Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors


September 15, 2010 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, scams.


A Corfu couple is feeling burned and they want to warn other area residents not to fall for the same scam a traveling pavement company pulled on them.

The couple -- who asked not to be identified -- paid $7,500 to have an asphalt driveway installed, which was more than the original $3-per-square-foot quote the contractor gave when he arrived at their door saying he had some asphalt left over from a previous job.

While the two-day-old driveway looks beautiful and black right now, the couple has since learned it won't even last a year.

The husband first became suspicious when, after the job was done, the contractor insisted on getting a check immediately because he said he needed to pay for the asphalt. The man thought, "why does he need to pay for asphalt if it was extra?"

About that time, the wife called her parents and her father said he had read about asphalt driveway scams on the Internet.

That's when they decided to call police and contact local media. The couple claim the out-of-state contractor -- whom we're not identifying because the case remains under investigation -- is listed on a website that warns of just such scams. They say crew boss is wanted for the same alleged scam in other states. (We didn't find the same site, but search "driveway paving scams" in Google and you'll find thousands of articles on the topic.)

After the asphalt was down and the check was cashed, the homeowners had another local contractor look at the work. He said, according to the couple, that the workers who put down the asphalt didn't prepare the bed properly and the asphalt needs to be about three times thicker than it is.

We called Tim Hens, county highway superintendent, for his expert opinion and Hens said a well-installed asphalt driveway would have a sealing coat over a crushed rock bed and about three inches of asphalt laid.

The Corfu couple's driveway is an inch or less thick.

"It's not uncommon for contractors to have extra asphalt after a job," Hens said. "But I've never heard of them going around door-to-door trying to peddle it for another job. It's just not how it's done."

State Police Investigator Leo Hunter is looking into the Corfu case, but his investigation began only yesterday. He said it's not clear yet that a crime has been committed. If it's just a matter of alleged shoddy work, it could be a civil matter. However, if there are other local victims of the same firm, that could indicate deliberate fraud taking place.

The Los Angeles Times offers these seven signs that you're being scammed:

• Unsolicited offers to do painting, roofing or paving work
• Claims of leftover materials
• High-pressure or scare tactics
• Reluctance to sign a written contract
• Demand for payment in cash
• New vehicles and out-of-state license plates
• Toll-free telephone contact numbers instead of a local number

Or as Hens put it, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

"You get what you pay for," he added.

As for the Corfu couple, they're feeling both angry and embarrassed.

"It's almost as if you're naive if you believe people these days," said the husband.

September 13, 2010 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, accident.


A truck driver out of Syracuse is being charged with DWI after reportedly taking his rig down Union Street this afternoon and hitting some trees.

City Councilman Bob Bialkowski brought up the incident at Monday night's council meeting, congratulating Chief Randy Baker and his department on a swift arrest of the apparently wayward driver.

Bialkowski said he was on Union at the time of the alleged incident, heard a loud noise -- louder than the sound of a small airplane crash, he said -- and turned around and saw the truck coming down the roadway with a gaping hole in the side of its trailer. The driver, he said, was trying to look in the side mirror to see what happened.

Taken into custody was Darren D. Jones, 45, of 168 Parkside Ave., Syracuse.

He was charged with aggravated DWI in a commercial vehicle and disobeying a traffic control device.

City police said the first report of an erratic truck driver came in about a semi exiting the Thruway. Jones was pulled over on West Main Street.

There is a weight limit on Union, according to the police press release, and Jones allegedly ignored it.

The report says Jones' truck had significant damage.

September 13, 2010 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Darien.

Kelly Jo Spenton, 37, of 6047 Transit Road, New York, is charged with petit larceny. Spenton is accused of stealing the contents of another person's mail. The alleged offense occurred at 39 S. Pearl St., Apt. 1, Oakfield on Aug. 24.

Zachary Ryan Morath, 19, of Summerfield Drive, Lancaster, is charged with DWI and failure to keep right. Morath was charged following a car accident on Route 5 in Darien at 7:40 a.m., Saturday. The investigation was handled by Deputy Jason Saile.

Larry S. Yoho, 38, of Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, harassment, 2nd, and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Yoho was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident at 10 Maple St., Batavia, at 9:23 p.m., Sept. 6. Yoho was jailed, but the bail amount -- if any -- was not provided. No further details available.

Valerie S. Wells, 44, of Medina, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Wells was stopped by State Police on Park Road, Batavia, at 5:35 p.m., Thursday.

September 10, 2010 - 12:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Wanted.


The Sheriff's Office is looking for assistance in locating Deborah Compton. Compton is wanted on a warrant on charges of resisting arrest and promoting prison contraband. Compton has reportedly failed to appear for court appearances on the charges after posting bail.

UPDATE: Some additional info has come through. Compton is 53. Last known address, 6542 Swamp Road, Byron. In March, she was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. She allegedly resisted arrest at that time. When she was booked into jail on those charges, she was allegedly found in possession of marijuana. She allegedly failed to appear for her next court appearance on those charges and was arrested in May. She has subsequently allegedly failed to make her next court appearance.

September 10, 2010 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

Paula J. Legg, 43, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. Legg is accused of stealing mail in the presence of a child.

September 9, 2010 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Following a joint investigation by Batavia Police detectives and the U.S. Secret Service, a Batavia businessman has been charged with fraud.

Nicholas Salvador, 46, of 20 Park Ave., Batavia, owner of East Main Sunoco, is being charged with two federal crimes related credit-card fraud.

The investigation is related to the arrest in March of Dustin Hurlburt, 32, of 21 Elm St., Warsaw, who was accused of operating a complicated scheme to buy building materials at Armor Building Supply using credit-card numbers obtained at the gas station where he worked and reselling the material.

Salvador is accused of using credit-card information of more than one person, and on more than one occasion, to purchase building materials at Armor Building Supply on several dates in 2009.

Det. Kevin Czora headed the investigation in Batavia.

September 9, 2010 - 1:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, byron, Le Roy.

Robert P. Leiser, 41, of Lockport Road, Oakfield, is charged with trespass, criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. State Police and Sheriff's deputies came into contact with Leiser on Lockport Road, Oakfield, when responding to a report of a fight at 10:54 a.m. There was reportedly a warrant for his arrest on a trespass charge as well as a warrant out of Monroe County on the marijuana charges. No charged were filed in connection with the fight call.

Donna Marie Kowsky, 35, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and following too closely. Kowsky was charged after reportedly being involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 7:58 p.m., Tuesday, in the area of 6112 Byron-Holly Road, Byron. Kowsky was allegedly tailgating.

Gregory Allen Jones, 31, of Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal contempt. Jones is accused of contacting a person he was barred from contacting by court order.

Brandon M. Weig, 22, of Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. State Police responded to an unspecified incident at 3:34 p.m., Monday, and arrested Weig. No further details were released.

September 9, 2010 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 34-year-old Batavia woman is being accused of letting drug dealers operate from her home at 3 Vine St.

mug_butler.jpgThe woman and three other people were arrested Wednesday following a raid by the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force at the residence.

The four arrests make it a total of five people accused of drug dealing at that address.

Sara H. Butler was charged with criminal nuisance, 1st, which is a class E felony in New York.

mug_oneal.jpgButler and the other people taken into custody at 5:30 p.m. were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and loitering.

The three others arrested were Quinton L. Spinks, 26, of Terrance Park, Rochester, Steven J. Hirsch, 23, of Raymond Avenue, Batavia, Cheetara M. O'Neal, 24, of Sawyer Street, Rochester.

mug_hirsch.jpgOn Aug. 26, 40-year-old William J. Butler was taken into custody at the same address. Butler is suspected of trafficking in crack cocaine and was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and promoting prison contraband, 1st.

The four arrested yesterday are accused of dealing cocaine and crack cocaine. Investigators executed a search warrant on the residence and allegedly found both drugs in the house. Their combined reported street value is $2,000. Investigators also say they found more than $600 in cash.

mug_spinks.jpgButler, Spinks and O'Neal were taken into custody at the residence. Hirsch was reportedly seen leaving the residence just before the raid and taken into custody on East Avenue.

Batavia police officers assisted in the raid.

All four suspects were arraigned and jailed without bail.

Photos, from top: Sara Butler, O'Neal, Hirsch, Spinks.

September 8, 2010 - 7:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.


Members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a search warrant and 3 Vine St. this evening.

According to Sgt. Steve Mullen of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office four people are currently being detained pending completion of the search.

Mullen did not specify the type of drug activity believed to have taken place at the residence.

On Aug. 26, 40-year-old William J. Butler was taken into custody at the same address. Butler is suspected of trafficking in crack cocaine and was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and promoting prison contraband, 1st.

At least two of the people being held pending completion of the investigation are women.

Mullen anticipates that if any arrests are made, they will be made tonight and a press release will be issued.

September 8, 2010 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Gregory S. Snyder, 41, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Snyder is accused of throwing and hitting a woman with a crushed beer can and then spitting on her. The alleged incident occurred at 4:15 p.m., Tuesday, at 3687 W. Main St. Road, Batavia.

Julia Bishop Wescott, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was picked up on a bench warrant out of family court. Wescott was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court where she posted $100 bail.

September 8, 2010 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Bethany.

mug_michael_l_jackson.jpgMichael L. Jackson was clearly relieved to receive concurrent sentences on multiple felony convictions in Genesee County Court this morning.

After Judge Robert C. Noonan announced that Jackson's two-year prison term on a drug-dealing charge could be served while he's also in prison for breaking into and trashing the offices of Holland High Lift in Bethany, Jackson gave a little thumbs up and turned to his family sitting behind him and smiled.

Dressed in Genesee County Jail orange and with his wrists cuffed, Jackson was clearly anxious about his fate during the morning hearing, up until the point the second sentence was pronounced.

The former Oakfield resident, who's home was destroyed in a fire two years ago, entered a guilty plea to charges of burglary, 3rd, two counts of grand larceny, criminal mischief, 4th, and witness tampering, 4th.

Noonan noted that Jackson clearly recognized he had no defense to the charges when he entered his unconditional plea the day his trial was supposed to start.

He sentenced Jackson to two-and-a-third to seven years in state prison on the burglary and larceny charges and one year concurrent on the witness tampering charge.

After Jackson's June 10 guilty plea, the Batavia resident was caught selling prescription drugs to an undercover agent. Last week, Jackson entered a guilty plea to a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Jackson obtained no sentencing cap or a promise of concurrent sentences with either guilty plea.

Attorney Gary Horton said Jackson stayed out of trouble from 2003 until 2009, when he lost his home and seemed to go into a tailspin. He said Jackson was so drunk the night in broke into Holland High Lift that he had a blackout and remembers nothing about it.

When asked by Noonan if he wanted to make a statement before sentencing, Jackson said, "Sir, I don't really remember that night. If I did, I should not have done it. Other than that, I'm sorry."

Most of Holland High Lift's losses were covered by insurance, but there was a deductible and a damaged motorcycle that was not covered. Jackson was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution.

September 8, 2010 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Rochester man accused of breaking into the home of a former friend and threatening the woman with a knife had his bail set at $50,000 today by Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan.

Robert Thigpen III, 35, of 287 Flower City Park, Rochester, was jailed without bail after his arrest because with his prior felony conviction, a city court can't set bail.

Noonan set a fairly high bail because of the seriousness of the offense and the prior felony conviction, but also raised a concern that Thigpen will face a more serious charge of burglar, 1st, rather than the current burglary, 2nd, charge, when the case goes to the grand jury.

"The facts in supporting documents would support a burglary, 1st, charge," Noonan said. "I’m not sure if it will shake out that way, but it has the possibility of very serious consequences for Mr. Thigpen."

Thigpen is also charged with menacing, 2nd.

The alleged attack occurred last week on State Street.

The defendant resident has been living and working, including running his own cleaning business, in Rochester for two years.

September 7, 2010 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Leandra's Law.

BATAVIA, NY -- On the first Leandra's Law interlock-device case to go through Genesee County Court, there were some bugs in the bureaucracy to be worked out.

First, the case of Joshua P. Garcia was delayed from the morning to the afternoon so State Probation form DPCA-520 BAL-IID could be filled out. That form is titled "Vehicle Operation and Access By Others," and contains a description of the vehicles a person convicted of DWI could drive.

Garcia, an Erie County resident charged with DWI on Dec. 20, filled out the form originally with two vehicles, but then decided to turn in the plates on one and it was scratched from the form. 

Even so, the county has its own form, and it asked for two pieces of information not on the state form -- vehicle color and the license plate number. Since that form surfaced in court this afternoon, a deputy had to call dispatch and read the VIN number off the DPCA-520 BAL-IID form to a dispatcher and get the plate number.

Then, Garcia's attorney, Jerry Ader, petitioned the court for a hardship waiver so his client wouldn't have to pay for the interlock device. That form had to be filled out in triplicate and handed to the court at the time of sentencing, even though Judge Robert C. Noonan would be ruling on the matter in the same hearing.

In the end, Noonan found that Garcia's $25,000 annual salary was sufficient to pay for the device -- even with the fines for this DWI, a recent DWI conviction in Erie County plus probation fees there. The judge sentenced Garcia to five years probation and 90 days intermittent incarceration.

Noonan said he didn't find Garcia "indigent enough" to waive the interlock-device fees, which judges can do under terms of Leandra's Law.

Garcia, a stepson of Joseph Benaquist, the Pembroke resident murdered by Scott Doll in February, 2009, said he has been through a lot recently and turned to drinking because of the stress.

"Now I see that alcohol has brought problems into my life," Garcia said. "I’m done with alcohol."

Under sentencing guidelines, Noonan had few options, but said, "I have enough faith in you to give you a try on probation."

Ader asked that the interlock-device requirement be delayed until Garcia is eligible for a conditional driver's license.

According to his reading of the law, Ader said, he believed Noonan had the discretion to set a later date for installation.

"It makes no sense when my client does not have license," Ader said. "If he gets behind the wheel of a car while on probation, he’s committing a felony."

But the law also requires the device be installed within 10 days of sentencing, which is what Noonan required.

September 7, 2010 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien.

Alexander Agapii, 31, of Penfield, is charged with sexual abuse, 3rd. Agapii is accused of touching a 14-year-old girl without her consent while on the Lazy River Ride at Darien Lake. Agapii was jailed on $250 bail.

Steven Robert Gorecki, 24, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt. Gorecki is accused of getting into an argument with his girlfriend. He allegedly "racked" a shotgun and pointed it at her. After the incident was reported, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He later turned himself in.

Bernard A. Buckenmeyer, 46, of Alexander, is charged with DWI and driving with a  BAC of .08 or greater. Buckenmeyer was stopped by State Police at 9:25 p.m., Sunday, on Hunn Road in Alexander.

September 7, 2010 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, accident, pembroke.

A 21-year-old Pennsylvania woman was charged with DWI following a single-car accident on Main Road in Pembroke on Monday morning.

Jessica A. Franks, 5109 Bellvedere Road, Tobyhanna, Pa., allegedly failed to reduce her speed as her car entered a curve causing it to leave the roadway and strike a mailbox and its post.

The mailbox and post went airborne and struck a parked car. Franks' car then continued westbound striking two trees and a utility pole.

Franks was taken by ground ambulance to ECMC. The accident occurred at 5:41 a.m. in the area of 607 Main Road.

Franks' passenger, Darcie L. Myers, 21, was not injured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Howard Carlson.



September 6, 2010 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, alexander, Darien, Alabama.

James C. Oehler, 18, of Route 19, Bergen, is accused of possession of stolen property, 5th. At 9:16 p.m., Sunday, Oehler was allegedly found in possession of a dirt bike that was reported stolen from a residence in the Village of Bergen on July 25.

James Anthony Marchegiano, 22, of Westside Drive, Chili, is charged with a DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Marchegiano was stopped at 11:36 p.m., Friday, on Sumner Road by Deputy Chad Minuto. Marchegiano was allegedly observed driving his car in an erratic manner in the parking lot following the Rascal Flatts concert at Darien Lake.

Grant Arnold Sundown, 46, of Skye Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with criminal mischief. Sundown allegedly punched another person in the head. When that person attempted to call 9-1-1, Sundown allegedly ripped the phone line from the wall while the caller was on the phone with Genesee County Emergency Dispatch.

Steven James Scott, 19, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with trespass and unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. Scott was allegedly on the property of College Village at 12:52 a.m., Friday, without permission.

Narciso Gullen, 36, of Route 98, Elba, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Gullen allegedly tried to use a forged federally issued residency card. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Richard Anthony Orlando, 31, of Cable Street, Buffalo, is charged with criminal mischief and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 12:30 a.m., Sunday, deputies responded to a report of a verbal domestic incident at a campsite in Alexander. Orlando allegedly smashed a television set and a fan and turned over a refrigerator. Orlando was jailed on $150 bail.

Joseph Aaron Monkelbaan, 38, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Monkelbaan is accused of going onto a neighbor's property at 7:21 p.m., Friday, without permission and causing a disturbance.

Kevin A. Hutzler, 21, of Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Hutzler was stopped by State Police at 8:41 p.m., Thursday, on Colby Road.

Anthony R. Cogdill, 40, of Darien, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Cogdill was stopped by State Police at 9:23 p.m., Thursday, Harper Road, Alexander.

Richard J. Rookey, 77, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Rookey was stopped by State Police 8:14 p.m., Wednesday, on Clinton Street and East Avenue.

James V. Wells, 25, of Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct/obscene gestures. Wells was arrested by State Police at 12:24 a.m., Wednesday at College Village. No further details were released.

September 5, 2010 - 10:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

Le Roy Police are looking for a person who broke into a residential garage and moved several items Sunday at a Lake Street address.

The burglary was interrupted when the resident heard a dog barking at the rear of the house and went outside to investigate. The resident spotted a man in the garage; the suspect ran into a wooded area.

He is described as a male wearing a red baseball cap, a yellow checkered short sleeve shirt and jeans.

This is the second garage burglary in the past month. A previous burglary occurred on East Main Street on Aug 6. It is unknown if these two incidents are related.

A witness was found who said that a person matching the suspect's description was seen walking the railroad tracks behind 101 W. Main St. shortly after the burglary. Police think it's possible the suspect lives in the area of West Main Street.

Anyone seeing a person wearing the same colored clothing or having information pertaining to this crime is asked to contact the Le Roy Police Department at 768-2527.

September 4, 2010 - 11:28am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A fight in progress is reported outside of 433 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

Batavia police are responding.

September 4, 2010 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The following people were arrested during the Rascal Flatts concert Friday at Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center:

Ramzi J. Abialmouna, of Castlebar Drive, North Tonawanda, is charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest. Abialmouna allegedly refused to leave the area and kicked a deputy while being arrested. He was jailed on $200 bail.

Andrew E. Aguado, 23, of South Maple Street, Warsaw, is charged with disorderly conduct. Aguado allegedly urinated in the roadway.

Eric R. Weitz, 38, of Pine Wood Drive, West Seneca, is charged with aggravated DWI, DWI and following too closely. Weitz was allegedly involved in a car accident in the concert parking lot.

Calebmoises H. Garcia, 24, of Tremont Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unlicensed operation. Garcia was allegedly involved in a motor vehicle accident on Employee Road.

The following people were issued citations for allegedly possessing alcohol under 21 years of age (after the jump):

September 4, 2010 - 12:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

The treasurer of a Le Roy nursery school is being accused of using the school's ATM card to make unauthorized withdrawals and purchase.

The total of the alleged misappropriated funds is more than $6,200.

Jennifer M. Riggi, 29, of 47 Lake St., Le Roy, is being charged with grand larceny.

Riggi was arrested by Le Roy detective John Condidorio following an investigation that started Aug. 16.

Nursery school officials contacted Le Roy Police after checking bank statements and reportedly finding unusual activity.

After being arraigned in Le Roy Town Court, Riggi was released on her own recognizance.




Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button