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June 17, 2012 - 11:20pm

Three members of Le Roy family jailed after scuffle with police

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

UPDATED Monday, 8 a.m., with confirmation of the suspects' identities, charges, additional details about the arrests and information provided by another person who said she witnessed the events.


What would normally be a routine arrest -- for alleged criminal contempt -- took a quick turn for the worse Sunday evening in Le Roy bringing out a significant response from multiple law enforcement agencies.

In the end, three people were arrested and no officers nor civilians were seriously injured.

"It went from zero to 60 in under a couple of seconds. It was just that quick," said Chris Hayward, chief of police for the Village of Le Roy. "Speaking to the officer afterwards, you're standing there waiting for that extra help to get there and it feels like it's taking forever and it's only taking a couple of minutes for people to get there to help you. These situations just spiral out of control real quickly. Fortunately, it's not something that happens on a regular basis."

Taken into custody were three residents of 21 Maple Ave.: Michael J Mead Sr., 25; Donald E. Mead Jr., 49; and Elaina J. Mead, 43.

Michael Mead is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, resisting arrest and harassment, 2nd. He was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Donald Mead is charged with assault, 2nd, a Class D felony, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. He was jailed on $15,000 bail.

Elaina Mead is charged with attempted aggravated assault on a police officer, a Class C felony, menacing a police officer, a Class D felony, and obstructing governmental administration. She is being held on $15,000 bail.

The incident began some time around 5 p.m. when Deputy Matthew Butler and Officer Emily Clark went to the Maple Avenue address to speak with Michael Mead about a criminal contempt complaint.

According to Hayward, after an interview, Butler informed the suspect that he was under arrest.

Allegedly, Michael Mead physically resisted arrest.

Michael Mead
Donald Mead
Elaina Mead
UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: Booking photos weren't available earlier because of computer problems at the Sheriff's Office.

As officers attempted to take Michael Mead into custody, Donald Mead allegedly tried to slam the front door on the officers, striking Butler with the door.

As the officers reportedly wrestled with the Michael Mead, Elaina Mead allegedly came out of the house and pushed a knife against Butler's chest.

Clark knocked the knife from the woman's hand and suffered a minor cut in the process.

Elaina Mead then reportedly reentered the house, raising further concern for the officers and their safety as they continued to wrestle with the suspect.

It's unclear what Donald Mead was doing at this point.

At some point during the scuffle, Clark requested back-up from Genesee County Emergency Dispatch, informing dispatchers that she and Butler were dealing with multiple agitated subjects and that at least one person had come at them with a knife.

As additional deputies and State Troopers responded, Butler said, "Keep sending all units. Multiple people are going to be arrested."

A Livingston County deputy responded and deputies in Orleans and Wyoming counties staged on the county lines ready to respond if more manpower was needed.

Within minutes of back-up arriving, all three suspects were in custody and additional units responded were told they could "back it down."

Sunday's incident, Hayward said, emphasizes the need in Genesee County for multiple law enforcement agencies to provide sufficient coverage in emergencies.

"Today demonstrates that if we didn’t have services along those lines, one or more officers would have been hurt," Hayward said.

Judging from scanner traffic, it sounded like several individuals were involved in the ruckus, but Hayward said up until the point of the arrests, only son, mother and father were involved.

According to Lourina Jeanotte, who emailed The Batavian in response to our initial report, said she was at the scene Sunday and said the suspects were gathered with other friends and family members for Father's Day when Butler and Clark knocked on the Mead's door.

She claims Elaina never threatened Butler nor Clark with the knife and only had it in her hand because she was cutting a steak and she forgot to put it down when she rushed out of the house because she believed Clark was beating her son.

Another person who said in an email she was there and witnessed the events, Cassidy Pucci, said Butler grabbed Michael Mead for no reason and that Donald Mead tried to assist his son.

She said Elaina Mead had a knife in her hand, but dropped it and started yelling at the officers, "Why are you hurting my son? It's Father's Day. Why are you hurting my son?" 

Pucci said Clark kicked the knife away.

At some point, Elaina Mead and Donald Mead started back toward the house, Pucci said, and Donald yelled something about the officers being in the wrong, that they had no reason to come to his house and grab his son.

When Donald Mead was cuffed and sitting in a Le Roy PD cruiser, Jeanotte said she saw Donald in the patrol car with the windows rolled up and he "began to shake and sweat horribly."

Jeanotte began to yell that he was having a medical emergency and several other people began to yell and one young man tried to open the back door of the cruiser and Clark pushed him away.

EMS personal were on scene and got Donald Mead out of the car quickly.

One male at the scene yelled that Donald Mead had a heart condition.

Donald Mead was placed on a stretcher and transported by Le Roy Ambulance to UMMC. He was released from the hospital about an hour later and taken into custody.

According to Hayward, the Sheriff's Office has been trying to resolve the criminal contempt charge for a couple of weeks, but the suspect had been uncooperative.

"Speaking to the deputy, it appears that they went above what they would normally do to get the matter resolved and that’s what resulted in the deputy going there tonight," Hayward said.

Michael Mead is accused of violating an order of protection.

Some of the Mead's neighbors said 21 Maple Ave. is a regular source of disturbances. Hayward confirmed that police have responded to the address on prior occasions, but did not have specifics on the nature of the calls.

The property is owned, according to online county records, by Troy Overholt.

It's unusual for a misdemeanor arrest to escalate as this one did, but it points out why officers need to be vigilant in all situations, Hayward said.

“There wasn’t anything that would have raised concern any more than what you typically go through when you go to deal with people," Hayward said. "It was one of those situations where they went there and it escalated out of control quickly."

Asked about how some people criticize police for how they conduct themselves in arrest situations, Hayward said many times people really don't understand the safety concerns.

"You’ll see people criticize the actions that officers take but until you’ve been in that situation where you are really concerned about your safety or the safety of others around you, you really have no basis to speak from," Hayward said. "These officers were in a situation where they were taking appropriate measures and because of that neither was seriously hurt."

UPDATE Monday, 1:57 p.m.: Donald and Elaina posted bail. Michael Mead remains in jail.

PHOTOS: Top, Donald Mead on a stretcher being assisted by Le Roy medics after suffering an apparent health issue while sitting in a patrol car. Second, Lourina Jeanotte becomes alarmed while observing Donald Mead in the patrol car. Bottom, Trooper Holly Hansell adjusts the handcuffs on Elaina Mead.

jeff saquella
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Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: Sep 30 2008 - 5:22pm

must be something in the water in leroy

lucie griffis
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Nov 29 2009 - 2:43pm

It is a shame that you would comment must be something in the water. Those people have moved here from somewhere else. The police did a great job. I live on Maple Ave. and this is not the first time for chaos from that house. Try some people have a lack of respect for the law. If they are not raising hell like this with the cops , it is with the neighbors. Of course they are gonna cry wolf and say the law is wrong. They responded quickly when it was properly brought to their attention about the dads medical concern. The whole neighborhood was out there watching. And this article did not mention that they had a group of kids (like 5 or so ) there and as the adults they were doing this in front of them. Even if the woman forgot she ran at officers with a knife.
Here's a thought -
He knew he had a warrant. How about he just man up and go with the cops? Take responsibility for what you have done. Instead of creating a situation like this.

Jason Crater
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Last seen: 3 days 23 hours ago
Joined: Aug 25 2009 - 10:01am

Lucie, I agree with most of what you're saying. I'd just like to point out that had Mr. Mead turned himself in peaceably, I wouldn't be laughing while drinking my coffee this morning.

Gary Spencer
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Last seen: 6 days 19 hours ago
Joined: Feb 18 2009 - 6:57pm

I believe Jeff's comment was sarcasm, and for you to say "those people moved here from somewhere else is to infer that "native Leroyan's" would not behave like this just plain nonsense.
However, having said that I also say that I agree with everything else you posted, if this guy had a warrant, that he was apparently aware of he could have "maned up" and went with the police and cleared everything up, he probably would have been back home in a couple hours. And if there were children present like you say, that only emphasizes the true character of the family involved. And how the hell does somebody "forget they have a knife in their hand when they run out to become involved with the police, she is lucky she wasn't shot or at least tazed!

Howard B. Owens
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Last seen: 1 day 9 hours ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

One point that I tried to clarify in the article, but doesn't seem to have gotten through: While the initial information we got at the scene was that there was a warrant, we later confirmed there was no warrant.

Deputy Butler, assisted by Officer Clark, went to the residence as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged violation of an order of protection. After speaking with Michael Mead, Deputy Butler informed him they were arresting him on a criminal contempt charge for the alleged violation of that order.

It's at that point that Michael allegedly resisted arrest and matters escalated from there.

However, I would also draw attention to Chief Hayward's remarks: "According to Hayward, the Sheriff's Office has been trying to resolve the criminal contempt charge for a couple of weeks, but the suspect had been uncooperative.

"Speaking to the deputy, it appears that they went above what they would normally do to get the matter resolved and that’s what resulted in the deputy going there tonight," Hayward said."

Gary Spencer
Gary Spencer's picture
Last seen: 6 days 19 hours ago
Joined: Feb 18 2009 - 6:57pm

I stand corrected!
I also forgot to give high praise for all the police officers involved, this could have ended much worse!

John Roach
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Last seen: 1 week 15 min ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am

How did they not treat anyone with respect. So far, nobody has accused the police of doing anything wrong, but you. Back up the statement.

Thomas Mooney
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Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: May 19 2009 - 9:49pm

I had previous contact with both , my opinion and many others . It is a statemnt based on that of past contact

Cheryl Wilmet
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Joined: Dec 10 2011 - 12:12pm

Gary thank you for my morning laugh.

John Roach
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Last seen: 1 week 15 min ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am

Past contact has noting to do with this incident. But glad you clarified it.

lucie griffis
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Nov 29 2009 - 2:43pm

I stand corrected it has nothing to do with being a native Le Royan , but more so the way people act these days. It has nothing to do with the character of the officers either. It has to do with the way people think they can do what ever they want. Laws are laws. He should have just manned up and took what was coming. People behave that badly and it has no basis of where they are from. It has to do with manners and morals. There were children there and this all went down in front of them. They neighborhood was all standing out watching this go down. The only people screaming were their family that was there. I saw no police harassment or physical harm being done. Mr. Mooney were you on Maple yesterday? Did you see something the whole street did not?

Also I guess I misunderstood the warrant but saw they were being arrested. Confusion on my part.

C. M. Barons
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Last seen: 5 days 16 hours ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 11:56pm

Any community has a few rogues, self-righteous or above-the-law types who fall under the category of (umm) "colorful characters." To suggest "something in the water" not only alludes to an ongoing health issue that many LeRoyans remain sensitive about; it implies that the whole community is implicated in the incident of discussion. Certainly the post was intended as humor, but like most jokes with a premise of collateral damage, it shouldn't be surprising when one of the intended targets stands up and objects.

Besides, given the residency of some odd ducks oft-featured on Rochester radio laugh-em-ups, sounds like a case of stones cast from a glass house.

Howard B. Owens
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Last seen: 1 day 9 hours ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

Personal attacks -- whether against officers or subjects at the scene -- will not be tolerated. Those comments have been deleted.

John Woodworth JR
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 11:13am

Even with all these witnesses there seemed to be alot of confusion. Even their stories do not match one another. One stated, She (Elaina Mead) forgot to put the knife down because, she was cutting steak. Another stated, She (Elaina Mead) had a knife but, dropped it before, confronting the officers. Some of these alledged witnesses did not seem to know the facts of this incident. Especially, the witness who stated Deputy Butler had no reason to grab Michael Mead. I am pretty sure when an officer places someone under arrest that, they usually grab a hold of that person to handcuff. Maybe I am wrong? No!

John Woodworth JR
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 11:13am

BTW, Donald Mead sort of resembles "Jerry Springer" Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!

Debra Nanni
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Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: Feb 4 2009 - 11:16am

Sorry this has nothing to do with the article, but by any chance are the EMT and the police officer in the first picture brothers, or even twins ??? I had to look twice, looks like trick photography!! Just wondering. That would be interesting.

Kyle Couchman
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Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 25 2009 - 8:54am

Dont feel bad Debra I was gonna say the same thing.... John as for the confusion, well it seems pretty clear to me, the friends and family that were there obviously saw only what they wanted to see. Whereas the witnesses that werent already there ie the neighbors and rubberneckers, say something totally different. From what I've seen on this story seems this was an ongoing thing, reports are that the authorities have been dealing with this issue for days or weeks... The Family has been unco-operative with the authorities, and I'm betting someone in the neighborhood tipped off the authorities that the person they were looking for was home.

As for what happened then? Who knows, the perp, tried to shut the door on the officers when they decided to take him him initiating the whole thing. I'm sure more than just his father and mother were menacing the officers initially, but when more witnesses came out I'm sure they backed off. Forgetting to put down a knife when confronting an officer? Yeah really good excuse for having a weapon that "accidentally" cut an officer. Since no one but the officers and the perp really know what happened in the initial conversation that lead to the authorities arresting this guy we cant judge that but they have been investigating this individual for a while and the behavior by the others in the house show that there has been little co-operation so is supposed to happen when you have a material witness for an investigation? You detain him..especially if he has been evasive thusfar in the investigation. Looks like everything was handled as best as the circumstances allowed, having had heart problems in the past myself it looks like the older man's heart issues weren't all that bad since he was released rather quickly. Even faster than my own release when my last supposed cardiac incident turned out to be heartburn.

Be interesting to see how his plays out from here.... family will usually stand up in a situation like this but become very quiet and scarce as facts and actions come to light with further investigation and prosecution.

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