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Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Assault suspect reportedly told deputy 'he never should have shoved my wife'

post by Howard Owens in crime, Darien
Craig Lawson

The man accused of punching another patron following the Kid Rock concert in July at Darien Lake kept muttering, "he shouldn't have shoved my wife," according to the deputy who arrested him.

The officer testified at a hearing in Genesee County Court today, called a suppression hearing, which is a chance for the defense to challenge whether certain pieces of evidence will be allowed at trial.

In this case, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled that Deputy Lonnie Nati will be allowed to testify about what the possible statements made by the suspect, 34-year-old Craig Malcolm Lawson, of Talbot Street, Courtland, Ontario, Canada.

Lawson is charged with assault in the second degree, a Class D felony.

He allegedly delivered a single punch to Jason McNeil, a former WNY resident who lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

McNeil was hospitalized and in a coma for weeks following the incident.

A source in contact with the family said McNeil is back in home, but "he will never be the same." His injuries are described as "catastrophic" and McNeil requires 24/7 care.

Nati was on the stand for about 30 minutes, being peppered with rapid fire questions from, first, Robert Zickl, an assistant District Attorney, and then by Jessica Kulpit, representing Lawson.

Nati testified that he was working the night of the incident in the parking lot of the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

At some time around 11 p.m., after the concert, deputies were handling crowd control and traffic during a period known at "the dump" (when everybody leaves and deputies and Darien Lake security work to get the parking lot cleared of cars as quickly as possible). 

Nati received a call of a fight in the area of South PAC. He was only about 50 or 60 feet away at the time of the call, he testified.

When he arrived, concert security had Lawson detained and another man was laying on the ground.

Nati directed Lawson over to a bench. Lawson said, "he never should have shoved my wife," while sitting on the bench, Nati said.

Within a minute a woman ran up, whom Nati later identified as Lawson's wife, and told Lawson not to talk to Nati.

"It was kind of funny," Nati said, "she kept running up to him, putting her hand on his mouth telling him to 'shut up, you want an attorney.' "

During this period, Lawson said he wanted an attorney.

In a few different ways and a few times, Kulpit asked if Nati read him his Miranda warnings. Nati answered pretty much the same each time: "No, because I didn't ask him any questions."

Nati said at no time did he ever question Lawson except to obtain what's known as pedigree information (name, date of birth, address, etc.).

From the time Nati first made contact with Lawson, through the ride in the security golf cart to the security trailer, to the time sitting in his patrol car while being booked, Nati said Lawson kept mumbling, "he never should have shoved my wife."

Nati described Lawson as intoxicated, but very cooperative.

"He was continuing with his drunken mutterings about 'he shouldn't have shoved my wife,' " Nati said.

The officer said he didn't observe any cuts or blood on Lawson.

After the hearing, when asked if she anticipated a trial for Lawson, Kulpit -- filling in for attorney Joel Daniels -- would not answer the question.

No trial date has been set. Lawson is scheduled to appear in court again at 1:30 p.m.

Previously:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Popular Color Me Rad 5K returning to Darien Lake on June 21

Press release:

Back by popular demand, the Color Me Rad 5K, a nationally recognized human tie-dye spectacle and run/walk, is returning to Darien Lake for its second year bigger and better than before. More than 6,800 racers came out for the event last year, raising $15,000 for the Special Olympics of New York. This year, registration will be open to 10,000 participants so even more color-plastered racers can get in on the fun while supporting a great cause.

What makes Color Me Rad so unique is the excitement and entertainment generated by thousands of racers running through the scenic grounds at Darien Lake while a Color Bomb Squad takes aim their shirts, faces, and hair with a rainbow array of colors. A new element to the fun this year, racers will get hand-held color blasters so everyone can get in on the action.   

The event is June 21.

Registration for the run/walk is now open at http://www.colormerad.com/race/buffalo.  

“We strive to partner with organizations and families to create special moments that their kids will share with their kids. There’s no doubt that this is going to be a colorful memory worth sharing,” said Rod Rankin, vice president and general manager of Darien Lake. 

Participants are encouraged to continue their fun after the race with a day at Darien Lake. Accommodations packages are available for registered participants at www.godarienlake.com.

"Special Olympics New York is delighted to be the beneficiary of, and to partner with, Darien Lake and Color Me Rad 5K for this tremendously fun event in June,” said Special Olympics of New York President and CEO Neal Johnson. "Color Me Rad 5K is an energetic event for all, where the volunteers have just as much fun as the participants. Whether you register to run or volunteer for the race, you'll be helping Darien Lake and Color Me Rad 5K support more than 56,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state."

More than 5,000 pounds of FDA-approved, colored cornstarch will be used during the event. In addition to “Color Bomb Squad” volunteers spread along the 3.1-mile course, walkers and runners will also be able to toss their own bags of color into the air, creating an unforgettable display of color.

Photos from last year's Color Me Rad at Darien Lake by Howard Owens.

Monday, January 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Law and Order: Le Roy man accused of stealing co-pays at doctor's office

post by Howard Owens in Basom, batavia, Alabama, bergen, byron, corfu, crime, Darien, Le Roy, Oakfield

James Mitchell, 35, of Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Mitchell was arrested following a months-long investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office into reports of stolen co-payments at a doctor's office where Mitchell worked in Avon. The investigation took time, according to LCSO, because of lengthy billing cycles and victims coming forward. Mitchell was allegedly stealing co-pays as patients checked out at their physician's office. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Dan Rittenhouse, Deputy Ross Gerace, Deputy Steph Schroeder and Deputy Mike Yencer.

Kelly M. Zwolinski, 34, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and resisting arrest. Zwolinski was identified as a suspect in possession of a stolen horse saddle that was taken from a farm in Niagara County and an arrest warrant was issued. When Deputy Kevin McCarthy and Investigator William Ferrando attempted to place Zwolinski under arrest, she allegedly resisted arrest.

Darlene Ann Kingdollar, 51, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. Kingdollar is accused of entering the 7-Eleven store in Oakfield while intoxicated and after she was denied the purchase of alcohol, she allegedly left the store with a can of beer without paying for it.

Bruce J. Brade, 33, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with stalking, 4th, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Brade allegedly violated an order of protection.

Mark J. Price, 37, Township Road, Ashland, Ohio, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear for an alleged traffic violation in Batavia City Court. Price was aprehended during a traffic stop in the Village of Attica. Price was issued an appearance ticket.

Jeffrey A. Pionessa, 32, of Glenwood Drive, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding in zone. Pionessa was stopped at 2:30 a.m. Sunday on Law Street, Batavia, by Officer Arick Perkins. Pionessa allegedly had a BAC of .11.

A 17-year-old resident of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of damaging the mobile phone charger of another person by throwing it against a wall and grabbing the arm of the alleged victim and pushing the person's face.

John K. Rolls, 34, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of forcible touching. Rolls is accused of forcibly touching a 17-year-old girl on Jan. 7. Rolls is incarcerated in the Genesee county Jail on an unrelated matter and was issued an appearance ticket.

Brad Strzelecki, 19, of Hunter Street, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Strzelecki was reported at a location on Bank Street at 10:01 a.m. Jan. 13 when he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana by Officer Eric Foels.

Rodeny Lowell McKenzie, 49, of Weaver Street, Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. McKenzie was located by Transit Police in Buffalo during a check-the-welfare interview and identified as a warrant suspect for allegedly stealing items from Kmart on Dec. 12.

Bryant William Hardtner, 28, of State Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Hardtner is accused of taking a vehicle Sunday without the owner's consent.

Kimberly Diane Ribbeck, 27, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving a vehicle with obstructed vision and no or inadequate plate light. Ribbeck was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michael Gerald Pernicano, 21, of Lake Road, Holley, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to signal and no plate light. Pernicano was stopped at 2:29 a.m. Saturday on North Byron Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Lena Marie Evans, 26, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Evans was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Kmart by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Carey Anthony Bedell III, 18, of Lehigh Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bedell was arrested on Clinton Street Road, Byron, at 9:43 p.m. Friday.

Matthew R. Smith, 21, of Basom, is charged with forcible touching. Smith was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at noon Thursday.

Mark A. Allison, 52, of Lockport, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Allison was arrested by State Police following the report at 9:29 p.m. Thursday of a two-car accident at 372 Bloomingdale Road, Basom. One person was injured. The driver of the other vehicle was Alexander Shirira, 56, of Buffalo. No other details released.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:24 am

Law and Order: Woman who allegedly used stolen gift card to purchase cake at Walmart arrested

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime, Darien, Stafford

Angela Irene, 44, of South Grand Road, Medina, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Irene was arrested as a result of reports on The Batavian and OrleansHub of a purse being stolen from a shopping cart in the parking lot of the Batavia Walmart and a gift card subsequently being used to purchase a cake at the Walmart in Albion. As a result of the publication of the surveillance photo from the Albion Walmart, the suspect turned herself in to local law enforcement. The Sheriff's Office also received numerous phone calls identifying the suspect. The case was handled by Investigator Kristopher Kautz and Deputy James Diehl.

Jillian E. Dibble, of Akron, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Dibble was stopped at 7:50 a.m. Sunday on Route 77 at Reynolds Road, Darien, by State Police.

Alexander E. Dills, 23, of Stafford, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, possession of a hypodermic instrument, unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and aggravated unlicensed operation. Dills was arrested by State Police at 8:55 a.m. Saturday. No further details released.

Darrnell J. Barnes, 51, of Alabama, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Barnes was stopped at 7:42 p.m. Saturday on Alleghany Road in Alabama by State Police.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Two accidents reported, one in Darien, another in the city

post by Howard Owens in batavia, accidents, Darien, Pavilion

There are two accidents reported -- one on West Main at Lyons and the other in Darien on Route 20 near Harper Road.

The accident in the city is reportedly head-on, but with one minor injury.

Minor injuries also reported in Darien. The conditions there are described as zero visibility.

Alexander is asked to close Route 20 to westbound traffic.

From the fire in Pavilion, Pavilion fire is back in service.

Because of ongoing server issues, it will likely be impossible for us to update this post.

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Darien couple needs help finding missing calves

post by Howard Owens in animals, Darien

Rob and Carol Magoffin took delivery of 9-month-old beefers Monday and as soon as the cattle arrived, they got spooked, ran and broke through a fence.

The calves haven't been seen since.

"I've been looking for them for four days," Rob said.

He bought them to raise as meat for his own household. He and Carol also have a few goats and chickens.

Their hobby farm is located in the area of Colby and Sumner roads, Darien.

One calf is all black and the other is brown with a brown and white face.

Since Rob had just taken delivery of the calves, there are no identifying tags or markings on them.

If you know of their whereabouts or see them, contact Rob or Carol at (585) 813-3881 or (585) 813-2769.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Car crash at Herkimer and Alleghany roads, Darien

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Darien

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at Herkimer and Alleghany roads. A woman has a back injury but was able to exit the vehicle. Darien Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: The location is determined to be one mile south of Herkimer.

UPDATE 12:36 p.m.: The address is 10971 Alleghany Road. Darien command reports the driver is an elderly female who is still seat-belted inside the vehicle, but is not entrapped.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: The patient is a sign-off. Responders will be back in service shortly.

Monday, December 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of punching person while at bar in Alexander

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

Justin Samuel Fagan, 26, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Fagan allegedly punched another person in the head causing that person to lose consciousness while at the Blue Dog Saloon on Attica Road, Darien, at 12:55 a.m. Sunday. Fagan allegedly fled the scene and was later located by a state trooper in Batavia.

Christopher Michael Rheinheimer, 24, of Chick Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, unreasonable speed and refusal to take breath test. Rheinheimer was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 1:29 a.m. Saturday on Attica Road, Darien, which was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile.

Sutton Ken Carhart, 19, of Clipnock Road, Stafford, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st. Carhart allegedly provided alcohol to several people who were under age 21.

Jacob Michael Risewick, 20, of West Bergen Road, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. Risewick was allegedly in possession of alcohol while at an underage drinking party on Clipnock Road.

Amanda Ashley Stranc, 22, of Alleghany Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speed not reasonable or prudent and moving from lane unsafely. Stranc reportedly observed a motor vehicle accident while driving on Attica Road, Darien, at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, and lost control of her car, becoming involved in a secondary motor-vehicle accident, while attempting to stop and assist the other motorist. The accident was investigated by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

A 17-year-old resident of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st, and criminal trespass, 2nd. The youth allegedly hosted an underage drinking party at 8341 Harris Road, Le Roy.

Elijah Absalon Seelay, 18, of Old Meadow Road, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Seelay is accused of possessing marijuana while at an underage drinking party at 8341 Harris Road, Le Roy.

Mitchell Robert Mulford, 20, of Attridge Road, Churchville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of alcohol. Mulford was arrested at an alleged underage drinking party at 8341 Harris Road, Le Roy.

Miguel Angel Dejesus, 66, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is accused of violating a release under supervision contract. Dejesus was jailed on $2,000 bail or $5,000 bond.

Danny Jay Torok, 26, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is accused of a violation of a Family Court act. Torok is accused of failure to appear for a scheduled Family Court appearance.

Philip Robert Perry, 27, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with failure to pay fine imposed by court. Perry is also charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Perry was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance while being processed into the Genesee County Jail.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Missing Darien man found dead in woods near home

post by Howard Owens in Darien

A nearly 24-hour search by State Police for a missing 26-year-old man from Darien ended tragically this afternoon when his body was found in a wooded area west of Route 77.

Ryan C. Bergman left his residence on Fargo Road around 3:50 p.m. yesterday in clothing inappropriate for the freezing weather.

SP Batavia responded and led a search that included local volunteer firefighters, deputies and the K-9 unit from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

The search was called off around 9 p.m. last night and started again this morning.

Today's weather conditions permitted use of the State Police helicopter to assist in the search.

At one point during the search, there was a report by a neighbor of a man running through the woods east of Fargo Road, but it was never confirmed as a possible sighting of Bergman.

Early in the afternoon, volunteer firefighters were again assembled for a search party.

Bergman's body was located at 2:30 p.m. and pronounced dead by Coroner Kristine Flanagan.

There is no foul play suspected, according to the State Police.

Assisting in the search were volunteers firefighters from Darien, Alexander, Alabama and Alden.

The cause of death has not been determined.

Previously: State Police conducting missing person search in Darien

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm

State Police conducting missing person search in Darien

post by Howard Owens in Darien

A State Police helicopter is involved in a missing person search off Fargo Road, Darien.

The person was reported missing yesterday. For a time yesterday, the Darien Volunteer Fire Company was involved in the search. At this point, only the State Police are involved in the search. There are multiple patrols in the area and officers on foot involved in the search.

The only description provided is a male subject.

A neighboring resident reported a little while ago seeing person running in the woods, seemingly trying to evade officers.

It's possible there may be no more information forthcoming on this case.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m. (by Billie): All available manpower from Darien Fire Department is asked to assemble in its hall at 1 p.m. to search for the missing man. In addition, a crew from Alexander fire is asked to assemble at the Darien hall to aid in the search. Alexander will also bring its Gator. All are told to dress warmly, of course.

Chief Dale Breitwieser, right, briefing volunteers on the search.

Alexander firefighters in the department's Gator.

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