

“The judge says to the lawyer, ‘How many times does he need to go to rehab?’ and I want to say, ‘As many times as it takes,’ and that’s basically what the lawyer said. We need lawyers to understand. We need judges who understand. That would all work easier if the insurance and medical professions had a greater interest in getting a handle on this. My fear is that maybe (bath salts) isn’t as big as heroin, but it’s just so easy to get. You can order it from the comfort of your own home and it comes in the mail and maybe kids see that as no big deal.”

The Sunday before Christmas 2013, Ryan didn’t want to be checked into Warsaw, so he was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital instead. His father brought him home Monday. He swore he didn’t have any drugs in his room.

“His room was a pig sty,” Bernadette said. “If he had any drugs in there, you could look for them and it would take you a week, so he swore, ‘Mom, there are no drugs here,’ well, obviously, that was a lie. He must have taken all he had.”

On Christmas Eve day, Bernadette knew something was wrong with her son.

“Clearly, he was not well,” she said. “I told him, you have two choices. I can take you to the hospital or I can call an ambulance. We got his bags packed and we’re ready to go and he says, ‘Mom, there’s a third choice. I can do outpatient.’  ‘Yes, but we need to get you stable first.’ Just like that, he takes off. He’s in this room. He’s in that room. He gets the poker (from the fire place) and runs into the bathroom and locks the door. I feel the gush of cold air and I know he’s opened the window.”

Bernadette doesn’t remember if she saw him running into the woods or if she just saw his footprints.

“In my head, I keep thinking I saw him running, but I don’t think so,” she said.

It was 10 degrees that day and Ryan was wearing nothing more than jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers.

She called emergency dispatch. She called her husband. He started home. At this point, she wasn’t scared.

“We’ve been through this before,” she said. “We’ve been through the paranoia before. We’ve called the cops before, and usually he heads down the old railroad bed in that same direction and he comes back, so it’s not like you’re thinking, ‘This is the end.’ You’re thinking, ‘We’re going through this again,’ but this time, he just kept right on going and went through the creek and got a way down the other side.”

The State Police arrived. Sheriff’s deputies arrived. Volunteers from the Darien and Alexander fire departments were deployed in a search of the area. After dark, the search was called off for the night.

It resumed the next morning, Christmas Day.

A volunteer from Alden -- a friend of the family, in fact -- found Ryan’s body.

Another friend, a fellow church member, Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, Sheriff’s Office, delivered the news to Richard and Bernadette.

But they already knew.

“We don’t believe it was a suicide,” Richard said. “He did all of these risky behaviors that were kind of like, ‘If I die, I die. If I live, I live.’ He cracked up his car twice. It was almost like a sense of pride. After (the neighbor friend) died of an overdose, he told a social worker, ‘How come (the friend) can do it and I can’t?’ He would take these risky behaviors, knowing full well he could die, but probably not intentionally.”​

Previously on The Batavian:

December 12, 2015 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, zoning board, assessment review board.
December 5, 2015 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, Darien, batavia, pembroke.

Amy M. Carpenter is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On Oct. 18, it is alleged Carpenter drove a 2002 Dodge on Willow Street and State Street in the City of Batavia while intoxicated. In count two of the indictment, she is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree for operating a motor vehicle while she allegedly knew, or had reason to know, that her driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and did so while allegedly intoxicated. Also, Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman has filed Special Information, accusing Carpenter of having been convicted of felony DWI previously, on Jan. 27, 2008, and therefore alleging she had knew or had reason to know her driving privilege was suspended or revoked as a result of this conviction.

Daniel J. Vanderjagt is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On Aug. 8 in the Town of Darien, it is alleged that Vanderjagt drove a 2014 Ford on Main Park Road while intoxicated. In count two of the indictment, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more at the time.

Frank L. Schiavi is accused of the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, a Class A-II felony. It is alleged that on May 7 in the City of Batavia, Schiavi knowingly and unlawfully possessed one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug, in this case, cocaine, and that these had an aggregate weight of four ounces or more.

Morgan R. Todd is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On June 6, it is alleged that Todd drove a 2011 Volkswagen on Interstate 90 in the Town of Pembroke while intoxicated.

John W. Walsh is accused of the crime of criminal mischief in the third degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 6, having no right to do so nor any reasonable grounds to believe he had such right, he intentionally damaged property of another person in an amount exceeding $250 on Oak Street in the City of Batavia.

November 25, 2015 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Darien, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Michael A. Hahn is indicted for the crime of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 25, 2014, in the Town of Darien, that Hahn knowingly and unlawfully sold a controlled substance, methamphetamine. In count two, Hahn is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, also a Class D felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell it.

Jequan D. Patterson is accused of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E Felony. It is alleged that on July 8 in Le Roy, Patterson drove a 2015 Kia on I-90 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, he accused of aggravated driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony, for having a child age 15 or less as a passenger. In count four, Patterson is accused of aggravated driving while intoxicated for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count five, Patterson is accused of the crime of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly knowlingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old. Also, Special Information is filed for this indictment by District Attorney. It accuses Patterson of having been convicted of the crime of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Feb. 27, 2006, in City of Rochester Court and that was within 10 years of the commission of the crimes now alleged.

David M. Heschke is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 3 in the Town of Pavilion that Heschke drove a 2006 Nissan on Route 20 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony, for having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In count three, he is accused of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a Class E felony, for driving while allegedly knowing, or having reason to know, that his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities, and doing so while allegedly intoxicated. Also, Special Information is filed for this indictment by District Attorney. It accuses Heschke of having been convicted of the crime of DWI on Sept. 5, 2012, in Town of Batavia Court and that conviction forms the basis of the revocation referred to in count three of this indictment.

November 16, 2015 - 6:46am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Darien.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at the intersection of Colby and Sumner roads. Mercy Flight is called to the scene. Darien fire and Mercy medics are responding. Sheriff's deputies are on scene.

November 10, 2015 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, batavia, pembroke.

Jason Andrew Barnhart, 28, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Barnhart is accused of damaging the structure and contents of a mobile home owned by another person. He was jailed on $15,000 bail.

David J. Gaetan, 43 and Chrissy A. Gaetan, 40, of Ontario, Canada, are charged with trespass. The couple is accused of bypassing no trespassing signs at Rolling Hills Asylum and entering the property without permission. Following arraignment in Town of Bethany Court, each paid a fine of $250 and were released.

Jeffrey Marrero, 21, of Norwood Avenue, Rochester, is charged with trespass. Marrero is accused of being on private property on Kelsey Road, Batavia, at 6:35 p.m. Oct. 28. Also charged was Mitchell J. Louis, 22, of Lincoln Road, Ontario, Canada.

Erica Michelle Raphael, 30, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Raphael is accused of stealing merchandise valued at $44.98 from the Shoe Dept.

Jerry Lee Wagner, 64, of Route 31 Holley, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Wagner was stopped at 6:09 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Darien, by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Michael Paul Fitzpatrick Sr., 40, of Howlan Street, Fonda, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, unlawful possession of marijuana and dark/tinted side windows. Fitzpatrick was stopped at 11:43 a.m. Nov. 5 on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

October 26, 2015 - 3:00pm

Town of Darien Justice Wade Schwab on November 3, 2015!

  • Justice should be “swift and appropriate."
  • Strongly supports local Law Enforcement.
  • Town residents should feel that the local justice system will work to serve and protect their peace and safety.
  • A lifetime of serving the public and working with people during their worst times and their best times.
  • Fair and tough on crime.
  • Keep “justice” in the justice system.
  • Strongly supports OUR constitutional rights.
  • A man of integrity.

It's easy to read and interpret the laws, the important part is listening to people and being fair and just!

  • NYTOA - New York Tactical Officers Assn.
  • NTOA - National Tactical Officers Assn.
  • NRA - National Rifle Assn.
  • G.C. Fish & Game Protective Assn.
  • Big Lakes Regional EMS Council
  • Genesee County EMS Council
  • 10 Years Fire Service
  • 25+ Years Volunteer EMS Service
  • Graduate of Alexander Central School
October 20, 2015 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, accident.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Sumner and Colby roads, Darien.

Darien fire and ambulance responding.

UPDATE 9:18 a.m.: Minor injuries reported.

 

 

October 14, 2015 - 8:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, pembroke.

Christine Aminta Soler, 38, of Phelps Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, criminal contempt, 1st, aggravated family offense, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Soler is accused of slapping and pushing her boyfriend during an argument. In the process, she allegedly violated an order of protection. Soler was jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond.

Erick Joel Reyes, 24, of Avenue D, Rochester, is charged with petit larceny. Reyes allegedly stole an iPhone while at Darien Lake Theme Park on Sept. 20.

Jason Shaffer, 35, of Alexander, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies reportedly observed a person acting suspiciously near a vehicle on Bank Road, Town of Middlebury. He was charged following further investigation.

Jaacob M. Farraro, 19, residence not specified, is charged with reckless driving and speeding. Farraro was stopped by State Police on Bethany Center Road, Bethany. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

October 5, 2015 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, Darien, batavia, Le Roy, Oakfield.

John Roderick Benton, 57, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and obstructed plate. Benton was stopped at 12:44 p.m. Thursday,on Tinkham Road, Darien, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Benton was allegedly driving with a BAC four times the legal limit.

Anthony James Demmer, 20, of Town Place, Oakfield, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, 1st. Demmer was stopped at 9:34 p.m. Sunday on North Main Street, Oakfield, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Cierra Lanae Kettles, 19, of Elmdorf Avenue, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Kettles allegedly threatened another person while at a party at 12:30 a.m. Saturday on East Main Street, Batavia.

Christopher Reynaldo Santos, 21, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Santos allegedly stole merchandise from Kohl's Department Store.

Raymer Antonio Leonardo, 19, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Leonardo allegedly stole merchandise from Kohl's Department Store.

Nolan Robert Powless, 18, of East Center Street, Medina, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver and no plate lamps. Powless was stopped at 2:27 a.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Powless was allegedly wanted on a warrant out of Orleans County, so he was taken into custody and turned over to State Police.

Erin Marie VanDorn, 27, of Bennett Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle, failure to stop for a stop sign and unsafe lane usage. VanDorn was stopped at 12:36 a.m. Saturday on Buffalo Street, Alexander, by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Shaun Claude Connors, 36, of Bissell Avenue, Depew, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Connors is an inmate in the Erie County Jail. He was arrested on a warrant out of Town of Pembroke Court. Bail was set at $750.

Lucas Daniel Allen, 25, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Allen was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 6:59 p.m. Wednesday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Chad Minuto.

Heidi L. Hopkins, 41, of Cherry Street, Perry, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Hopkins was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for an alleged equipment violation on Wolcott Street in the Village of Le Roy. After a brief investigation Hopkins was arrested after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of heroin and other drug paraphernalia.

October 5, 2015 - 11:46am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Darien, gary graber, Michelle Krzemien.

Press release:

Hon. Gary A. Graber (past president) and Michelle Krzemien, justices in the Town of Darien, recently attended the 106th Annual Conference and Certified Advanced Training Program of the New York State Magistrates Association held in Niagara Falls Sept.  27-30.

More than 250 local judges from all areas of New York State took part in the four day event, which combines the State Magistrates Association Annual Meeting and Conference with the Advanced Training Courses as required by New York State for all town and village justices in the Unified Court System.

The major purposes of NYSMA are the maintenance and support of the local judiciary through education and coordination with the New York State agencies regarding laws and other matters affecting local courts, “The Courts Closest to The People."

NYSMA works closely with the Office of Court Administration to assure the training enhances the professional development of the judges and is relevant to the practical situations encountered in the local courts. In addition to the required courses there are many elective opportunities offered for those attending.

The keynote speaker at the banquet was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. Hon. Harold Bauman was sworn in as the 2016 president along with the officers and directors.

Presentations over the four day event were made by the Office of Justice Court Support, City, Town and Village Resource Center, Unified Justice Court System, The 8th Judicial District, Peter Gerstenzang, Esq., Commission of Judicial Conduct, Professor Heverly of Albany Law School, Service Education, Inc., Gerald Stern, Esq., Daniels M. Killelea, Esq. Maryrita Dobiel, Esq., Assistant Professor Al Chapleau of the College of St. Rose, Hon. James Murphy, Onondaga Supreme Court Justice, Hon. Michael Mohun, Wyoming County Court Justice, Hon. Sara Sheldon, Niagara County Supreme Court Justice, Selden Fritchner, Division Chief. CDL Division, FMCSA, Washington, DC., Neil Schoen Esq, Deputy Commissioner, NYS DMV, Office of Court Administration, DMV, Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services, Dept. of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, as well as many of our officers and directors of the New York State Magistrates Association.

September 29, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, Darien.

A three-car accident is reported at Sumner and Harlow roads. Unknown injuries. Darien fire and ambulance are responding.

September 29, 2015 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

A series of daylight residential burglaries has swept through the Town of Darien, reports the Sheriff's Office, and officials are asking for citizen help in thwarting the criminals.

In a statement from Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, the office is asking that residents who see vehicles driving slowly through neighborhoods, stopped along the side of the road, or unfamiliar people walking down driveways or emerging from fields or wooded areas, be reported immediately.

Suspicious activity can be reported by calling 9-1-1 or (585) 343-5000.

Vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers are helpful if they can be obtained without risk.

There were three burglaries on Route 77, Darien, on Thursday and another was reported on Route 20 yesterday.  

Brewster said these crimes mirror similar reports in Erie and Wyoming counties, where jewelry and weapons have been stolen.

September 28, 2015 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake, batavia, elba.

Tammy Kay Zasowski, 47, of Clinton Street, Elma, is charged with attempted petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Zasowski was allegedly found inside a vehicle Sunday she did not have permission to be in by Darien Lake Theme Park security. Upon further investigation, she is a suspect in larcenies from cars in the Darien Lake parking lot on July 26. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Jeremy Jamal Barnett, 24, of Brooks Avenue, Rochester, is charged with possession of burglary tools, grand larceny, 4th, conspiracy, 5th and harassment, 2nd. Barnett is accused of stealing merchandise from Marshall's and concealing the store alarm tags with covers. He allegedly struggled with store staff after leaving the story. He was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Robert Emery Moore III, 29, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Moore's vehicle was stopped at 8:35 a.m. Sunday on East Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Chris Parker, for allegedly not having a front license plate. He was allegedly found in possession of a small bag of marijuana and a pipe.

Deborah Kristen Dibble, 46, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with falsely reporting a crime, 3rd. Dibble is accused of falsely reporting a crime related to a domestic dispute Sept. 14 while knowing the allegation was false.

September 10, 2015 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in harvest fest, darien lake theme park, Darien.

Press release:

The summer season has come to a close but that doesn’t mean outdoor fun is at an end. In fact, Darien Lake will remain open through the end of September and is featuring an all-new fall attraction – Harvest Fest.

The park will be open for Harvest Fest the last two weekends in September including the 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th. Vacations guests will receive exclusive access to Harvest Festival on Friday, Sept. 18th and 25th.

Darien Lake will be featuring a variety of fall favorites including the following exciting new attractions all included with park admission:
·        Harvest Fest Express Hayride – a family hayride around the park starting at the general store;
·        Haymazing Adventure – a fun kids' maze and scavenger hunt;
·        Pumpkin painting;
·        Live local music including: 23 Swing Buffalo, Polish Heritage Dancers, African-American Cultural Dancers, 23 Skidoo Dixieland, and many more;
·        Food Trucks including: Sweet Melodys, Kona Ice, Brick-n-Motor, J&L Boulevard BBQ, and (716) Clubhouse;
·        Arts and crafts from local vendors.

Don’t forget – Darien Lake tickets are buy-one-get-one-free through the end of the season! For more information about participating artists and vendors, visit www.darienlake.com/harvest-fest/

HARVEST FEST -- WHEN: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sept. 19, 20, 26 & 27.

September 10, 2015 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, Milestones, Justice Gary A. Graber.

(Photo provided by National Judicial College.)

Press release:
RENO, NV – The National Judicial College (NJC) is pleased to announce that the Hon. Gary A. Graber of the Town of Darien Justice Court in Darien, NY, has completed Drugs in America Today: What Every Judges Needs to Know, Aug. 25-27, 2015, at The National Judicial College in Reno, Nev.

This course provides a comprehensive review of intoxicating substances and the short- and long-term effects on litigants in and out of the courtroom, recent developments in the law, and options for sentencing and intervention.

“This newly developed course should be considered for attendance by all members of the judiciary handling these cases,” said Judge Graber, who is an alumnus of the NJC since 2003 and faculty member since 2008.

The National Judicial College was founded in 1963 and is the nation’s leading provider of judicial education. The NJC is housed in a state-of-the-art building on the historic 255-acre campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. For more than 50 years, the NJC has been offering courses to improve judicial productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges.

The NJC and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges assisted the University of Nevada, Reno, in developing one of the nations first master’s and Ph.D. in judicial studies programs. Both programs provide a formal academic setting in which trial judges can integrate technical and academic studies to attain an intellectual understanding of the American judiciary.

The NJC is also home to the National Tribal Judicial Center and an International Program. The College’s curricula include a Seminar Series, made up of courses that provide judges the opportunity to study diverse and interesting topics at historically and culturally rich locations across the United States. Web-based courses are also offered enabling participants to explore a variety of subject areas online.

The National Judicial College has an appointed 18-member Board of Trustees and became a Nevada not-for-profit (501)(c)(3) educational corporation on January 1, 1978. Please visit the NJC Web site at www.judges.org for NJC news, ways to donate, course information and more. Or, call (800) 25-JUDGE for more information.

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