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February 17, 2011 - 12:02pm

Stafford man taken into custody after tussel with security guard at DSS

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 26-year-old Stafford man apparently had a bad day at the Department of Social Services office and when a security guard told him it was time to leave, he didn't immediately comply.

"The situation became verbal and then it became physical," said Trooper Mark Catanzaro.

The initial 9-1-1 call for assistance came into the Emergency Dispatch Center at 11:14 a.m.

Taken into custody and facing a possible harassment, 2nd, charge is Steven Joseph, who listed an address in Mancuso Heights, off Seven Springs Road, Stafford.

The security guard was checked by Mercy EMS as a precaution, but was not injured, though his jacket was torn.

Joseph did not appear injured either. 

Catanzaro said Joseph was at DSS seeking services, but "it wasn't going well." He became agitated and the security guard suggested he leave and come back another day.

During the confrontation, the guard wrestled Joseph to the ground and held him there until law enforcement arrived.

Catanzaro was first on scene. A city police officer and Sheriff's deputy arrived on scene seconds later.

UPDATE: A reader sent an e-mail saying that Mancuso Heights is actually in the Town of Batavia.

Sharilyn Fotiathis
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Maybe it's time to have a Sheriff's deputy work there full time?
Jason Brunner
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I think with all of the legal issues that are dealt with and sometimes have to be confronted there it might not be a bad idea Sharilyn.
Thomas Mooney
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I have a better idea , get some better workers with some manners. I went there once last year to re-place S.S. card that was wrong and I was treated like I was some illegal immigrant . Not to mention the lady at the window was on her cell phone on a personal call. I went there in a good mood and left very pissed off and frustrated . I waited 20 min. to waited on and I was the only one there . I had to wait for the lady to get off the phone .
Peter O'Brien
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Seems to me the security guard did fine, why do we need a sheriff after one incident?
Jason Brunner
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Not sure this is the first Peter. I really have no facts on this, but I would guess that there have been more. And do we really want to wait until something terrible happens before we take safety measures?? It has always been my stance that we should be proactive instead of reactive. But that's just me. I agree also about the workers, however, have you stopped to think of what they must have to deal with on a daily basis? How would your demeanor be after 40 hours a week in their job? On the other hand it takes just as much energy to smile as it does to snarl and be nasty.
Peter O'Brien
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I don't see how the security guard should lose his job to be replaced by a higher paid government employee when the guard did just fine.
C. M. Barons
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I've never been to the Batavia office. The Monroe County version had their staff behind bullet-proof glass. I didn't ask who was being protected; ...staff or customer?
John Roach
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I know one of the security people there. He has told me that while once in a while some people get upset and a bit nasty, once he goes over and talks with them, they almost always calm down and there is no trouble. They don't want any trouble or problems. But every now and then, you get somebody who just is not going to cooperate. It's rare enough that most people didn't even know there was security there.
Thomas Mooney
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It not like you can just walk into the office , when you walk in, you are in a lobby with locked doors and windows . It is pretty secure with out anyone being there . You still have to call the police any ways to have a guy removed , so why have anyone at all there is just wasting tax money . The county building is the same way and they deal with the same thing but no security at all . Locked doors and a lobby that you wait in till someone comes and gets you . The S. S. office deals with less disgruntled people than the County does .
Gabor Deutsch
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The County Mental Health Services are in the same building and one door away from the DSS waiting room. Too bad that they can't foresee the usefulness of that set up !
Carol Magoffin
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Some of you are confusing me. This was at the Department of Social Services. Not the Social Security office. And The guard that was working today was the younger of the two guards. He does a wonderful job!
Gabor Deutsch
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The Social Security Building is Federal, so It has bullet proof glass reception with intercom and one door in from waiting room. At least one full time armed guard and metal detection. If carrying any bag or purse you will be searched.
Howard B. Owens
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I asked specifically if this sort of thing happens much and the trooper, the guard and the deputy all chimed in that it is very, very rare.
Howard B. Owens
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Of course, it being rare is a big part of both why I and Matt Surtel of the Daily showed up. That and it's been an incredibly slow news cycle the past 48 hours or so.
shelly mathers
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I have been to the Genesee County DSS and the security guards that I have seen working are pretty old and can barely walk fast. With it being a place that needs a security guard I think they should hire people who are more physically capable to handle any situation that arises.
Jane Johnson
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I like to think an incredibly slow news cycle could actually be a good thing. Things in and around Batavia are going along as they should! But when news is happening it's nice to have The Batavia and The Daily News there informing us. Thanks for all the good work!
Howard B. Owens
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John, thanks for the nice comment, but we require real names -- even for nice comments -- on The Batavian. Can you please update your profile accordingly.
Michele Case
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I'm with Peter, for once we agree on something! No need to replace the guard they have with "a higher paid government employee when the guard did just fine." Ridiculous that someone should let their frustration get to the point of physical violence, regardless of the other person's actions.
joseph bradt
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It sounds to me Erika that the security guard did just fine handling the situation...?
william tapp
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i agree with Thomas , there sarcastic and hate there job.
maryann valone
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This unfortunate incident would happen in a place like DSS in Batavia where the caseworkers are so overloaded and the govnt has to pinch every penny they can thus making it so difficult and frustrating to anyone attempting to do business there. They can drive ya crazy-but--not all the workers are rude i am sure. The person that was arrested is a son of Batavia---both mom and dad's familys have been here for generations--founding fathers of our fair city. He went to school here and lived here most of his life. He graduated with honors from Geneseo a couple of years back and has been struggling in this crappy economy- as we all are -ups and downs --we all have them--but this kid will never be homeless--he has lots of family and friends in Batavia and is a wonderful person--having problems---from a wonderful family--i wish them all the best and pray that Steve will be treated well by everyone he has occasion to meet.
maryann valone
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This unfortunate incident would happen in a place like DSS in Batavia where the caseworkers are so overloaded and the govnt has to pinch every penny they can thus making it so difficult and frustrating to anyone attempting to do business there. they can drive ya crazy---not all the workers are rude i am sure. The person that was arrested is a son of Batavia---both mom and dad's familys have been here for generations--founding fathers of our fair city. He went to school here and lived here most of his life. He graduated with honors from Geneseo a couple of years back and has been struggling in this crappy economy- as we all are -ups and downs --we all have them--but this kid will never be homeless--he has lots of family and friends in Batavia and is a wonderful person--having problems---from a wonderful family--i wish them all the best and pray that Steve will be treated well by everyone he has occasion to meet.

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