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December 6, 2019 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, New, notify, batavia, bergen, Amber Alert.

Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, 23, of Batavia, pled guilty today in Genesee County Court to one count of second-degree rape. Other charges against him were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

He admitted to being a person over the age of 18 and having sexual intercourse with a person under age 15 in the Town of Batavia sometime between Nov. 15th and the 26th in 2018.

The maximum possible sentence the Puerto Rico native could receive is six years in prison, with 10 years of parole afterward.

Torres-Acevedo will be sentenced on Feb. 18 in Genesee County Court, after he is first sentenced in Federal Court in Buffalo on Feb. 13.

On Wednesday, Torres-Acevedo pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. to enticing a minor, a 14-year-old Bergen girl, to travel across state lines to engage in criminal sexual activity. 

There is no promise of concurrency in county court with the federal sentence, which ranges from six and a half to up to 20 years in prison. The federal penalty could also include a fine of up to $250,000.

The defendant was arrested on Nov. 26, 2018 in Genesee County and charged locally with: four counts of second-degree rape, a Class D violent felony; four counts of criminal sexual act in the second degree, also a Class D violent felony; second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent felony; and second-degree criminal contempt.

Following his arrest, the defendant persuaded the victim to travel with him out of state to continue their relationship. On Nov. 29, 2018, Torres-Acevedo picked up the girl from school in Genesee County and drove her to Pennsylvania, where they had sexual intercourse. Under Pennsylvania law, that constituted the crime of statutory sexual assault.

December 6, 2019 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Pavilion, notify.

A 22-year-old North Chili man who was found sleeping in a car in Pavilion in May, along with a woman and a with a cache of apparently stolen items, is being released from jail under terms of the state's new bail reform law while awaiting sentencing after his guilty plea in Genesee County Court on Thursday.

Daniel Lewis entered a guilty plea to criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree as a second felony offender and faces a minimum prison sentence of one and a half to 3 years and a maximum sentence of two to four years.

He admitted to possession of a stolen debit card.

After his guilty plea, his assigned attorney, Fred Rarick, asked Judge Charles Zambito to consider releasing Lewis under supervision of Genesee Justice since he will become eligible for such a release Jan. 1 under terms of New York's new bail reform law. 

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman made sure Zambito was aware that Lewis has a prior probation violation and a prior parole revocation. 

After confirming that Lewis has a place to live if released -- his father's house -- and instructing Lewis to submit to a substance abuse evaluation and abide by any recommendations for treatment, Zambito agreed to release him under supervision.

Lewis is eligible for parole supervision at sentencing and Zambito told Lewis his ability -- or inability -- to follow instructions regarding evaluation and treatment will be a factor in his decision at sentencing.

Lewis was arrested May 27 when Deputy Ryan Young was dispatched to Peoria Road in Pavilion for a report of a disabled or abandoned vehicle. Young found Lewis and Stormy Watts, 21, of Stafford, sleeping in the back seat. They told Young they were waiting for a time to call somebody to come and bring them gas.

Upon further investigation, Young found numerous items that appeared to have been stolen from vehicles inside the car with Lewis and Watts.

Both were arrested.

According to Friedman, Watts took a plea on Tuesday (Dec. 3) to criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree. She will be sentenced at a later date.

Young also reportedly found a firearm in the vehicle and Lewis was charged with criminal possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. That charge was subsequently dropped in connection with the plea agreement, Friedman confirmed for Zambito yesterday.

December 6, 2019 - 8:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.
rileymayermug2019.jpg
          Riley Mayer

A 21-year-old Batavia resident entered a guilty plea in Genesee County Court on Thursday to a single count of assault in the second degree for his part in an attack on a victim on Highland Parkway in October.

Riley B. Mayer, of South Main Street, was initially charged with gang assault since two other people were also suspected of participating in the assault. One other person has been charged and charges are pending against a third suspect, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said.

The plea came with no conditions on a possible sentence, and under statute Mayer faces up to seven years in prison.

The victim in the attack allegedly suffered serious injuries in the Oct. 4 attack.

Mayer will be sentenced at a later date.

December 5, 2019 - 5:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, crime, news, notify.

File photo and press release:

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced Wednesday (Dec. 4) that Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, 23, of Batavia, pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. to enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that on Nov. 25, 2018, the defendant, then a 22-year-old man, had sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl. Torres-Acevedo was arrested the following day for, among other charges, rape in violation of New York Penal Law.

Following his arrest, the defendant persuaded the victim to travel with him out of state to continue their relationship. On Nov. 29, 2018, Torres-Acevedo picked up the girl from school in Genesee County and drove her to Pennsylvania, where they had sexual intercourse. Under Pennsylvania law, that constituted the crime of statutory sexual assault.

The plea is the result of an investigation by: the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton; the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 13 before Judge Geraci.

 Editor's Note: Torres-Acevedo also faces charges in Genesee County Court and a plea deal is expected in the case, which is on the court calendar for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow (Dec. 6). Torres-Acevedo is charged locally with: four counts of second-degree rape, a Class D violent felony; four counts of criminal sexual act in the second degree, also a Class D violent felony; second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent felony; and second-degree criminal contempt.

December 5, 2019 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, news, notify.

Robert D. Griffin, 41, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with: two counts of first-degree criminal contempt; second-degree burglary; and endangering the welfare of a child less that 17 years old. Griffin was arrested and arraigned Tuesday morning (Dec. 3) after an arrest warrant was issued for him by Batavia City Court. It stems from a domestic incident reported at 7:54 p.m. on Nov. 11 on Manhattan Avenue in Batavia. He was jailed without bail and was due back in court this afternoon (Dec. 5). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Shane H. Zimblis, 48, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment. At 11:43 p.m. on Dec. 2, Batavia police responded to a South Swan Street residence for a possible physical domestic incident. Zimblis was arrested on the charges after allegedly violating an order of protection during a physical altercation. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. He was due back in court this afternoon (Dec. 5). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Christopher P. Thomas, 35, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant on Tuesday (Dec. 3) after failing to appear in Batavia City Court on Nov. 22 for an unspecified matter. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court at 1:40 p.m. and released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider.

December 3, 2019 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, news, notify, corfu, bergen, Le Roy.

Jerrol Paul Newell, 50, of East Main Street, Corfu, (photo above) is charged with: three counts of second-degree strangulation (Class D felonies); unlawful imprisonment in the first degree (Class E felony); and two Class A misdemeanors -- second-degree menacing -- displaying a weapon or dangerous instrument, and third-degree assault. At 7:50 a.m. on Nov. 29, Newell was arrested after the Genesee County Sheriff's Office investigated a domestic incident that occurred on East Main Street in the Village of Corfu. He was arraigned in Pembroke Town Court and put in Genesee County Jail with bail set at $50,000 cash. The case is still under investigation and additional charges are pending. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong. The Sheriff's Office was assisted by members of the Corfu Police Department, the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police.

Mark T. Helm, 38, of State Street, Batavia, (inset photo left) is charged with second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Helm was arrested at 9:41 p.m. on Nov. 24 on State Street after allegedly striking a person, causing serious physical injury, all while in front of four children. Helm was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. He was due back in city court on Nov. 26. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

Kiha S. McNear, 22, of Lake Street, Le Roy, (inset photo right) is charged with: criminal mischief -- intentionally damaging property; second-degree criminal contempt; aggravated criminal contempt -- previous conviction; and second-degree burglary -- illegally entering a dwelling. McNear was arrested at 9:35 p.m. on Nov. 25 at a resident on Walnut Street in the City of Batavia. He allegedly entered the residence of a person who has an order of protection against him and damaged some of the person's property. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court on Nov. 26 and is due back in court on Dec. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

Above photo taken after the arrest of Colby J. Swain, courtesy of NYS Police -Troop A, Batavia.

Colby J. Swain, 34, of Amherst, was arrested Nov. 30 by New York State Police and charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree ("loaded firearm other than a person’s home"), a Class C felony, and criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree, a Class E felony. Swain was stopped at 1:45 p.m. on I-90 in the Town of Batavia for a vehicle and traffic violation. During the interview, troopers determined there was "probable cause to search the vehicle." A duffle bag which was locked with a combination lock was located inside the vehicle. Swain allegedly refused to cooperate with the investigation, which result in the troopers obtaining a search warrant for the bag. "Inside the bag that Swain claimed ownership of, was over 11 ounces of marijuana and a loaded Smith and Wesson M&P .45-caliber pistol with an 8-round magazine" (in photo above). Swain did not possess a pistol permit. Swain was arraigned before the Town of Batavia Court and released under the supervision of Genesee County Probation. No return court date is available at this time.

Justin P. Mcgirr, 37, of Ross Street, Batavia, and Jeremiah T. Jones, age and address not provided, are charged with disorderly conduct by way of fighting/violent behavior. They were arrested on Ross Street after they were allegedly observed in a physical fight by police at 1:07 p.m. on Nov. 23. They were issued appearance tickets and were due in Batavia City Court at 1 p.m. today (Dec. 3). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Jonathan Brice White, 27, of Buffalo Street, Bergen, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. White was arrested at 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 13 after he allegedly repeatedly violated a full stay away order of protection by contacting the protected party. After his arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed on $1,000 bail, cash or bond. He was due back in city court Nov. 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Raylynne M. Santiago, 20, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment and obstruction of governmental administration. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Santiago following a domestic incident reported at 12:50 a.m. on Nov. 24 in the vicinity of Jackson and Maple streets in the city. She was due in Batavia City Court at 1:30 p.m. today (Dec. 3). Post was assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Daniel S. Kuczka, 75, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with trespassing. He was arrested after a trespass complaint was made at 11:35 a.m. on Nov. 20 at the Richmond Memorial Library on Ross Street in the city. He was due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 3) to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Ross D. Rahn, 24, of Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with: stopping on a highway; moving from lane unsafely; and driving while ability impaired. At 1:28 a.m. on Dec. 2, Batavia police responded to a call of a vehicle parked crossways across the roadway on West Main Street near Vernon Avenue in the city. Rahn was subesquently arrested, issued appearance tickets, and is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Zachary J. Marrow, 28, of Manhattan Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated -- a BAC of .18 percent of more, and DWI -- first offense. Marrow was arrested at 12:31 a.m. on Nov. 16 on East Main Street in Batavia. He is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Gregory F. Frieday, 34, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. On Nov. 17, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to a complaint of criminal mischief for a broken exterior window at Batavia Downs. Following an investigation, it is alleged that Frieday broke an exterior window on the south side of the building. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Dec. 19. The case was handled by Deputy Brock Cummins, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

Melynda M. Gayhart, 31, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 25 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. This stems from a larceny incident which occurred on Feb. 17 on East Main Street in Batavia. After her arraignment in city court, she was released and is due back in court on Dec. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis.

December 2, 2019 - 6:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, bergen, Oakfield, Alabama, Le Roy.

Donald J. Frisby is indicted for the crime of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on July 14 on Clay Street in the Town of Le Roy that Frisby subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.

Morgan L. Cox Jr. is indicted for the crime of menacing a police officer, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 28 in the City of Batavia that Cox intentionally place or attempted to place a police officer in reasonable fear of physical injury or serious physical injury or death by displaying a knife while the officer was performing his duties. In count two, Cox is accused of first-degree menacing, a Class E felony, for allegedly intentionally placing another person in fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a knife. In count three, Cox is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony, for allegedly intentionally using a dangerous instrument -- a knife -- against another person. In count four, Cox is accused of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that Cox intentionally obstructed, impaired or prevented a public servant from performing his duties, or tried to do so, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference or an unlawful act. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Cox is accused of having been convicted of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, in the City of Batavia (date not provided) and that conviction forms the basis of counts two and three in the current indictment.

Steven M. Lindner is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on June 18 in the City of Batavia that Lindner knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, he is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony. It is alleged in count two that the defendant possessed a narcotic drug -- fentanyl -- with intent to sell it. In count three, Lindner is accsued of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a Class D felony, for allegedly possessing cocaine in an amount weighing 500 milligrams or more. In counts four and five, respectively, the defendant is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing controlled substances unlawfully -- fentanyl and alprazolam. In count six, he is accused of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree, a violation.

Carey Culverhouse is indicted for the crime of first-degree assault, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 2, 2017 in the City of Batavia that Culverhouse intentionally seriously injured another person by means of a dangerous instrument -- a knife.

Dalton C. Kelly is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 18 on Chase Park in the City of Batavia that Kelly intentionally caused physical injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument (not specified). In count two, Kelly is accused of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death, or attempting to do so, by displaying a dangerous instrument (unspecified).

Kevin J. Weber is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 19 on Judge Road in Alabama that Weber intentionally caused serious physical injury to another person. In count two, he is accused of third-degree menacing, a Class B misdemeanor, for allegedly placing, or attempting to place, a person in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury or physical injury by means by physical menace.

Shonje K. Jefferson is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on June 27 in the City of Batavia that Jeffereson knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, Jefferson is accused of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree, a violation.

Darius L. Jones and Trevon L. Armstrong are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C armed violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 2 in the City of Batavia that they possessed a loaded firearm, an Amadeo Rossi .38-caliber revolver. In count two Jones and Armstrong are accused of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on Oct. 2 they intentionally disobeyed or resisted the lawful process or mandate of a court. In count three, they are accused of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly knowingly acting in manner likely to be injuious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old. In count four, they are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing acetaminophen / oxycodone hydrochloride. In count five, they are accused of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. In count six, Jones is accused of exposure of a person, a violation, for allegedly appearing in a public place in a manner that exposed his body's private parts.

Louis C. Restivo is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on July 13 in the Town of Bergen that Restivo intentionally caused physical injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument (unspecified).

Jon N. Roblee is indicted for the crime of menacing in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 29 in the City of Batavia that Roblee intentionally placed another person in fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a metal pipe. In count two, Roblee is accused of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that he intentionally obstructed, impaired or prevented a public servant from performing his duties, or tried to do so, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference or an unlawful act. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Roblee is accused of having been convicted of the crime of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, on Nov. 7, 2011 and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Ernest D. Lane is indicted for the crime of aggravated family offense, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 8 at an apartment on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia that Lane that intentionally disobeyed or resisted the lawful process or mandate of a court -- a valid stay away order of protection issued March 28 in Batavia City Court. He did so by allegedly being at the home of the protected party. In count two, Lane is accused of criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly being at the home of the protected party that day. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Lane is accused of having been convicted of the crime of third-degree menacing against members of the same household and a special offense because the conviction was within the last five years -- on Jan. 18, 2018.

Katrina L. Gerace is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 3 in the Town of Elba that Gerace drove a 2012 Mini Cooper on Route 262 while intoxicated. In count two, Gerace is accused for aggravated DWI per se, also a Class D felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Gerace is accused of having been convicted of driving under the influence or alcohol or a controlled substance, as a misdemeanor, "Highest Rate of Alcohol .16 percent BAC or higher," on Dec. 8, 2014 in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Pa., and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Jay W. Schafer is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a firearm, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 19 in the City of Batavia that Schafer possessed a Smith and Wesson, Model 10, .38-caliber Special revolver.

Adam M. Kreutz is indicted for the crime of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that at an address on Fisher Road in Oakfield on June 22 that Keutz presented a supporting deposition to a public servant, knowing that the document contained a false statement or false information and that it would become part of the official records. In count two, he is accused of falsifying business records in the first degree, also a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that on June 22 at an address on Fisher Road in the Town of Oakfield that he intentionally tried to defraud or make a false entry in the business records of an enterprise. This was allegedly done by providing a supporting deposition that attempted to conceal the commission of reckless driving.

November 29, 2019 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, bergen.

Daniel John Wolfe, 46, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt in the second degree. It is alleged that on Nov. 25 while housed in Genesee County Jail, Wolfe made two phone calls to a protected party in violation of an order of protection. He was arrested on the charge on Nov. 28 and issued an appearance ticket. Wolfe is due in Batavia City Court at 1 p.m. on Dec. 10. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

Sean Michael Crowe, 30, of Cook Road, Bergen, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more with a previous conviction within 10 years; DWI with a previous conviction within 10 years; and having an uninspected motor vehicle. Crowe was arrested at 12:59 a.m. Nov. 28 on South Lake Avenue in Bergen following a traffic stop for an uninspected motor vehicle. Crowe is due in Bergen Town Court on Dec. 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Sgt. Jason Saile.

November 27, 2019 - 7:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, criminal justice.

vannestheubuschnov2019.jpg

Changes in state law about when and how defense attorneys receive evidence in criminal cases are going to create a greater burden on police and drive up costs for the City and the County, members of the City Council were told Monday night.

City Attorney George Van Nest and Police Chief Shawn Heubusch made about a 40-minute presentation on changes to the rules around what is called "discovery" -- the prosecution turning over evidence and information to the defense -- and bail reform.

"What happened is the legislature passed, and the governor signed, a new form of Section 245 of that criminal procedure law," Van Nest said. "What it did is dramatically change the manner in which criminal discovery is handled in New York State effective January 1, 2020."

Under the current system, once a defendant is charged, a defense attorney would file a motion for discovery and the District Attorney would provide information and evidence the DA felt compelled to disclose under criminal procedure law and case law. This would happen over the course of the criminal proceeding including right up to the day of a trial if there was a trial.

The new law requires "automatic discovery" of everything related to the case within 15 days of the arraignment of the defendant. 

This new automatic discovery must include everything related to the case, including all information on witnesses or anybody with information relevant to the case, all written statements, all recordings in police possession or that the police know about, information on all physical evidence, and recordings of relevant 9-1-1 calls and dispatch.

Police officers and detectives will have only days to compile and deliver the evidence and information to the DA's office to give the DA's office time to index and inventory it and prepare it for disclosure to the defendant's attorney.

Both the compressed time frame of gathering and preparing the evidence for dissemination and the greater volume of information and evidence will consume more time for law enforcement and the DA's office.

In the case of traffic tickets -- the city issues about 1,500 a year --  all evidence must be turned over within 24 hours of the issuance of the ticket.

"This increases the workload of our officers and detectives and supervisors and our clerical staff," Heubusch said. "Officers and detective are going to be mandated to complete all paperwork and supporting documentation on a condensed schedule. What that equals is officers may be required to work overtime or maybe taken off of proactive police patrols in our community to make sure that we meet these timeframes so we don't lose any cases."

To help deal with the increased workload, the DA's office is adding another assistant district attorney, another paralegal and a part-time clerk.

Heubusch did not ask for additional personnel in his department but did note that the part-time clerk who handled evidence will now be needed on a full-time basis.

As for bail reform, Heubusch said starting Jan. 1, people accused of misdemeanors or Class E felonies will no longer be arraigned in City Court. The arresting officer, instead, must issue an appearance ticket. The officer must also issue appearance tickets, rather than taking the suspect in for arraignment, for second-degree burglary 2nd and second-degree robbery, all other violent felonies are still eligible for a bail review by a judge.

Types of criminal accusations that will require an appearance ticket include bail jumping, resisting arrest, vehicular assault, menacing, and criminal contempt (unless it's part of a domestic violence case).

Exceptions to the no-bail rules include cases involving members of the same household, a failure to identify oneself properly, a failure to appear in the previous two years, and cases where the defendant could have a driver's license suspended or revoked.

If a judge is going to set bail, the judge must set it as the least restrictive option. In most cases, this means release on own recognizance or release under supervision.

November 27, 2019 - 5:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, bergen.
torres-acebedo0mug2018.jpg
       Torres-Acevedo

There is a potential plea offer pending for Guillermo J. Torres-Acevedo, the 23-year-old Batavia man facing 10 criminal charges locally for allegedly having sex with an underage girl and taking her to Pennsylvania, his attorney told Judge Charles Zambito in County Court today. 

Attorney Thomas Burns asked for time to go over the terms of the plea offer from First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini and also confer with Torres-Acevedo's attorney representing him in Federal Court on charges stemming from some of the same incidents.

Zambito deferred the case until 11:30 a.m., Dec. 6.

Torres-Acevedo is charged locally with: four counts of second-degree rape, a Class D violent felony; four counts of criminal sexual act in the second degree, also a Class D violent felony; second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent felony; and second-degree criminal contempt.

In Federal Court, he is charged with transporting a minor across state lines for sexual activity. 

Authorities allege that in September, October, and November of last year, Torres-Acevedo engaged in sex acts with a teenage girl and then took her across state lines. He was eventually located with the girl in a Walmart in Mansfield, Pa., through a geolocation ping of her mobile phone.

Neither Burns nor Cianfrini revealed in open court the terms of the potential plea agreement nor was there any mention of whether Torres-Acevedo has an opportunity for a plea agreement in Federal Court.

The defendant is currently being held in the Genesee County jail.

November 26, 2019 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Alabama, batavia, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Justin P. McGirr, 37, of Ross Street, Batavia, and Jeremiah T. Jones, no age or address provided, are charged with disorderly conduct by way of fighting/violent behavior. They were arrested on Ross Street at 1:07 p.m. on Nov. 23 after Batavia police allegedly observed them fighting. Both were issued appearance tickets and are due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Timothy Allen Zorn, 28, of Hall Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, third-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Zorn on the charges at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 on Hall Street following a domestic dispute. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision. Zorn is due to return to court on Dec. 4. Officer Peter Flanagan assisted in the arrest.

Katrina Lynn Drake, 29, of Locust Street, Lockport, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. Drake was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 2:20 a.m. on Nov. 21 on Maple Street in Batavia. Drake allegedly damaged property. She is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Susan Marie Devault, 49, of North Main Street, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested on Nov. 25. She is accused of stealing a carton of cigarettes at a store on Bloomingdale Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation at 9:92 p.m. on Nov. 17. She was issued an appearance ticket for Dec. 11 in Alabama Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Swimline, assisted by Sgt. Ronald Meides.

Matthew J. Florian, 31, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested Nov. 21 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear as scheduled on July 23. He was released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

November 25, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
wolfedanielmugnov2019.jpg
       Daniel Wolfe

Despite holding police officers at bay for 20 hours a week ago, despite a prior felony conviction, despite alleged mental health and substance abuse issues, under the state's new bail reform rules, Daniel Wolfe could have gotten out of jail today at no cost.

Judge Charles Zambito was only able to set bail in the case because Wolfe allegedly violated a stay-away order of protection by twice trying to contact his girlfriend, whom he allegedly abused Nov. 18 before barricading himself in his apartment at 209 Liberty St., Batavia.

Without the allegation of those phone calls, Zambito would have been forced to release Wolfe under terms of the new bail standards.

The new bail reform guidelines -- designed primarily to address pretrial confinement issues in New York City -- don't take effect until Jan. 1. But First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini made her request for bail under the new rules because otherwise Wolfe would be entitled to a bail review Jan. 1, when he's still likely to be in pretrial status awaiting further court proceedings in his case.

In setting the amount of bail, Zambito was allowed to consider other factors in the case that indicate Wolfe's potential to flee the court's jurisdiction. These include: the 20-hour standoff; the potential for a harsher sentence because of Wolfe's 2012 felony conviction; his potential for untreated mental health and substance abuse issues; and the fact he has a relative in Alaska, where he lived for a while in 2012.

Zambito also could take into account the fact that Wolfe doesn't have an apparent place to live now that his apartment is destroyed, though he also needed to consider Wolfe's inability to pay cash bail because he isn't employed.

Zambito set bail at $10,000 cash, $25,000 insurance bond, or $50,000 partially secured bond. Cianfrini requested $25,000 cash bail and Public Defender Jerry Ader requested $5,000 bail.

Previously:

November 22, 2019 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, notify, crime, Alabama.

Cynthia M. Mack, 52, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and third-degree assault. Mack was arrested at about 8 p.m. on Nov. 15 after an incident at a residence on South Swan Street. She allegedly punched a person in the face, causing a laceration. Mack has an order of protection against her. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. She was due to return to court on Nov. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jordan McGinnis, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

Christina Elaine Taylor, 38, of South Academy Street, Medina, is charged with driving while intoxicated and speeding -- exceeding 55 mph. She was arrested at 12:50 a.m. on Nov. 21 on Alleghany Road in Alabama following a traffic stop. Taylor was issued appearance tickets and is due in Alabama Town Court on Dec. 18. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jordan Alejandro, assisted by Deputy Austin Heberlein.

November 21, 2019 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Liberty Street, batavia, notify, crime.
wolfedanielmugnov2019.jpg
       Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe, the man accused of hitting his girlfriend before barricading himself in his apartment on Liberty Street, made a routine follow-up appearance in Batavia City Court this morning.

Wolfe had previously pled not guilty at his initial appearance to charges of first-degree criminal contempt, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, menacing, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd.

Today he was represented by public defender Jerry Ader.

Ader preserved his client's right to a felony hearing at a later date, and said his office is still investigating the case so he has no motions to make at this time. He asked that the case be continued in City Court until Dec. 12.

Judge Robert Balbick granted all of Ader's requests.

Wolfe, shackled and in an orange jail jumpsuit, said nothing while standing before Balbick.

November 20, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, news, notify.

nppawolfeincustody2019.jpg

wolfedanielmugnov2019.jpg
         Daniel Wolfe

Press release:

On Monday, Nov. 18 at approximately 1:18 p.m., the Genesee County Dispatch Center received a domestic call at 209 Liberty St.

The caller reported that an intoxicated male struck a female and the male was in possession of a sword. It was also reported that the female was able to escape the residence.

Officers from the Batavia Police Department arrived on scene and encountered the male, who had barricaded himself inside the residence. The female was located and found safe at a neighbor’s home.

The suspect, who remained inside the house, began shooting at officers with a BB rifle.

Immediately, the Batavia Police Department set up a perimeter around the residence and neighbors were told to shelter in place. The Batavia City School District was informed of the incident so appropriate measures could be taken to ensure the safety of the students, including students attending the Jackson Primary School, located a few blocks away.

Batavia Police negotiators were called to the scene along with the Batavia Police Emergency Response Team (ERT), the New York State Police, and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office / K-9 Unit and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation K-9 Unit.

Negotiators were able to make verbal contact with the suspect who was identified as Daniel Wolfe, 45, who resided at 209 Liberty St. in the upstairs apartment. Wolfe repeatedly told negotiators that he wanted officers to kill him. He refused officers' commands to come out of the house.  

The Genesee County Sheriff’s K-9 handler attempted to send "Frankie" inside to safely take Wolfe into custody. Wolfe then attempted to slash Frankie with a knife, and the handler pulled Frankie back to safety.

Wolfe continued to tell officers throughout the incident that he wanted officers to kill him, and he threatened to shoot officers.

Several options were tried to get Wolfe to surrender that included the launching of chemical agents into the residence and the use of robots/drones to determine where he was in the residence. Other negotiating and swat teams were called in to assist.

After approximately 20 hours, Wolfe exited the residence and surrendered to Detective Sargent Kevin Czora of the Batavia Police Department.

Wolfe was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for injuries he sustained during the incident. These injuries were self-inflicted. All officers on the scene and civilians in the neighborhood were unharmed during this incident.

Wolfe was later released from Strong hospital, at which time he was arrested by Batavia Police Department on charges of first-degree criminal contempt, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, menacing, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd.

Wolfe was arraigned in Batavia City Court on Nov. 19 and is being held without bail at the Genesee County Jail.  He will reappear in Batavia City Court at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Nov. 21). Additional charges are pending.

The Batavia Police Department would like to thank: the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office; Orleans County SWAT; New York State Police troopers; negotiators; drone unit; K-9 unit; and SORT teams; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation K-9 Unit; Monroe County Crisis Negotiating Team; Genesee County Emergency Management; Genesee County Dispatch Center; City of Batavia Fire Department; Mercy EMS; and the numerous citizens who supported the efforts, both on the scene and in the days following this incident.

Photos: Top photo: still from the video shot yesterday of Wolfe and Det. Kevin Czora and an unidentified plainclothes State Trooper slowly walking Wolfe from the apartment where he had been barricaded to a waiting ambulance. Bottom photo, still from a previously unreleased portion of the video where Wolfe turned to look down the street, and pulled back slightly, as Czora and the trooper tried to coax him into the ambulance.

nppawolfeambulance2019.jpg

November 19, 2019 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Liberty Street, batavia, crime, video.
Video Sponsor

At 8:42 a.m., after barricading himself in his apartment for 20 hours while SWAT teams swarmed around his residence, a Batavia man was finally coaxed out of his dwelling by a detective who managed to gain his trust over the course of the ordeal.

The resident, whose name has not yet been released, was gently escorted by Det. Kevin Czora and a plainclothes state trooper to a waiting ambulance five houses down the block, just north of Cherry Street.

Assistant Chief Todd Crossett said the man is facing criminal charges and his name and the exact nature of the charges will be released later today.

The Batavian captured exclusive video of the subject being escorted from the house and down Liberty Street.

November 19, 2019 - 8:50am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, crime, batavia, notify.

walkout_1.jpg

PHOTO (9:32 a.m.): Det. Kevin Czora worked into the evening to establish a relationship with the man who had barricaded himself in an apartment on Liberty Street and came back this morning and resumed the conversation. He spent at least 90 minutes talking to the man before the subject slowly came out and Czora then coaxed him around the corner of the house and then walked him down the street, with the assistance of only one other officer, and into a waiting ambulance. The man was clearly fearful of both the other people around and the environment (he looked up at the sky and all around him at least once).

UPDATE 9:21 a.m. (By Billie): City fire units on Liberty Street are clearing the scene; back in service.

BREAKING -- 8:50 a.m., Nov. 19

Howard Owens has just reported that the suspect is out of the house and is being placed into an ambulance by law enforcement and EMT personnel.

Also, Jackson Primary School is in session; school official reports "business as usual."

Prior to the end of the standoff, the school district sent a telephone message to parents informing them of the situation, noting that bus service would be at St. Anthony's for those living on Liberty Street.

Watch for more updates and photos. The Batavian will have exclusive video of the subject being coaxed by Det. Kevin Czora from the house and walked to an ambulance.

----------------

Previously:

Nov. 18, 4:18 p.m.

Batavia City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch reported that the man barricaded inside of a house at 209 Liberty St. has fired several shots at police with a pellet gun and is refusing to come out peacefully.

"Our patrols responded to an address (about two hours ago) on Liberty Street for a domestic disturbance situation," Heubusch said. "Upon arrival, there's this male subject in the upstairs apartment that has barricaded himself in and is refusing to come out. He has a pellet rifle or pellet gun that he is shooting at us, if you will.

"Right now we're working through the process of trying to get him to come out and talk to us."

Heubusch said that the victim of the alleged dispute (the man's girlfriend) is no longer inside the house and the downstairs neighbor also has been evacuated.

He added that police are "working with the (Batavia City) school district, busing the children from Jackson (School) and making sure the kids stay safe and there's no traffic in the area."

"We're keeping the kids away from the area and keeping the neighbors indoors at this point until we can get the subject in custody."

According to David Zanghi, the downstairs tenant, the incident started when the upstairs tenant (name being withheld at this time) punched his girlfriend in the right eye and took some of her prescription drugs. Zanghi said the suspect also is in an intoxicated state.

"He's got a sword and a BB gun, and he's already shot out a couple windows," Zanghi said. "They (police) won't go in there until they get a warrant; that's what the police told me."

Previously (3:12 p.m.) (by Billie):

A man who was reported to dispatch for allegedly carrying a sword while walking down Liberty Street in the City of Batavia is barricaded in one of three houses cordoned off by police.

The incident began about an hour ago and police immediately established a perimeter around the Liberty Street trio of homes.

Jackson Primary School at 411 S. Jackson St. was put on lockout -- meaning no one is allowed to enter or exit until the scene is secure.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: The students have been dismissed and have boarded buses.

UPDATE 9:30 p.m. (by Howard): The standoff continues. Chief Shawn Heubusch said a little while ago that law enforcement is prepared at this point to wait as long as they must for the man in the house to exit on his own safely. The Orleans County SWAT team responded to the incident about 7:30 p.m. and at about 8 p.m., once in position around the house, fired a volley of CS gas canisters into the house. The suspect did not exit the house and there was no communication between law enforcement and the subject for at least 45 minutes, at which point negotiations began again. Heubusch said he's reluctant to send in officers to try and apprehend the suspect because that could lead to serious consequences for either the suspect or an officer and the goal is to ensure there are no serious injuries or fatalities. Trying to make entry could force a confrontation that would require an officer to take decisive action. (We'll post a video and photos later.)

UPDATE 10:53 p.m. (by Howard): Heubusch just confirmed that about three hours ago the suspect tried to stab "Frankie," the K-9 of Deputy Chris Erion. The attempt was unsuccessful. Frankie was not injured.

UPDATE 6:09 a.m. Nov. 19 (by Howard): The individual is still barricaded in the apartment. Law enforcement is still waiting him out. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has provided additional manpower to provide relief for officers who had been on scene for hours. The contingent from MCSO includes a negotiator who has been trying to talk with the subject. From about 2:20 a.m. to 3 a.m., he did not respond to repeated requests to speak and shortly after 3 a.m. he responded to the officer. The Batavian is continuing to withhold publication of photos and video until the situation is resolved.

November 18, 2019 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

A man who was reported to dispatch for allegedly carrying a sword while walking down Liberty Street in the City of Batavia is barricaded in one of three houses cordoned off by police.

The incident began about an hour ago and police immediately established a parameter around the Liberty Street trio of homes.

Jackson Primary School at 411 S. Jackson St. was put on lockout -- meaning no one is allowed to enter or exit until the scene is secure.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: The students have been dismissed and have boarded buses.

November 18, 2019 - 12:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, bergen.

Stephen Anthony Marazita, 37, of North Lake Avenue, Bergen, is charged with criminal tampering in the second degree. Marazita was arrested at 8:49 p.m. on Nov. 14. It is alleged that he tampered with his electric meter to turn power back on at his residence after it was shut off. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and released on an appearance ticket. He is due to return to court on Nov. 20. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

Phillip Sanders Brunson, 32, of an unspecified address in Gowanda, is charged with two counts of second-degree harassment. Brunson was arrested on  Nov. 14 in regard to an incident that occurred on Nov. 24, 2016. He allegedly slapped and spit in a female's face and shoved another female during a domestic incident on Maple Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court. (His disposition afterward was not provided.) The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

A 17-year-old female who lives in Batavia was arrested on Nov. 7 after an incident that occurred the day before outside a residence on Hutchins Place in Batavia. The girl allegedly threatened to harm people while holding a baseball bat. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jordan McGinnis, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Kaleb James Bobzien, 21, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Following an investigation of phone calls made from recorded jail phones, Bobzien was arrested on Nov. 18. It is alleged that he violated a stay away order of protection issued by Batavia City Court. He is due back in court on Nov. 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James Stack, assisted by Officer Dennis Bartholomew.

Jahmaal Lee Barnes, 19, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny. Barnes was arrested at about 8 p.m. on Nov. 16 and arraigned in Batavia Town Court. It is alleged that at 11 a.m. on Nov. 14 that Barnes entered an apartment on Batavia Stafford Townline Road and stole the resident's debit card. Barnes was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and is due back in Batavia Town Court on Dec. 16. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Chamoun.

November 14, 2019 - 12:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, notify, news, batavia, Alabama.

Devon A. Wright, 18, of Highland Park, Batavia is charged with: second-degree harassment -- physical contact; fourth-degree grand larceny -- taking property from a person; and endangering the welfare of a child less than 17. Wright was arrested on Nov. 10 following an incident with a juvenile that occurred at Batavia City Centre at 10 a.m. that day. Wright allegedly stole an envelope containing cash from the pant pocket of a juvenile, and then grabbed the person by the wrist, causing them to feel threatened and fear physical harm. Wright was arraigned at 9:37 p.m. in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. Wright was due back in city court on Nov. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Sean Wilson.

Casey Lynn Fitch, 30, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with: having unsafe tires; moving from lane unsafely; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; driving while intooxicated; and DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Fitch was arrested following a hit-and-run property damage accident that occurred at 9:11 p.m. on Nov. 7 on Naramore Drive in Batavia. Fitch was transported to Batavia Police Department and processed, then issued traffic tickets. She is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

William C. Hofert, 60, of Dewey Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a breath test. Hofert was arrested on Nov. 5 following an accident that occurred at 10:03 p.m. on Dewey Avenue. He allegedly drove a vehicle while intoxicated and struck parked cars. He was issued traffic tickets and released and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

Thomas Scott Flower, 47, of West County House Road, Albion, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more; driving while intoxicated; and speed not reasonable and prudent. At 9:08 a.m. on Nov. 12, following the investigation into a one-car accident on Knowlesville Road in Alabama, Flower was arrested on the charges. He was released on appearance tickets and   is due in Alabama Town Court on Nov. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Alexandrea Lea Fitzwater, 33, of Church Street, Medina, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, petit larceny and sixth-degree conspiracy. Fitzwater was arrested on Nov. 12 following in investigation into a larceny that occurred at Kohl's department store in Batavia during the afternoon of Sept. 8. She was issued appearance tickets and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Dec. 5. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

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