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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

Child reportedly hit by car on Buffalo Street, Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

A child has reportedly been struck by a car in the area of 3314 Buffalo St., Alexander.

Alexander Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:54 a.m.: Dispatchers are checking the available of Mercy Flight

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

Law and Order: Alleged parole absconder accused of giving false name to police

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien

Benito A. Gay, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation 2nd. Gay is accused of giving a false name to police in an attempt to hide his identity as an alleged parole absconder. Gay was jailed on a NYS Parole retainer.

Mckayla J. Kosiorek, 19, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.  Kosiorek allegedly possessed marijuana paraphernalia containing marijuana residue.

Alex Scott Dumbleton, 21, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt 1st.  The day after being served an order of protection barring contact with two people, Dumbleton allegedly went to the residence of the protected parties.

Brian Eric Daggar, 28, Woodmill Drive, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. Dagger was arrested on a Town of Batavia warrant by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office during an investigation into an incident at the Walmart in Brockport.

Amanda Marie Webb, 25, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument 3rd. Webb was stopped for an alleged traffic infraction on Colby Road, Darien, and was found to have a warrant out of City Court for an alleged crime reported March 31 at 10 Jefferson Square, Batavia. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

Nine arrests announced following Rockstar Energy Mayhem concert at Darien Lake

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Rockstar Energy Mayhem concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

Logan J. Lukowski, 18, of Buffalo Road, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Jenah R. Pettrone, 18, of Southland Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 17-year-old resident of Lexington Green West Seneca, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Kyle J. Ramen, 19, of Kirkwood Drive, West Seneca, is charged with unlawful possession of Marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 17-year-old resident of Bridlewood Drive, East Amherst, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

MatthewJ Suszka, 20, of Capital Heights Holland, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana 5th, criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th and criminal possession of a hypodermic Instrument after allegedly being found in possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and hypodermic needles.

Shaun H. McGhee, 29, of Route 11 Antwerp, is charged with trespass after allegedly re-entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jeffrey T. Peyman, 30, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with trespass after allegedly re-entering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Jemel Cannon, 37, of Crotona Park North Bronx, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly causing a disturbance in the parking lot.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 12:18 am

Photos: Patriot Guard delivers portrait of Sgt. Schmigel to her mother

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

The Patriot Guard delivered today one more gift, one more honor for Karie Schmigel, the mother of Sgt.  Shaina Schmigel, the Iraq War veteran and paratrooper who died while training at Fort Bragg in early June.

Members of the group of motorcycle riders who often serve as a honor guard and escort for soldiers who die in the line of duty, and did so for Shaina's funeral, drove to Karie's house on South Swan this evening to deliver a special portrait of Sgt. Schmigel.

Karie was immediately overcome as soon as she saw it.

The portrait was presented by Robert Polanski, left, and Scott Hayes.

The Schmigel family is selling bracelets, stickers and t-shirts to honor Shaina. The proceeds are being donated to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg. So far, $1,500 has been raised.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 12:07 am

Photos: A push mower never goes out of style

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Driving down South Jackson, I see a man in black slacks and a dress shirt with a push power cutting his lawn.

If it were the 1950s or 1960s, perhaps that wouldn't be unusual.

Frank DeMare said it is a little unusual for him to cut the lawn. Usually, it's one of his sons.

DeMare has four sons and a small yard, so he's never seen the point in buying a power mower, or a power snow blower, for that matter. Shovels work just fine.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Photos: Batavia Bulldawgs tuning up for another football season

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia bulldawgs, football, sports, youth sports

As we move into August, football is in the air. The Batavia Bulldawgs started practices this week with sessions in the late afternoon at Kibbe Park.  The first league games are Aug. 16, with Batavia hosting Attica at Lions Park.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:08 pm

BBs fired at children and adults outside soup kitchen at church on North Spruce

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

As families left an lunch-time soup kitchen the Assembly of God Church on North Spruce Street this afternoon, an unknown person apparently fired BBs at them.

The thwack of a BB against the siding of a building got everybody's attention and then after another shot, a BB was seen on the ground.

One BB narrowly missed a child, the child's mother said.

Police were called and a canvas of the area failed to produce a suspect. The shots were believed fired from a neighboring apartment complex.

"I don't know the motivation," said Sgt. Dan Coffey.  "I don't know why somebody would decide to shoot BBs in the direction of a church let alone the people standing outside near it. I couldn't speculate on that at this point."

The building wall showed clear evidence of at least one BB's impact.

Valerie White and Daniel Orlando said their three year old daughter was almost struck by one of the shots as she was sitting in her stroller. 

The couple and their two children, ages three and five, were outside talking with another family and their kids when the incident occurred a little before noon today.

"All the sudden we hear two ping, pings hitting the side of the building," White said. "We're looking around to see what's going on. It sounded like little stones hitting the building. Somebody noticed it was a BB coming toward us and we looked on the ground and there was a BB on the ground and there was a hole in the building. One just missed our daughter."

Orlando held up two fingers an inch apart and said, "it was probably this close."

Coffey said the weapon could either be CO2 powered or pump style BB gun. 

The suspects, if identified, are looking at possible reckless endangerment and criminal mischief charges.

Anyone with any information can contact the Batavia Police at 585-345-6350.

Original reporting for this story by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 9:47 pm

East Pembroke voters approve new fire hall for their volunteers

post by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, East Pembroke Fire District

Voters in the East Pembroke Fire District today approved on a 167-45 vote the construction of a new fire hall for their community.

The vote authorizes the district to proceed with the $3 million project, which will provide volunteer firefighters with a new 11,128 square-foot facility.

The building will contain not only more room for existing fire trucks, but rooms for hose drying, decontamination and air packs. 

As a result of the vote, property owners in the district will see their tax assessment increase from the current $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed value to a maximum of $1.98.

The new hall will replace an aging and structurally deficient building that has seen its better days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Molester had abundant opportunities to sexually abuse kids in this case, but so did many others

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Four new witnesses were called to the stand when testimony resumed this afternoon in the child sex abuse case of convicted child molester Sean Vickers.

Though their testimonies were mostly compelling, defense attorney Jerry Ader managed to point out gaps in recollections, dates and other specifics in an effort to cast a shadow of doubt in the jurors' minds.

Among those who took the stand was a 25-year-old prisoner brought in by officers from another county. He wore a white shirt, tan pants, ankle shackles, and looked dead ahead from the witness stand.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman straightaway dispatched with the witness's criminal record. The man is serving time for criminal trespass and two counts of first-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor. He pled guilty when he was 17 of unlawfully entering the home of an acquaintance and forcibly touching the genitals of two females, ages 7 and 11. He has served more than five years, out of a maximum of eight, and his third parole hearing is this fall.

Then Friedman asked about Vickers.

The alleged victim said he is one of five boys in his family, Vickers was an adult relative, and that from the time period of November 2001 to April 2002, Vickers had performed oral sex on him and vice-versa at least five or more times.

At that point, several of the jurors stared hard at Vickers. They were all paying attention.

On cross-examination, Ader honed in on the witness's credibility.

Ader contended that the witness has an ulterior motivation for coming forward now and telling about alleged oral sexual conduct with Vickers. The witness's time off for good behavior was voided due to problems during his incarceration. To convince authorities to give the credits back, and have that recommendation made at his third parole hearing in September, he's testifying today, Ader maintained.

In 2004, Ader noted, nothing was mentioned about oral sexual contact, nine years later it surfaces.

But upon questioning by Friedman, it was pointed out that the witness didn't reach out to police about Vickers, rather the police contacted the witness in order to re-interview him for this case about his contact with Vickers.

Next, Ader asked the witness if one someone had been removed from his mother's home. The witness said Child Protective Services had ordered Vickers to be removed from the home.

That's not the answer he was looking for, so he ignored the statement. He asked about one of his brothers. Was one of them was removed from the home?

"Yes."

"Were you ever told why?"

"No."

"Did you ever wonder why?"

"Yes."

Did (this brother) ever touch you inappropriately?"

"Yes."

The next witness was a 23-year-old brother of the first witness. Friedman questioned him about getting in trouble with the police. The young man told the jurors that in August of 2002 he got caught throwing rocks at the sand wash on Cedar Street and the cops took him to his house in Batavia. Only Vickers was there and they began arguing. Then the boy went in the basement to fold laundry. Vickers came down there and told him he was in big trouble. When the boy was standing against the washing machine, he said Vickers "touched my groin area...probably less than a minute. ... I ran upstairs. I was afraid."

From November 2001 to February 2004, Vickers sexually molested him on several occasions, the second witness said. Specifically, Vickers performed oral sex on him. The witness at this point appeared a bit uncomfortable, yawning nervously and wriggling about.

It was the dates of those instances that Ader parsed. How could he remember the dates? Are you saying you can remember this from 10 years ago?

The witness said he remembers the date of the time in the laundry room because it was the first real trouble he'd gotten into. The second time in which he recalled a specific date was because "it was Buffalo Bills day."

An exhibit was then entered into the court record -- an affidavit which he signed in May of 2013. It describes his run-in with police, arguing with Vickers about it, but nothing about sexual contact. It says he was 11, but he was actually 8 at the time. And the statement about an instance of abuse on Buffalo Bills day says he was 8, but he was actually 11.

"You really don't have a good memory about this do you?"

"No," the witness replied. "It's hard enough as it is."

Next the prisoner was recalled to the stand and simply asked if the alleged abuse occurred at the same address (the one his brother cited). "Yes."

The third witness for the prosecution testified that he knows one of the alleged victims, from another family, because his brother is married to the child's mother.

Last August, with Vickers behind the wheel, the third witness and his brother all went to the IMAX theater in Rochester to see a movie. The brother, having some knowlege of the alleged molestation, asked Vickers if he had been touching the child. The answer was yes. The brother said "stay away from our house." "Okay," the previously convicted molester replied.

This witness, too, has had legal problems. In 2009, at age 17, he entered guilty pleas to several misdemeanors, including stealing bicycles out of people's yards, shoplifting at Walmart, and more serious, providing alcohol to minors. He spent a year in jail and then was put on probation.

When Ader asked about the movie trip, he wanted to know if the radio was on, was it loud, since he had a cell phone with him -- why didn't he text and tell someone about Vickers' alleged admission of guilt?

The third witness said when he returned home that night, he did tell the child's mother.

The final witness was this child's mother -- a married woman who has two sons, ages 11 and 9.

She testified that from Spring 2012 to Spring 2013, Vickers often had contact with her family, as he was a relation by marriage. They went skiing, to movies, on picnics.

"He paid for things, like a Kindle Fire, rollerblades, bought Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, expensive things," she said. "At times he spent the night in our attic, it's finished, it's a bedroom. He slept on a pad on the floor."

The district attorney elicited that her sister has twin boys and they often spent nights at the witness's house as well, including about four or five overnight stays when Vickers was staying over.

The mother bit her lip repeatedly. Swallowed hard. Teared up.

She told the panel that today her youngest son has attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder; he is emotionally disturbed; suffers from anxiety; and has also been diagnosed with "behavorial defiance disorder."

Then she talked more about Vickers.

"Sean would pay for us (she and her husband) to go do things and he said he'd pay for it and he'd babysit."

And how many times did this type of arrangement occur? Friedman asked.

"Fifty times or more," she replied.

Ader asked if her brother had told her about the conversation he had with Vickers in the car on the way to the movies. Yes, she said. Ader asked if her youngest son had told her he had been "touched." No, she said.

By this time, the impassive, pale-faced Vickers started taking notes on a legal pad. He is diminutive, balding and gray in back; he wore a black suit. He is slight of chin and completely unremarkable in mien.

The last witness further testified that she had not alerted the police after her brother relayed the car conversation because she had already done so "long before."

The defense attorney's next line of questioning brought forth testimony that many guests came and went at her household, including one who had been convicted of providing alcohol to minors.

There were plenty of guests.

"More than I'd like," she said.

The case resumes tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Trial of convicted sex offender Sean Vickers begins today

post by Julia Ferrini in batavia, sex offender, trial, Vickers

The witnesses are now grown men, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told jurors this afternoon to open the trial of Sean Vickers, accused of sexual abuse.

The alleged crimes occurred 12 years ago, but the scars remain, Friedman said.

"He (Vickers) damaged the boys by what he did to them in the late '90s," Friedman said.

Vickers, already a convicted sex offender, was indicted in November on 10 felony sexual abuse counts, including predatory sexual abuse.

According to Friedman, Vickers got to know the family and the kids; he built trust with the families and would often spend overnights in their homes.

"This (the children) is what the case is about," Friedman said. "Through the testimony of the boys and witnesses, you will hear an admission of guilt by the defendant himself; and based on the evidence you will hear and see, I ask that you return a verdict of guilt."

In rebuttal, Defense Attorney Jerry Ader asked the jury to follow the law and not emotion.

"You haven't heard the evidence or the witnesses," Ader said. "You don't know enough at this point to make a decision. You have to listen to every element on all the charges and they have to be proven without a reasonable doubt.

"Emotions run high in a case like this, listen to the evidence, follow the law," Ader continued.

Ader asked the jurors to judge each crime individually, reminding them that they swore an oath to follow the law to wherever the decision may lead. He also noted that the surface has just been scratched and to not just judge on the basis that children were involved.

"Keep an open mind. These are complex charges," Ader said.

According to the first witness, a member of the clergy, Vickers openly confessed in the presence of his then wife, to sexually abusing two of his stepchildren. The witness stated that Vickers and his wife had come to him in November 2004 and informed him of what Vickers had done. The witness encouraged Vickers to turn himself in and his wife to get help for her boys so they may begin the healing process.

The former Batavia resident is charged with course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree; predatory sexual assault against a child in the first degree; abuse of a child in the first degree; and endangering the welfare of a child.

The trial resumed at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Le Roy Fire's treasurer accused of stealing close to $50K from department

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy
Dennis Snow

Press release:

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the arrest of Dennis Snow, the treasurer of the LeRoy Fire Department in Genesee County. Snow was charged with two counts of grand larceny in the third degree (class D felony), 42 counts of forgery in the first degree (class C felony) and two counts of falsifying business records in the first degree (class E felony) for allegedly stealing nearly $50,000 in public funds.

“This individual blatantly abused his position and went on a spending spree with public money,” said DiNapoli. “It is alarming that my office continues to uncover instances such as this where local officials misuse their office for their personal benefit. I commend the village of LeRoy police department and District Attorney (Lawrence) Friedman for working closely with my staff to make sure this individual is held accountable for his actions.”

DiNapoli’s office found that Snow allegedly made unauthorized transfers, withdrawals and deposits from the department’s account, as well as from the firemen's benevolent association. Snow used the money to pay his personal bills and admitted that he forged the required co-signers signatures in order to complete his theft. The audit is expected to be finalized in the next month. Snow is due back in court on August 13. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Police trying to determine if pair of crimes last week are related

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Police investigators are looking into separate incidents last week to try and determine if the crimes are related and identify suspects.

The first incident involved a robbery in the area of Tracy and Washington avenues in which three people robbed a pedestrian at about 11:20 p.m., July 19.

The second incident was two nights later and involved four individuals jumping a victim in the area of State Street and Willow Street.

While the robbery was previously reported, BPD has released suspect descriptions. 

The three youths are described as a black male, late teens, wearing a dark-colored hoodie; a light-skinned male in his late teens wearing a white tie-died muscle shirt; and, a person in the late teens with no other description provided.

One of the teens threatened the victim with the use of a weapon and told him to give him his money. The victim did not see a weapon displayed, but followed orders and handed over his money.

In the second incident, the victim was sitting on a porch talking with a friend when a person approached and asked to speak with him along the side of the house. 

As he moved to the side of the house, three other individuals surrounded him. 

The first person started a confrontation with the victim and the other three people jumped in.

A witness called police and when police arrived, the suspects ran.

One juvenile was detained and later released to a parent. 

The 20-year-old victim was treated at the scene by Mercy EMS and said he didn't require further treatment. 

Anyone having information should contact the Batavia Police at 345-6350 or confidentially via e-mail on the City of Batavia Web site link to the Batavia Police or Tip Line 345-6370.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Photos: Google guys taking pictures of Downtown Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Google

If you saw a couple of guys with cameras on tripods this morning on Main Street, they are Drew and Adam Hilker, who are contractors with Google traveling the state shooting pictures for an updated street view map on Google Maps.

The new street view is intended to provide more detail in business districts, such as Downtown Batavia.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 9:33 am

Law and Order: Alexander resident accused of stealing from employer

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime, Le Roy, Pavilion

Dennis C. Bump, 33, of Stannard Road, Alexander, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Bump is accused of stealing from his employer at various locations in Batavia. Bump was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Ann M. Capuano, 29, of West Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. The underlying charges for her court appearance in this case were not released by police. She had been issued an appearance ticket on a previous matter. Capuano was released on $100 cash bail.

Desmond L. Majors, 21, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with two counts of harassment, 2nd, and disorderly conduct. Majors allegedly struck another person and yelled obscenities in a public place.

Kenisha A. Thomas, 16, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Thomas is accused of assaulting another person while in Austin Park at 3:10 p.m., Sunday.

Daniel Robert Ruffner, 28, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Ruffner is accused of being the primary aggressor in a fight with another person.

Laurie J. Lerkins, 37, of Le Roy, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana. Lerkins was reportedly involved in a two-car accident on Route 98, Town of Java. Lerkins allegedly failed to maintain her lane and struck a vehicle driven by Rodney L. Gleason, 53, of North Chili. Upon subsequent investigation by state troopers, Lerkins was allegedly found to be under the influence of drugs. She was issued traffic tickets for failure to keep right, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operation and failure to notify DMV of a change of address.

Also, a Grand Jury indictment:

Cassandra R. Blake is indicted on one count of grand larceny, 4th. Blake is accused of stealing 245 lottery tickets with a face value of $1,028, along with payouts from those tickets and other cash, from the Yellow Goose store in Pavilion on or about June 21 and 22.

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