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July 27, 2015 - 6:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, alexander, Bethany.

A parent who lives in an apartment on Colony Run in Alexander called dispatch to complain that their adolescent child got a tattoo from someone in Bethany without permission. A Sheriff's deputy is responding.

July 26, 2015 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, batavia, crime.

Deputies have responded to Walmart to look for a shoplifting suspect who drives a black hatchback but may be hiding in the woods nearby the store.

The subject was reportedly trying to steal an air conditioner, and has been attempting the same heist several times this week, according to a dispatcher.

July 25, 2015 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, byron, Grand Jury.

Ronald T. Jackson is indicted for the crime of assault in the second degree, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 3, having been charged with or conivcted of a crime, and while confined in a correctional facility -- the Genesee County Jail -- the defendant intended to cause physical injury to another person and did cause such injury to the person.

Victor J. Grimes is indicted for the crime of burglary in the second degree, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on May 28, 2013, Grimes knowingly entered or remained unlawfully inside a dwelling on Cockram Road in the Town of Byron with the intent to commit a crime.

Dmarcus A. Tallchief is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E Felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 23 in the Town of Pembroke Tallchief drove a 2013 Toyota on the Thruway while in an intoxicated condition. In count two, Tallchief is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 or more at the time of the incident.


July 24, 2015 - 5:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, accident.

A car vs. pedestrian accident is reported at Jackson and Ellicott streets in the City of Batavia. The suspect vehicle (not described) left the scene. The pedestrian who was struck is said to be limping in front of the Kwik Fill / Red Apple gas station and convenience store on the corner.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: Police say the suspect vehicle is a gold Ford Taurus that went southbound on Ellicott Street (Route 63).

July 24, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, pembroke, corfu.
  Hannah Dibble

A Pembroke woman who was reportedly behind the wheel of a 1997 Chevrolet Geo in February when it crossed Route 20 at Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, and was struck by a semi-truck has been indicted by a grand jury on a count of manslaughter in the second degree.

Hannah E. Dibble, 22, appeared in Genesee County Court today to be charged under the 11-count indictment, where she pled not guilty and was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Her friend, Alyson D. Krzanak, 18, of Corfu, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Suffering serious physical injuries in the collision Feb. 21 were James Scherer, 21, Brandon Danser, 22, and Felecia J. Fazzio, 20.

Dibble was also indicted on counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular assault in the first degree, three counts of assault in the second degree, three counts of vehicular assault in the second degree, and two counts of DWI.

July 24, 2015 - 1:57pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, bergen, batavia, elba, Oakfield, pembroke.

Crystal M. Bouter, 26, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with two counts of giving or selling alcohol to a minor. Bouter allegedly supplied alcoholic beverages to minors.

Lee C. Clark, 35, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, DWI, refusal to take a breath test, failure to keep right, moving from a lane unsafely, speeding and driving while talking on a cellphone. Clark was pulled over on Lockport Road in Oakfield by Deputy James Diehl. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Douglas J. Ostrander, 57, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with driving with a BAC of .08 percent or greater, DWI, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, speeding and driving with license restrictions. Ostrander was pulled over on Buffalo Road in Bergen for traffic violations when Deputy Joseph Corona allegedly ound him to be in an intoxicated condition.

Shannon K. Kestler, 41, of Jefferson Street, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. Kestler is accused of shoplifting from Kohl's in Batavia.

Joseph A. Sunday II, 19, of South Lyndonville Road, Lyndonville, is charged with petit larceny. Sunday allegedly stole items from Kmart in Batavia.

Benishio C. Coger, 19, of Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. State police pulled over the car Coger was riding in for alleged tinted windows in Pembroke. An investigation revealed he allegedly possessed a cigar containing approximately one gram of marijuana.

July 23, 2015 - 9:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Care-A-Van Ministries, crime, batavia.

A small group of juveniles got into a ruckus this evening at Austin Park during the weekly Care-A-Van Ministries cookout event and Batavia PD was called to respond, said Sgt. Chris Camp.

Camp said normally you want parents who are present to get involved and deal with their children, but tonight the parents got too involved. They started yelling at each other.

Four city units and three county units responded to the call as a result.

Camp said it's unfortunate that 95 to 98 percent of the people who attend the Care-A-Van event never cause a problem, but Thursday night calls to Austin Park are becoming routine, he said.

July 23, 2015 - 9:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A caller at Ficarella's Pizzeria reports watching a woman steal an air conditioner from a tent set up for the Crossroads House rummage sale off Liberty Street (behind the car wash). The caller said the woman is carrying the unit and walking toward the Pok-A-Dot. City police are responding.

The tent sale started today (ending at 4 p.m.) to help terminally ill people in Batavia. It runs Friday and Saturday, too.

UPDATE 9:17 p.m. (by Howard): The caller was a volunteer night watchman who was just arriving at the garage sale to set up his night lights. He spotted the woman taking the air conditioner from under a tarp. She didn't move it far. The volunteer was wondering how she was going to transport it on her bike. The woman left, but police caught up with her and she said she was only looking at the unit. "How'd it look?" asked the officer. "Good," she said. "So you're coming back tomorrow to buy it?" "Yes," she said. Police took down the woman's ID information and released her.

July 23, 2015 - 6:07pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, batavia, Suzanne Corona.

So far, there's no plea agreement for Suzanne Corona in her alleged drug sale charge. The attorneys in the case could not reach an agreement, though Corona was scheduled to appear in Genesee County Court today for a possible plea.

Judge Robert C. Noonan held a conference with Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl and Corona's attorney Brian Degnan but with no deal, the case was adjourned.

Corona, 45, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. She allegedly sold suboxone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force in March.

If a plea is not negotiated, the case will go to trial.

She is due back in court at 9 a.m. on Aug. 3.

For previous coverage, click here.

July 22, 2015 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion.

Beniluis Ruiz didn't say he is sorry. He expressed no regret or remorse. Convicted by a jury of 12 Genesee County residents of sex abuse, Ruiz told Judge Robert C. Noonan at his sentencing that he wanted to return to work and his family life.

Noonan acknowledged that Ruiz continues to profess his innocence, but said based on the jury conviction and the evidence he heard during the trial in May, Ruiz needed to go to prison, so he ordered him locked away for four years.

Ruiz, of Pavilion, was convicted of sexual abuse, 1st, criminal sexual act, 2nd, rape, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful dealing with a child.

According to statements by ADA Kevin Finnell, Ruiz introduced a female relative to cigarettes and liquor and took advantage of her when she was drinking. He called the 40-year-old Ruiz dangerous and said he would take advantage of other teenage girls if given the chance.

As a result of being victimized, the teenager returned to Puerto Rico to live with her mother rather than continue her education in Genesee County.

As part of restitution, there was a request to order Ruiz to pay for a quality education for her in Puerto Rico, but Noonan agreed with the defense attorney that the issue should be taken up in Family Court.

There were dozens of letters of support for Ruiz and his attorney noted that his wife continues to stand by him, but Finnell said he's often observed that sexual predators are able to lead dual lives.

"I'm not surprised by the numbers of letters attached to (the pre-sentencing report)," Finnell said. "I've often seen defendants able to present two faces. One a public face and one a private face. Whether people don't want to believe the charges are true even after a jury conviction, or if he has somehow convinced them he didn't commit these acts, a jury was convinced he committed these crimes against (the family member)."

July 22, 2015 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron.
Justin Sanders

A family who took a young man into their home and treated him like a son told Judge Robert C. Noonan today about the anger and sense of betrayal they felt after he stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, some of the pieces family heirlooms, and other items.

The attorney for 23-year-old Justin L. Sanders tried to convince Noonan that her client deserved a chance at probation and rehabilitation.  Noonan rejected the idea out of hand.

"One of the biggest surprises of my career was the recommendation by the Probation Department that you not be sent to prison," Noonan said. "You're a con man. You got a good deal for yourself in getting an indeterminate sentence. I could not in good conscious release you on a community-based sentence."

Noonan told Sanders he would go to state prison for one and a quarter years to four years.

Before the sentence was handed down, Sanders told Noonan he regretted what he had done and through the power of salvation, he was a changed man.

Sanders has spent the past several months in a Christian-based drug-rehabilitation facility and the pastor in charge of the camp wrote Noonan a letter extolling the progress Sanders has made at the facility and asking Noonan to return him to the facility to complete his rehabilitation.

One of the victims of the thefts, the mother of the young lady Sanders was dating, said she didn't believe Sanders ever had a drug problem and that he was a compulsive liar.

She told of how Sanders wrote to her daughter from jail and promised to repay the family for the items he stole using a portion of the more than $1 million he was inheriting from his grandfather.

"You can't believe a word he says," the woman said. "We know he's just saying those things to further his own gain."

Later, when Noonan asked his attorney Lisa Kroemer if there were indeed such funds available for Sanders to pay his more than $26,000 in restitution, Kroemer said she didn't believe any such funds existed.

The initial larcenies were reported from a residence on Route 237, Byron, in late November through December; two burglaries were reported at a residence on Townline Road, Byron, on Jan. 13 and Jan. 20. 

The mother of his ex-girlfriend said to this day, they're still discovering items that are missing that she believes Sanders stole.

"A home should be a place of safety and he destroyed all that," she said.

The woman said her daughters have always been told they could only date young men of faith who were full-time students or full-time workers. Sanders, a Culinary Arts student, had food industry jobs and professed to be a Christian when he was allowed to move into the home.

She said he was accepted as part of the family and called her "Mom."

When the thefts were discovered, there was a family meeting and Sanders denied any involvement and promised to find out who stole the items. He later planted stolen jewelry in another daughter's car and tried to blame her, she said.

As the investigation progressed, he left town saying he had to visit his mother who was undergoing cancer surgery and chemotherapy. It turned out, she said, his mother wasn't sick at all.

The woman then read a letter from her daughter who wrote of Sanders, "You disgust me" and "I hate you."

July 22, 2015 - 11:00am
posted by Traci Turner in crime, elba, alexander.

Crystal M. Bouter, 26, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Bouter's children were allegedly found playing unsupervised near a busy intersection while wearing little to no clothing. Social Services assisted deputies with the investigation and took custody of the children. Bouter was arraigned in Elba Town Court and released under supervision.

Robert Gerlach, of Route 20, Alexander, is charged with two counts of aggravated harassment, 2nd. Gerlach is accused of sending threatening text messages and voicemails to two different family members at a residence on Tinkham Road in the Town of Bennington. Deputies located Gerach in Portville. He was arraigned in the Town of Bennington Court and released on his own recognizance.

July 22, 2015 - 8:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nicholas Mruczek, alexander, crime.

The man accused of killing Alexander resident Nicholas Mruczek was assigned a public defender in Chester County, Pa., on Tuesday and his attorney immediately requested a new date for a scheduled felony evidence hearing.

The hearing for Zachary Ludwig, 22, of King Street, Spring City, Pa., has been moved to 1 p.m., July 30. The delay will give the defendant's new attorney time to familiarize himself with the case.

Ludwig is charged with murder, accused of calling Mruczek out of his apartment the evening of July 15 and shooting him in the chest at close range with a sawed-off shotgun. Mruczek succumbed to his wounds the following day.

Mruczek was allegedly targeted by Ludwig because Mruczek started dating Ludwig's former girlfriend.

A mass of Christian burial for Mruczek will take place at 10 this morning at Ascension Parish, corner of Swan and Sumner streets, Batavia.

July 20, 2015 - 1:22pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, batavia, Le Roy, pembroke, bergen.

Kim M. Mobley, 52, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of grand larceny, 4th, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, menacing, 2nd, and obstruction of governmental administration. Mobley allegedly possessed a knife and menaced several individuals during an altercation on Hutchins Street. Mobley is also accused of stealing money from an officer who had seized it from an arrestee as property or evidence. She was put in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

Bobby L. Mobley Jr., 40, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and obstruction of governmental administration. Mobley is accused of attempting to interfere with a police investigation. The incident occurred on Hutchins Street. He was held in the Genesee County Jail on $1,000 bail.

A 17-year-old is charged with grand larceny, 4th. The youth allegedly broke into vehicles parked in a lot at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, and stole items. The youth was put in the Genesee County Jail on $100,000 bail for an unrelated matter.

Christopher D. Hallas, 28, of York Road, Le Roy, is charged with aggravated DWI, DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, use of a loaned vehicle without an interlock device, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Hallas was the operator of a one-car accident that occurred in Le Roy. He allegedly has two prior DWI convictions in 10 years. He was put in the Genesee County Jail on $15,000 bail.

Jason P. Wickson, 33, of Cedar Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd, criminal obstruction of breathing and menacing, 3rd, following an alleged domestic incident on Cedar Street. Wickson is accused of choking, threatening and causing injury to the victim. He was held at the Genesee County Jail on $10,000 bail.

Joseph M. Marranco Jr., 44, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and resisting arrest following an investigation into a shoplifting incident at Tops Market in Batavia. Marranco allegedly fled the store on a bicycle and was located on Redfield Parkway by Batavia Police. After a brief foot chase, he was arrested. He was put in the Genesee County Jail on $2,500 bail.

Dain O. Kilian, 31, of Livingstion Street, Warsaw, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and dark tinted side windows. Kilian was pulled over on Route 77 in Pembroke by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Kilian allegedly gave a fictitious name and was found to have a suspended driver's license. He was put in Gensee County Jail on $1,000 bail.

Julie L. Dutton, 20 of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon with the intent to use, criminal mischief with the intent to damage property and second-degree menacing with a weapon. Dutton is accused of brandishing a knife and attempting to cause serious physical injury to another person during an altercation at her residence. Dutton also allegedly damaged the victim's cell phone. She was issued an appearance ticket and was already in custody on another matter.

Richard M. Schiersing, 39, of Sand Hill Road, Caledonia, is charged with petit larceny, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, concealing or destroying physical evidence and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Schiersing allegedly stole and discarded evidence from a pending arrest while in custody. The incident occurred on West Main Street in Batavia. He was put in the Genesee County Jail.

Albert W. Donovan II, 32, of North Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with aggravated DWI, DWI, failure to keep right, moving from a lane unsafely and operation of an unregistered motor vehicle on a highway. Donovan was pulled over on North Lake Road in Bergen by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Latiqua S. Jackson, 21, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested inside the courtroom of Batavia City Court on a warrant for a petit larceny charge and unlawful possession of marijuana. Jackson is accused of stealing a computer tablet from a residence on Hutchins Street in April. She was put in the Genesee County Jail on $1,000 bail.

Justine D. McWethy, 28, of Fairway Drive, Batavia, was arrested on the execution of a bench warrant. McWethy allegedly failed to abide by the contract of her release. She was put in Genesee County Jail on $2,500 bail.

July 19, 2015 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime.




Pat Mruczek looked forward to the day all good fathers dream about, when their boys enter the adult world and learn about adult life, start families, gain a new perspective on what it means to be a father, and eventually, care for them in their old age, as they cared for their sons as babies.

Pat Mruczek will never see those days with his son, Nicholas Mruczek.

Nicholas, 20, and a 2012 graduate of Alexander High School, was shot and killed Wednesday at his apartment in North Coventry Township, Pa. He died the next day.

"Sometimes it doesn't seem real," Pat said. "It seems like a bad dream. I just want it to end. I kept thinking he's going to call me at night and tell me, 'Dad, it's all right. I'm here.' ... I know he's not."

Spread out on the kitchen table were pictures of Nick, a smiling boy, a boy dressed as a shepherd for a school play at St. Joe's, his senior pictures in his green Trojans football jersey, holding up a big cheeseburger at the former Jackson Street Grill. Pat, a big man with close-cropped hair befitting a former Army Ranger and corrections officer at Attica, wept some as he pulled pictures from a photo album. "I'm sorry," he said repeatedly as he struggled to hold back the tears.

Then he would remember something about Nick, tell the story, smile and laugh even as moisture glistened around his eyes.

"Sometimes he'd come home and fall asleep on the couch and then I'd put the bear up to his face, like the bear was giving him a kiss and then I'd take pictures on the phone," Pat said as he laughed through the memory. "Sometimes, really early in the morning, and he was sleeping, I would go in there and I used to wake him up. 'Nick, Nick, you gotta get up. You gotta get up.' 'What? What?' 'I'm going to make pancakes,' I told him."

All good fathers love their sons. Nick and Pat called each other, "my best friend."

They fished together, built model trains together, played sports together, worked on cars and tractors together and shared their hopes and fears the way best friends do.  Until Nick went away to school, to study mechanics at Universal Technical Institute in Exton, Pa., Pat and Nick were practically inseparable, and even after he went away, Nick called home every night.

"He would just tell how his day went," Pat said. "He would tell me his problems and we talked about how to solve them. I always told him, 'no matter what we'll work it out together.' We always have. Always have. Right from the beginning. I told him, 'Daddy is always here to protect you. I'll be here, don't worry about it.'"

Nicholas M. Mruczek was born Nov. 26, 1994, in Batavia, the son of Dawn Hinze (now Warner) and Pat Mruczek. He has an older brother, Justin, who at 24 married just a week ago. Nick lived much of his life on Old Creek Road with Pat and Jeanette, whom he called mother, and sister Marissa, now 11.

He took to athletics early and started competing in youth football -- with Pat as one of his coaches -- at age 7.

"We could always tell where Nicholas was on the field because he was the only one who had calves," Pat said. "The other little kids, they had little thin legs, but Nicholas always had these tree-trunk legs so you could always pick Nicholas out no matter where he was."

He loved football, and might have pursued the sport in college, except for a knee injury. He excelled in track and field as a discus thrower and shot putter.

Action was always part of his life, from riding ATVs in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter, to playing Call of Duty with friends on his PlayStation III. Pat describes a boy who just loved life.

"He had a great sense of humor and he had this shitty little grin," Pat said. "His dimples looked like two baby's butt cheeks when he laughed. He gave this little shitty grin. Even when he did something wrong, and he knew he did something wrong, he was hiding something, he would give me that grin and you'd try not to yell at the kid. He would smile with those dimples and it was hard to get mad at him."

Nick also loved to eat, making him a good match for Pat, who loves to cook. In the Mruczek country-style kitchen, a half dozen cast iron skillets hang on the wall above the gas stove. An abundant spice rack hangs on a wall next to the sink.

Nearly every morning, Pat made pancakes for Nick and Marissa. Big pancakes that draped off the plate and were brimming with chocolate chips.

He loved those pancakes, Pat said, and he learned all the words, in Italian, to all the songs on a CD of Italian music Pat played while he cooked breakfast.

"He liked Dominic the Donkey," Pat said. "He loved that one, and Little Pepino the Italian Mouse. He liked Dean Martin."

When Nick was seven and the family was newly settled into the Old Creek Road house, Nick found a hive of bees and was being attacked. Pat ran out and scooped him up in his big arms and wrapped his body around his little boy. CORRECTION: Nick was not living with is father at the time of this incident, as the sentence implies. He was on a visitation.

"I took him around the house and kept getting stung," Pat said. "I kept getting stung he kept yelling, 'Daddy, Daddy,' and I had him with me and I told him, 'It's all right. Don't worry about it.' I said, 'I'll always be here for you. I won't let anything happen to you.' " 

As he grew older, Pat would take Nick out to the barn to work on the family tractor or their cars and small engines. He quickly developed a love for taking engines apart and fixing them.

"The first time he changed oil, he got his hands dirty and he thought that was great," Pat said. "He came in and his hands were all oily and he was a mechanic then."

Nick took mechanics classes and BOCES and did well. When he realized he wouldn't be able to play football in college, he was casting about for what to do with his life. Pat asked him to reflect on what he really enjoyed in school and Nick's mind raced back to those BOCES classes. He decided to enroll at UTI where he could study gas and diesel motors with the hope of returning home to work in a local garage, or perhaps at the Chevrolet dealership (he was a Chevy fan), or he could move to Texas, where he has an uncle, and be a diesel mechanic on oil rigs. He also dreamed of working in NASCAR.

"I always told him his told world was in front of him," Pat said. "He could repair gas engines. He could repair diesel. He could go anywhere he wanted. He wouldn't have any trouble finding a job. He just needed to get good grades. That was most important."

Nick struggled at first at UTI. He hadn't been a great student in public school.

"His study habits were lacking and I told him if you listened to mom and dad while you were in school you would have better study habits," Pat said. "He starts laughing. So we explained to him how to study. We told him, make up a rhyme sometimes. Put something you're doing into a rhyme and you will remember it a little bit better. That's how he would do it. He would make up a little rhyme to remember some of his classes. Then his grades shot up."

In eight months, Nick would have graduated from UTI. 

Besides finding a job after he graduated, he also planned to work on his blue Pontiac Trans Am. Pat went this Nick to pick out the car, which unless you love muscle cars, doesn't look like much at this point, but Nick called it his "dream car." Pat said, "It needs a lot of work." "I can do it, Dad. I can do it," Nick said.

Pat got new rear tires for it and Nick drove it to Pennsylvania. The next time he came home, the tires were already bald. Nick just laughed about, Pat said.

In Chester County, Nick took a couple of different jobs while at school.  He worked at McDonald's, but didn't like the early morning hours. Then he got a job at Longhorns Steakhouse and loved the employee discounts. On days he didn't work, he ate Spam and noodles. On days he worked, he feasted. He would tell his dad, "I'm livin' it. I'm livin' it."

"He called me up a few days after (he started), he told me, 'Dad, this best job I've ever had.' I said 'Why's that.' He said, 'because the food's great.' "

Pat tried to provide his boy with all the tools he would need to succeed in life, including politeness and respect for women.

"I always told the boys in football, always open the door for a lady," Pat said. "Always. Always treat a lady like a lady. You don't ever put your hands on a lady. I always told him, if you ever defended a lady, I'd never be mad at you, Nick. Ever. He did. He always opened a door for a lady."

One of the hobbies Nick and Pat enjoyed the most together was building model trains. In the house on Old Creek Road is a small room dedicated to the display of the trains with a small work bench where Pat and Nick could tinker. The would take trips together, such as to Buffalo, where they could watch the trains and take pictures of locomotives they would later try to duplicate with their models. Sometimes they would go to the sandwash in Batavia and sit near the train tracks collecting pictures of the passing trains and talking. They went to the train shows together and when Nick was still young, Pat bought him old engines, boxcars and cabooses. They would fix them up together and they came up with a name for their own train line. The P&N, which had its own color scheme. Pat still has some of those trains.

The train collection may be the first thing to go, Pat said, as he struggles to come up with the money to pay for Nick's funeral.

"I want to make sure he's buried right," Pat said.

The life of Nicholas Mruczek was cut short, according to authorities in Chester County, by a man who was angry that Nick was dating his ex-girlfriend. On Wednesday evening, the suspect called Nick out of his apartment and after a brief verbal exchange, he allegedly shot Nick at close range with a recently purchased and modified sawed-off shotgun. According to authorities, Zachary Ludwig, 22, of King Street, Spring City, Pa., has confessed to the murder. He is in jail pending further legal proceedings.

Nick was home just a few days before his death for his brother Justin's wedding. Before he left, father and son embraced.

"He always called me his best friend," Pat said. "He always came home and told me, 'You're more than just my dad; you're my best friend.' Jason (Nick's roommate) told me what happened at the end, before he passed, he told Jason, 'Tell my dad, I love him.' It's comforting to know he was thinking of me at the very end."

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Calling hours are Tuesday from 3 to 9 p.m., with services Wednesday starting at 9:30 a.m. 

Because of the tremendous financial stress Nick's death has placed on the Mruczek family, Pat's friend Brian Odachowski has set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations. He's looking to raise at least $5,000 and nearly $3,000 has already been donated.

Putting into printed words what Pat Mruczek said during our interview captures only a portion of the important meaning. Here is an MP3 file containing excerpts from the interview.



July 17, 2015 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

The way District Attorney Lawrence Friedman sees it, Kasean Shannon is a dangerous sexual predator who is unable to comprehend the damage he does to his victims and therefore should spend the maximum amount of time available in his plea deal in prison.

That is 15 years.

Judge Robert C. Noonan agreed.

"The defendant says he made a mistake," Friedman said. "That's how he characterized his sexual assault on five females. He said he never intended to hurt them. I think that shows his total lack of understanding of what he's been doing over the years."

Before handing down the 15-year sentence on his guilty plea to attempted first-degree rape, Noonan told Shannon, "You're a predator and a serial sex offender. You don't seem to have any regard for the female person on this earth when you want what you want."

Shannon was also sentenced on his guilty pleas to sexual abuse, incest and criminal contempt. 

None of Shannon's victim's appeared in court, as they could have, to plead for a stringent sentence, but the mother of his child did speak to the court, urging Noonan to not issue an order of protection in her name or the name of their child.

"I am very much in love with him and wish to get married to him as soon as I can," the woman said. "I know what he did is awful, but I want our daughter to know him. She needs to know what he did, but she also needs to know him and make up her own mind about him and not what everybody says about him."

Rarick urged Noonan to sentence Shannon to only five years, giving him time to learn from his mistakes and turn his life around.

Shannon told Noonan that he knows what he did is wrong.

"I'm willing to learn from what I've done," Shannon said. "I will enter any program I need to enter in. I want to be there for my daughter."

Once released, Shannon will be on parole for 15 years.

July 17, 2015 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Attica.

A 30-year-old Attica resident will spend at least the next year of his life in state prison for a burglary in Batavia last November, though he would rather spend the time with his young son.

Jason L. Cramer Sr., told Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan that he knows he has a drug problem, but that's no excuse of his criminal activity.

"I know what I did is wrong," Cramer said. "I intend to use whatever time you give me as a time to better myself and become a better man."

His attorney, Fred Rarick, said Cramer started using heroin when he was 16.

"He continued to use heroin even though he knew it might lead to his death, even though he knew that it might lead, as it could today, to time in prison," Rarick said. "In spite of that, he's been unable to combat his addiction."

Rarick said he thought his client would benefit from rehabilitation programs available through the Department of Corrections. 

Noonan sentenced Cramer to an indeterminate one to three years, which is a slightly less than the maximum sentence available to the judge.

July 17, 2015 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

A Batavia resident was jailed without bail following a motor-vehicle accident in a parking lot near Tim Horton's on Main Street at 9:51 .m., July 10. 

Richard M. Schiersing is charged with DWI, combined influence of drugs and alcohol.

Police initially responded to the area after receiving a report of an erratic driver.

Schiersing was reportedly driving a 2005 Scion XA and hit a curb and allegedly committed numerous traffic offenses before striking a vehicle in the parking lot between the U.S. Post Office and Tim Horton's, located at 20 Main St., Downtown. 

Officer Kevin DeFelice conducted a standardized field sobriety test, which Schiersing allegedly failed. A drug recognition expert was called in to assist in the investigation, lead to the charge of combined influence of drugs and alcohol.

July 17, 2015 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander.
Zachary Ludwig

The man accused of shooting Alexander resident Nicholas Mruczek with a shotgun in a fit of jealous rage has been charged with murder, according to the Chester County District Attorney.

Zachary Ludwig, 22, of King Street, Spring City, Pa., is accused of going to the residence of an ex-girlfriend in North Coventry Township, Pa., with a shotgun and firing it at Mruczek at close range.

Ludwig was reportedly upset that Mruczek was with the woman.

"Love and anger can be a dangerous mixture," said DA Tom Hogan in a statement.

The rest of the press release:

On July 15, 2015 at 2:18 a.m., North Coventry Police responded to a call for a shooting at Apartment #218, 858 E. Schuylkill Road, Pottstown, North Coventry Township, Pa. The victim, Nicholas Mruczek, had been shot in the chest and was bleeding heavily.

The victim’s roommates stated that somebody had come over to the apartment and confronted the victim outside. The victim then came back into the apartment with a gunshot wound to the chest. The roommates called the police and attempted to stop the bleeding.

The victim told his roommates that he was dying and to tell the victim’s father that he loved him. The victim stated that “Zach” had shot him. When the police arrived, the victim told them that his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend “Zach” had shot him. The victim was taken to a hospital for surgery. Prior to surgery, the victim informed medical personnel that “Zach L.” shot him. The victim was pronounced dead from the gunshot wound on July 16, 2015.

While the victim was still in surgery, the police located the victim’s girlfriend, whose identity is known to police but is being withheld for security (the “Girlfriend”). The Girlfriend identified “Zach” as the defendant, Zachary Ludwig. She stated that the defendant was her ex-boyfriend, that he was angry about the relationship between her and the victim, and that the defendant owned guns. The defendant previously had stated to the Girlfriend that he would get a “dirty gun” and shoot the victim.

Subsequent investigation by the police revealed the following. The defendant purchased an unregistered .410-bore shotgun approximately two weeks before the shooting. The defendant sawed down the barrel of the shotgun. On the evening of July 14, 2015, the defendant drove by the victim’s residence and observed that the Girlfriend’s car was at the victim’s residence.

After switching vehicles, the defendant later returned to the area of the victim’s apartment in the early morning hours of July 15. The defendant brought the sawed-off shotgun with him. The defendant parked his vehicle in an empty lot away from the apartment complex and walked across a field to the back entrance to the victim’s apartment building. The defendant got the victim to meet with him at the back of the apartment building. The defendant confronted the victim and shot him in the chest with the sawed-off shotgun.

The defendant then returned across the field to his vehicle and fled from the area. He took the sawed-off shotgun to French Creek and threw the shotgun into the water. The defendant then returned to his residence. Police subsequently recovered the shotgun from the stream.

The defendant was arrested by the police while the victim was still alive, and charged with attempted homicide and related charges. Subsequent to the victim’s death, the defendant additionally has been charged with murder. The defendant did not post bail and was remanded to Chester County Prison.

North Coventry Police Chief Robert A. Schurr stated, “This was an excellent cooperative investigation by the North Coventry Police Department and the Chester County Detectives. We extend our condolences to the victim’s family and pledge to keep working on this case until justice is served.”

District Attorney Hogan added, “This was a senseless and premeditated killing. One young man is dead, one young man faces murder charges, and two families are shattered. The only good thing to report is that the North Coventry Police Department and Chester County detectives did an outstanding job to investigate this case rapidly, thoroughly, and professionally.”

This case was investigated by the North Coventry Police Department and the Chester County detectives, with assistance from the West Pottsgrove Police Department, Pottstown Police Department, Spring City Police Department, and East Pikeland Police Department.

UPDATE: According to the Police Criminal Complaint, filed by Chester County Det. Thomas Goggin, Mruczek was living with a man who initially attempted to provide first aid on Mruczek after he was shot in the chest. He was bleeding heavily. Mruczek told the roommate that he thought he was dying and to tell his father he loves him. Mruczek identified Ludwig as the shooter to the roommate and to police once they arrived on scene. He later identified the same person as the shooter to a nurse at the hospital. Ludwig was interviewed after receiving his Miranda warnings that same day. He allegedly admitted to shooting Mruczek. He reportedly said he purchased the shotgun a week or two prior from a fellow employee at his job. He said he used a hacksaw to cut off the barrel in his parents' garage. He said he drove to Mruczek's apartment complex at 5:30 and saw his ex-girlfriend's car there. He went to his parents' house and switched trucks, he said, and drove back to the apartment complex with the .410 shotgun. He parked in an empty lot near an ice cream store. He concealed the shotgun, he said, in a long-sleeve black shirt. Ludwig said he approached the complex from a field in the rear of the building and called for Mruczek to come outside. Mruczek came outside and the two spoke briefly before Ludwig allegedly shot him. Ludwig said he fled the scene and drove to French Creek and tossed the gun into the water and then returned home. Police recovered the shotgun from the creek.

July 16, 2015 - 6:28pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, alexander.

Nicholas Mruczek, 20, from Alexander, is in critical condition after he was shot in his apartment in Pottstown, Pa., Wednesday morning.

According to an article from The Mercury, North Coventry Police responded to the scene at Highland Manor Apartments around 2 a.m. and found Mruczek in his apartment with a serious gunshot wound to the chest.

Mruczek was transported to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and transferred to Lehigh Valley Hospital's trauma unit. Hospital staff confirmed he had a collapsed lung.

Mruczek identified the shooter as his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend, Zachary Ludwig, 22, of Spring City, Pa. Ludwig allegedly went to Mruczek's apartment Tuesday night and found his ex-girlfriend's car parked outside. Then Ludwig allegedly drove to his home and loaded the barrel of his .410 shotgun and returned to Mruczeck's apartment. Ludwig admitted to police that he had his finger on the trigger when Mruczek grabbed the barrel and the gun discharged. 

Ludwig is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, possessing instruments of crime, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. He was put in the Chester County Prison on $500,000 bail.

Mruczek is a graduate of Alexander Middle-High School. He is studying to be an auto mechanic at the Universal Technical Institute in Exton, Pa.




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