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Le Roy

June 15, 2020 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones.

Submitted photo and press release:

Canisius College President John J. Hurley appointed Le Roy resident Danielle D. Ianni, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management, effective May 15. Ianni reports directly to President Hurley and is a member of the college’s senior leadership team.

As vice president for enrollment management, Ianni leads undergraduate and graduate student recruitment, marketing and student financial aid. She is responsible for employing best practices so as to enroll diverse classes of first-year, transfer and graduate students, and enhancing student retention while maintaining the academic profile of the college.

Ianni comes to Canisius from the State University of New York at Buffalo where she served as director of enrollment operations since 2016. In this role, Ianni was responsible for enrollment operations at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She assisted with short- and long-term strategic planning and initiatives to meet enrollment goals, and developed and oversaw enrollment forecasting, predictive modeling and analysis of applicant and student data.

Ianni earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Hartwick College in Oneonta. She holds master and doctoral degrees in higher education administration, both from the University of Rochester’s Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education, where Ianni also worked as assistant director of admissions and head coach for the men’s and women’s swim team.

Ianni’s academic research has focused on the subjects of institutional financial aid, bridging the gap between traditional and nontraditional students, the hidden cost of school security and student perceptions of Facebook. She is an active member of several professional organizations including the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the American Educational Research Association and the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary during the 2019-20 academic year, marking 150 years of Jesuit education and leadership in the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Visit www.canisius.edu/150 for more information about Canisius’ milestones and celebratory events.

June 14, 2020 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, video, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

Yesterday evening, we visited Le Roy to check in on three restaurants that are now serving dine-in customers as part of the Phase Three reopening.

CORRECTION: I forgot to include the lower thirds in the video identifying the speakers. They are in order of appearance, Monique Mottler, a server and front-of-house supervisor at Farmer's Creekside Inn; Sean Valdes, co-owner, D&R Depot; Racheal Olear, general operations supervisor, Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew. My apologies to all.

June 14, 2020 - 2:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in history, mary powell, Le Roy, news, A. K. Drury Studio.

Mary Powell, circa 1870s, taken at A.K. Drury Studio, Le Roy, NY.

Reader Shelley Cardiel contacted us this afternoon and sent along this photo, saying:

"I’ve 'rescued' an old photograph of Mary POWELL, which was taken at the A. K. Drury Studio in LeRoy, NY.  The photograph appears to have been taken in the 1870’s with Mary appearing to be in her teens at the time it was taken.

"I’m hoping to locate someone from Mary’s family so that this photograph can be returned to the care of family. If you are a member of this family, or you know someone who might be, please contact me."

Email:   [email protected]

June 10, 2020 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Le Roy, Pavilion.

POTSDAM -- The State University of New York at Potsdam recently named 1,114 students to the President's List, in recognition of their academic excellence in the Spring 2020 semester. The SUNY Potsdam students were honored for earning top marks by President Kristin G. Esterberg.

The students included three from Genesee County:

  • Collin Lajoie, of Pavilion, whose major is Biology;
  • Megan Privatera, of Le Roy, whose major is Music Education;
  • Hannah Rosicka, of Le Roy, whose major is Politics.

To achieve the honor of being on the President's List, each student must have satisfactorily completed 12 numerically graded semester hours, with a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher.

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence.

The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit http://www.potsdam.edu

June 8, 2020 - 2:20pm

Le Roy graduate Kathleen Dessert received a John Mikalski Scholarship from the Genesee Wyoming Music Educators Association in 2018. She is currently studying Music Education at SUNY Fredonia. She is a vocal major, a soprano who also plays piano, flute, guitar and ukulele.

While at Le Roy, her favorite music experience was performing as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid." So far while at Fredonia her favorite musical experience was performing Verdi's "Requiem" under the direction of David Rudge, Ph.D.

Dessert is looking forward to singing with the Fredonia Choirs at a celebration for Stacey Gibbs' 100th composition in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2021.

Her favorite performance venue is when she performed with the 2017 NYSSMA Conference All State Treble Choir in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. One of her favorite pieces they performed that night was Holst's "Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda."

Her main role models have always been her teachers. The most influential being Patricia Corron, Ph.D, and Jacqueline McLean.

She would love to teach elementary general music while also keeping herself involved in choirs and musical theater.

She recently put together a Virtual Ensemble for the Fredonia chapter of the National Association for Music Education! It was a lot of fun, and she is hoping to do more in the future that will involve chapters from all around the state.

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June 8, 2020 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy village green, news, Le Roy.

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Rose (Lattuca) Sherman, a resident of Le Roy Village Green, turned 104 on Saturday and her birthday was celebrated by staff and with family sending her well-wishes through a window.

Lattuca grew up in Scottsville and lived most of her in Le Roy where she was popular as a babysitter and caretaker for many years. She worked for 20 years for the Genesee Country Museum. She was married to the late Jon C. Sherman Sr. Her four children: John (Pam) Sherman, Tom Sherman, Sandy (Tim) McCulley, Charles (Mindy) Sherman. He has 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great grandchildren.

She has never had a driver's license.

Photos and information submitted by Janice Sherman.

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June 3, 2020 - 7:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, news, notify, joshua blessed.
blessedmug2020.jpg
             Joshua Blessed

Story by Pete DeLea, of the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg, Va. Republished with permission.

A Virginia man shot and killed by New York police last week became radicalized over the years, had a deep hatred for government and police, and was likely planning a large-scale attack, according to several law enforcement sources.

Over the course of three days last week, police say, FBI agents found a stockpile of firearms and pipe bombs in Joshua Blessed’s car and at his home in Rockingham County.

Sources say police and federal agents were aware of the 58-year-old, also known as Sergei Jourev. The FBI and Virginia State Police sent out bulletins to local law enforcement about Blessed’s extreme views and potential danger to police.

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said deputies had minimal dealings with Blessed in the past, but nothing that was criminal. He said he’s thankful no one was injured in New York or locally.

“We found out a whole lot more about him. You’re talking about a true extremist,” Hutcheson said. “He was a dangerous individual. You’re talking about someone that was serious about committing violence … some kind of terrorism.”

Calls to the FBI were not returned.

The investigation into Blessed began shortly after 8:30 p.m. on May 27, when a Le Roy police officer attempted a traffic stop on Blessed’s tractor-trailer on Route 5 in the Village of Le Roy.

Blessed took off while an officer was on the truck’s side rails. A pursuit ensued and it eventually included multiple police agencies.

He continued into Livingston County. Blessed opened fire, shooting four police vehicles. Police say one vehicle alone received 10 shots.

Police returned fire, striking him multiple times. Blessed died at the scene.

Officers say Blessed worked for Harrisonburg-based trucking company Yurman Express and was headed to New York to pick up dairy products.

During a press conference on May 28, Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty said no police officers or civilians were injured.

“I would call it a miracle. I have no clue how nobody was hurt. He fired a lot of shots, and we fired a lot of shots,” he said, adding that one bullet entered a police car and struck the driver’s side headrest. “If he wasn’t ducking, it would have been right to his head.”

Following the shootout, Dougherty said, investigators began to focus on figuring out why Blessed did what he did.

Joined by the FBI, multiple law enforcement agencies turned their attention to Blessed's social media posts, which they say included troubling statements regarding his religious and anti-police views.

A YouTube video he posted showed snipers on roofs during a Second Amendment rally in Richmond on Jan. 20.

Under the video, Blessed posts: “The Civil War is coming to America and then Russian invasion on the east and Chinese on the west.”

The FBI then headed to the Shenandoah Valley, where they searched multiple properties.

They searched his former Augusta County home on Fadley Road in Weyers Cave, but nothing was found. Although he owns the property, police say, he didn’t live there.

Police say he rented a home in Keezletown.

During a search at that home, law enforcement said, they found more than a dozen explosive devices capable of being used in a large-scale attack.

The Virginia State Police blew up the devices at a remote farm in the county.

ADDITIONAL INFO: Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward told The Batavian the Le Roy patrol vehicle rammed and shot in the incident sustained $15,000 in damage.

Previously:

June 3, 2020 - 6:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, Le Roy, news.

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While Le Roy fire and Bergen fire were on the Thruway working an accident that required a Mercy Flight transport near the Route 237 overpass, a second accident was reported in the westbound lane.

The first accident involved a tractor-trailer in the eastbound lane.

It appears there are minor injuries in the second accident.

Top two photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service. Bottom photo submitted by a reader. Additional photos added below by Alecia Kaus.

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June 3, 2020 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, accidents.

A three-vehicle accident is reported, with unknown injuries, on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 380. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 2:29 p.m.: Le Roy requests mutual aid from Mercy medics and they are responding.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: One of the vehicles involved is a semi. A portion of the roadway is being shut down completely in order to clear away debris from the accident.

May 31, 2020 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, scanner.

A caller in Le Roy reports a deer ran into her basement and now appears to be injured. No address given. The deer is still in the basement. Le Roy police are responding.

May 30, 2020 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, le roy pd, news.

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Le Roy PD released these photos of one of the patrol vehicles involved in Wednesday night's chase of Joshua Blessed, the Virginia truck driver who tried to flee law enforcement following a traffic stop for speeding in the village.

Blessed rammed this patrol vehicle, along with other law enforcement vehicles, and fired several shots both during the pursuit and after coming to a stop near Geneseo. Police officers returned fire and Blessed died as an apparent result of bullet wounds.

Previously:

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May 30, 2020 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy.

The home of Joshua Blessed, the truck driver who fled from Le Roy Police on Wednesday and eventually died in a shootout near Geneseo, was raided by the FBI according to a Harrisonburg, Va., TV station news report.

Blessed owned a home in the community of Weyers Cave, near Harrisonburg.

A source with the FBI's field office in Richmond, Va., told WHSV that Blessed was the subject of a joint investigation by the FBI and Virginia State Police following the incident in New York. No information was released about what investigators were looking for in Blessed's home or what may have been found.

Blessed, who claimed to speak directly with God, posted anti-police videos on his YouTube channel and on his website claimed to be called by God to start a second civil war.

The News-Leader, a newspaper in Waynesboro, Va., reports that Blessed was accused in 2015 of assaulting a teen relative. He was convicted of assault. Following an appeal, he was ordered to undergo anger management treatment and perform 100 hours of community service. The case was dismissed in 2018.

He has two adult children. In 2005, he and his family moved from California to Virginia.

Previously:

May 30, 2020 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, Le Roy, news, bear sighting.

A bear has been spotted in the area of 7165 W. Main Road in Le Roy. The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center has received a couple of calls on this and Le Roy police were informed about it.

May 30, 2020 - 12:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Le Roy.

LEWISBURG, Pa.-- Bucknell University has released the dean's list for outstanding academic achievement during the spring semester of the 2019-20 academic year. A student must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a scale of 4.0 to receive dean's list recognition.

The following student from Genesee County has achieved dean's list status: Amy Lowe, Class of 2020, from Le Roy.

Bucknell University is a highly selective private liberal arts university that offers majors in the Arts, Engineering, Humanities, Management, and Social and Natural Sciences, along with broad opportunities outside of class, to its 3,600 undergraduates.

Graduate programs are available in select disciplines. Students benefit from a small student-faculty ratio of 9:1, personal attention from faculty, leadership opportunities, and excellent graduation rates and career outcomes.

May 29, 2020 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, Fine Arts Festival.

2020 Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School Fine Arts Festival, produced by Principal Tim McArdle.

May 28, 2020 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy.
Video Sponsor
blessedmug2020.jpg
             Joshua Blessed

A man from Harrisonburg, Va., whose social media posts indicate he thought he spoke directly to God and received visions of the devil, has been identified as the driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a high-speed pursuit through three counties last night before he engaged in a shoot-out with police near Geneseo.

Joshua Blessed, formerly Sergio Jourev, 58, was killed in the incident. He had also posted a video to his YouTube account with the headline "Brave Patriot defending US Constitution and 2A vs. Domestic terrorist gang member 'blue devils.' "

The video is taken from the dashcam of a police patrol vehicle and shows what appears to be a traffic stop where the driver opened fire on the police officer and engaged in a protracted gun battle before fleeing in his sedan.  

The description of the video asks viewers to join Blessed's "militia" and links to a website where he claims that in February 2018 he received a new message from heaven calling on him to recruit an army to fight a new civil war.

Livingstone County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty said Blessed fired numerous rounds at officers and struck four patrol vehicles, two from Livingston County, one from Genesee County, and one from Le Roy PD.

The bullet that hit the Genesee County Sheriff's patrol car entered through the windshield, struck the headrest and became lodged in the plexiglass divider between the back and front seats.

"I believe if he wasn't ducking, then it would have been right to his head," Dougherty said.

Blessed was employed by a trucking company, Yurman Express, in Harrisonburg and was driving to Batavia to pick up dairy products when at 8:37 p.m. a Le Roy police officer attempted to stop his tractor-trailer for speeding through the village.

When he was uncooperative with the first officer, the officer called for backup. When the second officer arrived, both officers approached the cab of the truck, each getting onto the running boards on both the driver's and passenger's side of the vehicle.

Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward said the officer on the passenger side observed a handgun in the vehicle.  

One of the officers stepped down from the truck and at that point, Blessed began to drive off. The other officer was able to safely jump from the moving vehicle.

As he fled, Blessed rammed his truck into a Sheriff's patrol vehicle that had responded as backup for the Le Roy officers. He headed westbound on Route 5 toward Batavia. Batavia PD was alerted and officers responded to the city line but before Blessed reached Batavia, at some point after passing through Stafford at a high rate of speed, he managed to turn his truck around.

Sheriff Bill Sheron said he hadn't yet spoken with the officers involved, so it wasn't clear to him how the trucker managed to execute a U-turn on Route 5.

"I think they were quite amazed, too, that he was able to maneuver the vehicle the way he did," Sheron said.

Now eastbound, when Blessed returned to the Village of Le Roy, he proceeded south on Route 19 toward Pavilion. Sheriff's deputies attempted to stop the truck at the county line with spike strips. Blessed continued south through Wyoming County to Route 63 in Livingston County near Geneseo.  Livingston County deputies also tried to deploy spike strips to no avail.

In Livingston County, Blessed started taking shots at police officers.

At one point, Sheriff Dougherty pulled up along the passenger side of the cab of the truck and Blessed fired rounds in his direction. Neither the patrol vehicle nor Dougherty was struck. 

"This isn't a common type of situation where you not only have a heavy, heavy vehicle that is near impossible to stop but also the person then taking shots at cops," Dougherty said. "So it was a stressful, intense incident."

Once the vehicle was stopped, the gun battle continued. Sheron said at least one of his deputies fired shots at Blessed.

The official cause of death for Blessed has not been determined but Dougherty said he sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

On his website, Blessed wrote in February 2018:

This is Joshua Blessed the man of Yahweh, for the spirit of אליהו /EliYahu ( My El is Yahweh), is upon me!

As of February 12. 2018, I received from heaven a new task; “go, begin recruiting for a heavenly hosts/army,..”

My brother, the king of heaven Yahweh of hosts said to me,  “…the civil war is coming and many shall die and descended to hell for the fruits of their life,…”

Here is my confession; As for me, for many years I was blind /slave of “the Beast”,… but now my spirit is revived by my Redeemer Yahweh of hosts, and His holy spirit is upon me and causes me > love Yahweh unto death, for He took away the fear of death of me,…It is why now I seek to die as His warrior for His great name > the king of heaven Yahweh of hosts!

The Batavian's news partner 13WHAM is reporting that Blessed had been banned from a militia site for reportedly being "self-destructive."

He posted multiple videos equating law enforcement with the devil and domestic terrorists. He also posted videos, speaking in what may be a Russian accent, describing dreams and visions he had.  

His Facebook page indicates he was banned by the network for violating community standards in April, a ban that was extended to June 16. His offending posts were described as bullying.

Dougherty said investigators are looking into Blessed's social media posts in an attempt to work up a full profile of the man.

"(Among the) things that we're looking at: How extreme is he?" Dougherty said. "What other encounters has he had with police? What led to this yesterday? Again, there are so many unknowns that we can't interview him on. So these are things that we have to put together. And this is what police agencies do. We put together a timeline and try and get the best answers possible to conclude our investigation."

Dougherty praised the professional response of members of law enforcement from the multiple agencies who participated in the incident.

"Members from various agencies put their life on the line trying to warn traffic ahead, blocked the roadways, get everybody removed all the while knowing that he's popping shots," Dougherty said. "I can only tell you that it is simply unbelievable that nobody was injured."'

UPDATE 6:50 p.m.: An editor with the Harrisonburg Daily-News Record contacted the Sheriff there about Blessed and says the Sheriff told him his office never had any encounters with Blessed, at least nothing serious. Our news partner 13WHAM reports Blessed had a wife and two children.  

Also from 13WHAM: Drivers recall fearing for their lives as they got caught in middle of dangerous pursuit

Previously: After high-speed chase that ended with shoot out, Le Roy chief kept thinking of the 'what ifs'

Video provided by our news partner 13WHAM.

May 28, 2020 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Bethany.

Dillen Andrew Merrell, 24, of Bernd Road, Le Roy, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested on May 26 following the complaint of an assault that allegedly occurred at 11:36 p.m. on May 22 on Ellicott Street Road in Bethany. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court May 26 and released on his own recognizance. He is due to return to county court at 3 p.m. on Aug. 11. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Officer Jordan Alejandro.

Destiny M. Green, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. Green was arrested at 12:45 p.m. on May 23 after allegedly subjecting a person in her household to unwanted physical contact by striking them with a shoe and then kicking them repeatedly. Green was issued an appearance ticket, then released after her arrest. She is due in Batavia City Court on July 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Daniel R. Yates, 50, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. He was arrested at 5:23 p.m. on Pearl Street after his two dogs allegedly escaped from his home and subsequently a person was bitten by one of the dogs. He was issued an appearance ticket after his arrest and is due in Batavia City Court on July 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens.

James W. Shute, 37, of Humphrey Street, Warsaw, is charged with disobeying a court order. On May 22, Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Shute for second-degree criminal contempt after he allegedly violated an order of protection on May 16 on Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on July 28.

Corey Allen Brown, 34, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Brown was arrested after an investigation into a bicycle that was stolen on April 22 at 5:53 p.m. on Highland Park. Brown was arrested, issued an appearance ticket, and is due in Batavia City Court on July 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Alicia M. Lyons, 40, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lyons was arrested at 5:17 on May 21 at the Kwik Fill on the corner of Jackson and Ellicott streets in Batavia after officers were called for a reported larceny. After a brief interview, Lyons allegedly produced the stolen property and turned it over to the officers. Lyons was arrested, issued an appearance ticket for June 16 in Batavia City Court, then released from custody. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

May 28, 2020 - 3:33pm

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapter announced the names of 33 career and technical student inductees this month. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this induction ceremony event was canceled.

These students met the rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

2020 Batavia Career and Technical Education Center NTHS Inductees

Animal Science

  • Kasey Smith, Alexander

Building Trades

  • Quinten Betances, Batavia
  • Garrett Totten, Pembroke
  • Timothy Walsh, Batavia
  • Justin Wight, Oakfield-Alabama

Criminal Justice

  • Adriana Cauthen, Pembroke
  • Will Minkel, Attica
  • Scout Seelau, Pembroke
  • Jordan Waterbury, Akron

Cosmetology

  • Delaney Ingles, Le Roy
  • Madison Masters, Le Roy
  • Rylie Merle, Alexander
  • Lilia Toland, Attica

Culinary Arts

  • Isaiah Merrell, Batavia Academy

Diesel Mechanics

  • Joshua Conrad, Attica
  • Dillon Weber, Alexander

Electro Mechanical Trades

  • Matthew Bills, Batavia
  • Devin Dean, Alexander
  • Adam Dulski, Pembroke
  • Troy Helsdon, Batavia
  • Henry Schafer, Notre Dame
  • Zachary Strzelec, Attica

Graphic Arts

  • Blake Paserk, Batavia

Health Dimensions

  • Keri Biggins, Le Roy
  • Krysta Hansen, Alexander
  • Skye Magoffin, Pembroke

Metal Trades

  • Jesse Bray, Batavia
  • Daniel Gerstiz, Attica
  • Nicole Hume, Alexander
  • Chase Pangrazio, Batavia

Programming and Interactive Media

  • Riley Atwood, Batavia
  • Dominic D’Agostino, Oakfield-Alabama
  • Quintin Konieczny, Batavia
May 28, 2020 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Army Spc. Ryan Blackmon, assigned to the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, discusses his job at the Javits Center in New York City in support of the Department of Defense COVID-19
response, May 18. He is a native of Le Roy. (Army video by Spc. Genesis Miranda.)

May 28, 2020 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, notify, news.

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No traffic stop is routine. Cadets are taught that truism at every law enforcement academy in the nation. Field trainers drum it into their heads when rookies first hit the road.

A "routine" traffic stop of a white tractor-trailer on Main Street in Le Roy last night turned out to be a stark reminder for his officers that they always need to be prepared for the unexpected, Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward said this morning.

Hayward got to bed late last night, slept fitfully and said what kept running through his head were all the "what if" scenarios. He considered how things could have turned out much worse after a trucker decided to lead local law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit through three counties. The trucker was killed in an apparent shoot-out at a location near Geneseo in Livingston County.

No bystanders nor officers were injured or killed. That's a relief, Hayward said.

"It's one of those things that you try to convey to your officers, especially your young officers, that there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop," Hayward said. "I think this incident conveyed that effectively. I'm thankful nobody was hurt last night.

"I kept thinking of all the 'what ifs,' " he added. "What if he decided to open fire on our officers on West Main Street rather than in Livingston County? You think of all of those scenarios and you're thankful for all of the young folks involved. I thought of all those officers in this situation and they did a tremendous job, as did the dispatchers in both counties, keeping the information flow going in both counties. The dispatchers did a tremendous job."

The chase started when a Le Roy officer initiated a traffic stop of the truck for speeding on West Main Street. The driver stopped and the officer approached the driver's side, climbed up on the running board to talk to the driver. The driver refused to provide documentation or identification. At that point, the officer backed off and requested backup.

When a second officer arrived, they both approached the driver again. They spoke to the driver, each positioned on opposite sides of the cab. At one point, one officer stepped off. Then the driver rolled up his window and started to drive away. The other officer was able to jump off the running board of the moving truck and was not hurt.

A deputy was arriving on scene at that point and the trucker rammed the patrol vehicle.

The three patrol vehicles then gave chase westbound on Route 5.

A witness in Stafford told The Batavian the pursuit passed her house at a high rate of speed. A short time later, she called back to say the truck and seven patrol vehicles were then eastbound.

"It's wild, like something out of a movie," she said.

That was a description others shared, Hayward said this morning.

There was nothing suspicious about the driver or the vehicle that popped up when officers ran -- as is routine on traffic stops --  the truck's plates, the chief said. He didn't have information at hand on where the truck was registered. 

"We had nothing to explain at that time why the operator was doing what he was doing," Hayward said. 

Officers were positioned at locations on Route 5 to set up possible spike strips, and at one point the trucker rammed a Le Roy patrol vehicle participating in that operation. The vehicle sustained significant damage but the officer was not hurt.

Sheriff Bill Sheron said he hadn't yet spoken with the officers involved this morning, so it wasn't clear to him how the trucker managed to execute a U-turn on Route 5.

"I think they were quite amazed, too, that he was able to maneuver the vehicle the way he did," Sheron said.

The trucker led officers back into the Village of Le Roy where he made a right-hand turn on Route 19, going southbound into Wyoming County, where Wyoming deputies joined the pursuit. The trucker continued to Route 63 into Livingston County.

He then reportedly stopped and began shooting at law enforcement officers.

Genesee County deputies were involved in exchanging gunfire with the driver, Sheron said.

One bullet from the driver went through a window of deputy's patrol vehicle, Sheron said, narrowly missing the head of the officer. Sheron declined to name the officer involved at this time.

"God must have been watching over us last night because it could have ended up much worse than it did," Sheron said. "That one vehicle took a round through the windshield and you can't get much closer. Thank God for every day."

Top Photo: The truck involved from this morning. All photos courtesy our news partner 13WHAM.

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