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Friday, June 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

Grand Jury Report: Man accused of getting girl stoned and engaging in sex act

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

Alexander J. Kessler is indicted on counts of criminal sexual act, 1st, criminal sexual act, 3rd, sexual abuse, 1st, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful dealing with a child. Kessler is accused of providing a female age 17 or under with marijuana and alcohol, and then subjecting her to oral sexual contact without her consent and at a time she was unable to consent because she was physically helpless. The alleged conduct reportedly took place Feb. 25 and/or Feb. 26 in the Town of Le Roy.

Anthony J. Goulet is indicted on a count of assault, 2nd. Goulet is accused of injuring another person by hitting him with a beer bottle on June 15.

Thomas Hammerl is indicted on counts of falsifying business records and criminal purchase of a weapon. Hammerl is accused of attempting to purchase a J. Stevens single 12-gauge shotgun from Gary C. West of Sheard’s Antiques and Guns and falsely answering a question on a U.S. Department of Justice form ATF 4473 regarding his legal eligibility to purchase a gun. Hammerl is allegedly barred from owning firearms due to either a prior conviction or "some other disability which would render him ineligible to lawfully possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun in this state."

Friday, June 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

Law and Order: Buffalo man accused of stealing flooring from Home Depot

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Rocco A. Ballacchino, 53, of Red Jacket Parkway, Buffalo, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Ballacchino is accused of stealing $1,267 worth of flooring from the Home Depot in Batavia. Ballacchino was arraigned and held without bail.

A 17-year-old resident of River Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was stopped on River Street at 9:25 p.m., Thursday, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Resident of Washington Towers claims he was 'jumped' at Austin Park

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A man who resides on the fourth floor of Washington Towers told dispatch he was "jumped at Austin Park" and police are going there to interview him about his complaint.

The senior housing complex is located at 1 State St. in the City of Batavia, adjacent to the park.

Several calls have been made to dispatch in recent weeks complaining of fights and other distrubances at Austin Park.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Attorney challenges constitutionality of law used to charge woman accused of hitting Walmart employee

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons

The attorney for Jacquetta B. Simmons, the 26-year-old Batavia resident accused of assaulting a 70-year-old Walmart employee on Christmas Eve, is challenging the constitutionality of one of the laws used to charge his client.

Earl Key, a Buffalo attorney, filed a motion May 31 seeking dismisal of count two of the criminal indictment, which alleges assault in the second degree on a person 65 or older. Key's motion states that the relatively new law on which the count is based violates Simmons' rights under the 5th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Key was scheduled to appear in Genesee County Court today to argue his motions but according to his assistant attorney, Ann Nichols, Key was too sick to appear and she asked that the case be continued until next week.

The continuance benefits Key's case, because according to court discussion between Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini and Judge Robert C. Noonan, Key did not notify the Attorney General's Office of his motion challenging the constitutionally of the law, as required by court procedure.

Noonan said if Key had appeared today, he likely would have dismissed the motion due to the insufficiency of notification of the AG's office.

Simmons is accused of hitting Grace Suozzi, who was working as a checker at Walmart on Christmas Eve, after the 70-year-old reportedly asked to see the contents of a bag being carried by Simmon's brother. An argument reportedly ensured and according to witness accounts, Simmons allegedly punched Suozzi, breaking bones in her face.

In April, Simmons was arraigned on one count of assault in the second degree and one count of assault in the second degree on a person age 65 or older, making her the first person in Western New York charged under the relatively new statute.

In his written motion, Key argues the statute is unconstitutional because:

  • There is no legitimate state interest in affording a higher level of protection to a class of citizen based solely on age;
  • The law requires the defendant have knowledge of the victim's age, and a defendant would have know way of knowing a victim's age at the time of the assault;
  • The statute is unfair and unreasonable because it elevates "an otherwise garden variety assault" from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony;
  • The law is "arbitrary and capricious" in affording a person age 65 and older protection not afforded a person age 64 or younger.

According to Cianfrini's written response, prior case law establishes that legislative acts are presumed to have a legitimate state interest unless clearly shown otherwise, which, she argues, Key did not do.

She wrote that the legislative intent is clearly spelled out in the bill's supporting documents and that the state lawmakers had concerns about protecting the elderly "who are particularly susceptible to crimes as a result of their age."

"Specifically," she wrote, "the legislative history reveals that the statute was enacted because 'seniors are generally more vulnerable to injury and less able to protect themselves from younger persons.' "

Cianfrini also countered Key's point on the defendant's intent and need to know the victim's age, saying the law clearly spells out that the victim only meet the age requirement, not that the defendant know the age of the victim.

Legislative history in fact says legislators expected that "there is no requirement that the prosecutor prove the defendant knew or had reason to know the victim's age."

Simmons is scheduled to reappear in court at 3:15 p.m., June 27, for a hearing on Key's motions, which also include standard pre-trial motions related to the sufficiency of the grand jury indictment and evidence.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Tykes locked in car with windows rolled up at Wal-mart

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A caller reported to dispatch that there is a vehicle parked at Wal-mart with two very young children inside and all the windows are rolled up. The vehicle is said to be in the first row of the grocery section nearest Veterans Memorial Drive. State Police are called to the scene.

UPDATE 6:27 p.m.: When they arrived promptly after receiving the call, officers could not locate the white Pontiac alleged to have the kids inside.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: Law enforcement is going to look for the vehicle at the address of the registered owner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Vehicle larceny suspect believed to be in Batavia right now

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Local law enforcement officers believe they've ID'd the person in this photo, but he hasn't been taken into custody yet.

He is believed to be in the Batavia area right now, allegedly randomly hitting parking lots looking for unlocked vehicles. According to scanner chatter, he spends no more than five minutes in any one spot.

He is driving a dark blue Pontiac G5. It looks a lot like a Chevy Cobalt. The car has a small spoiler on the back.

The subject is wearing a knit ball cap with the cap curled. He is 6'2" and about 200 lbs. 

The number for Sheriff's dispatch is 585-343-5000.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

Law and Order: Swan Street resident accused of not returning rental items

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

Darrel R. Scroger, 34, of 8 Swan St., Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Scroger is accused of renting more than $3,000 in property from a local rental store and then failing to abide by the rental agreement. When the store tried to recover the items, it was discovered that Scroger apparently no longer has the items. Scroger was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Brandon J. March, 27, of 15 James St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. March is accused of damaging property of a person who was protected under a "no offensive conduct" order of protection.

Cory James Hemmer, 28, of South Main Street, Elba, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, coercion, 2nd, harassment, 2nd. Hemmer turned himself in on an arrest warrant for the listed charges, which stem from an incident reported May 30. Hemmer was jailed on $2,000 bail or $5,000 bond.

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Sheriff's Office looking for person of interest in string of thefts from unlocked cars

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a string of thefts from unlocked vehicles in and around the Town of Batavia over the past several weeks. The investigation has produced a vehicle and a person of interest the Sheriff’s Office would like to identify. Attached are photos of both. The vehicle is believed to be a darker blueish Chevrolet Cobalt with a rear spoiler. The male in the photo is believed to be over 6 foot in height and over 200 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

UPDATE Tuesday, 8:10 a.m.: The subject has been identified. He's not from  Genesee County.

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Grand Jury Report: Jail inmate accused of falsifying business records to place phone calls

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy

The Grand Jury issued the following indictments:

Jayson M. Connolly is indicted on 13 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Connolly is accused of using the identify of another Genesee County Jail inmate in the jail's phone system when contacting a person who was protected from contact by court order.

Stephen D. Reamer is indicted on counts of felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Reamer is accused of driving drunk March 23 in the Town of Le Roy. Reamer was previously convicted of DWI in December 2004.

Cody L. Osborn is indicted on counts of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal impersonation in the third degree. Osborn is accused of driving drunk March 4 in the Town of Le Roy. Osborn allegedly identified himself as a person employed by the Le Roy PD. Osborn was previously convicted of DWI in May 2009.

Jon N. Roblee is indicted on a count of criminal contempt 1st. Roblee is accused of placing a phone call to a person protected by a court order and saying, "I am going to get you and him too, if it takes the rest of my life."

Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Three members of Le Roy family jailed after scuffle with police

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

UPDATED Monday, 8 a.m., with confirmation of the suspects' identities, charges, additional details about the arrests and information provided by another person who said she witnessed the events.

----

What would normally be a routine arrest -- for alleged criminal contempt -- took a quick turn for the worse Sunday evening in Le Roy bringing out a significant response from multiple law enforcement agencies.

In the end, three people were arrested and no officers nor civilians were seriously injured.

"It went from zero to 60 in under a couple of seconds. It was just that quick," said Chris Hayward, chief of police for the Village of Le Roy. "Speaking to the officer afterwards, you're standing there waiting for that extra help to get there and it feels like it's taking forever and it's only taking a couple of minutes for people to get there to help you. These situations just spiral out of control real quickly. Fortunately, it's not something that happens on a regular basis."

Taken into custody were three residents of 21 Maple Ave.: Michael J Mead Sr., 25; Donald E. Mead Jr., 49; and Elaina J. Mead, 43.

Michael Mead is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, resisting arrest and harassment, 2nd. He was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Donald Mead is charged with assault, 2nd, a Class D felony, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. He was jailed on $15,000 bail.

Elaina Mead is charged with attempted aggravated assault on a police officer, a Class C felony, menacing a police officer, a Class D felony, and obstructing governmental administration. She is being held on $15,000 bail.

The incident began some time around 5 p.m. when Deputy Matthew Butler and Officer Emily Clark went to the Maple Avenue address to speak with Michael Mead about a criminal contempt complaint.

According to Hayward, after an interview, Butler informed the suspect that he was under arrest.

Allegedly, Michael Mead physically resisted arrest.

Michael Mead
Donald Mead
Elaina Mead
UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: Booking photos weren't available earlier because of computer problems at the Sheriff's Office.

As officers attempted to take Michael Mead into custody, Donald Mead allegedly tried to slam the front door on the officers, striking Butler with the door.

As the officers reportedly wrestled with the Michael Mead, Elaina Mead allegedly came out of the house and pushed a knife against Butler's chest.

Clark knocked the knife from the woman's hand and suffered a minor cut in the process.

Elaina Mead then reportedly reentered the house, raising further concern for the officers and their safety as they continued to wrestle with the suspect.

It's unclear what Donald Mead was doing at this point.

At some point during the scuffle, Clark requested back-up from Genesee County Emergency Dispatch, informing dispatchers that she and Butler were dealing with multiple agitated subjects and that at least one person had come at them with a knife.

As additional deputies and State Troopers responded, Butler said, "Keep sending all units. Multiple people are going to be arrested."

A Livingston County deputy responded and deputies in Orleans and Wyoming counties staged on the county lines ready to respond if more manpower was needed.

Within minutes of back-up arriving, all three suspects were in custody and additional units responded were told they could "back it down."

Sunday's incident, Hayward said, emphasizes the need in Genesee County for multiple law enforcement agencies to provide sufficient coverage in emergencies.

"Today demonstrates that if we didn’t have services along those lines, one or more officers would have been hurt," Hayward said.

Judging from scanner traffic, it sounded like several individuals were involved in the ruckus, but Hayward said up until the point of the arrests, only son, mother and father were involved.

According to Lourina Jeanotte, who emailed The Batavian in response to our initial report, said she was at the scene Sunday and said the suspects were gathered with other friends and family members for Father's Day when Butler and Clark knocked on the Mead's door.

She claims Elaina never threatened Butler nor Clark with the knife and only had it in her hand because she was cutting a steak and she forgot to put it down when she rushed out of the house because she believed Clark was beating her son.

Another person who said in an email she was there and witnessed the events, Cassidy Pucci, said Butler grabbed Michael Mead for no reason and that Donald Mead tried to assist his son.

She said Elaina Mead had a knife in her hand, but dropped it and started yelling at the officers, "Why are you hurting my son? It's Father's Day. Why are you hurting my son?" 

Pucci said Clark kicked the knife away.

At some point, Elaina Mead and Donald Mead started back toward the house, Pucci said, and Donald yelled something about the officers being in the wrong, that they had no reason to come to his house and grab his son.

When Donald Mead was cuffed and sitting in a Le Roy PD cruiser, Jeanotte said she saw Donald in the patrol car with the windows rolled up and he "began to shake and sweat horribly."

Jeanotte began to yell that he was having a medical emergency and several other people began to yell and one young man tried to open the back door of the cruiser and Clark pushed him away.

EMS personal were on scene and got Donald Mead out of the car quickly.

One male at the scene yelled that Donald Mead had a heart condition.

Donald Mead was placed on a stretcher and transported by Le Roy Ambulance to UMMC. He was released from the hospital about an hour later and taken into custody.

According to Hayward, the Sheriff's Office has been trying to resolve the criminal contempt charge for a couple of weeks, but the suspect had been uncooperative.

"Speaking to the deputy, it appears that they went above what they would normally do to get the matter resolved and that’s what resulted in the deputy going there tonight," Hayward said.

Michael Mead is accused of violating an order of protection.

Some of the Mead's neighbors said 21 Maple Ave. is a regular source of disturbances. Hayward confirmed that police have responded to the address on prior occasions, but did not have specifics on the nature of the calls.

The property is owned, according to online county records, by Troy Overholt.

It's unusual for a misdemeanor arrest to escalate as this one did, but it points out why officers need to be vigilant in all situations, Hayward said.

“There wasn’t anything that would have raised concern any more than what you typically go through when you go to deal with people," Hayward said. "It was one of those situations where they went there and it escalated out of control quickly."

Asked about how some people criticize police for how they conduct themselves in arrest situations, Hayward said many times people really don't understand the safety concerns.

"You’ll see people criticize the actions that officers take but until you’ve been in that situation where you are really concerned about your safety or the safety of others around you, you really have no basis to speak from," Hayward said. "These officers were in a situation where they were taking appropriate measures and because of that neither was seriously hurt."

UPDATE Monday, 1:57 p.m.: Donald and Elaina posted bail. Michael Mead remains in jail.

PHOTOS: Top, Donald Mead on a stretcher being assisted by Le Roy medics after suffering an apparent health issue while sitting in a patrol car. Second, Lourina Jeanotte becomes alarmed while observing Donald Mead in the patrol car. Bottom, Trooper Holly Hansell adjusts the handcuffs on Elaina Mead.

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