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Monday, October 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Law and Order: Allegations of domestic violence, pot possession, skipping out on hotel stay

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield, Pavilion, Stafford

Carolina M. Frias, 34, of Law Street, Batavia, is charged with theft of services, petit larceny and criminal mischief. She was arrested Oct. 23 at about 6:20 p.m. in front of 140 W. Main St. for alleged petit larceny, criminal mischief, 3rd, and theft of services stemming from an incident on Oak Street on Oct. 22. Frias is suspected of damaging and removing various items from a hotel without permission along with not paying for her stay. She was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or bail. The incident was investigated by officer Nedim Catovic, assisted by officer Eric Foels.

Abner C. Black, 60, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault and criminal mischief, 4th. Black was arrested in front of City Centre on Oct. 25 following an incident on Oct. 24 in which he was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute on Chandler Avenue. He allegedly shoved a female against a refrigerator and took her cell phone when she tried to call 9-1-1. He was jailed in lieu of $3,000 cash or bail. The incident was investigated by officer Nedim Catovic.

Donna Ann Corcoran, 41, of St. Mary's Street, Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana, and second-degree promoting prison contraband. She was arrested in the Town of Pavilion on Oct. 24 and brought to jail for an incident related to a DWI investigation. While inside the Genesee County Jail, it is alleged that Corcoran possessed a controlled substance and marijuana, which led to the aforementioned charges. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to answer the charges in city court on Nov. 19. Corcoran was also charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, failure to keep right and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle in the Town of Pavilion. She received traffic tickets for those alleged offenses and is to appear Nov. 18 in Pavilion Town Court. The incident was investigated by deputy Joseph Graff.

William J. Mellema, 50, of Almay Road, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and driving over state 55 mph limit. On Oct. 11 on Route 98 in Elba, Mellema was arrested on the charges following a traffic stop in which he allegedly admitted to having a bag of pot and a glass smoking pipe. He was arraigned in Elba Town Court and jailed on $800 cash bail or $2,000 bond. He is scheduled to reappear in Elba Town Court on Nov. 18. The incident was investigated by deputy Joseph Loftus, assisted by deputy Joseph Graff.

Harold Chinn, 49, of North Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny for an incident that happened on Sept. 23 on Veterans Memorial Drive. Chinn allegedly stole a cell phone that another patron of Walmart had left behind at the check-out counter. He was arrested Oct. 19 and issued an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on Nov. 3. The incident was investigated by deputy Joseph Loftus.

Monique Annette Mcmillian, 30, of Elmdorf Street, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd, and operating a vehicle with a suspended registration on Oct. 9 in Stafford. Following her release from Monroe County Jail, Mcmillian was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and subsequently arrested and jailed on $175 bail or $250 bond. She is to reappear in Stafford Town Court on Nov. 13. The incident was investigated by deputy Joseph Graff.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:35 am

American Legion grave marker stolen from cemetery in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

An American Legion grave marker, presumably bronze, has been reported stolen from the burial place of a veteran in the Machpelah Cemetery, 77 North St., Le Roy.

Le Roy PD responding to investigate.

Previously: Thieves steal hundreds of bronze markers from the graves of veterans in Byron-Bergen area

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7:38 am

Law and Order: Man accused of punching patron at bar in Elba

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

Samuel Christopher Dilcher, 31, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, is charged with assault, 3rd. Dilcher is accused of punching a patron in the face at the Stumblin Inn in Elba causing the person to require medical attention, including several stitches. Dilcher was issued an appearance ticket.

Justin David Moscato, 21, of Riddle Road, Lockport, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and uninspected motor vehicle. Moscato was arrested following a citizen complaint of a person staggering around a vehicle at 12:55 p.m. Wednesday at a location on Hopkins Road, Pembroke.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Man indicted for allegedly stealing cameras, software, speakers and headphones from retailer

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury

The Grand Jury of Genesee County has indicted Robert R. Hertz for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on May 16 Hertz knowlingly entered or remained unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime there. In count two, he is accused of third-degree burglary for the same actions on May 25. In count three, he is accused of the crime of grand larceny, 4th, a Class E felony, for allegedly stealing property at Target in the Town of Batavia having a value exceeding $1,000: several digital cameras, Mircosoft Office for Mac software, Macrosoft Office 8.1 software, JBL wireless speakers, and Bose headphones.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

Law and Order: Batavia man accused of cashing forged checks

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Benjamin J. Bullard, 27, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. Bullard is accused of cashing forged checks at Five Star Bank. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Sarah E. Hughes, 22, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hughes is accused of threatening another person who was walking down Walnut Street at 2:40 p.m. Monday.

Katherine Schaeffer Thomas, 41, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise. Thomas is accused of playing music loud enough to disturb her neighbors at 12:12 a.m. Friday.

Kimberly M. Douglas, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with public appearance under the influence of drugs and endangering the welfare of a child. Douglas was allegedly under the influence of suboxone while with her children at a public place at 5:22 a.m. Saturday.

Samuel F. Russo, 33, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Russo turned himself in following an alleged domestic incident at 2:31 a.m. Saturday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7:01 am

Arrest made in case of stolen calves

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, Stafford
Janet Knauss

A former Le Roy resident has been charged with four counts of burglary and one count of grand larceny for allegedly stealing calves from local farms.

Janet M. Knauss, 49, of Caledonia, is accused of stealing 16 calves during four separate burglaries in July.

The calves were valued at $3,164.

Investigators contend that Knauss stole the calves and raised the calves and other livestock at a location in the Town of Stafford.  

Four calves were reportedly recovered at that location and returned to the owner. The other calves were allegedly sold at auction and not recovered.

Following her arrest and arraignment, Knauss was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Conducting the investigation were Investigator Timothy Weis and deputies Brad Mazur, Howard Carlson, John Duyssen and Chad Minuto.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Former Corfu clerk who stole $10K in court funds close to dismissal of conviction

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime

After a year on probation that a prosecutor described as "stellar," a former Corfu court clerk who admitted to stealing more than $10,000 in court funds has another year of good behavior and substance abuse rehab to complete before her criminal record is wiped clean.

A year ago, Brandi Watts entered a guilty plea to one of the 64 counts on a grand jury indictment -- first-degree tampering with public records -- and was placed on interim probation with the understanding that if she made restitution, got help with substance abuse, and stayed out of trouble, she could have the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

Then, if she did well for another year -- the year coming up -- she could have that charge dismissed under what's known as a conditional discharge.

"Everything we've heard from the probation department indicates a stellar probation report, so we came back today and she was given the benefit of the bargain that she negotiated back last October," said Eric Schiener, an assistant district attorney in Wyoming County, who was filling in for Donald O'Geen, the special prosecutor in the case.

Schiener spoke with reporters following a short hearing in County Court, where neither Watts nor her attorneys made a statement. One of her three attorneys told reporters the legal team had no comment on the case.

Watts should have completed a rehab program through Horizon, Noonan said, but through no fault of Watts, she never got into the program and is now slated to complete a program with GCASA. As a requirement of her conditional discharge, Watts must successfully complete the GCASA program. She must also refrain from using illegal or unauthorized drugs and not break the law.

She's already made restitution. 

The theft of court funds came to light in a state comptroller's audit and was a significant event in more than 24 months of turmoil in Village of Corfu government, which eventually led to the resignation of Mayor Ralph Peterson.

Watts is the daughter of Robert Alexander, who was a village judge while Watts was court clerk. Alexander was charged with official misconduct and coercion. Those charged were dropped as part of the plea agreement with Watts, and Alexander had to resign as Town of Pembroke justice (he was already out of office in Corfu).

Noonan said Watts appeared to be on the right course, but told her, "I certainly hope you have learned your lesson from this event. You took a responsible job and totally abrogated your responsibility in that job, lost that job and created a lot of havoc in a lot of people's lives."

From the special prosecutor's point of view, Schiener said the disposition of the case is an appropriate outcome:

"It was a negotiated plea bargain agreement. Given the facts of the case, the facts and circumstances of the crime, the goals of the criminal justice system were all met here. Someone who obviously had a substance problem that may have been the primary factor in her commission of crime, she's addressed it. She did well on probation for a year, so she's receiving the benefit of that bargain."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Thieves steal hundreds of bronze markers from the graves of veterans in Byron-Bergen area

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, byron, crime, veterans

The way Jim Neider sees it, stealing markers from the graves of men and women who served their country through military service is "as low as you can go."

Neider was reacting to news that more than 400 bronze markers -- perhaps many more -- have been stolen from the graves in at least a half-dozen cemeteries in the Byron-Bergen area.

The case is being investigated by both the State Police and the Sheriff's Office.

The markers are placed by families and veterans service organizations and, in many cases, were pushed into the turf beside the headstone of a veteran decades ago.

The markers are designed as flag holders and include a bronze medallion designating a veterans group, such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars. The medallion typically weighs about a pound and the current replacement value is $32 each.

"They're very expensive," said Nieder, a local veterans leader. "I do discourage people now from getting them because they do have a tendency to walk."

Nieder said since the 1990s, veterans and families have been more likely to buy aluminum markers, which have no scrap metal value to speak of, or less commonly, plastic.

Whoever is involved in the theft of the markers is facing a charge of grand larceny, said Trooper Victor Morales, public information officer for Troop A.

Nieder pointed out that there is a law now on the books that covers both the sale and purchase of markers used on the graves of veterans. Section 450-A of the state's general business law says "it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, association or corporation to engage in the buying or selling of metal cemetery markers and flag holders bearing the insignia of any veterans' organization placed upon the graves of veterans."

Each violation of the law is punishable by a $500 fine or 15 days in jail or both.

Morales said the State Police are investigating the left of markers in four cemeteries in the Byron-Bergen area. More than 400 markers were stolen from these cemeteries. The Sheriff's Office is investigating thefts from other cemeteries, but Morales didn't know how many other cemeteries or how many additional markers were stolen from those locations.

We've been unable to contact the investigator with the Sheriff's Office handling the case.

The disappearance of the flag holders was discovered over the weekend. It's unknown when they might have been taken.

When asked for his reaction to the thefts, Neider said his first thought wouldn't be publishable. He said this isn't like stealing something from somebody's front lawn. The thieves are going into graveyards and stealing from those who unselfishly served and are dead and buried and unable to defend themselves. 

"It's the ultimate slap in the face to these veterans and their families," Neider said. "They earned these markers by their service. It's akin to the problem in Batavia earlier this summer of people going in and desecrating headstones. It's almost beyond that because these markers are earned by these veterans, and it's a cemetary for crying out loud. ... It's pretty low. As low as you can go."

Anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of these items, or, who may have information on the larcenies is asked to contact the State Police in Batavia at (585) 344-6200 or the Genesee County Sheriff's Office (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: We just spoke with Tom Williams, with the American Legion in Bergen. He said local Legion leaders are trying to figure out what to do. It would cost $16,000 to replace all of the markers. 

"That's a lot of money," Williams said. "You know how hard that is to come by."

He doesn't have a count on how many total markers were stolen. There's still an inventory taking place of all the graveyards in the Byron-Bergen region.

Among the more than 400 known to be stolen was the one that marked his father's grave, said Williams, who served in the Seabees from 1963 to 1966.

He doesn't think much of the perpetrators who lifted the markers of America's heroes.

"Those are people who made sure we were kept free," Williams said. "They did their job. They left their homes, their families. I did that, the same as my dad. It's just the idea that whoever did this is a real son of a bitch. It just bothers me. Why would they come here? Why would they do that? There are people who are nuts. They don't understand. They have no clue."

Photo: For the purpose of illustration, a picture of a marker in a local cemetery. If you see these, made of bronze, and they're not in a cemetery, contact local law enforcement.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 8:55 am

Vehicle reportedly stolen in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford

Troopers are investigating the report of a vehicle stolen from a location on West Main Road, Stafford.

No further information available at this time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 8:49 am

Law and Order: Allegedly - friends smoked pot while a kid's in the car, man spits in victim's face during domestic argument

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Oakfield, Stafford

Joshua M. Gaudioso, 25, of 114 Lake St., Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy PD on Monday and charged with one count of Petit Larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that on or about Sept. 24, Gaudioso stole a laptop computer valued at under $1,000 from an acquaintance. Gaudioso was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to answer the charge in Le Roy Court on Oct. 27.

Jeremy M. Fridman, 27, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. He was arrested Oct. 18 on West Main Street, Batavia, after an investigation determined that he allegedly operated a motor vehicle that was involved in an accident at 390 W. Main St. in the city two days prior, Oct. 16. He was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bound. The incident was investigated by officer Nedim Catovic.

Michele Louise Bialy, 47, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated DWI, per se, with a BAC of .18 or more. She was arrested at 4:21 p.m. on Oct. 11 following an investigation into reports of a vehicle driving erratically in the City of Batavia. She was released after being cited with traffic tickets and is to appear in city court on Oct. 29. The incident was investigated by officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Marcos A. Torres, 32, of Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested Oct. 16 following an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred on Oct. 13 in which an argument allegedly took place and Torres allegedly spit in the victim's face. He was released on an appearance ticket and is to return to city court this afternoon. The incident was investigated by officer Eric Foels.

Falicia N. Tuczai, 23, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more. She was arrested Oct. 13 following a complaint for a suspicious condition on Washington Avenue in the city. Tuczai was issued two traffic tickets. She is to appear in city court on Oct. 29. The incident was investigated by Devon Pahuta.

Jennifer L. Stack, 28, is charged with disorderly conduct for obstructing pedestrian traffic. On Oct. 17, Stack and her boyfriend, Ryan Warner, both of 48 S. Main St. (lower), Batavia, were allegedly creating a disturbance by interfering with the flow of pedestrian traffic of customers in the Court Street Plaza. They were issued appearance tickets and are to return to city court on Wednesday to answer the charge. The incident was investigated by officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by officer Jason Davis.

Morgan B. Powell, 31, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, had an active arrest warrant for failing to appear for a suspended/revoked registration ticket issued Sept. 7. She was released on her own recognizance and is to appear in city court on Wednesday. The incident was investigated by officer James DeFreze assisted by officer Nedim Catovic.

Danielle M. Weaver, 23, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and endangering the welfare of a child less than 17. The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on Ellicott Street on Oct. 15. Weaver allegedly possessed marijuana and allegedly admitted smoking the drug inside a vehicle while a 5-year-old child was inside. The incident was investigated by officer Chad Richards, assisted by officer James DeFreze.

Melissa C. Cicatello, 23, of Evans Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on Ellicott Street on Oct. 15. Cicatello was locked out of her vehicle and officer James DeFreze responded to assist her. While opening the vehicle, the officer allegedly observed marijuana in her vehicle. It was subsequently determined that Cicatello allegedly smoked marijuana with a friend while in close proximity to her 5-year-old daughter. She was issued an appearance ticket. The incident was investigated by officer James DeFreze, assisted by officer Chad Richards.

Landrea D. Wroten, 42, of Lewis Place, Batavia, had two active bench warrants for failing to appear on petit larceny charges that were issued April 26. She was located by officer James DeFreze while he was handling an unrelated complaint. Wroten was released on her own recognizance.

A 17-year-old from Batavia was arrested for second-degree harassment with physical contact, and endangering the welfare of a child following an investigation of a physical altercation that took place on Oct. 10 on Bank Street. It is alleged that the youth fought with a juvenile at that location. The defendant was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in city court on Nov. 18. The incident was investigated by officer Nedim Catovic.

A 16-year-old, of Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child following a short foot pursuit in the Thorpe / Watson Street area on Oct. 13. The defendant to accused of punching a juvenile in the back of the head while on Thorpe Street in the city. The youth is to be arraigned this afternoon. The incident was investigated by officer Jason Ivison, assisted by officer, Chad Richards.

A 16-year-old, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. The defendant was arrested Oct. 16 at about 7:50 p.m. while on State Street for allegedly repeatedly using obscene language in the direct presence of numerous bystanders and police. The youth was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in city court on Nov. 4. The incident was investigated by officer Nedim Catovic, assisted by officer Chad Richards.

A homeless 17-year-old from Mt. Morris had two active bench warrants out of the City of Batavia. One for failing to appear on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child on Wood Street, and the other for disorderly conduct on Wood Street on May 17. The defendant was taken into custody Oct. 17 by Mt. Morris PD then custody was transferred to Batavia PD. The youth was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail and is set to appear in city court on Thursday. The incident was investigated by officer James DeFreze, assisted by officer Felicia DeGroot.

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