Isaac Abrams https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Isaac Abrams https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Wed, 24 Jul 2024 08:46:47 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Sun, 10 Dec 2023 15:49:00 -0500 Prosecutor and defense attorney's views of Isaac Abrams diverge at sentencing https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/prosecutor-and-defense-attorneys-views-of-isaac-abrams-diverge-at-sentencing/637531
isaac abrams smokeshop
Isaac Abrams outside his new smoke shop on Martin Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation in September 2022.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The two views of Isaac D. Abrams, 23, expressed by attorneys in Genesee County Court on Thursday, couldn't be more different.

For Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl, Abrams is a young man given many breaks in his run of criminal activity since he was a teen who has gone from making threats to actual violence. He belongs in prison.

To Michael Dwan, a Buffalo-based attorney hired by the Abrams family, the young Tonawanda Indian Reservation resident is an entrepreneur, a leader with a promise of potential to make a positive impact on his community who has made unfortunate decisions in his desire to help the people he cares about. Another prison could destroy any hope of a productive future for Abrams.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/prosecutor-and-defense-attorneys-views-of-isaac-abrams-diverge-at-sentencing/637531#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/prosecutor-and-defense-attorneys-views-of-isaac-abrams-diverge-at-sentencing/637531 Dec 10, 2023, 3:49pm Isaac Abrams Prosecutor and defense attorney's views of Isaac Abrams diverge at sentencing Howard Owens <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="isaac abrams smokeshop" class="image-style-large" height="485" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-12/isaac-abrams-smoke-shop-sept-2022.jpg?itok=PLl-cG9R" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>Isaac Abrams outside his new smoke shop on Martin Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation in September 2022.</em><br><em>Photo by Howard Owens.</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>The two views of Isaac D. Abrams, 23, expressed by attorneys in Genesee County Court on Thursday, couldn't be more different.</p><p>For Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl, Abrams is a young man given many breaks in his run of criminal activity since he was a teen who has gone from making threats to actual violence. He belongs in prison.</p><p>To Michael Dwan, a Buffalo-based attorney hired by the Abrams family, the young Tonawanda Indian Reservation resident is an entrepreneur, a leader with a promise of potential to make a positive impact on his community who has made unfortunate decisions in his desire to help the people he cares about. Another prison could destroy any hope of a productive future for Abrams.</p>
Judge sends Abrams to county jail while attorneys attempt to uncover more about burglary allegations https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/judge-sends-abrams-to-county-jail-while-attorneys-attempt-to-uncover-more-about-burglary Genesee County Court Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini this afternoon remanded a Town of Alabama man to county jail for at least the next several days while attorneys on both sides look into the circumstances surrounding an alleged burglary on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Isaac D. Abrams, 22, who apparently owns smoke shops and dispensaries on the reservation, was charged by State Police with second-degree attempted burglary, a Class C felony, in connection with an incident at a dispensary on the evening of March 10.

He was arrested on March 30 and subsequently released with non-monetary conditions pending today’s court appearance.

Abrams has been under intensive probation supervision as a result of previous criminal charges, including first-degree burglary of a dwelling, causing injury, a Class B felony, and third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor.

During today’s proceedings and in light of the latest charges, Cianfrini pointed out that the probation department has recommended the revocation of Abrams’ IPS status – action supported by Assistant District Attorney Andrew DiPasquale.

At that point, Fred Rarick, who has represented Abrams since 2018, claimed that the charges were “merely allegations” and that his client turned over recordings that will show that “some people have ulterior motives.”

Rarick said that Abrams was invited to mediate a dispute at the business, and that the business owner, Cassi Abrams, “notified state troopers that my client did absolutely nothing wrong.”

“It’s a little bit premature to revoke the IPS,” Rarick said, adding that Abrams has been doing well in mandated drug treatment court.

Cianfrini, however, indicated that Abrams tested positive for marijuana on Thursday, and at that point, asked both lawyers to approach the bench. Following a five-minute discussion – during which Rarick could be heard stating that Abrams was asked to assist in the dispute involving family members – Cianfrini rendered her decision.

“I’m not revoking the interim probation supervision, but these are serious allegations,” she said. “I am remanding you, without bail, at this point (to let the attorneys research this).”

Before being handcuffed and led out of court, Abrams pleaded with the judge to set him free as “I need to get more recordings, please.”

Abrams is scheduled to return to treatment court next Thursday – two days after a scheduled appearance in Alabama Town Court.

Outside the courtroom after adjournment, Rarick said he respected Cianfrini’s decision, “but it’s just very interesting that this allegedly occurred weeks ago and he was just recently arrested.”

“Severe allegations of an armed robbery and he threatened to kill somebody? He did go and talk to the troopers and he explained everything. There are recordings which, when we go to trial, will be brought out to find out what these motivations are.”

Rarick also said there is a co-defendant in the matter.

“We’ll have to talk to his attorney. I don’t know, I wasn’t there,” he said. “There’s a lot going on with Mr. Abrams. He had his dispensary and he had another dispensary that was burned down. His other dispensary was robbed. So, I’m going to be looking into the motivations of these people.”

Concerning the positive test for marijuana, Rarick said that he has been informed that Abrams possesses a medical marijuana card.

“This whole thing is about relations, land disputes and it’s so sad,” he said, noting that cousins are at odds with each other, “Things that are happening on the Reservation. It used to be who gets to have a fuel station and now it’s who gets to have dispensaries there – and there are dispensaries every 50 feet or so.”

Rarick said Abrams was accused of taking money from a safe.

“I do question that when there is an allegation that a gun was involved, why the troopers didn’t go out immediately -- they know where Mr. Abrams is – to find this guy,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense and I think that will come out in the trial once we get these people under a real oath versus a misdemeanor.”

Previously: Judge gives Tonawanda resident a chance to put his past behind him

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/judge-sends-abrams-to-county-jail-while-attorneys-attempt-to-uncover-more-about-burglary#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/judge-sends-abrams-to-county-jail-while-attorneys-attempt-to-uncover-more-about-burglary Apr 14, 2023, 3:53pm Isaac Abrams Judge sends Abrams to county jail while attorneys attempt to uncover more about burglary allegations mikepett <p>Genesee County Court Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini this afternoon remanded a Town of Alabama man to county jail for at least the next several days while attorneys on both sides look into the circumstances surrounding an alleged burglary on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.</p> <p>Isaac D. Abrams, 22, who apparently owns</p>
Judge gives Tonawanda resident a chance to put his past behind him https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/judge-gives-tonawanda-resident-a-chance-to-put-his-past-behind-him/618484
isaacabrams2022.jpg

Not too many criminal defendants have good things to say about the prosecutors who came down on them hard and recommended they be locked away for as long as possible. 

Isaac D. Abrams has only good things to say about Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini.

"She isn't God but she's right up next to him," Abrams said Thursday from inside a smokeshop he's opening on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. "She's up there. She's a force to be reckoned with. Don't (expletive) with her."

Cianfrini was the first assistant district attorney in early 2018 when Abrams was sent to prison as a 17-year-old for one-and-a-third to four years for making terroristic threats. That conviction has now been expunged, but Abrams had a track record at the time, as Cianfrini noted back then, that indicated he was a young man out of control.

In arguing against any kind of leniency for Abrams, Cianfrini told then County Court Judge Charles Zambito that Abrams had engaged in increasingly violent acts, shown a disregard for authority and human life, and violated his release under supervision contract numerous times.

"He's a high risk to the community," said Cianfrini, who is now the County Court judge. "Look at his statements. He seriously minimizes his conduct. He said that he gave people something to talk about at dinner. This is not somebody expressing remorse."

Abrams said he has no bitterness toward Cianfrini.  She was doing her job, and in doing her job, she put him in a position that forced him to look at the world differently.

"What she put me through," he said, "I honestly feel that if I hadn't gone through that, I would still be a bad little shit just like everybody else. I had an eye-opener. She gave me an eye-opener."

And life in prison isn't something he wants to repeat.

"I went through horrible experiences," Abrams said. "I have scars on my eyebrows now that are permanent. I have stab wounds on my back and on my shoulders. I went from prison to prison. It was a horrible, horrible experience."

Not that getting his life straightened out has been easy for Abrams.  He's had setbacks. He's made mistakes. He's had people set up roadblocks. But he says he's determined to be a successful businessman, to become wealthy, and at age 22, to be an example for younger kids on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation that success is possible and you can overcome life's errors.

He was in court on Wednesday, standing before Cianfrini on an attempted burglary conviction, prepared for the worst because of one of the mistakes he's made while on his path toward redemption (he carried to court a plastic grocery bag filled with toiletries and personal items in case he was sent back to prison).

The possibility of going back to prison
In August, Abrams admitted to attempted burglary in the second degree. The incident involved Abrams entering the residence of a man identified as his mother's boyfriend on Dec. 29 after the boyfriend reportedly abused her.

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson, on Wednesday, was just as certain as Cianfrini was in 2018, that Abrams deserved no leniency in sentencing.

The 2018 felony conviction was off limits for Robinson to cite since the record is sealed, but Robinson had plenty of material to draw from to try and make the case that Abrams deserved prison time.  He said Abrams has a history of misconduct going back to high school, that he had violated terms of a conditional discharge on another conviction, and that he had faced a criminal contempt charge in Erie County.

"Mr. Abrams is not a good fit for a community-based, probationary sentence," Robinson told Cianfrini. "He enters the house of another person and then strikes the victim and claims it was in defense of his mother because of prior abuse. He took the action of judge, jury and executioner. That is not the way society works."

Robinson recommended four years in prison (the statutory range on the conviction is 2-7 years) and three years post-release supervision (parole).

Defense Attorney Fred Rarick offered a very different take on his client's prospects for complying with the terms of a probationary sentence. He noted that Abrams has been in full compliance with the terms of his release-under-supervision contract while awaiting sentencing, that his client had been diagnosed with mental health issues that had never been treated, and that his client understands that he mishandled the situation in December that led to his arrest.

Rarick said his client's relationship with his father is non-existent, and when mental health treatment was recommended for Abrams as a teenager, his mother decided the trip to counseling was too far to drive, so Abrams never got the help he needed.

He said Abrams had previously witnessed his mother being abused and on the night of this incident, his mother, instead of calling the police, called her son to say she had been abused. Rarick suggested that she knew her son, who has anger management issues, would take matters into his own hands.

She should have called the police, Rarick said.

But once she called Abrams, the young man should have called police, he said.

Sending Abrams to prison, Rarick said, would disrupt the positive path the young man has been on -- a year ago, he opened a small smoke shop on the reservation and was getting ready to open a second.

When it was his turn to talk, Abrams told Cianfrini, "when I first met you, I didn't really like you. But then I went to prison and I realized you did a lot for me. You changed me. You changed the way I talk. You changed the way I walk." 

He said he wanted to lead the younger generation on the reservation out of trouble.

"I'm a changed man from when you first met me," he said.

He said he felt like he had let her down and that he understood if she was disappointed in him.

"I promise I will never be in a situation like this again," Abrams said.  "If something like this happens again, I'm calling 9-1-1.  I promise."

Call 9-1-1
That promise was put to the test on Thursday night.

On Thursday afternoon, a new pre-built building was delivered to 368 Martin Road in Basom, the site of Abram's new smokeshop and dispensary.

Shortly after he opened the doors for the first time, he met with The Batavian and discussed his future plans.

That night, at about 10:45 p.m., the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 368 Martin Road.  The Batavian sent a text message to Abrams, who responded that he had already been told of the fire by a family member, was on his way to the shop, and that he had called the police to report the crime.

As he promised Cianfrini, rather than get mad, he called 9-1-1.

The fire burned itself out before fire crews arrived on scene.  The fire was intentionally set, a fire investigator said, at the base of the building by the front door.  It caused some minor heat damage to the metal plates at the base of the door.  A Sheriff's deputy opened a criminal investigation.

Earlier in the day, Abrams said that many people on the reservation encourage him and are happy to see him turning his life around.  Others, he said, want to pull him back down.

When asked why he thought anybody would try to torch his new building, he said, "jealousy."

"This would  be the bad crowd," he said, "like the alcoholics, the drunks, the ones who like to stay out all night."

Rather than prison, an opportunity
Earlier in the day, Abrams was full of enthusiasm for his new business.

With only a few cartons of cigarettes and some jars of marijuana in the new building, Abrams said it was just a start.  He is funding the venture with profits from the Weeping Willow, his first smokeshop on Purdy Road.  

On his small plot of land, Abrams cleared trees and put down gravel.  As a reporter looked on, the excited young man paced off his expansion plans -- where the handicap-accessible ramp will go, leading to double doors and windows, and shelves filled with product.  Abrams sees it all in his mind.

"My dreams are progressing every day as every day I’m one step farther into becoming a new man, a man in new business and a man of new character," Abrams said. "My dreams and goals for the shop are just to succeed in an all-around aspect so I can help my customers, friends, and family succeed around me, too. I really would like for the business to succeed. It took a lot of community members to get this far, and a lot of trust, so there’s no going back now all I can say now is 'Hi. My name is Isaac Abrams. How may I help you and be at your service.'"

The fire, he said later, was a momentary setback, but just financially, not "mentally or spiritually, and tomorrow is a new day with lots of potential."

Abrams is getting the chance to pursue his dreams because the person who took a dim view of the young man's future in 2018 is now persuaded that he deserves a shot at building something better for himself.

On Wednesday, after Robinson, Rarick, and Abrams all spoke, Judge Cianfrini said she needed a few minutes to research something and adjourned the court.

When she returned from chambers, she asked Abrams whether, if given the opportunity to go through Mental Health Court -- which would mean no prison time if he successfully completes the program -- would he commit himself to follow through and do what he needed to do.

A beaming Abrams said he would. He turned around so he was speaking to the whole court and said, "if anybody was here and saw me here before, I'm a changed man.  I promise you I'm not the same person you saw here before."

Cianfrini explained that Abrams will be screened for Mental Health Court to ensure he's a good candidate for the program, and once the screening is done, she can place him in the program.

Embracing what Abrams said about being an example to younger people on the reservation, she told him he had a chance to show a younger generation that the justice system is a place to "get help and rehabilitation and that it's not just for punishment."

Robinson told Cianfrini that he wanted to place on the record his objection to giving Abrams an opportunity to go to Mental Health Court.

Inside his new shop on Thursday, Abrams was nothing but grateful to Cianfrini.

"She honestly changed my life around.  I thank her for helping me. She did a lot.  Honestly, I wouldn't be here in these shoes.  I wouldn't be free today," he said. "I wouldn't be thinking clearly. I would have done none of that. I would have nothing.  I'd probably still be that broken little shit."

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo, Isaac Abrams outside his new smokeshop.  Inset photo, file photo of Melissa Cianfrini in 2018 at a press conference on an unrelated case.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/judge-gives-tonawanda-resident-a-chance-to-put-his-past-behind-him/618484#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/judge-gives-tonawanda-resident-a-chance-to-put-his-past-behind-him/618484 Sep 30, 2022, 7:53pm Isaac Abrams Judge gives Tonawanda resident a chance to put his past behind him Howard Owens <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/60/2022-09/isaacabrams2022.jpg?itok=fdTjFYOq" width="460" height="279" alt="isaacabrams2022.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <p>Not too many criminal defendants have good things to say about the prosecutors who came down on them hard and recommended they be locked away for as long as possible.&nbsp;</p><p>Isaac D. Abrams has only good things to say about Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini.</p><p>"She isn't God but she's right</p>
Teen sent to prison for making threats arrested on menacing charge https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-sent-to-prison-for-making-threats-arrested-on-menacing-charge/539706 A teenage resident of Alabama who just 18 months ago was sentenced to prison for making a terroristic threat against a police officer was arrested again Tuesday night for allegedly threatening another person with a baseball bat.

Isaac Abrams, 19, of Sky Road, is charged with menacing, 2nd.

At 11:26 p.m., Tuesday, Abrams allegedly threatened to injure another person using a metal baseball bat.

He was arrested by deputies Austin Heberlein and Travis DeMuth.

In February 2018, Judge Charles Zambito sentenced Abrams to one-and-one-third to four years in prison following his earlier guilty plea to the Class D felony of making a terroristic threat.

Zambito also granted Abrams youthful offender status (his juvenile record would be sealed) if he could stay out of trouble. 

In September 2017, Abrams threatened to shoot deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Two days before that, Abrams was accused of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle at a fast-food restaurant in Batavia.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-sent-to-prison-for-making-threats-arrested-on-menacing-charge/539706#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-sent-to-prison-for-making-threats-arrested-on-menacing-charge/539706 Jul 18, 2019, 9:25am Isaac Abrams Teen sent to prison for making threats arrested on menacing charge Howard Owens <p>A teenage resident of Alabama who just 18 months ago was sentenced to prison for making a terroristic threat against a police officer was arrested again Tuesday night for allegedly threatening another person with a baseball bat.</p> <p>Isaac Abrams, 19, of Sky Road, is charged with menacing, 2nd.</p> <p>At 11:26</p>
Teen from Basom sent to prison for threatening deputies and others https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-from-basom-sent-to-prison-for-threatening-deputies-and-others/511353 In determining how to sentence 17-year-old Isaac Abrams of Basom, Judge Charles Zambito said there conflicting viewpoints to consider.

As a 17-year-old, in a couple of years under recent reforms in New York criminal law, Abrams would perhaps be considered a juvenile and wouldn't even appear in County Court and would be presumed to be not responsible for his actions. 

However, Abrams admitted to serious offenses that could have led to the loss of life and in just five short months has established a pattern of repeated offenses and disregard for authority.

Zambito said he's concerned about the direction Abrams seems to have chosen for his life recently.

In December, Abrams entered guilty pleas to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony. The charges stem from incidents where he threatened to kill Sheriff's deputies during a confrontation on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and appeared to try and run over pedestrians at a fast food restaurant in Batavia.

"I understand you have a child and that is important to you," Zambito said. "But if you continue on this path, you won't see your child again, if you even survive."

Zambito sentenced Abrams to one-and-a-third to four years in prison followed by parole until he's 21.

Abrams was granted youthful offender status, which will expunge his record once he's an adult if he stays out trouble. 

He said the sentence, he felt, balanced protecting the community, serving justice, and won't prevent Abrams from living life as a productive member of society once he's out of the criminal justice system.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued against granting Abrams Y.O. status. She said he has engaged in increasingly violent acts, shown a disregard for authority and human life, and violated his release under supervision contract numerous times.

"He's a high risk to the community," Cianfrini said. "Look at his statements. He seriously minimizes his conduct. He said that he gave people something to talk about at dinner. This is not somebody expressing remorse."

Defense Attorney Vanessa Guite suggested that Zambito take into account his age and the fact that before this rash of incidents started, he had no criminal charges in his life.

"To a certain degree his actions are the result of immaturity and the role alcohol played in his conduct," Guite said. "His criminal history started only five months ago. There are many people with worse histories walking the streets right now."

She said from her viewpoint, the prosecution was trying to make Abrams out as the worst criminal in history, which she said she understood was the prosecution's job, and she suggested that Cianfrini overstated the weight Zambito should give to the RUS violations.

"Their recommendation is for substantial prison time for what amounts to using marijuana and staying out late," Guite said.

After Guite's remarks to Zambito, Abrams had his turn to make a statement on his behalf. After a whispered exchange with his attorney, Abrams said, "I'm sorry for my actions."

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-from-basom-sent-to-prison-for-threatening-deputies-and-others/511353#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-from-basom-sent-to-prison-for-threatening-deputies-and-others/511353 Feb 16, 2018, 5:04pm Isaac Abrams Teen from Basom sent to prison for threatening deputies and others Howard Owens <p>In determining how to sentence 17-year-old Isaac Abrams of Basom, Judge Charles Zambito said there conflicting viewpoints&nbsp;to consider.</p> <p>As a 17-year-old, in a couple of years under recent reforms in New York criminal law, Abrams&nbsp;would perhaps be considered a juvenile and&nbsp;wouldn't even appear in County Court and would be presumed</p>
Teen who admitted to threatening to shoot police faces possible longer prison term https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-who-admitted-to-threatening-to-shoot-police-faces-possible-longer-prison-term A 17-year-old Basom resident has lost his sentencing cap on his conviction of making a terrorist threat and reckless endangerment after allegedly testing positive for marijuana while out of jail awaiting sentencing.

Judge Charles Zambito told Isaac Abrams that he violated the terms of his release, which could mean his sentence on the two counts could run consecutively instead of concurrently. He faces up to seven years in prison on each count.

Abrams nor his attorney disputed the positive test.

Attorney Vanessa Guite characterized the marijuana use as a one-off incident.

"Someone handed him what they said was a 'black and mild' and he took a puff," she said. "He didn't understand what it was but he realizes he needs to change his behavior." 

The toxicology came back "mild positive," which indicates Guite said, that Abrams is not a habitual user.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini confirmed with Zambito that Abrams had lost his sentencing cap.

"I don't know if you can get a mild positive test from one puff on a blunt but he has violated the terms of his release under supervision," Cianfrini said.

A month ago, Abrams admitted to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.

He pled guilty to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony.

While out of jail awaiting his sentencing, Abrams is on a curfew and can't leave his house between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Zambito didn't order him back to jail today but warned him not to violate the terms of his release again.

"If there is any violation, there will be no notice to appear," Zambito said. "I will issue an order for your arrest and hold you until your sentencing."

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 9.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-who-admitted-to-threatening-to-shoot-police-faces-possible-longer-prison-term#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/teen-who-admitted-to-threatening-to-shoot-police-faces-possible-longer-prison-term Jan 18, 2018, 3:26pm Isaac Abrams Teen who admitted to threatening to shoot police faces possible longer prison term Howard Owens <p>A 17-year-old Basom resident has lost his sentencing cap on his conviction of making a terrorist threat and reckless endangerment after allegedly testing positive for marijuana while out of jail awaiting sentencing.</p> <p>Judge Charles Zambito told Isaac Abrams that he violated the terms of his release, which could mean his</p>
Youth who threatened to shoot deputies, troopers, pleads guilty to making a terrorist threat https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/youth-who-threatened-to-shoot-deputies-troopers-pleads-guilty-to-making-a-terrorist A 17-year-old Basom resident admitted in County Court today to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.

Isaac Abrams entered guilty pleas to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony.

There is no sentencing cap on his possible prison term, which is a maximum of seven years, but the sentences on both charges would run concurrently, according to the plea agreement.

Abrams was being held in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 bail, but after listening to both attorneys on his bail status, County Court Judge Charles Zambito agreed to release Abrams under the supervision of Genesee Justice with a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. He must continue to reside at his mother's residence on Skye Road during the term of his release or get permission from the court to move.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini argued that Abrams has demonstrated a poor record of obeying the lawful commands of police officers, first in the Aug. 28 incident in the city and then during his confrontation with troopers and deputies Sept. 30.

His attorney, Vanessa Guite, said that Abrams has been successfully participating in Alcoholics Anonymous, completed his high school education while confined, and she added that that her client's second arrest was a real wake-up call for him.

"You can see from his demeanor in court that he is taking this deadly serious," Guite said.

In October, Abrams became a father. He has yet to see his baby, Guite said.

While out of jail, Guite said, "He will be fully engaged in taking care of his baby."

Details of the incident that led to Abrams' arrest in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28 are not available. There was no press release at the time of his arrest and today the Batavia PD computer system is down so the information isn't available. (Correction: There was a press release, but Abrams' name was redacted from the initial release by Batavia PD, so we couldn't find the prior publication.)

Abrams was originally charged with three counts of attempted assault in the first degree, along with the reckless endangerment charge, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd.

UPDATE: At 5:46 p.m., Aug. 29, Batavia PD responded to a disturbance at Burger King at 230 West Main St., Batavia, where a person was reportedly struck by a vehicle. Abrams reportedly fled the scene and was apprehended on West Main Street.

His plea satisfies all six charges along with any pending traffic tickets.

As for the Oct. 30 incident, Deputy Andrew Hale handled the case and Hale said today that the arrest was the culmination of about a week of deputies dealing with Abrams.

He said there was an incident at a gas station on the reservation where Abrams allegedly got into a fight with a patron and the owner of the gas station asked Hale to arrest Abrams, whom he said was previously barred from the property, for trespass.

There was another incident, Hale said, where Abrams allegedly hit an employee at a smoke shop. The State Police handled that incident.

Hale sought an arrest warrant for Abrams and received it Oct. 30.

That day, there was a traffic accident on Route 77 and traffic was redirected down Meadville Road. According to Hale, Abrams and his friends, whom Hale said had all been drinking, decided to set up a roadblock and charge a toll for motorists coming onto the reservation. 

Troopers responded and Abrams and his friends challenged the troopers to a fight. Hale was notified and he responded because he had the warrant for Abrams.

Upon his arrival, Abrams was positioned behind cars, near a house and a tree line.

According to Hale, Abrams yelled, "You want to play with guns. I'll play with guns."

He also threatened to shoot Hale and Deputy Lonnie Nati.

He then started to reach into a vehicle and Hale said he warned Abrams not to reach for a gun. At that point, Abrams went into the residence and Hale and Nati circled around to the back of the house. When Abrams came out, there was a brief confrontation and then Hale and Nati managed to take Abrams into custody.

No weapons were recovered at the scene, but the house was not searched because the deputies did not have a search warrant for the residence.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/youth-who-threatened-to-shoot-deputies-troopers-pleads-guilty-to-making-a-terrorist#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/youth-who-threatened-to-shoot-deputies-troopers-pleads-guilty-to-making-a-terrorist Dec 12, 2017, 3:08pm Isaac Abrams Youth who threatened to shoot deputies, troopers, pleads guilty to making a terrorist threat Howard Owens <p>A 17-year-old Basom resident admitted in County Court today to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.</p> <p>Isaac</p>