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March 9, 2018 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

A jury of 12 has found 26-year-old Anthony Spencer Jr. of Batavia guilty on all counts.

Spencer who goes by the nickname “Trouble” was on trial for the July 18th assault on East Main Street in Batavia that left the victim clinging to life, bleeding uncontrollably from his arm.

The jury reached their verdict at around 9:30 this morning after beginning deliberations at approximately 3 o’clock yesterday. Spencer was found guilty on count #1 of gang assault in the first degree and on count # 2 of assault in the first degree.

Co-defendant JW Hardy III, also known as “Dub” or “Dubs,” accepted a plea deal in December regarding the incident. He was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Spencer’s trial began at the beginning of this week with jury deliberations extending to this morning.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman called an 18-year-old witness to testify as a witness of the assault who identified Spencer as one of the attackers.

She testified that the suspects were getting into a verbal altercation with the victim, threatening him to make a payment or something would happen to him or his friend.

She said the victim went inside his residence and came out wielding a knife, then threatened other people in the area including her briefly.

A group of around 15 people gathered in the area.

Somehow co-defendant JW “Dubs” Hardy allegedly obtained the knife from the victim and soon the group turned the tables on the victim and began chasing and beating him up and down the street.

The witness said that Spencer hit the victim in the head with a cooking pot with full force several times.

A dented cooking pot with a broken handle was submitted as evidence that the item was used with great force. The cooking pot was located at the scene and the handle was found on Swan Street in between the scene and where Spencer was picked up at 218 Ellicott St.

There was black and white surveillance video submitted into evidence in which Spencer is identified by the witness.

Defense Attorney Frederick Rarick argued that the testimony of the witness was suspect because she had only just met the suspect earlier that evening and that she was protecting other members of her group that he alleged were involved in the assault.

He questioned her ability to accurately recall the event because she admitted to drinking and smoking pot the night of the assault.

Rarick also noted in cross-examination of both Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Forsyth and Batavia Police Detective Thaddeus Mart that they observed no blood on Spencer’s clothing when he was taken into custody the night of the assault.

DA Friedman argued the lack of blood on Spencer’s clothing proved nothing.

Spencer is scheduled for sentencing on April 6th at 9:15 a.m. and following a request by the DA, was ordered to be held without bail pending sentencing.

The investigation into the incident still continues as there were other alleged suspects involved who fled the scene.

Via our news partner, WBTA

March 8, 2018 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, news, notify.

A 16-year-old Le Roy HS student has been charged with making terroristic threats following an incident at the school yesterday where the student threatened to shoot people.

The youth was jailed on $10,000 bail

The Sheriff's Office received a call at 3:15 p.m. yesterday after school officials reported a student had made the threats.

An investigation revealed the male student who was charged was involved in a confrontation with several other students in a hallway and allegedly made the threat during the confrontation.

No weapons were displayed and no weapons were located.

There were no injuries.

The charge is a Class D felony.

From the press release:

The Sheriff's Office commends the school's administration and staff for their quick notification and assistance during the investigation and reminds citizens that we have a 'no tolerance policy' for any violence or threats of violence directed at anyone in or about school.

March 7, 2018 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, news, notify, batavia, corfu.

Amy M. Page, 32, of North Road, Scottsville, is charged with felony DWI and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Page was stopped by Le Roy PD on March 4 after a caller, who followed a vehicle on Route 5 from Stafford, reported a vehicle almost hit two vehicles, drove in the wrong lane and went off the road numerous times. Page is accused of driving with a BAC of .18 or greater with three children in the vehicle. She was jailed on $2,500 bail and issued a full stay away order of protection for the children.

Jeffrey Ellinwood, 58, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI and other traffic offenses. Ellinwood was stopped Feb. 26 in the Village of Le Roy by Le Roy PD. He is accused of driving with BAC of .18 or greater.

Danielle Derenzo, 53, of Hartshorn Road, Corfu, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, suspended registration, and driving without insurance. Derenzo was stopped Feb. 27 in the Village of Le Roy by Le Roy PD.

Chad Giesler, 34, of Barks Road, Caledonia, is charged with DWI, and other traffic offenses. Giesler was stopped March 1 in the Village of Le Roy by Le Roy PD.

Phoenix Webb, 18, of County Route 37, Central Square, is charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of marijuana, 4th. During a traffic stop in the the Village of Le Roy on March 3 a police officer smelled the odor of burnt marijuana. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, Webb was found in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Felix Cabreralopez, 65, of Emerson Street, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and uninspected vehicle. Cabreralopez was stopped at 8:51 p.m. Tuesday on South Lake Avenue, Bergen, by Deputy James Stack. He allegedly had his privileges revoked or suspended 10 times on 10 different dates. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Danielle Renee Tooley, 33, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with bail jumping, 3rd. Tooley is accused of missing a scheduled court appearance.

March 5, 2018 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, bergen, Stafford.

Robert Vincent Campbell, 35, of College View, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unlicensed driver. Deputies were dispatched at 9 p.m. Thursday to assist Batavia PD with an accident investigation where a female driver was suspected of being involved in the accident and fleeing the scene. The vehicle was located at a residence on Collegeview Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Ryan DeLong. DeLong was on scene investigating when Campbell allegedly drove to that location while intoxicated. Assisting in the investigation were Det. Matthew Wojtaszczyk and Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Bailey M. Burns, 18, Goade Park, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving without insurance, uninspected motor vehicle, and no registration plates displayed. Burns was stopped at 6:36 p.m. Friday on Jackson Street, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards. Melanie M. Bernard, 28, of Goade Park, Batavia, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Derek Edward Dingman, 30, Route 231, Albion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dingman was allegedly involved in a disturbance and threatened to shoot another person at 3:29 p.m. Friday at a location on Prospect Avenue, Batavia.

Shaleesa H. Woods, 26, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate headlamps. Woods was stopped at 6:19 p.m. Thursday on Richmond Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Twan Conway, 47, of Highland Park, Batavia, criminal trespass, 2nd, aggravated family offense, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Conway allegedly entered a residence and made contact with a person on Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, in violation of a court order.

Eric J. McGill, 34, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. McGill was allegedly involved in a disturbance at Batavia Middle School at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 12 where he shouted obscenities in the presence of children.

Juaquin E. Davis, 22, of Milton Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal obstruction of breathing. Davis allegedly punched and choked a woman who was holding a child during an incident reported at 10:38 a.m. Feb. 23 on Center Street, Batavia.

William A. Irish, 25, of Jerome Place, Batavia, is charged with unlawful imprisonment. Irish was arrested in connection with a disturbance reported at 9:30 p.m. Feb. 20 on Jerome Place, Batavia.

Thomas A. Bolling, 39, of Mangolia Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and no headlights. Bolling was stopped at 10:38 p.m. Feb. 22 on East Main Street by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Rashawn L. Gosier, 39, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Gosier is accused of stealing $44.25 in merchandise from Tops at 1:39 p.m., Saturday.

Rene M. Primus, 43, of North Byron Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, inadequate headlights, and open container. Primus was stopped at 10:02 p.m. Feb. 24 on Clinton Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Matthew J. Zane, 34, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and trespass. Zane is accused of stealing beer from Speedway on West Main Street, Batavia. Zane was previously barred from the property.

Jason Lee Perry, 23, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st. Perry was arrested on unrelated charges. Upon processing in the Genesee County Jail, he allegedly introduced contraband into a secure portion of the jail. He was jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond.

Scott Henry Spencer, 54, of Ravenwood Street, Rochester, is charged with bail jumping, 2nd. Spencer was arrested by Monroe County Probation and turned over to the Sheriff's Office on a warrant out of County Court for alleged failure to appear on a felony charge. He was ordered held in jail pending arraignment.

Dawn Marle Gates, 48, is charged with Maplewood Parkway, Glens Falls, is charged with bail jumping, 2nd. Gates allegedly failed to appear on a felony criminal charge. Gates turned herself in at Pembroke Town Court and was jailed on $2,000 bail. Gates is also charged with criminal tax fraud, 4th.

Shannon Lynn Klinkbeil-Hayday, 41, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with identify theft, 1st, and grand larceny, 4th. Klinkbeil-Hayday is accused of assuming the identity of another person with the intent to steal more than $1,000. She was arraigned in Town of Bethany Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Lawrence Armani Elsaw, 18, of Oak Mills Crossing, West Henrietta, is charged with criminal mischief. Elsaw allegedly damaged a window valued at more than $250 at College Village at 5 p.m. on Jan. 23. The case was investigated by Deputy Rachel Diehl.

Christopher Michael Macomber, 45, of Buffalo Street, Bergen, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and no tail lamps. Macomber was arrested on a warrant and jailed on $1,500 bail or $4,000 bond.

Timothy P. Pendleton, 32, of Batavia, is charged with DWI. Gregg E. Smith, 60, of Stafford, is charged with DWI. Pendleton and Smith were charged by State Police following a motor vehicle accident reported at 4:40 p.m. Feb. 28. at Prole Road, Stafford.

February 28, 2018 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, notify, news, byron, batavia.

Joseph Jonathan Kuzma, 37, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Kuzma is accused of stealing $780 worth of steel from a location in Byron in order to sell it in Monroe County.

Nancy Louise Mordenga, 47, of Huffer Road, Hilton, is charged with bailing jumping, 3rd. Mordenga is accused of not appearing in court following an arrest. She was jailed on $500 bail.

Nefetiria Lialeshia Turner, 35, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with bail jumping, 3rd. Turner is accused of failure to appear in court following an arrest. Turner was jailed on $250 bail.

Kendra Quinette Thomas, 30, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with bail jumping, 3rd. Thomas is accused of failure to appear in court following an arrest. Thomas was released under supervision by Genesee Justice.

February 27, 2018 - 5:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in scam, crime, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office would like to warn the public of a scam involving personal medical information.

Perpetrators of this scam contact local residents by telephone and attempt to elicit medical history / records. The information is then used to fill out prescriptions which are sent to medical offices for refill. Once signed, these prescriptions are being used to bill insurance companies.

The origins of this scam are unknown at this time but the scam is under investigation and it is, quite likely, a multiple-state crime.

The Sheriff's Office would like to remind local residents NOT to provide personal or medical information over the telephone.

Remember, thieves can appear to be very knowledgeable and convincing in nature. It is important to contact your local physician or pharmacy if you believe such information has been compromised.

February 26, 2018 - 6:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, crime, Stafford, notify.


Photo credit: Jim Burns.

NOTE: This was originally posted at 1:15 p.m. We've updated the time stamp to move it back up to the top of the home page. The suspect is in custody.

Minutes ago about a dozen State Police cars swarmed onto the Thruway at the Batavia exit after a vehicle stopped there briefly following a high-speed chase that began in Canandaigua for unknown reasons. Now the pursuit has begun anew.

The suspect vehicle is traversing the median of the Thruway, going eastbound and westbound intermittently.

Troopers were told to be on the lookout for the vehicle driven by a possibly suicidal male.

Spike strips were set up at the Batavia exit, but it is unclear if they were deployed.

There are currently three police cars parked near the Batavia Thruway exit 48; the male subject's latest location is near the Le Roy exit.

UPDATE 1:23 p.m.: The suspect vehicle is stopped at the Le Roy exit Stafford overpass.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: The vehicle is stopped on I-90 eastbound about one mile from the Route 237 overpass. A trooper is blocking westbound I-90; and eastbound a number of emergency vehicles are on scene and a helicopter is hovering overhead.

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: The subject is alert in the vehicle but not responding to officers' commands. The Thruway is closed westbound at the Le Roy exit and eastbound at the Batavia exit.

UPDATE 3:13 p.m.: Now the eastbound Thruway is closed at the Pembroke exit. The continuing standoff has resulted in heavy traffic congestion on Route 98 (Oak Street) in Batavia. The subject is reportedly armed.

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: Jim Burns, reporting for us with a position that has a good view of the scene, says the subject is in custody. We have no information yet on when the Thruway might reopen.

UPDATE 6:26 p.m.: The Thruway has been reopened in both directions.












February 26, 2018 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news, Darien.

Madalyn R. Muntz, 32, of Evans Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, and unlawful possession of marijuana. While conducting an investigation on Liberty Street, members of the Local Drug Task Force located Muntz. She was taken into custody on a City Court warrant and at the time of her arrest allegedly found in possession of cocaine, a needle, drug paraphernalia, and a device for smoking marijuana. She was also arrested by Batavia PD on the warrant alleged failure to meet requirements of sentencing on a prior conviction. Muntz was released after posting bail.

Jonathan Edward Stanton, 35, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged petit larceny, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Police received a report of a suspicious male at the Rite Aid on West Main Street, Batavia. Upon investigation, Deputy Ryan DeLong and Deputy Brad Mazur determined Stanton allegedly stole $119.97 in merchandise from the store and was in possession of drug paraphernalia, a needle and marijuana.

Daniel E. Gubnitsky, 23, of Sheron Road, Greece, and Jennifer A. Schreiber, 18, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Gubnitsky and Schreiber were charged after police were called to investigate a suspicious vehicle parked at the VFW Hall at 25 Edwards St., Batavia, at 9:22 a.m. Thursday. 

Joseph M. Tornabene, 26, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Tornabene allegedly struck another person in the face during an argument reported at 2:30 p.m. Friday at a location on Dellinger Avenue, Batavia. Tornabene left the scene. The victim signed a complaint and Tornabene later turned himself in at Batavia PD headquarters. 

Cale Daniel Rice, 41, of Drake Street Road, Elba, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and failure to notify DMV of a change of address. Rice was stopped at 1:06 a.m. Saturday on Route 98 in Elba by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Shamique D. Hubbard, 28, of Hamlet, North Carolina, is charged with DWI, driving while impaired by drugs, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Hubbard was stopped at 10:51 p.m. Sunday in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

Matthew J. Gaudio, 29, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation. Gaudio was stopped by State Police in Darien at 10:14 a.m. Thursday. Following arraignment, Gaudio was ordered held on bail.

Ervin Finkley, 50, of Rochester, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and fleeing from an officer in a motor vehicle. Desiree Ghee, 31, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Norman C. Ghee, 53, of Rochester, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. The trio was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 1:27 p.m. Thursday in the City of Batavia. All three were ordered held on bail. No further details released.

February 23, 2018 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Agreeing with the prosecution that Shawn M. Twardowski, 35, formerly of Bank Street, Batavia, is a threat to society, Judge Charles Zambito sentenced him to two-and-a-half to five years in prison.

Zambito expressed the hope that while in prison, Twardowski will take advantage of programs available to him to help him with his mental health issues and substance abuse problems.

"Until you address those issues, you need to be removed from society," Zambito said.

A year ago, Twardowski was arrested for strangling and punching a beagle, attacking a woman at that location, stealing and attempting to disable her mobile phone and then, upon police arrival, barricading himself in a bedroom. 

He previously pled guilty to a burglary charge after first undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

Zambito expressed dismay that Twardowski thought it appropriate to attack the beagle and the woman merely because the woman allowed the dog to lick a bowl.

The judge said Twardowski's record goes back to 2005 and is filled with charges related to violence, resisting arrest and violating court orders.

His attorney, Michael Locicero, said he wasn't not making excuses for his client's behavior but offered up as mitigating circumstances for his behavior, years of untreated mental health issues, his substance abuse, and a recent diagnosis of Huntington's Disease.

Twardowski told Zambito he didn't wish to make a statement in court.

The sentence was the middle range between the minimum available to Zambito and the maximum possible sentence in the case.

February 22, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
       Ann Capuano

A 32-year-old Montclair Avenue resident had a litany of excuses this morning for Judge Charles Zambito for why she missed drug treatment appointments, including transportation issues, before breaking down in tears.

Zambito sentenced Ann Marie Capuano to shock probation, which means six months in jail followed by five years on probation.

In June, Capuano agreed to a guilty plea to a Class E felony of attempted burglary.

Three months earlier she had broken into a State Street Road business and brandished a knife. She then tried to escape on a bicycle.

Later, she admitted to being on drugs at the time.

She was released from custody under Supervision of Genesee Justice and was scheduled to participate in drug treatment.

In treatment, she was accused of stealing medication from another patient.

Zambito told Capuano this was her last chance and the next step would be state prison.

Via our news partner, WBTA.

February 21, 2018 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

JW Hardy III told Judge Charles Zambito today that the only reason he entered a guilty plea in the brutal and nearly fatal assault by a group of men against a lone victim on East Main Street in Batavia in July is that he thought it was the best way to minimize any potential prison term.

Zambito sentenced Hardy to 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence under terms of the plea deal.

"I took this plea to get home quickly to my family," Hardy said. "I'm sorry for what happened to the victim but I didn't do it. I'm innocent."

Zambito said there was a witness who identified Hardy, who didn't deny being at the scene, as one of the attackers. 

He then explained that even being an accomplice, if not an actual attacker, exposes Hardy to the same criminal liability as if he was sufficiently involved.

"I have to recognize the magnitude of your involvement in a brutal assault that almost killed a man," Zambito said.

District Attorney Lawrance Friedman offered a brief description of the scene first responders found when they arrived. The victim was bloody from multiple stab wounds, including one that severed and exposed his bicep. He noted that one of the responding police officers -- Arick Perkins -- received community recognition for his quick action in applying a tourniquet that saved the victim's life

"If not for his actions, this, of course, would be a murder case," Friedman said.

Because there were multiple people involved in the assault, Hardy was charged with, and admitted to, a gang assault felony.

Defense Attorney Marty Anderson said that Hardy is a good father to three children, ages 2, 3, and 4. He has been a good father, he said, even though he is the paternal father to only two of the three being raised by their mother.

He also noted that while Hardy had a prior gang assault charge, that was 15 years ago and the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. The other blemish on Hardy's criminal record is one that was granted youthful offender status.

Even though police believe multiple people joined Hardy in the attack on the victim, there has only been enough evidence so far to charge Hardy and Anthony Spencer, 26. Spencer's case is still pending and he appears ready to take his case to trial.

There were at least four people in the courtroom in support of Hardy, who was not in custody prior to his sentencing. As he was led away by deputies, Hardy, a big but soft-spoken man, waved to them and said, "I will be all right."

February 21, 2018 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
       Steven Vega

A 25-year-old Rochester man was sentenced in Genesee County Court today to three to six years in state prison for robbing the Bank of America branch in Batavia in July.

That was the max sentence available to Judge Charles Zambito under a plea agreement for Steven R. Vega. Without the plea agreement, Vega could have been sentenced to three-and-a-half to seven years.

The 25-year-old Vega was a bit tongue-tied when given a chance to speak before he was sentenced, admitting he had made a lot of mistakes in his young life.

"I recognize my mistakes," Vega said. "I accept what happens in my life is what happens. I don't know what else to say. I accept full responsibility."

Vega entered a guilty plea in County Court to robbery in the third degree on Dec. 13.

Vega is already serving a two- to four-year term on another charge and is facing additional prison time for charges in Monroe County.

"He is still a very young man at 25 years old," said his public defender, Lisa Kroemer. "It is obvious he has not gotten off to a particularly good start in life. Drugs seem to be fueling his deviance."

She suggested a shorter sentence given his young age and the prison term he is already serving, and likely to serve on the Monroe County charges, to give him a better chance at turning his life around.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argued that given the record he's already amassed and the seriousness of the crime, Vega was already given a substantial break with his plea deal. Zambito said he agreed with that assessment.

February 20, 2018 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, BOCES, crime, notify, news.

A BOCES student is suspected of making threats of violence at the Batavia campus and he is currently undergoing a mental health evaluation in Buffalo.

The name of the student is not being released and he has not been charged, though Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said that if there is sufficient evidence for charges against the youth, he will be charged.

Brewster said local law enforcement takes these kinds of threats seriously and will act on them when they come to the attention of local officials.

"We're still trying to pin down what he said and to whom," Brewster said. "If anyone is going to make such threats about something they're going to do at a school, they are going to get arrested."

Superintendent Chris Daily confirmed he was made aware of the threats and notified local law enforcement.

"We look into any kind of threat and work with local law enforcement to make sure it is not credible, and if it is we act accordingly," Daily said. "We take any threat very seriously. The safety of our students is of utmost importance."

It's unclear if the student made verbal threats or if he had written anything down. Brewster said investigators are still looking into it. 

Daily said he was only aware of statements the student reportedly made at BOCES.

Brewster characterized the threats, based on information available so far, as vague threats to hurt students with no reference as to how he would do it.

The youth is somebody with prior criminal charges.

Batavia PD was notified of the alleged threats and has offered to assist in the investigation, Chief Shawn Heubusch said.

It's important, Brewster said, for parents, teachers, fellow students, and others who come in contact with somebody making threats against schools to notify authorities.

"Unfortunately, we live in a day and age when the rule is, if you see something, say something," Brewster said. "Police can't act on anything if they don't know about it."

February 20, 2018 - 9:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Oakfield, bergen.

Raymond C. Cook, 47, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cook is accused of holding the arms of another person during a fight reported at 6:17 p.m. Thursday at a location on Center Street, Batavia. Also charged with second-degree harassment is 28-year-old Rae C. Cook, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, who is accused of striking another person several times in the face and head. Lyndsay J. Wilcox, 33, of Center Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, too. Wilcox is accused of hitting another person.

Ronald P. Dixon Jr., 39, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in City Court. Dixon was remanded to jail.

Jason L. Johnson, 35, of Autumn Chapel Way, North Chili, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Johnson was allegedly found in possession of drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop by Officer Stephen Cronmiller at 10:08 p.m. Wednesday on Walnut Street, Batavia.

Cody A. Eaton, 28, of Otis Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of burglary, 2nd, two counts of petit larceny, and two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Eaton was arrested following a report of a domestic dispute at 11:31 a.m. Feb. 13 at a location on East Main Street, Batavia.

James John Bachorski, 49, of Weber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with possession of a weapon on Genesee County property. Bachorski allegedly possessed a cutting instrument during a meeting at the Genesee County Probation Office, in violation of Genesee County municipal law.

Joseph Martin Blatchley, 40, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with falsifying business records, 1st. Blatchley is accused of removing and altering business records from a business on Oak Street while employed there.

Joseph Earnest Marr, 39, of Nesbitt Road, Attica, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Marr is accused of violating a stay away order of protection.

February 19, 2018 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, elba, batavia, notify.

Laura Del Carmen Vazquez Coronado, 38, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, unsafe backing, moving from lane unsafely, driving on the shoulder. Vazquez Coronado was charged following a motor-vehicle accident reported at 7:06 a.m. Thursday on North Byron Road, Elba. The accident was investigated by Deputy James Stack.

Devon Robert Peters, 23, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving a vehicle without an inspection sticker, and failure to notify DMV of an address change. Peters was stopped at 9:26 a.m. Sunday on Route 33, Bergen, by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Joseph Earnest Marr, 39, of Nesbitt Road, Attica, and Jenna L. Josephite, 29, of Main Street Road, Batavia, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Marr and Josephite are accused of using cocaine while in the presence of a 1-year-old child before driving the child from Attica to Batavia while under the influence of drugs.

Douglas Brian Uberty, 45, of North Main Street, Warsaw, is charged with unlawful surveillance, 2nd. Uberty is accused of using a mobile phone to take pictures under the clothes of a person while at Walmart.

February 16, 2018 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A deal that capped the prison term for Marlek Holmes at 25 years and saved the county the expense of another trial almost came apart after Holmes appeared to renege on the agreement.

As part of the deal, Holmes had to agree to drop an appeal related to his conviction on sexual assault, and everybody -- District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Defense Attorney Fred Rarick, appeals attorney Timothy Murphy, and Holmes himself -- all signed the document Murphy was supposed to send to the appeals court informing the justices that the appeal was dropped.

Then Holmes wrote Murphy and said he changed his mind.

Today, Holmes was transported from Auburn, where he is serving his sentence, to Batavia, and after meeting with Rarick and Murphy for 30 minutes, agreed to stick by his original agreement to drop the appeal.

Friedman said he wanted to make clear on the record, however, that there is little to prevent Holmes from just changing his mind again later, and creating an endless loop of back-and-forth over the case.

If Holmes does back out of the deal again, Friedman said as far as he's concerned, there won't be a second chance. He will make motions to proceed with a trial on the charges against Holmes that he failed to register a change of address as a convicted sex offender in 2016. He would also want to proceed with a hearing on whether Holmes is a persistent violent felony offender, which would expose Holmes to a potentially harsher prison sentence on his conviction of assault on fellow inmates at the Genesee County Jail.

Zambito indicated he would be inclined to entertain those motions if Holmes again changed his mind.

February 16, 2018 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Basom, news, notify.

In determining how to sentence 17-year-old Isaac Abrams of Basom, Judge Charles Zambito said there conflicting viewpoints to consider.

As a 17-year-old, in a couple of years under recent reforms in New York criminal law, Abrams would perhaps be considered a juvenile and wouldn't even appear in County Court and would be presumed to be not responsible for his actions. 

However, Abrams admitted to serious offenses that could have led to the loss of life and in just five short months has established a pattern of repeated offenses and disregard for authority.

Zambito said he's concerned about the direction Abrams seems to have chosen for his life recently.

In December, Abrams entered guilty pleas to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony. The charges stem from incidents where he threatened to kill Sheriff's deputies during a confrontation on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and appeared to try and run over pedestrians at a fast food restaurant in Batavia.

"I understand you have a child and that is important to you," Zambito said. "But if you continue on this path, you won't see your child again, if you even survive."

Zambito sentenced Abrams to one-and-a-third to four years in prison followed by parole until he's 21.

Abrams was granted youthful offender status, which will expunge his record once he's an adult if he stays out trouble. 

He said the sentence, he felt, balanced protecting the community, serving justice, and won't prevent Abrams from living life as a productive member of society once he's out of the criminal justice system.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued against granting Abrams Y.O. status. She said he has engaged in increasingly violent acts, shown a disregard for authority and human life, and violated his release under supervision contract numerous times.

"He's a high risk to the community," Cianfrini said. "Look at his statements. He seriously minimizes his conduct. He said that he gave people something to talk about at dinner. This is not somebody expressing remorse."

Defense Attorney Vanessa Guite suggested that Zambito take into account his age and the fact that before this rash of incidents started, he had no criminal charges in his life.

"To a certain degree his actions are the result of immaturity and the role alcohol played in his conduct," Guite said. "His criminal history started only five months ago. There are many people with worse histories walking the streets right now."

She said from her viewpoint, the prosecution was trying to make Abrams out as the worst criminal in history, which she said she understood was the prosecution's job, and she suggested that Cianfrini overstated the weight Zambito should give to the RUS violations.

"Their recommendation is for substantial prison time for what amounts to using marijuana and staying out late," Guite said.

After Guite's remarks to Zambito, Abrams had his turn to make a statement on his behalf. After a whispered exchange with his attorney, Abrams said, "I'm sorry for my actions."

February 16, 2018 - 4:46pm

Batavia's St. Paul Lutheran Church will cap off a week that has focused the nation's attention once again on the tragedy of mass shootings by hosting a special countywide training event tomorrow at its Washington Avenue church.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office was invited to present training in CRASE -- Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, congregation leaders will learn how to prepare and respond to an active shooter situation, should one occur at their respective houses of worship.

St. Paul Pastor Allen Werk, who has also served as the Sheriff's Office chaplain for about five years, attended national training in order to return to his community and in turn help train others. It is useful for schools, congregations and businesses alike -- open places that may be easily accessed by someone intending to harm people.

"This training affords congregation leaders the opportunity to come together to talk about ideas they may want to implement in their own churches should the unthinkable occur," Werk said in a press release. "We pray this will help all our churches be better prepared if the inconceivable happens."

CRASE Training addresses individual responses as well as group preparations. It has been developed in partnership with Texas State University and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Werk says the cornerstones are ADD -- Avoid / Deny / Defend. Participants are taught to quickly recognize a threat and to take evasive action by getting away swiftly or rapidly taking steps to deny access to a shooter, then defending lives in any way necessary.

"The training teaches you what happens, what to expect in an active shooter situation," Werk said, adding that it is beneficial in getting larger groups to think about this, to be aware of the potential, and what steps to take in response.

For example, the leaders of a congregation may want to limit access to worship services to one or two entryways, effectively funneling the foot traffic. They may consider the benefit of having greeters and ushers who are trained to keep an eye on who's coming and going in the building throughout the service; noticing and greeting a person -- a signal they have been seen -- in itself could be a deterrent in some cases, the pastor noted.

Taking cues from how others are responding in a public space is important.

"If you see something that could be a danger -- step up -- make the congregation aware, help provide safety," Werk said.

Asked if certain individuals should be armed, like a security detail, to counter an active shooter, Werk said that is not part of CRASE Training; and although it's widely argued that "a good guy with a gun" is what you want to have when a bad guy is wielding a firearm, Werk said that is something the organization itself must decide.

"We are pleased to assist Pastor Werk in educating congregation leaders on the appropriate actions to take should an active shooter situation arise," said Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. in a press release.

Our news partner WBTA contributed to this story.

February 16, 2018 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

An Erie County construction worker will spend weekends in the Genesee County Jail for the next four months, starting tonight, for defrauding a Batavia resident on a contracting job.

Matthew B. Hardesty, 24, of Blasdell, was originally charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. He was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge after paying restitution to the victim, who hired him to construct a fence at his residence on Narramore Drive.

According to court proceedings this morning, Hardesty is facing a similar complaint in Buffalo.

Before sentencing, Hardesty apologized for his actions and said it was the result of being a young and inexperienced businessman; that he had taken on a contract that was too big and had a payout too far in advance, and rather than notify customers of his difficulties, he didn't respond to their complaints.

After becoming embroiled in financial difficulties, Hardesty gave up his contracting business and went to work for another construction contractor.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman rarely responds to the statements defendants make at their sentencing, but this morning he stood up and said he was going to make a rare response.

"He's a scam artist," Friedman said. "He's trying to con the court now."  

Friedman said Hardesty already got a substantial break on his potential sentence by being allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and didn't deserve any further consideration because he was clearly trying to scam people.

Judge Charles Zambito agreed. He said considering the length that his victim had to go to in order to get his money back indicates Hardesty was trying to evade paying back the money. It was only after he was facing potential jail time that he made restitution.

"The message needs to be clear to the public that you can't do this kind of thing here," Zambito said. "When you start a business, you take on a responsibility. You take on a burden. You can't take people's hard-earned money and just walk away with it."

February 16, 2018 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Grand Jury, Attica, Le Roy, news, notify.

Leah R. Wimmer is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 17 at the Rite Aid store on Prospect Avenue in the Village of Attica, Genesee County, that she knowingly possessed stolen property -- a Visa debit card belonging to another person. In count two, she is accused of second-degree forgery, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two that Wimmer falsely signed two debit/credit card receipts in the name of the victim, one for $186.95 and another for $105.95.

Beau T. Bressler is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 29 in the Town of Le Roy that Bressler drove a 2006 Pontiac on West Main Street (Route 5) while his ability to do so was impaired by the combined influence of drugs or  of alcohol and any drug or drugs. In count two, the defendant is accused of circumvention of an interlock device, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on Oct. 29, while subject to a court-ordered ignition interlock device, Bressler drove the Pontiac, which was not equipped with an ignition interlock device. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving while knowing or having reason to know that his driving privilege was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. It is further alleged in count three that Bressler was operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug at the time.


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