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April 16, 2021 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, town of batavia.

Leroy Thornton III, 30, of Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls, was arrested April 15 on a Genesee County Court Indictment Warrant.

His arrest concluded an investigation into the transportation, sale and possession of "crack" cocaine in and around the Town of Batavia.

Thornton is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree -- with intent to sell, a Class B felony; and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony.

He was arraigned in Genesee County Court, then released on his own recognizance.

The arrest was made by the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force with assistance from the Niagara County Probation Department. The Genesee County District Attorney's Office assisted in the investigation.

April 16, 2021 - 2:36pm
posted by Press Release in welfare fraud, news, byron, Department of Social Services, crime.

Press release:

Aurelio Aragon-Figueroa, 42, of Byron, was sentenced to three years probation in Genesee County Court on April 15.

In addition, he paid full restitution of $9,321 to the Genesee County Department of Social Services and will be disqualified from receiving Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits for a period of one year.

The sentence was a result of his guilty plea in February to: 11 counts of first degree offering a false instrument for filing; two counts of falsifying business records; and one count of third-degree grand larceny.

The charges were filed after a Social Services investigation revealed Aragon-Figueroa had submitted several documents that were altered to conceal household income.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of welfare fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Fraud Investigation Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6541. All calls are confidential.

April 15, 2021 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Oakfield, pembroke, batavia, bergen.

Caleb Richard Swendsen, 26, of Akron Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Following a domestic incident in the Village of Oakfield at 7:13 p.m. on April 14, Swendsen was arrested and charged with that Class A misdemeanor. Swendsen was taken to Genesee County jail, then released with an appearance ticket to be in Oakfield Village Court on May 24. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien, assisted by Deputy Jonathan Dimmig.

Terry Nelson Ritchey, 48, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by alcohol; no tail lamp; and no plate lamp. At 1:33 a.m. on April 15, Ritchey was arrested after a traffic stop on Clinton Street Road in Bergen. It is alleged that Ritchey drove a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. The defendant was issued traffic tickets then released. Ritchey is due in Bergen Town Court on June 2. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Gauthier, assisted by Deputy Austin Heberlein.

April 14, 2021 - 4:34pm

A federal bankruptcy judge in Buffalo has ruled that three debts of former funeral director Michael Tomaszewski cannot be discharged under bankruptcy law.

The three debts are part of more than $3.2 million in liabilities Tomaszewski listed when filing for bankruptcy in February 2020. He initially filed for Chapter 11, a reorganization of debts, but changed the filing to a Chapter 7, forgiveness of all debts not covered by available assets, last month.

Yesterday, in a separate criminal matter, Tomaszewski entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, scheme to defraud, offering a false instrument for filing, and untimely burial. Over the summer, the 40-year-old Batavia native was charged with more than 200 counts of criminal conduct stemming from a scheme to divert deposits made on prearrangements for funeral services to his own personal use.

The amount of restitution he will owe former clients will be set at his sentencing on July 13. He faces a possible sentence from two and one-third to seven years in prison. The restitution order could approach $500,000.

In his ruling, Judge Carl L. Bucki cited a section of federal bankruptcy law that says a debtor cannot discharge any debt that was the result of fraud or misrepresentation. 

According to the ruling, Tomaszewski will remain liable for prearrangement deposits from individuals for $10,500, $8,000, and $8,000. Under bankruptcy law, the three individuals are entitled to priority repayment for the first $3,025 of each debt.

The bankruptcy proceedings only include debts listed in the filing. Not all victims of Tomaszewski are listed as claimants in the case.

April 14, 2021 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, pembroke, news, crime, notify.

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A dog breeder in Pembroke who is accused of neglecting and abusing 15 animals on her Akron Road property is prepared to negotiate the future of the animals with Genesee County officials, her attorney told Justice Donald O'Connor today during her appearance in Town Court.

Lori Ann Adolf, 47, is charged with 26 counts of torturing or injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance along with one count of endangering a child.

Today, in her first court appearance, she entered a not guilty plea.

Her attorney, Michael Guarino, said that of the 13 dogs and two cats that were taken into the care of the Genesee County Animal Shelter, three of the dogs are the property of other people, and Adolf is ready to sign over seven of the dogs to the shelter so they can be put up for adoption. 

She would like to keep three dogs and two cats.

"The situation was not the way she intended it," Guarino said. "She's now receiving mental health care."

He said his client would like a chance to prove to the county that she can improve her situation and take proper care of her animals.

She has no prior record of animal neglect or abuse and no other criminal record.

The animals have been in county care for four months and sources say are now in good health. When The Batavian visited the shelter last month, the dogs we observed seemed to be in good spirits.

Assistant District Attorney Kaitlynn Schmidt said she and she and Guarino will discuss the disposition of the animals between now and Adolf's next court appearance at 2 p.m., May 5. She said what becomes of the animals will be part of a plea agreement negotiation. She told O'Connor that the prosecution has made no plea offer at this point and has made no commitment that the county will agree to regarding the animals.

O'Connor also signed a no offensive conduct order of protection in regard to the minor who was apparently at Adolf's house while these animals were allegedly being mistreated.

Previously: Pembroke woman arrested after deputy allegedly finds 13 dogs, two cats in deplorable conditions

April 13, 2021 - 5:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia.

A Rochester man is facing three felonies after three people were arrested following a traffic stop in Bergen April 11.

A gray Chevrolet Malibu was pulled over by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies on Route 33 at 12:38 a.m.

The operator, Paula G. Pierce, 29, of State Street, Batavia, was allegedly driving with a suspended NYS driver's license. There were two other occupants, Michael R. Whitman, 48, of Federal Street in Perry, and 29-year-old Justin P. Porter, of Bennington Drive, Rochester (inset photo, right).

Deputy Nicholas Chamoun conducted an investigation, aided by Deputy David Moore, and K9 Deputy Andrew Mullen, who deployed K9 Frankie to check the exterior of the vehicle. According to the Sheriff's Office report, Frankie indicated a positive response for the presence of narcotic drugs.

Deputies conducted a vehicle search and allegedly found drugs and the three occupants were arrested. Assisting at the scene were Deputy Austin Heberlein, Deputy Ryan Young and Deputy Jacob Gauthier.

Porter is accused of providing deputies with a fake name and refusing to disclose his true identity. It is also alleged that while in custody at the Sheriff's Office, he attempted to conceal drugs by hiding them in an interview room.

Porter was arraigned virtually in Town of Bergen Court and charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree -- with intent to sell, a Class B felony; tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; fourth-degree conspiracy, also a Class E felony; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor; obstruction of governmental administration, another Class A misdemeanor; and false personation, a Class B misdemeanor.

Due to bail reform, Porter was released on his own recognizance.

Pierce and Whitman were issued appearance tickets on charges of fourth-degree conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Pierce is also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree, an unclassified misdemeanor; and she was issued a traffic ticket for insufficient turn signal, a violation.

Members of the Genesee County Drug Task Force also assisted in this case.

April 12, 2021 - 12:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, byron.

Abdi Adan Abdi, 21, of Warner Street, Rochester, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance; operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs -- first offense; and failure to keep right on a two-lance road. Abdi was arrested at 3:49 p.m. April 11 on Townline Road in Byron following a traffic stop. It is alleged that Abdi was operating the vehicle while impaired by drugs and that the defendant possessed crack cocaine. Abdi was released with appearance tickets and is due in Town of Byron Court on May 3. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Kyle Tower.

Erica Williams, 26, no address provided, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested for allegedly slamming a person's head against a wooden fence post at 7:23 p.m. March 30 on Watson Street in Batavia. She was released with an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on April 13.

Cassandra Elmore, 29, no address provided, is charged with second-degree harassment. It is alleged she scratched a person in the face at 11 a.m. on March 31 on Liberty Street in Batavia. She was released with an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on April 13.

Nateeka Gibson, 31, no address provided, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested after a disturbance on Tracy Avenue in Batavia at 5 p.m. April 2. It is alleged that she violated a a court order. Gibson was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. She is due to return to court on April 15.

Shawn Twardowski, 38, no address provided, is charged with criminal mischief. He was arrested after allegedly damaging property at an apartment house on Oak Street in Batavia at 3:25 p.m. April 2. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on April 13.

Thomas James Leonard, 37, of Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. On April 9, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office received a complaint about shoplifting at Walmart. It is alleged that Leonard stole property valued at about $44 at 3:30 p.m. April 9. He was arrested and given an appearance ticket to be in Town of Batavia Court on June 15. The case was handled by Deputy Kyle Tower.

Christopher Weigman, 32, no address provided, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested after an investigation revealed that he allegedly stole merchandise from a business on East Main Street in Batavia at 10:13 p.m. March 11. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on April 6.

April 8, 2021 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, byron, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Tricia Mae Blatt, 34, of East Main Street, Byron, is charged with: fourth-degree grand larceny; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; unlicensed operation; and operating an unregistered motor vehicle. At 3:47 p.m. on April 3, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a larceny on East Main Street in the Town of Byron. After an investigation, Blatt was arrested. It is alleged she took a cell phone valued at more than $1,000 from a person, then left the scene operating an unregistered vehicle while her license was revoked. Blatt was issued appearance tickets and is due in Town of Byron Court on May 3. The case was handled by Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Deputy Kyle Tower.

James Joseph Gabrys, 29, of Gasport, is charged with: possession of a hypodermic needle; criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second degree; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Gabrys was arrested at 3:39 p.m. April 8 on Bloomingdale Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation for an incident at 2:47 a.m. that morning. He was transported to Genesee County Jail and issued an appearance ticket to be in Alabama Town Court on May 4. The case was handled by Austin Heberlein, assisted by Sgt. Michael Lute.

Mark Frederick Kurzanski, 58, of Olde Stone Lane, Lancaster, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. At 7:24 p.m. on April 5, Kurzanski was arrested for an incident that occurred at 7:08 p.m. on West Main Street Road in Batavia. He was subsequently arraigned in Batavia Town Court and is due in Genesee County Court on June 2. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Dimmig, assisted by Deputy Zachary Hoy.

April 6, 2021 - 12:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Alabama.

Peter Joseph Mancuso, 32, of Northwood Drive, Williamsville, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal contempt. It is alleged that he caused damage to a person's vehicle at 8:44 p.m. March 6 on Roberts Road in Alabama, in violation of an order of protection. Mancuso was arraigned in Genesee County Court April 5, released on his own recognizance and a subsequent order of protection was issued. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Minuto, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Jeanna Marie Hattaway, 34, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass. Hattaway was arrested after she entered Walmart at 9:35 p.m. April 2, in violation of a June 12, 2018 Notification of Restriction from Property that was issued by Walmart Stores Inc. Hattaway was issued an appearance ticket and is due in BataviaTown Court on April 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

April 5, 2021 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Stafford, batavia, bergen.

Hezekiah N. Burch, 19, (inset photo right) is charged with: two counts of first-degree rape with forcible compulsion, a Class B felony; first-degree sex abuse with forcible compulsion, a Class D felony; and attempted sex abuse in the first degree with forcible compulsion, a Class E felony. The charges allegedly stem from separate incidents on Hutchins Place over a one-month time frame earlier this year involving a child less than 15 years of age. Burch was arrested at 6:15 p.m. March 29 after a sex abuse investigation. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail in lieu of $40,000 cash bail, $60,000 bond, or $80,000 partially secured bond. He was due back in city court April 2.

Kyle J. Gugel, 35, (inset photo left) was arrested in the City of Batavia for allegedly violating an order of protection, illegally entering a residence and forcibly raping a victim at 9:30 a.m. on March 18 on West Main Street. He was arrested at 9:30 p.m. March 31 and charged with first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony; first-degree rape, a Class B felony; and second-degree burglary, a Class C felony. No court, jail or bail information provided.

Alejandro Rodriguez, 24, was arrested at 5:30 p.m. on March 28 and charged with: third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor; and second-degree robbery, a Class C felony. It is alleged that at 5:09 p.m. March 28 that Rodriquez was involved in a domestic incident on Dellinger Avenue in Batavia wherein he punched a woman in the face and stole property from her. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail, $5,000 bond or $7,500 partially secured bond. Rodriguez is due back in city court tomorrow (April 6).

Adam M. Jellison, 43, was arrested at 9:30 p.m. on March 25 following an investigation of a domestic incident that occurred Jan. 1 on Columbia Avenue in Batavia. He is charged with first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony, and second-degree strangulation, a Class D felony. Following his arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed without bail.

Jeffrey J. Keily, 51, of Hidden Pond Lane, Walworth, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- first offense; aggravated DWI per se -- with a BAC of .18 percent or more; operating a motor vehicle without insurance; and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. Keily was arrested at 7:37 p.m. April 3 on Clinton Street Road in Stafford after deputies were dispatched for a report of an erratic driver. After an investigation, it is alleged Keily had a BAC of more than three times the legal limit. He was released with appearance tickets to be in Stafford Town Court on April 21. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Jonathan Dimmig.

Kerwin Rey Vega, 33, of Flint Street, Rochester, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- with a conviction within the last 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; DWI with a child passenger less that 16 years old (child is 11); operating a motor vehicle while having an open container of alcohol; operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device; and refusal to take a breath test. At 1:12 a.m. on April 4, Vega was arrested after a traffic stop in the Town of Bergen. Vega was released on appearance tickets and is due in Bergen Town Court on April 14. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun.

Rae Cook, 32, was arrested and charged with second-degree harassment at 7:30 p.m. March 30 after multiple disturbances at a Batavia residence. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court tomorrow (April 6).

Kristen Marie Owens, 32, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and speeding in excess of 55 mph. She was arrested at 7:59 p.m. April 2 on Route 237 in Stafford after a traffic stop. She was issued appearance tickets in be in Stafford Town Court on April 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Shane Crites, no age provided, was arrested on an active warrant out of Lamar County Sheriff's Office in Paris, Texas, where he is considered a fugitive from justice. He was arrested after a traffic stop at 11:13 p.m. March 25 on West Main Street Road in Batavia at Colonial Boulevard. Crites was arraigned in Batavia City Court then put in jail to await extradition to Texas. He is due back in Batavia City Court on April 22.

Paula Pierce, 29, was arrested on a Batavia City Court Bench Warrant on March 18 for failure to appear in court. Pierce was located after she called police to report an unrelated incident on State Street. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in city court April 8.

Amanda Maben, 42, was taken into custody in St. Lawrence County on March 24 on a Batavia City Court Bench Warrant. She was arraigned in Wyoming County Court on a Wyoming County warrant in addition to the Batavia warrant. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in city court April 28.

April 3, 2021 - 9:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia, crime.

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Press release:

Batavia Police are looking to identify the driver in an accident that occurred at the intersection of Liberty Street at Ellicott Street on Friday Night (April 2) at approximately 11:08 p.m.

The vehicle is described as a white Chevy or GMC model 1500 with a light bar on the front grill and a black toolbox in the truck bed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Freeman at (585) 345-6350.

UPDATED April 5: "Batavia Police would like to thank the community for their assistance locating the driver and subsequent victim of a hit and run accident that occurred this weekend. The victim's vehicle was confirmed to be a GMC Sierra."

March 31, 2021 - 2:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, elba, Pavilion.

Daniel William Knauss Jr., 51, of West Park Street, Pavilion, is charged with third-degree menacing. On March 29, Knauss turned himself into the Genesee County Jail. The charge stems from an incident at 7:10 p.m. on March 25 in which Knauss allegedly chased a person around a yard on West Park Street while conveying verbal threats, causing the person to fear physical injury from the defendant. Knauss was processed at the jail and released on an appearance ticket to be in Town of Pavilion Court on April 6. The case was handled by Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by jail Corporal Chaya and jail deputies Bartholomew and Strumpf.

Ian Robert Standinger, 24, of Brookview Road, Rochester, is charged with: false personation; speeding -- doing 76 mph in a 30-mph zone; unregistered motorcycle; uninspected motorcycle; operating a motor vehicle without insurance. At 3:57 p.m. on March 30 on Ford Road in Elba, Standinger was stopped for allegedly speeding. Upon interviewing him, he allegedly identified himself with a false name. He was also charged with operating an unregistered, uninspected motorcycle without insurance. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

March 29, 2021 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, news, notify.

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For 29 years in the Florida Keys, a Genesee County girl was known only as "Valentine Jane Doe."

She had been raped and murdered on Valentine's Day, 1991, her body found the next day by a group of windsurfers walking on a path near a beach. Investigators noted two things about her: she had no tan lines suggesting she was from the north and hadn't been in Florida long, and she had a small heart-shaped tattoo with the word "love" in it.

Over the summer, using DNA matching with relatives, she was at long last identified as Wanda Deann Kirkum, who was 18 at the time of her murder. Wanda was born in Hornell but had spent most of her life in Genesee County going to schools in Pavilion, Batavia and Oakfield.

For those 29 years, her remains were stored in a Florida Social Services vault but recently her ashes were returned to her closest living relative, first cousin Brenda Chartraw.

Chartraw said she and Wanda were close as children and now, after her cousin being known only as a Jane Doe for so many years, Chartraw wants to make sure her name is memorialized with a proper burial in a final resting place and headstone. Kirkum will be lain to rest at a cemetery in Oakfield.

The headstone is being donated by Oakley Monuments of Batavia but Chartraw is asking for the community's help with the rest of the fundraising. She has set up a gofundme.com page and is holding a basket raffle at the Caryville Inn in Oakfield this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets will be drawn at 4 p.m.

Wanda ran away from home when she was 18. Chartraw said Wanda was physically and sexually abused by her father and mother. Her parents, who are both now dead, apparently had no interest in finding her and did not file a missing person's report.

The family believed, Chartraw said, that Wanda wanted to start a new life and had believed that she had done so, without suspecting that she had been killed.

Chartraw said the case of the Valentine Jane Doe was kept top-of-mind within the Monroe County (Florida) Sheriff's Office by the dispatcher who first took the call of Kirkum's body being found by the windsurfers. The case was featured on national television shows but no leads were ever uncovered until this past year.

One of the detectives working the case uploaded Kirkum's DNA to a genealogy site -- using a technique pioneered in California in the Golden State Killer case -- to identify a fourth cousin of Wanda's. With that match, detectives found another family member and acquired a DNA sample to confirm the match.  

Using DNA, detectives also identified Kirkum's killer, Robert Lynn Bradley, who was 31 at the time of his murder in Texas the year after he killed Kirkum.  

NOTE: Family members say that Kirkum never gave birth to a child, as suggested in the video.

March 29, 2021 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, corfu, bergen, Oakfield, Alabama.

Nia Hanevin Spring, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with third-degree grand larceny. At 7 p.m. on March 23, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to 986 Bloomingdale Road in the Town of Alabama for complaints of trespassing and larceny at the Rez Smoke Shop and Gas Station. Spring allegedly stole $9,501 in merchandise from the business. She was arraigned in Alabama Town Court and released on her own recognizance. She is due in Genesee County Court on May 18. The case was handled by Deputy Zachary Hoy, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Emery Green, 32, no address or place of residence provided, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, 4th, a Class A misdemeanor. He was arrested and processed at Batavia Police Headquarters after an investigation into an allegation that he possessed a firearm on Batavia City School District property. He was arraigned virtually in Batavia City Court and is due to return there on April 13.

Joshua Williams Sr., 29, no address or place of residence provided, is charged with: criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; second-degree menacing; endangering the welfare of a child; and second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 4:26 p.m. March 17 after a domestic incident in which he allegedly attempted to hit a person with a brick. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $5,000 cash bail, $10,000 bond, or $15,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in city court on April 22.

Clarence Wesley Odell, 52, of Corfu (no address provided) is charged with: felony driving while impaired by drugs with a previous conviction within 10 years; felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree; refusal to take a breath test; operating an unregistered ATV; and unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway. At 11;38 p.m. on July 30, Odell was arrested after a traffic stop on South Pearl Street in the Village of Oakfield. He was arraigned on March 5 in Oakfield Town Court and is due back there on April 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein, assisted by Jacob Gauthier.

James F. Perry, 36, (no address provided), was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal contempt after a disturbance at 1:30 p.m. March 16 on State Street in Batavia. He was allegedly observed in the presence of a person with an order of protection from him. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail in lieu of bail (unspecified). He is due back in court April 15.

Peter Joseph Mancuso, 32, of Northwood Drive, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal contempt. On March 26 Mancuso was arrested for allegedly causing damage to a door and doorknob at a residence on Roberts Road in Alabama at 11 a.m. March 10 in violation of an active order of protection. He was arraigned in Alabama Town Court and released on his own recognizance. Judge Charles Zambito issued a full stay away order of protection to the Roberts Road resident. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Minuto, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Cynthia McKnight, 22, of Avenue D, Rochester, is charged with: aggravated driving while intoxicated per se -- with a BAC of .18 or more and no prior convictions; DWI -- first offense; and failure to stop at a stop sign. On March 27 at 6:41 p.m., Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to Route 33 in the Town of Bergen for a single-vehicle accident. After an investigation, McKnight was arrested on the charges. It is alleged she was driving while intoxicated and failed to stop at a stop sign, causing her vehicle to go off the roadway and into a field. She was released with appearance tickets and is due in Town of Bergen Court on April 7. The case was handled by Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Kyle Tower.

March 24, 2021 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia, Stafford.

Anthony J. Welch aka "Science," 40, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony. It is alleged that Welch sold a quantity of crack cocaine to an agent of the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force, comprised of officers from the GC Sheriff's Office and Batavia Police Department. Welch was taken into custody during a traffic stop on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Stafford (date and time not provided). He also had a bench warrant out of Genesee County Court for pending drug charges from last May. He was arraigned in county court, then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The task force was assisted by uniformed deputies, a NYS officer from the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the DA's office.

Stephen Richard Hart, 34, of Cedar Street, Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree -- with intent to sell; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree; speeding in excess of 55 mph. At 10:46 a.m. on March 21, Hart was arrested after a traffic stop on Route 33 in the Town of Bergen. It is alleged that he possessed one or more preparations of a narcotic drug with an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more, with intent to sell it. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due in Genesee County Court on May 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

March 22, 2021 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Stafford.
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     Charles Jackson

A man evading a traffic stop in Stafford on Sept. 9 may have been able to outrun a Motorola* that day but police believe they've caught up with him after arresting a suspect in a firearms incident Sunday morning in the City of Batavia.

Charles L. Jackson, 26, of Garson Street, Rochester, faces multiple criminal charges stemming from Sunday's incident as well as the Sept. 9 incident. 

Sunday's incident began at 2:28 a.m. at the Speedway gas station at the corner of Main and Oak streets with the report of a person "not acting normal." Batavia police officers arrived on the scene and found three people inside a vehicle. An officer reported spotted a firearm inside the vehicle and when the officer attempted to secure the weapon a struggle ensured. The officer discharged his service weapon. 

Nobody was hit by the bullet or bullets.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Jackson, was able to free himself and flee in the vehicle, leading police on a high-speed chase the ended when the vehicle crashed on Woodland Drive in the Town of Batavia. Jackson and two other occupants were then taken into custody without further incident.

The only injuries sustained as a result of the confrontation were to Jackson and the other occupants of the vehicle, who have not been identified by law enforcement.

Jackson was taken into custody by Sheriff's deputies and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd (he allegedly possessed large-capacity magazines). He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and ordered held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.  

The other occupants of the vehicle have not been charged.

Following his arrest, Jackson was identified as the suspect in the Sept. 9 chase, which started with a traffic stop in the Town of Stafford where a deputy allegedly observed marijuana in the vehicle. The driver in that case fled and allegedly hit speeds over 100 mph. The driver made it to Route 490 and fled toward Monroe County and exited at Brooks Avenue and with apparent damage to the vehicle slowed to 30 to 40 mph before stopping. The driver fled on foot and was able to evade capture.

In that incident, Jackson is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. On those charges, Jackson was arraigned in Town of Stafford Court and released on his own recognizance.  

Chief Shawn Heubusch, Batavia PD, said any charges related to the incident in the city are being incorporated in the Sheriff's investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

*Editor's note: *New York lexicologist / etymologist / linguist Barry Popik says "you can't outrun a Motorrola" is a version of the law enforcment saying "you can't outrun a police radio."

March 21, 2021 - 11:00am
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, notify, crime.

Press release:

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday, March 21, officers with the City of Batavia Police Department responded to the Speedway gas station, located at 204 W. Main St. The officers were called to check the welfare of individuals reported to possibly be under the influence of drugs and “not acting right.” Upon arrival officers located three individuals and a vehicle. 

The officers made contact with an individual and observed a handgun in plain view inside the vehicle and within reach of the occupant(s). The officer attempted to secure the handgun, at which time a struggle occurred between the officer and a male occupant. 

During the struggle, an officer discharged their duty-weapon at the suspect. Neither the suspect or the officers were struck during the incident. 

The suspect broke free from the struggle and proceeded to lead police on a pursuit through the City of Batavia and into the Town of Batavia. Additional City of Batavia police officers joined the pursuit, along with deputies from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

The suspect vehicle crashed on private property near Woodland Drive in the Town of Batavia. The male suspect and two other individuals were taken into custody at the scene of the crash without further incident. Officers recovered a gun at the scene of the crash. 

The male suspect was taken to RRH-UMMC for treatment of injuries sustained from the crash. No civilians or passersby were injured as a result of the incident.

The incident is being investigated by the City of Batavia Police Department. The discharge of the duty weapon and the incidents that took place outside of the City of Batavia are being investigated by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

As information becomes available the City of Batavia Police Department will release it.

March 19, 2021 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Tomaszewski, news, crime, batavia, notify.

The Sheriff's Office has recovered the remains of another person apparently turned over to Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral Home and Cremation Chapel for interment.

Chief Deputy Joseph Graff said no other information about the recovery will be released at this time. The case is under investigation and Graff said there will be a press release about the case if new charges are filed against Michael Tomaszewski.

Tomaszewski is already facing criminal charges for an alleged failure to properly bury the remains of a military veteran along with more than 200 criminal charges for allegedly misappropriating funds deposited with his business by families expecting to make prearrangments for funerals. The criminal complaint indicates the majority of customers lost from more than $2,000 up to $15,500 each.

There was also an allegation last year that Tomaszewski mishandled the remains of a baby but that case has never resulted in charges.

Graff said the discovery of the remains this week was the result of information provided to the Sheriff's Office by Tomaszewski's attorney. Tomaszewski is represented by Thomas Burns.

There is a plea offer pending for Tomaszewski and the defendant was expected to accept the plea at a hearing earlier this week but after an off-the-record conference with Judge Charles Zambito, the hearing was postponed until April 13.

This week, Tomaszewski's bankruptcy case was converted from a Chapter 11 (reorganization of debt) to a Chapter 7 (liquidation).

March 19, 2021 - 12:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, byron.

Charles Lewis Hull Jr., 63, of 9460 Warsaw Road, Le Roy, is charged with allowing his dogs to bark loudly habitually, in violation of Le Roy Town Code Section 63-11 sub 3, according to a report from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Deputies responded to his home at 12:13 p.m. March 13 for an animal complaint, which alleges he allows his dogs to bark habitually thereby disrupting other citizens in the neighborhood. He was issued an appearance ticket to be in Le Roy Town Court at 1 p.m. on April 6. The case was handled by Deputy Zachary Hoy, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Christine Michelle Jones, 33, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She was arrested and arraigned in Genesee County Court on March 16, then released on her own recognizance. She is accused of filing an application for SNAP benefits on May 1, 2018 that either contained false information or omitted information, and as a result she received $17,197 in benefits that she was not eligible for. The investigation was completed by Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigator Robert Riggi and she was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Deputy Chad Cummings.

Trina Leigh Grimmer, 49, of Townline Road, Byron, is charged with third-degree grand larceny and six counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She was arrested and arraigned in Genesee County Court on March 17, then released on her own recognizance. She is accused of filing applications for SNAP benefits that either contained false information or omitted information, and as a result she received $8,104 in benefits that she was not eligible for. The investigation was completed by Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigator Dakota Nicholson and she was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Dawn Marie Puleo, 54, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree grand larceny and four counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She was arrested and arraigned in Genesee County Court on March 16, then released on her own recognizance. She is accused of filing applications for SNAP benefits on Nov. 1, 2018 that either contained false information or omitted information, and as a result she received $4,555 in benefits that she was not eligible for. The investigation was completed by Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigator Robert Riggi and she was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Deputy Chad Cummings.

Erin Marie Rutoskey, 34, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and fifth-degree conspiracy. At 7:52 p.m. on March 3, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to Walmart in Batavia. After an investigation, Rutoskey was arrested for allegedly stealing property valued in excess of $1,000 and allegedly damaging property. She is due in Batavia Town Court on April 8. The case was handled by Deputy Kyle Krzemien, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Angeline Ella Lorreine Escudero, 28, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and fifth-degree conspiracy. At 7:52 p.m. on March 3, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to Walmart in Batavia. After an investigation, Escudero was arrested for allegedly stealing property valued in excess of $1,000 and allegedly damaging property. She is due in Batavia Town Court on April 8. The case was handled by Deputy Zachary Hoy, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

March 17, 2021 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Tomaszewski, crime, news, batavia, notify.

Rather than reorganizing his debt, Michael S. Tomaszewski, the local funeral director also facing more than 200 criminal charges, is now seeking to dismiss all of his debt.

Today U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Carl L. Bucki signed an order converting Tomaszewski's bankruptcy filing from Chapter 11, in which a judge helps debtors and creditors arrive at a repayment plan, to Chapter 7, which would allow Tomaszewski to liquidate most of his assets and have any debts not paid after liquidation discharged.

Tomaszewski, both personally, and his company Acme Holdings of New York filed for bankruptcy in Federal Court on Feb. 5. Combined, Tomaszewski lists $1,094,346 in assets against $3,242,390 in liabilities. 

That doesn't include any restitution he may be ordered to pay if convicted of the nearly 200 criminal charges he faces locally.

The 48-year-old funeral director and owner of Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral Home and Cremation Chapel is charged with 91 counts of failure to deposit monies paid in advance in connection with agreements for funeral merchandise or services. He also charged with 61 counts of third-degree grand larceny, 29 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, and three counts of petit larceny.

According to the Sheriff's Office arrest report from July 23, Tomaszewski received deposits from customers ranging from $350 to $15,500. His customers allegedly suffered a combined loss of more than $525,000.

The bankruptcy filing for Acme Holding remains Chapter 11, but there has been no activity on that case since February.

Yesterday, Tomaszewski was expected to formally accept a plea deal in his criminal case but for reasons unstated in court, the defendant declined to proceed and was granted a continuance of his case until April 13.

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