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December 24, 2009 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Tracy Avenue.

det_rich_schauf.jpgLast night's shots fired on Tracy Avenue was likely no random act of violence, according to Batavia Police Det. Richard Schauf.

"Our investigation right now is leading us toward a possible relationship as opposed to a road rage incident," Schauf said during a press conference this morning. "Based on early investigation and comments that were made, it's looking more pointed than random."

At 10:30 p.m., two 18-year-old men were driving on Tracy Avenue being followed by a truck, when they pulled into a driveway to try and evade the tail, somebody in the truck opened fire on the car. The car, a 1999 Mazda 626, managed to plow through a snow bank and escape the scene of the shooting.

Neither occupant was injured. One of the victims is a Town of Batavia resident and the other is from the Village of Albion.

Police are looking for a person of interest and have sent bulletins to law enforcement agencies throughout New York.

Schauf said that based on the number of shots fired at the car, the shooting was intended to actually cause harm instead of just intimidating the young men. The two people may still be in some degree of danger with the shooter still at large.

The police have the name of the person of interest, but are not releasing that information.

While the 18-year-olds are being cooperative, Schauf said, their first statements were the most useful in identifying the person of interest.

"Initially in the excitement of it, there were some statements made by the victims that led to a person who might be of interest," Schauff said. "As the investigation has gone on it hasn't been as clear as it was during the initial excitement."

To help identify the likely shooter and uncover a connection, police are interviewing the youths as well as their friends to try and retrace their steps yesterday.

There is no definitive description of the shooter's truck, if it was indeed a truck. Police are unsure if  there was one person or more than one person in the vehicle.

Police would like residents to report any unusual driving they saw last night in the area of Tracy and East avenues. 

December 24, 2009 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, accident, Le Roy, Bethany.

Shauna L. McDonough, 39, 504 West Center St., Beech Haven, N.J. is charged with DWI, aggravated driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and unlicensed operation. Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a single-car accident on Route 63 off Fargo Road. The car was reportedly well off the roadway. Sgt. Greg Walker investigated the accident and determined that McDonough was traveling at an unsafe speed and was allegedly driving drunk.

A 17-year-old girl from Batavia has been charged with petit larceny. She allegedly stole from her employer, Kmart.

Tammy J. Alexyn, 34, of 48 Longs Lane, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and driving left of the pavement markings. Alexyn was stopped on Brown Road in the Town of Batavia by Deputy Jason Saile at 1:34 a.m. today.

Kristy L. Sherman, 23, of Bloomfield, has been charged by State Police with harassment. The alleged harassment took place in Le Roy Dec. 18 at 8:31 p.m. No further information available.

December 24, 2009 - 9:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

mug_gattuso.jpgAn Oak Street resident is accused of assaulting his girlfriend both in her car and later at the Batavia Police station, where she had gone to report the first alleged attack.

Michael P. Gattuso, 28, of 108 Oak St., upper, was jailed on $1,000 bail after being charged with assault in the 3rd degree and criminal mischief in the 4th degree.

Gattuso is accused of punching out the windshield of his girlfriend's car, hitting her in the head and then following her into the police station after she drove there to report the crime. Once inside the police station, while his girlfriend was on the phone with Genesee County dispatchers, Gattuso reportedly started punching her in the head again.

The alleged attack occurred at 5:50 p.m. yesterday.

Several police officers responded to the station and took Gattuso into custody.

December 24, 2009 - 8:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Police responded to a report of shots fired in the City of Batavia at 10:30 last night and say that a car was struck by the bullets.

Investigators reportedly have identified a person of interest in the case.

There were no injuries reported.

Area law enforcement agencies have been notified to be on the look out for the person of interest and warned that the person may be armed.

UPDATE 8:54 a.m.: Police have released additional information about the case.

The car that was shot at was occupied by two 18-year-old men. They reported being followed by what appeared to be a pickup truck on Tracy Avenue.

In an attempt to get away from the pickup truck, the driver pulled into a driveway. It was then that a person in the truck fired at the car. The driver plowed through a snow bank to try and get away.

Neither occupant was struck, but the car was damaged. Police are examining the car in an attempt to recover any evidence.

Batavia Police are planning at press conference at 11 a.m. to answer media questions and release any new information, if available.

December 24, 2009 - 8:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A 13-year-old boy apparently ran out in front of a car near the intersection of Washington and Tracy avenues in Batavia yesterday evening and was hit by the vehicle.

He was taken by Mercy Flight to Children's Hospital in Buffalo with a head injury.

The boy is identified as James N. Difalco, of 41 S. Main St., Batavia.

The accident was reported at 6:38 p.m.

No charges have been filed against the driver, but the investigation is continuing.

UPDATE: Relatives tell WBTA that James is in guarded condition.

December 23, 2009 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bank Street, crime, immigration.

A traffic stop by State Police on Bank Street near College Road about 7:30 this morning led to the detention of 12 individuals who may have entered the country illegally.

All 12 are from Mexico, according Mike Gilhooly, spokesman for Immigration Control Enforcement.

Ten of the individuals were turned over to the U.S. District Attorney for criminal prosecution, one suspect is already awaiting a court hearing on a previous charge of entering the country illegally and the 12th was a minor who was turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement for processing.

One of the group had previously been deported, Gilhooly said.

The names of the individuals were not immediately available.

The driver of the white van was not picked up by immigration, Gilhooly said. He referred us back to State Police for information on that person and we are awaiting an answer to our e-mail on that subject.

Thank you to a reader tip for bringing this item to our attention.

December 23, 2009 - 4:13pm
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Announcements, Care-A-Van Ministries.
Event Date and Time: 
December 26, 2009 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
Care-A-Van Ministries will be at State Street this Saturday morning from 10:30 AM until Noon for grocery distribution and prayers.
December 23, 2009 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jackson Street.

Use caution when traveling through the intersection of Jackson and Ellicott streets. A police officer reports both northbound green lights are out on Jackson.

Repair crews are being summoned.

December 23, 2009 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Alabama.

Brandon C. Dodd, 23, of 128 1/2 State St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Dodd is accused of stealing two video games from his roommate and selling them for cash at a local video game store.

Edwin Morales, 52, of 11293 Ridge Road, Medina, is accused of DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Morales was stopped on Route 63 in Alabama after Deputy C.J. Minuto observed Morales's vehicle allegedly cross the center double yellow line.

Kenneth W. Bater, 18, of 7795 Creamery Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, consumption of alcohol in a vehicle and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bater was arrested after Deputy Frank Bordonaro responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at the side of the road on Creamery Road in Bergen. A passenger in the car, Kenneth E. Hale, 18, of 6101 North Lake Road, Bergen, was also charged with consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

UPDATE The following is additional information on an accident we reported previously, and we just received the information from the State Police:

Steven M. Smith, 21, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI. Smith reportedly hit two parked cars in the area of the old 84 Lumber store on Ellicott Street at 12:58 p.m., Sunday.

December 23, 2009 - 6:54am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van Ministries.

Care-A-Van  Ministries was blessed to have some wonderful people come out and do Christmas Caroling last night while  we had our last night on the streets for this Christmas season.

These faces may look pretty familiar to some of you.

Thank you to these folks and all of you who partnered with  Care-A-Van  in any way during this Christmas season to help bless others.  Merry Christmas to all!


The group singing on State Street

delivery2009 077.jpg

Pastor Charlie Pero and wife Linda

delivery2009 076.jpg

Mike and Shirley Wagner of the Care-A-Van band joined us

delivery2009 050.jpg

Shirley Gawlik and her beautiful daughter Janelle donated their time to bring Christmas joy

December 22, 2009 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Christmas, T.F. Brown's.

Yesterday I stopped in Tenney Cleaners and spotted a print out of our story about T.F. Brown's annual community Christmas dinner on the bulletin board -- what a great way to help get the word out about this great event.

The whole community is invited, and Rick Mancuso wants to make sure that everybody knows, especially those members of the community who might otherwise spend Christmas alone or can't afford a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings.

Meal times are Noon and 1 p.m. and reservations are recommended. To make reservations call 343-2091 (ask for Joanne) by 11 a.m. on Dec. 24.

Parents and grand parents bringing children should make a special point to make a reservation. Children 16 and under will receive a Christmas present.

Everything is free and all are welcome.

December 22, 2009 - 8:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, taxes.

Joseph P. Ryan, 52, a Batavia resident, admitted in an Albany court yesterday that he failed to file an income tax returns from 2004 through 2008.

The charge of failing to file is a misdemeanor.

Ryan is a vice president of Brighton Securities, which has an office in Batavia, but is headquartered in Brighton, a suburb of Rochester.

Before entering the plea, Ryan paid the state $57,749 in back taxes.

He was sentenced to one-year conditional release and a $5,000 fine.

(Source: Democrat and Chronicle).

December 22, 2009 - 7:09am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van Ministries.

delivery2009 047.jpg

Care-A-Van had gotten a call from Pastor Charlie Piscitello yesterday of a family that could really use some Christmas cheer and blessings from our Lord.  The husband had a stroke about a year ago and they could really use a blessing.

When we arrived, the husband was in the kitchen in his wheelchair. As we were visiting with them, there was a knock on the door. Dave Kendall and his son Kyle were standing there. He said his son wanted to know if he could see the bus. I pulled on my boots and headed out with them.

As little Kyle was touring the bus, he spotted the nativity scene. He said "there is baby Jesus"!  Kyle and his dad enjoyed the homemade treats and hot chocolate. Before leaving, the father told Kyle that he could go ahead and share his gift. Kyle handed me a gift that he wanted to give to another little boy that did not have anything.  With tears swellling in my eyes, I graciously accepted the gift on behalf of God.

How awesome it was to see that this little guy wanted to be a blessing to another little boy.  Pastor Charlie and his wife Judy came onto the bus after Christmas gifts and Christmas dinner were given to the other family. As Pastor Charlie sat there, his voice began to quiver and tears were in his eyes. He said " I just got the best Christmas gift,, we all got to bless others and share the love of Jesus with them."

It was great meeting Dave and Kyle. Thank  you Kyle for helping Care-A-Van and the Lord be a  blessing to others!

December 21, 2009 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas.


Tonight for pictures of Christmas Light houses, I thought I'd drive through the North Avenue/Narramore neighborhood.   I wound up with really only one photo worth posting.

December 21, 2009 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Trey Filbert.

Trey Filbert, a freshman at Batavia High, is battling brain cancer and is undergoing multiple treatments to help battle his illness.

Classmates have organized a concert tonight at the school's auditorium. The 7 p.m. show will feature the school's band.

Funds raised will help the family with medical costs. Donations are accepted at the door. The high school is located at 260 State St. in the City of Batavia.

December 21, 2009 - 5:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Dietrich Williams.

A Batavia man accused of shaking a baby and hitting the infant's head on a hard surface, pled guilty this afternoon to one count of attempted assault in the 1st degree.

Dietrich Williams faces a sentence of three-and-a-half  to 15 years in prison, said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, as part of a plea agreement.

Williams was charged with assault in the 1st degree and reckless endangerment of a child.

"Rather than take a chance on the more serious charge, we decided to get a plea on the Class C violent felony and give the judge the latitude to sentence him up to 15 years," Friedman said.

The higher class felony carried a maximum sentence of 25 years.

The baby is doing much better, according to the mother, who recently e-mailed The Batavian about the child's condition.

December 21, 2009 - 4:52pm
posted by chris johnson in batavia, mayhem riders, east bethany.

mayhem riders mc

would like to thank all those in the community who helped with our christmas drive.

thanks to your generosity there are a few families that will have a better christmas.


                                                                                                  C.A.J    president/founder

                                                                                                                mayhem riders mc



[email protected]


December 21, 2009 - 1:51pm
posted by Amy Weidner in batavia, YMCA, Toys for Kids.

group photo

Families arrived yesterday at the Batavia YMCA around noon to kick things off at the annual Toys for Kids Christmas event. The children played together in the gym while parents snuck away to receive some secret extra gifts. Up on the third floor, a room was filled with large, black garbage bags discretely holding toys for Christmas morning.

Pictured above are five children with Don Carroll and Santa Claus. From left to right, Luvena Wagner, age 3, Giovanni Smart, 5, Bianca Jackson, 9, and Blayke Jackson. In front is Lillian Smart, age 3.

Luvena's mother, Christina Wagner, especially appreciates the event in these tough financial times.

"One of my friends was telling me about it," she said. "Her mom was helping with it and she knows that I don't have a job right now. She knew I didn't have much money, so they invited me."

Saturday's shopping spree played out just as event coordinator, Don Carroll, had planned. This year, Carroll raised money and purchased over $7,000 worth of gifts for 120 lucky children. When I asked him what makes this charity event so successful, he gave credit to the fact that it is something he puts effort into all year long.

"What separates what I do from a lot of other places is that they wait until it's time for the holidays," he said. "That's probably why they don't raise as much money. I'm going to be collecting donations again in a couple weeks and it's going to be all the way until this time next year."

Volunteer Lori Wendt says clear organization is also key to event's success.

"A few weeks ago, parents were asked to submit a list of items their kids wanted for Christmas," Wendt said. "That way, Don and the other volunteers would know what to get them. It was so organized.

"We all got our lists with a couple families, and my husband and I went around picking up the gifts. It was fun, and it was fun to know that kids would get what they want."

Kids in Gym

After playing in the gym, all of the children came up to the room on the third floor where they were served a lunch of pizza, soda pop and holiday cookies.


Good old Saint Nick made an appearance at 1 o'clock when he made his way around the room to have a word with each and every child. The kids were excited to see him and couldn't wait for their moment to talk with him.

santa and girl

After having a turn speaking with each of the children, it was time for Santa Claus to hand out some gifts. (But first, he helped this little girl with her boot laces.)

Each child received one gift at the event. Four lucky kids received iPods as a special gift from the Sheriff's Department.

Look for donation jars and other events throughout the year that sponsor the Toys for Kids charity to support the cause next year.

December 21, 2009 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

The driver who crossed into the U.S. from Canada on Saturday morning simply did not stop at the border crossing, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman said today.

Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement agencies in the border region were immediately notified of the 6:30 a.m. border crossing and a description of the car was transmitted to patrols. 

"We made an attempt to locate (the car)," said Kevin Corsaro. "She took a road we didn't take."

It wasn't until 7:45 a.m., when a Genesee County Sheriff's deputy clocked a car allegedly speeding at 90 mph on Route 5 in Le Roy, that U.S. law enforcement found the possible suspect vehicle.

That interception started a high-speed chase that involved a half-dozen law enforcement agencies and passed through Downtown Batavia and the Village of Albion before the driver lost control of her car on Route 18.

It wasn't until after the crash, according to Sheriff Gary Maha, that his office became aware of the alleged illegal border crossing and that the car his deputies just spent 15 minutes chasing, matched the description of the suspect vehicle.

Deputy J.L. Baiocco didn't know, according to Maha, that a car had zipped through the border without stopping or that the car he observed allegedly driving erratically on Route 5 might be driven by a suspect who allegedly entered the country illegally.

Lt. Eugene Jankowski of the Batavia Police Department also told us Saturday morning that the police department received no notification of an alleged illegal border crossing and that a suspect was on the loose somewhere in Western New York.

Corsaro was adamant, however, that standard procedures were followed and that all law enforcement agencies in the region were duly notified and that a description of the suspect vehicle was distributed to area law enforcement.

Corsaro was also careful to note that the woman who was eventually arrested at the end of a chase that exceeded 100 mph at times may not be the same driver who crashed through the border.

"We have not had a chance to interview her yet," Corsaro said. "She's still in the hospital."

In fact, Crystal Pinnock, 23, of Ontario, Canada, the suspect driver, is listed in satisfactory condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.


December 21, 2009 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu.

mug_aaron_heale.jpgAaron L. Heale, 28, of 8 School St., south apartment, is charged with grand larceny in the 4th degree and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Heale is accused of purchasing more than $1,000 in merchandise from a local store using checks from a bank account that had been closed for years. The investigation by Le Roy Police Detective John Condidorio began in November 2009. On Dec. 16, Det. Condidorio -- along with members of the Le Roy Police Department, the Genesee County Sheriff's office and the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force -- executed a search warrant on Heale's apartment. Heale was not present at the time. Condidorio reports that during the search, evidence of the alleged grand larceny was found along with drug paraphernalia. Heale was located on Dec. 20 at a residence in the village and arrested. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Linda L. Snyder, 27, of 6 Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct and endangering the welfare of a child; Paula A. Kingsley, 34, of 8 Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Snyder and Kingsley were allegedly involved in a neighbor dispute at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday. Snyder is also accused of grabbing a 15-year-old girl and fighting with her. Both were jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ralph G. Depema, 33, of 854 Whitier Road, Spencerport, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and unsafe turn. Depema was reportedly stopped by Officer Chris Camp Ellicott Street at 11:35 a.m. on Sunday. After the stop, it was discovered that Depema was driving despite his license reportedly being suspended 16 times. Depema was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Joshua P. Garcia, 26, of 14 Marchall Ave., Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation. Deputy Kevin McCarthy responded to a report from the T/A Travel Plaza of a person who reportedly passed out in the dining area and then refused to leave. Upon interviewing Garcia, McCarthy determined that he allegedly drove to the location.

Brian L. Smith, 48, 4128 Colonial Blvd., Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment in the 2nd degree. Smith allegedly made repeated contacts via online communication with a woman in Florida after she had repeatedly asked him to stop. Investigator Kristopher Kautz characterized the communications as "harassing and alarming in nature."

Philip Anthony Caccamise, 27, of 65 South St., Le Roy, is charged with harassment. Caccamise allegedly grabbed a friend and threw him to the ground.

Glenn W. Viehdeffer, Jr., 59, of 7628 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely and inadequate/no muffler. Viehdeffer was stopped for an alleged traffic violation by Deputy Jason Saile on South Pearl Street Road in Oakfield at 1:42 a.m. on Saturday.

Eric W. Kubik, 23, of 2160 Phelps Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings. Kubik was stopped by Deputy Howard Carlson on Route 5 in the Town of Le Roy at 2:40 a.m. on Saturday.

John C. Bertini, 51, of 2419 Pratt Road, Corfu, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bertini was stopped by Deputy Kevin R. McCarthy on Indian Falls Road for an alleged improper headlight at 2:08 a.m. on Sunday.

A 17-year-old from Batavia is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Deputy Kevin McCarthy investigated a car parked partially on the pavement on Gabby Road in Pembroke at 4:54 a.m. on Saturday. He found the youth allegedly in possession of marijuana.

Ricky N. Porter, Jr., 19, of 1 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with assault in the 3rd degree and criminal contempt in the 1st. Porter allegedly violated a court order of protection by pulling the hair of a girlfriend and then hitting her numerous times in the head and face. Porter was jailed without bail.

Joshua G. Bachorski, 26, of 11 Pringle Ave., lower, Batavia, is charged petit larceny. Bachorski allegedly stole a bottle of liquor from Mr. Wine and Liquor.

Amanda M. Elliott, 25, of 18 1/2 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Elliott allegedly shoplifted items from Tops.

Julia R. Sallade, 18, of 9845 Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with petit larceny. Sallade allegedly attempted to steal $368 worth of clothing and jewelry from JCPenney.

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