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November 23, 2015 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, UMMC, batavia, Attica.

An Attica woman who was arrested for attempting to bite an emergency room nurse and punching her several times in the stomach will spend at least a year-and-a-half in State Prison after pleading guilty this morning to attempted assault in the second degree.

In an unusual twist, she was also sentenced today.

Kerri L. Forsberg, 43, of Alexander Road, Attica, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, has medical issues that meant she couldn't be housed in any of the county jails Genesee County uses to hold female inmates. In those circumstances, the state will hold an unsentenced inmate, and at no cost to the county, said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The difficulty, however, is that Forsberg was held in Bedford, and Genesee County deputies were required to take her back and forth between the prison and her court appearances.

So some of her appearances were actually waived, including her plea-cutoff. She was planning to take her case to trial, Friedman explained, but when she changed her mind and decided to take the plea offer, arrangements were made for Forsberg to enter her plea and be sentenced on the same day.

Friedman said the Probation Department was "great" for their handling of the expedited pre-sentence investigation. Investigators obtained the case file this morning, combined it with Forsberg's PSI from a previous case in Wyoming County, and were able to meet the deadline of 4 p.m. for the completed report.

Forsberg is eligible for release in one-and-a-half years, but could serve up to three years. She was sentenced as a second felony offender.

She was arrested in early July for attempting to bite a UMMC nurse and punching her in the stomach.

November 16, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, alexander, byron, Attica.
 Abraham Martinez

Abraham R. Martinez, 31, of Alexander, is charged with assault, 2nd. Martinez was arrested by State Police following a month-long investigation into an incident in the Town of Orangeville. A female was struck in the mouth with a bottle, resulting in the need for dental surgery after she lost part of her front teeth. State Police were provided with the first and last name of a suspect but had no other information to go on. Troopers, with the assistance of Border Patrol agents, obtained information that indicated the suspect might be located at a farm in Alexander, where he had been employed for about two weeks. Martinez was located and arrested and processed in Warsaw. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Alicia Kimberly Urban, 30, of Main Street, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. Urban is accused of stealing $432.96 in merchandise from Kohl's.

Luke William Ritzenthaler, 32, of Route 237, Byron, is charged with aggravated family offense and criminal contempt, 2nd. Ritzenthaler allegedly had contact with a female by phone and letter in violation of a court order while incarcerated at the Genesee County Jail.

A 17-year-old resident of Exchange Street, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. The youth allegedly shoplifted at Walmart. The youth allegedly placed electronic merchandise in her purse and exited the store.

Kelvin B. Murphy, 42, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Murphy allegedly pushed another person at 3:47 a.m., Nov. 8., at an address on State Street.

Gregory S. Yark, 51, of Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Yark was arrested on a warrant. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. Yark was also charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Yark was allegedly found in possession of these items at the time of his arrest.

November 6, 2015 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, attica state prison.

A Mercy EMS ambulance is requested to the Attica State Prison to assist with an inmate with reportedly multiple stab wounds.

No further information available at this time.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: Press release from NYSP:

On Friday, November 6, 2015 the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision are investigating an assault at the Attica Correctional Facility, involving one inmate assaulting another inmate.  Investigation is on-going and more information will be released at a later time. 

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: State Police report the victim is in stable condition.  His name has not been released. The investigation is ongoing.

August 27, 2015 - 4:52am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Attica, alexander, Bethany.

A house fire is reported at 31 East Ave. in the Village of Attica. Alexander Fire Department is called to provide mutual aid to Attica in fighting the blaze, along with Bethany for rehab. The location is between Prospect Street and Putnam Place.

UPDATE 5:08 a.m.: Fire out. Checking for extensions. Bethany can go back in service.

August 8, 2015 - 9:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, Attica Rodeo, sports, rodeo.


Photos from the Saturday matinee at the Attica Rodeo.

The rodeo concludes with a final performance at 2 p.m., Sunday.

For more rodeo coverage, visit the Wyoming County Free Press. Julia Ferrini has done a great job with it.









Recommend viewing of the slideshow: Full-screen mode.

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 9, 2015 - 3:33pm
posted by Traci Turner in bergen, Wyoming, perry, sheldon, Attica, corfu.

Tyler J. Long, 20, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana following an underage drinking investigation in the Town of Sheldon. Long allegedly was drinking alcohol in a concert parking lot when deputies found him to be in possession of Ecstasy, Adderall and marijuana.

Matthew D. Schwartz, 23, and Victoria L. Brown, 19, of Bergen, are charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, a class A misdemeanor. State troopers responded to a residence within a trailer park on Clinton Street Road, Bergen, for a report of criminal mischief. After an investigation, troopers found there were orders of protection in place prohibiting contact between the two. Schwartz and Brown were put in the Genesee County Jail on $1,000 bail.

Katherine J. Vail, of Fitch Street, Churchville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, failure to stop  at a stop sign, speeding and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Following a traffic stop on Parkview Drive in Bergen, Deputy Joseph Corona allegedly found Vail in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

A 17-year-old male from Rochester was found to be in possession of a small quantity of marijuana following a traffic stop. Officer Michael Petritz pulled over the male for speeding and no right on red on Route 77 in Corfu. The male was issued tickets and an appearance ticket.

The Wyoming County Sheriff's Department responded to a two-car accident with entrapment on Route 238 in Attica on July 5. All the occupants were removed from the vehicles and treated before deputies arrived. Following an investigation, Russell Irwin, of Batavia, was allegedly found to be following too closely behind David Snyder. Sndyer was making a right turn into a driveway when Irwin struck him. Irwin was issued a citation.

June 27, 2015 - 3:21pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Stafford, Attica, Winner, Stafford Fire Department, corvette.


She had a job to do. There was no time for playing. This was serious business. 

With all the attentiveness her little 4-year-old body could muster, she reached into the bin holding the slips of paper and drew out a name. 

“She was very serious about doing her job pulling the ticket,” Yvonne Freeman, the little girl's mom, said. “Most kids, when you put them in the bin to draw the name, play with the paper, not Teaghan, she was very serious about the whole thing.”

For more than 25 years the Stafford Fire Department has raffled off a car; for more than a decade, it’s been a classic Corvette. About every other year, someone from the local area wins the grand prize. This year, Cortland Kopp, of Attica, won his choice between a 1967 cherry red Corvette convertible or $50,000 cash.

“I own a 1972 Corvette,” Kopp said, “have for 30 years. I decided to take the cash.”

The Attica corrections officer has been buying the raffle tickets since 1976. This is the first year he showed a return on his $30-a-year investment.

“After taxes I figure it’ll be about $35,000,” Kopp said. “It’s been a wild, surreal week.”

Raffle organizer and Stafford Fire Department social member Robin Krenzer reported thousands of tickets are sold for the raffle. While there is one Grand Prize winner, there are 10 winners of $1,000 each as well.

“There were only 200-something of that car made,” Krenzer said. “We will sell this vehicle and then purchase a different one for next year’s raffle.

“The last time we had a local winner was two years ago and she took the cash, too,” Krenzer said. “A man from Texas won last year and he took the car.”

While the cars are purchased yearly, this ‘67 ‘vette has an appraised value of $92,000. Additionally, organizers scour the region for a different car every year. Occasionally they are bought from individuals, other times, car dealers, they really never know what year the next model will be.

According to Krenzer, proceeds from the raffle helps to fund the department’s budget for the year. Additionally, the Stafford Fire Department donates $5,000 to Mercy Flight every year from the proceeds of the raffle.

But right now, in this moment, Kopp is living a surreal sort of life, getting ready to enjoy his new windfall.


June 23, 2015 - 9:14am
posted by Traci Turner in thunderstorm, Le Roy, Pavilion, Attica, news, print, email, batavia, weather.

Trees and power lines are down due to a line of thunderstorms that swept through Genesee County early this morning.

As of 9 a.m., National Grid has reported hundreds of customers affected from the power outages in Le Roy, Pavilion and Attica. There are also scattered outages in other areas affecting less than 10 customers each.

Law enforcement advises motorists to use caution because debris could still be blocking some roads.


(Storm damage on North Street in Le Roy. Photo taken by Lucie Griffis.)


Gilbert Street at the corner of West Main Street in Le Roy is closed due to power lines down across the street. According to Tom Wood, 2nd assistant chief for Le Roy Fire Department, three power lines are down. Residents are waiting for National Grid crews to restore their power.


Pictured below a tree down on South Jackson Street, Batavia.


June 15, 2015 - 11:30am
posted by Julia Ferrini in The Batavian, crime, Event, alexander, Attica.



Similar sentiments echoed from family, friends and the community with respect to Douglas Mess. 

“He was an amazing guy.” 

“A big teddy bear.” 

“He would do anything for anyone.” 

“He loved family.” 

“He was an excellent mechanic.”

A spaghetti dinner and raffle was held Saturday to help Mess’s four sons, Douglas, Matthew, Michael, and James. The four men lost both their parents in an incident that shook the Attica community.

“It’s nice to see the community coming together for this,” said event organizer Jackie Murphy. “But by the same token, this shouldn’t have had to happen.”

The fundraiser was held at the Alexander Firemen’s Recreation Center, Alexander. All proceeds go to the brothers to help with living expenses. According to Murphy, the support from the community has been overwhelming. 

“Everything has been donated by community members and local businesses,” Murphy said. “The response has been wonderful, from setting up this event to just asking ‘how ya doing?’ It’s just been amazing.”

“I wasn’t expecting the response we got,” said Gina Olszewski, Matthew’s girlfriend. “The support from the community is awesome. It’s such a horrible situation and it’s nice to have the support we’ve received.”

Tom Gadd worked with Doug for 14 years at Alexander Equipment and viewed the man like a brother.

“He was just an amazing guy; a great guy. That sums it up right there,” Gadd said.

“He’s been proud to see the support,” Olszewski said.

According to the elder Mess’s son Doug, he was a “shop man dictionary.”

Michael and James describe their father as happy and caring.

Douglas Mess was found murdered April 20 on the farm he and his wife of 30 years owned in Attica. Charlene Mess is charged with his murder and is currently being held in the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $1 million cash bail or $2 million bond. She is due in court Aug. 6.

“We are extremely grateful,” James said. “There has been lots of support from an extremely caring community.”

See related: Murder of Douglas Mess a big loss for Baskin LivestockCharlene Mess pled not guilty in the murder of Douglas Mess








June 15, 2015 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, Oakfield, Attica.

Harvey J. Lockhart, 32, of Batavia, and Kevin Q. Thomas, 26, of Batavia, are charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Lockhart and Thomas were arrested following a traffic stop in the Village of Le Roy by Le Roy PD. As a result of an investigation, Lockhart was allegedly found in possession of loaded .22-caliber handgun in his shorts pocket as well as 10 bags of crack cocaine. Thomas was also accused of possessing a handgun and crack cocaine. A child was reportedly in the vehicle. Lockhart was held without bail and Thomas was held on $10,000 bail.

Bryan Henry Fetterly, 29, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with criminal tampering, 3rd. Fetterly allegedly threw property belonging to another person into a garbage dumpster that contained garbage. The alleged incident was reported at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Dekota Starr Leiser, 23, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. Leiser allegedly stole tools from a business on Bank Street Road, Batavia. During the investigation by Deputy Joseph Graff, Leiser was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Philip William Czaja, 31, of Elm Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Czaja turned himself in. No further information released.

Kristen Anne Cianfrini, 30, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Cianfrini was arrested after a passerby found her 3-year-old child unattended, wandering near the roadside of Route 5, by a passing motorist. It's alleged that Cianfrini did not know her child had walked out of their residence and that the child had been wandering near the road for an undetermined period of time while Cianfrini was sleeping. The alleged incident was reported at 9:10 a.m. Saturday.

Adam Michael Jellison, 37, of Sierk Road, Attica, was arrested for an alleged probation violation. Jellison was issued on a warrant out of Wyoming County. He was arrested after he went to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road to retrieve found property and the warrant was discovered.

Melissa Courtney Cicatello, 23, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with criminal mischief. Cicatello allegedly intentionally damaged the car door of another person's vehicle.

June 4, 2015 - 12:29pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in crime, batavia, murder, Attica.



Charlene Mess pled not guilty today in Wyoming County Court to the seven count indictment handed down by the Grand Jury. Mess is accused of murdering her husband Douglas Mess, April 19, at their farm in Attica. Douglas Mess was found dead April 20, following a missing persons report filed earlier that day. The 52-year-old farmer and Baskin Livestock employee was found stabbed, shot in the back of the head and buried under a pile of manure on the farm the couple owned and worked.

Charlene Mess is charged with murder in the second degree, a Class A felony; criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, a Class B felony; assault in the first degree, a Class B felony; assault in the second degree, a Class D felony; tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony; and making a punishable false written statement, a Class A misdemeanor.

“There are seven counts in the indictment, with the most serious charge of murder in the second degree,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. “The allegations contained that the murder was performed by Mrs. Mess with a small caliber, .22, weapon. The evidence revealed... The allegations are that Mr. Mess was shot in the back of the head. Mrs. Mess pled not guilty, which is typical at this state of the proceeding.”

Wyoming County Court Judge Michael Mohan set bail at $1 million cash or $2 million bond. It was stated that Charlene Mess sold all her livestock at a significant profit and therefore has the resources for the bail set.

“It is our understanding that those resources are tied up,” said Public Defense Council Greg Kilburn. “Mrs. Mess is a lifelong resident of Wyoming County, a graduate of Letchworth High School, is 48 years old, and has no criminal record. We submit bail to be set at $100,000.”

“Because of the possibility of the risk of flight,” Mohan said. “I will set bail at $1 million cash and $2 million bond.”

“With this type of case, the person, when they are facing life in prison, they are considered a very high flight risk,” O’Geen said. “Bail is about flight risk. I wanted to make sure that Mrs. Mess is where she needs to be until trial, which is hopefully in jail. However, she does have the opportunity to post bail and that would secure her attendance at future proceedings.”

It is alleged in the indictment that prior to shooting the victim in the back of the head with a .22 rifle, Charlene Mess struck Douglas Mess in the head and body with a pitch fork. It is then alleged that she tampered with physical evidence by attempted to hide the body by burying Douglas Mess in a pile of manure in the back of the family farm.

At this time, the DA’s Office does not know what happened prior to the murder.

“There is no indication that there was a domestic incident prior to this incident (the murder),” O’Geen said. “We do not know what happened prior to the events that took place.

“I want to state for the record that these are just allegations,” O’Geen said. “Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty of what they are accused of. We will find everything out in court.”

Both the DA’s Office and defense counsel will be in court at 9 a.m. on June 11 to argue a motion regarding the taking of a DNA sample from the defendant. Other motions made may be ruled on when the case resumes at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.

See related: Murder of Douglas Mess a big loss for Baskin Livestock 

See related: Attica woman charged with murder in missing man's death 

See related: Missing man found dead in Attica  

June 1, 2015 - 9:57am
posted by Lisa Ace in Jason Dressel, Attica, pembroke, events.
Event Date and Time: 
June 5, 2015 -
6:00pm to 9:00pm

Dragons & Devils for Dressel - A benefit for Jason Dressel will be held on June 5 & 6th!

May 27, 2015 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, elba, bergen, Attica.

Cody Matthews Bedard, 21, of Lake Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, DWI drugs, DWI with a child less than 16, endangering the welfare of a child and back seat passage age 4-6 without appropriate safety restraint. Police responded to the area of 240 Richmond Ave. at 7:27 p.m. Friday after a report of a driver "not acting right." Bedard was arrested by officers Darryle Streeter and Jamie Givens.

Michael B. Neth, 37, of Summitt Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Neth allegedly made contact with a person he was barred from contacting by court order while at a store in City Centre at 6:25 p.m., Saturday.

Lois Omar Perez Lopez, 34, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop at stop sign and failure to signal. Perez Lopez was stopped at 2:22 a.m. Sunday on Trumbull Parkway by Deputy Chad Richards.

Joey Robert Tatro II, of Main Street, Attica, is charged with trespass and criminal mischief, 4th. Tatro was arrested on warrants related to the charges. He was jailed on $250 bail or $500 bond.

Ryan Michael Byrnes, 28, of Maple Street, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and driving while using a mobile phone. Byrnes was stopped at 9:35 p.m. Monday on Main Street, Byron, by Sgt. Gregory Walker.

March 15, 2015 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, arts, music, entertainment.

Photos by Jim Burns.

The first of two All-County Music Festival concerts was held Saturday in Attica, with student musicians from throughout Genesee and Wyoming counties participating.

The concert is the culmination of a lot of hard work by students, including an audition process that also contributes to the grades of many students in music classes.

The next show is at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Batavia Middle School. Tickets are $4 at the door.

March 14, 2015 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Attica, fire, alexander, Darien.

A house fire is reported at 4 Genesee St. in the Village of Attica and Alexander fire is responding. A fire chief on scene confirms heavy smoke showing.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: Town of Batavia fire is requested to the scene. Mutual aid from Warsaw and Bennington also responding.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility called in to help. Checking with Attica water utility to make sure hydrants are working correctly. A fire crew from Darien is asked to stand by in Alexander's hall.

February 16, 2015 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime.
Joshua Pehrson

A Batavia man is in custody in Attica after an alleged assault at the Tops Store in the Wyoming County village.

Joshua T. Pehrson, 29, of 330 Ellicott St., Batavia, is accused of choking his girlfriend while they were parked in a car outside the store. The woman, an employee of Tops, entered the store and Pehrson allegedly attacked her again when they got inside, choking her and attempting to stab her with scissors.

Employees and customers intervened and held Pehrson until Attica PD officers arrived.

He is charged attempted assault, 1st, criminal obstructing breathing, menacing, 2nd and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th.

The suspect was jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.




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