The sister of the Liberty Street man who has been displaced as a result of a 20-hour police standoff on Nov. 18-19 said she is looking into filing an insurance claim against the City of Batavia for damages inflicted upon her brother’s apartment.
“We’re considering that (filing a form with the Supreme Court of the State of New York) against the City, but we’re waiting to see how much we get from the GoFundMe page,” Mary Ellen Wilber said this morning. “Hopefully, we won’t have to.”
Currently, the GoFundMe.com campaign set up for her brother, David Zanghi, has raised $1,250 toward its goal of $2,000, with the money to be used to replace the man’s personal belongings, including clothes, which were destroyed by tear gas used during the standoff between the suspect, Daniel Wolfe, 45, and police.
Police responded to 209 Liberty St. in the early afternoon of Nov. 18 after receiving a domestic disturbance call. Wolfe proceeded to barricade himself inside his upstairs apartment and reportedly shot at officers with a pellet gun.
The situation remained unchanged until the next morning when Wolfe finally surrendered. During the impasse, personnel from several county and state agencies assisted City Police.
Wolfe was put in Genesee County Jail where he awaits a court appearance set for this Thursday.
Meanwhile, Wilber said that Zanghi, 66, who lived downstairs, will be moving into another apartment later this week and is seeking the City’s assistance in removing his contaminated clothes.
“While I can’t say enough about the kindness of (City Manager) Marty Moore and (Assistant City Manager) Rachael Tabelski. I can’t say the same about the attitude of the police department,” said Wilber, who splits her time between Batavia and New Jersey.
She said that she asked if police could go in with their protective gloves and masks to put Zanghi’s clothes into garbage bags.
“They have the equipment to do this, but there are not willing to, which is disappointing,” she said.
Wilber said that Moore and another person will be meeting her at the Liberty Street home at 5 p.m. Tuesday to remove the clothes and other items.
“The city manager is willing to do this – to take his time after a full day’s work – because the city police won’t,” she said.
City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, when contacted this morning, said he had no comment and referred the matter to the city manager’s office.
Moore, when asked for an update this morning, confirmed that he would be helping out on Tuesday "personally" (not in an official capacity) and said that talks with Wilber have been “cordial.”
He also noted that members of the police department have been reaching out individually to a number of causes during the holiday season.
As far as an insurance claim was concerned, Moore said Wilber “had not indicated which way she was going to go, but that the City deals with similar claims on a regular basis.”
Wilber said that her brother already has been helped by several organizations, including the Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern, Catholic Charities, Ascension Parish and St. Padre Pio churches, Genesee Justice and Community Action of Orleans and Genesee.
“We want to keep this as fiscally responsible as possible – it’s our tax dollars (that contribute to getting donations),” she said. “Marty and Rachael are doing such a great job and the people in our community have stepped up, and we realize that money needs to go to other people, too.”