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Otis Street

October 18, 2021 - 12:58pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, City of Batavia Police Department, Otis Street.

The City of Batavia Police Department has made two arrests connected to an incident brought to the attention of City Council by an Otis Street resident at the governing body’s Sept. 13 meeting.

“The arrests are the result of one of the incidents he (Ronald Yantz) spoke of at an earlier meeting,” Police Chief Shawn Heubusch confirmed to The Batavian.

Released today via its Crime Watch police blotter platform, Batavia PD reported the following arrests:

Brooke M. Ayala, 36, of Batavia, Endangering the welfare of a child, Criminal Nuisance, 11:28 PM, Monday, August 23, 2021, Otis Street. On 10/7/2021, Ayala was arrested on the above charges. The arrest comes after an investigation into an incident on 8/23/2021, on Otis Street. Ayala was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on 10/19/2021.

Kelly L Wells, 57, of Batavia, Criminal Nuisance, 11:28 PM, Monday, August 23, 2021, Otis Street. On 10/7/2021, Wells was arrested on the above charge. The arrest comes after an investigation into an incident on 8/23/2021, on Otis Street. Wells was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on 10/19/2021.

Yantz appeared at the City Council meeting to inform Council of ongoing unruly and disruptive behavior by people living in a house across the street from him on Otis Street.

At the time, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said the police department and the code enforcement department would do all that was possible to rectify the situation, with Heubusch indicating that there was an open investigation and charges were pending.

At the Oct. 12 City Council meeting, Yantz returned, this time thanking the board and police department for their efforts as things have calmed down on that section of the street.

Previously: City of Batavia leaders, police taking steps to help Otis Street couple deal with disruptive neighbors

October 13, 2021 - 10:26am

Deer management, disc golf, Otis Street.

Those three subjects became brief topics of discussion at Tuesday night’s Batavia City Council Business Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room.

Batavia resident John Roach, who regularly seeks to follow up on previous matters concerning the city, asked about the status of the deer management plan that is being coordinated by Assistant Police Chief Christopher Camp and of a fellow citizen’s proposal to have a disc golf course in the city – an idea that prompted fierce opposition when Centennial Park was mentioned as a possible location for the layout.

CITY PROPERTY THE PLACE TO START?

On the deer management plan, City Manager Rachel Tabelski said the city was able to obtain extra deer management permits but “weren’t able to enlist any landowners, especially in the First Ward, to be part of the process with us at this time.”

She said there are city-owned properties that are eligible for hunting as well as candidates who wish to take advantage of the culling program.

“Unfortunately, where most of the complaints that we have in the First, Second and Third Ward – especially about shrubbery and bushes – we don’t have anyone at this point willing to allow the hunting program on their land,” she added.

City Council President suggested starting the program on city property … “and show that it can be done and other landowners might join in.”

The city’s deer management program process began in 2019 with the formation of a citizen committee. The committee met numerous times with then City Manager Martin Moore, but abruptly disbanded at the outset of a meeting on Aug. 13, 2020 – objecting to changes to the plan’s original framework.

Previously: BREAKING: City's deer committee resigns in 33 second meeting this morning

williams_park_1.jpgDISC GOLF UP IN THE AIR?

As far as disc golf is concerned, Tabelski said that she hasn’t heard back from Phillip Boyd, the 27-year-old Hart Street resident who approached City Council in the summer about a disc golf course.

The latest news on that matter came in July when Boyd met with city Department of Public Works personnel (photo at right) to discuss placing a nine-hole course at Williams Park on Pearl Street.

The Batavian reached out to Boyd via phone call and text message this morning.

Previously: Disc golf promoter puts Centennial Park in rear view mirror, now has his sights set on Williams Park

OTIS STREET RESIDENT SAYS THANKS

On Sept. 13, Yantz informed Council members of unruly and disruptive behavior by people living in a house across the street from him on Otis Street.

He returned to City Hall last night to let them know that things have calmed down and thanked city officials for getting involved.

“The efforts of the Council and the police department seem to be making a difference on Otis Street,” he said. “It’s been quiet the last few weeks and months. I’d just like to say keep up the good work and I hope things will stay the way they are.”

Yantz said he believed that some of those neighbors were going to be at the meeting as well, but that turned out not to be the case.

Previously: City of Batavia leaders, police taking steps to help Otis Street couple deal with disruptive neighbors

September 13, 2021 - 10:24pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, Otis Street, city of batavia.

The president of the Batavia City Council tonight said he will utilize all means necessary to rectify a serious situation that has an Otis Street man and woman fearing for their safety and the security of their neighborhood.

“We are working with the assistant city manager (Jill Wiedrick) … she’s going to get code enforcement down there,” said Eugene Jankowski Jr., responding to public comments from Ronald Yantz of Otis Street about the behavior of those living directly across from him.

“We’re going to try to bring all the agencies we can. We already talked to the mortgage agency and they were shocked, but was unable to do anything. They got past their screening … and are kind of confused as to how they made it through and ended up with the house.”

Jankowski said City Council and Police Chief Shawn Heubusch are aware of the problems being caused by residents across the street, noting that 11 people – including six children, unsupervised at times – are living there.

Yantz and Carol Mueller appeared at tonight’s City Council meeting, with the former taking about five minutes to detail how their life has been turned upside down since purchasing their home last August.

Quality of Life Has Diminished

“It was a nice quiet street and a few months later, people bought the house across the street. From there, it has gone downhill as far as my quality of life, our neighbors' qualify of life – our safety,” he said, mentioning the frequent loud parties, large groups of kids, and garbage blowing into his yard from across the street.

He said he was prompted to call police recently after witnessing one of the older kids “pulling out what appeared to be a pistol from one of the cars” and carrying it low into the house.

“If it’s a toy pistol it should have the orange cover on the end of the barrel. It wasn’t a toy as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Then, last month, he said it was about 11:30 at night when he was shaken by an explosion.

“I was just falling asleep and I heard a huge explosion right near the house. You could hear the shrapnel hit my house. It was no M-80, it was a half-stick of dynamite, at least, on the street. It was only 25 to 30 feet away from the gas main that goes into my house,” he said.

“That would have been the biggest tragedy that ever happened in Batavia … that would have blown all those houses up. And the kids that were standing there would have been killed and me, too.”

He said he ran downstairs and out the door.

Threats Aimed at Couple

“I said, ‘What are you guys doing?’ They’re like, ‘Shut the f--- up’ to us and telling her to shut up. We called the cops and all the neighbors came around; they already had called the cops.”

Yantz said when police arrived, the people verbally abused the couple, and threatened them, saying, ‘Wait until you go to work and see what happens to your house’ and ‘See what happens to your (custom pickup) truck when you’re not around.’”

Unfortunately, the police were unable to do anything at that time as they did not witness any unlawful act.

“This is ridiculous,” Yantz continued. “These people have no regards for their neighbors or nothing. What was a nice, quiet street and now it’s … like some of the other streets that have come down in Batavia. It’s just a shame.”

He said that since he is “stuck” in his home for at least five years before he can sell it, he hopes that the enforcement of ordinances or something else can be done.

“All night long, they play loud music – in the middle of the night, you hear thumping and thumping. It’s very … it’s a situation that I didn’t expect to get into at my age. I just want a nice quiet existence in a residential neighborhood,” he said.

Advice is to Keep Calling the Police

Responding to Yantz’ comments, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said that PathStone assisted the people as first-time homebuyers but noted that they have a mortgage through the United States Department of Agriculture. She also said the city has reached out to the USDA but to no avail.

Jankowski urged the couple to keep calling the police because “when they don’t call for a while, then police resources are directed somewhere else.”

“They (police) think the problem is under control if they don’t hear anything so they move to another location that might need it,” he said, adding that he told police to stay vigilant on this and similar circumstances around the city.

Council member Rose Mary Christian, who represents Otis Street residents in the Sixth Ward, advised that these types of disturbances have been going on for months.

“We’re at the point that it is ridiculous that they have to make a harassment charge against these people when we all know damn well that there are violations of the law – and the fact that the city should do something about it,” she said. “We have more power than these poor people on that street that destroy that beautiful, beautiful street.

Sixth Ward Council Member: It's Outrageous

“As far as social services go, those kids are running in the street and everything else, and throwing items at cars that are going by. The vulgar language and everything else that is going on. They (the children) should be taken away from that family. There’s no if, ands or buts about it. And to have 11 people in that household, and to have all the other friends from Liberty Street coming down into that area, it’s outrageous.”

Jankowski said that filing complaints are the best way to resolve the problem.

“We need a more consistent game plan to deal with this,” he said. “Maybe we’ll keep track of what we do to resolve this so if it pops up in another area … we can use some of these tools and solve it a little faster than the six months that this has been going on.”

He then offered his full support as he also lives on Otis Street.

“If you need support from me, I am right down the street. I’ll walk down and help you guys …,” he said.

Police Chief: Charges are Pending

Heubusch said his officers answered that call for service but noted that there is an open investigation, “so I can’t really get into the details of it but, suffice it to say, there are charges pending.”

“We will be dealing with that. We do have a presence on the street as time permits and our call volume permits … we’re doing our best to split all of our resources and make sure you guys are taken care of,” he said.

Council member John Canale asked Heubusch if he had “past experiences” with any of the people, and he replied, “Some of them are known to us, yes.”

Then, Council member Patti Pacino said, “Are you telling me that if two policemen stand there and somebody threatened my life and my property … they really can’t arrest the person?”

Heubusch replied that he wasn’t there that night, but said that “the legal definition of harassment is much different than the casual definition of harassment.”

Council member Robert Bialkowski urged Yantz to lodge complaints, “even if it’s 2 in the morning, call the police and they’ll be over there in a few minutes.”

Jankowski: Something will Come to Light

Jankowski said the people are playing a “cat and mouse” game with police but eventually “something is going to come to light that is pending over there.”

“There were other things that happened a couple weeks ago. They addressed the situation over there with other agencies interested in people that I can’t discuss – but they removed some people at that point,” he said. “So, that made it a little better for a short period of time. And then other people kind of rose to the occasion and they took over and starting causing problems.”

A former city police officer, Jankowski said victims need to call so law enforcement can address it and document it.

“When those things accumulate, the more time we can show a pattern of constant harassment ... that might fit some of the definition over a period of time,” he offered. “If they don’t have the means to actually physically harm you at the moment, and there’s an officer standing 20 feet away across the street, it’s not harassment at that point. If they’re in your face and they’re making contact with you, you’ve got something there.”

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