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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

STOP-DWI announces holiday enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, STOP-DWI

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI coordinator Matt Landers announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving.

While we spend this Holiday Season celebrating with friends and family and looking forward to the blessings of a New Year, the law enforcement community across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on Dec. 12th and will end on Jan. 1st. New York State Police, County Sheriffs and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem. Sheriff Gary T. Maha advises that he will have dedicated DWI patrols and Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) out looking for impaired drivers this holiday season and enforcing the DWI laws. “Our goal is to have zero DWI-related accidents over the holidays.”

The STOP-DWI Holiday Season Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and implemented by the STOP-DWI Foundation. In addition, the Foundation has created a new mobile app – “Have A Plan” that is available as a free download for smart phones to help find safe rides home no matter where you may be celebrating. Many thanks to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for its support of this new technology. Go to www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp or visit your app store.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol- and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. It is significant to note that nationwide in 2012, during the Holiday period (Dec. 12-31), there were 1,698 motorists killed in traffic crashes with 31 percent attributable to impaired driving. According to NHTSA data, 60 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belts and 42 percent were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver who had a blood alcohol content of .08 BAC or higher. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidents of drunk and impaired driving. Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

Law and Order: Hunter allegedly found with stolen handgun

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

David E. Stone, 63, of Route 237, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd. Department of Environmental Conservation officers were investigating a report of a person hunting with a rifle in the area of Morganville Road, Stafford, when they came into contact with Stone. Stone was allegedly in possession of a shotgun, loaded rifle and a loaded .357 caliber revolver. Stone is accused of not possessing a valid pistol permit. It's alleged that the revolver was stolen from a residence in the Town of Le Roy sometime within the past three years. Stone also faces possible DEC charges.

Jame Albert Hancock, 45, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in October on a criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, charge. Hancock was held on $1,000 bond.

Kara Ellen Wojkowski, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wojkowski was allegedly involved in a fight with another person in her household.

Jessica L. Ford, 23, of Oak Street, is charged with assault, 3rd. Ford allegedly hit another person causing pain and injury. She was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Richard C. Smith, 47, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Smith was stopped at 3:21 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Francis George Germuga, 54, of Stringham Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, improper U-turn, moving from lane unsafely and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

First of three men arrested in burglary spree pleads guilty

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke
William Kelly Robert Kelly Michael Correia

One of three men who are accused of a multi-county burglary spree in late August is facing up to four years in prison after entering a guilty plea in County Court this afternoon.

Michael Correia is being released on his own recognizance, as part of the plea deal, and being allowed to return to his home in Syracuse after pleading guilty to burglary, 3rd.

Correia admitted to driving a vehicle to a construction site on East Main Street Road, where his accomplices went into a building and then exited with stolen items.

The alleged accomplices are Correia's nephews, William Kelly and Robert Kelly.

The trio were picked up following a traffic stop in Wayne County, where a deputy became suspicious of all the material in their vehicle.

After being questioned, the men admitted to heists in Genesee County.

Local investigators went to Wayne County and questioned the men further. They reportedly admitted to burglaries in Pembroke and Batavia.

The charges against the Kelly brothers are still pending.

Since Correia did not actually enter the buildings, an element of the crime he needed to confess to today was that at the time he arrived at the East Main Street Road location, he knew his nephews intended to enter the building and steal items.

That was a point Correia found difficult to understand.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, shackled, with long gray hair, full gray beard and black-rimmed glasses, Correia initially told Noonan he didn't know the Kelly brothers intended to steal anything, though he did say that he knew the items they placed in his vehicle before leaving were stolen.

This perplexed Noonan, who conferred with the attorneys and then tried another line of questioning.

Under questioning, Correia admitted that he drove his vehicle to a location in Lancaster, where he said he knew his nephews entered a building and stole items.

He agreed then, he knew they were going to steal items in Batavia.

"You intentionally assisted them in the commission of that crime," Noonan asked.

"I don't understand, 'assisted,' " he said.

His attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, whispered something to him and Correia then said that yes, he assisted.

At which point, Noonan could accept his plea of guilty.

Without the plea deal, Correia faced a maximum sentence on the third-degree burglary charge of two-and-a-third to seven years in prison. The plea deal caps his potential term at one-and-a-third to four years. He could still face the maximum if he violates the terms of his release while awaiting sentencing.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., March 13.

Correia and the Kelly brothers still face charges in other jurisdictions, including possession of stolen property in Wayne County.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

Volunteers for Animals offering $750 reward in animal cruelty case

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, crime, pets, volunteers for animals

Via The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

A man walking a dog on East Main Street sometime two weeks ago reportedly stomped a cat to death and Volunteers for Animals is offering a $750 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.

"The owner of the dog sent the dog after the cat and the cat was being thrown up in the air," said Wendy Castleman, with the volunteers. "Then the man stomped on the cat, and according to the examination by a local veterinarian, the cat had numerous injuries caused by the dog as well as a broken spine and a crushed skull caused by the stomping."

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m., Dec. 3, Castleman said, in the area of 600 E. Main St., Batavia.

"We see a lot of neglect at the shelter but this is different in that it is a very violent act," Castleman said. "We all found it extremely disturbing that someone would do this."

The volunteers initially offered a $500 reward, but through a donation this morning were able to up the reward to $750.

Batavia Police encourages anyone with information to call their confidential tipline at 345-6370.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Arrest made in series of thefts in Alexander and Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime
Matthew Biggins

A 25-year-old Alexander man has been accused of going on a theft spree earlier this year in Alexander and Batavia, leading to six criminal charges.

Matthew M. Biggins is charged with burglary, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, two counts of identity theft, 3rd, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. 

On Oct. 18, a resident in the Village of Alexander reported that someone had forced open a rear door to the house and stole cash and loose change.

On Dec. 2, a Warsaw resident reported that cash was removed from her vehicle sometime in August while it was parked at a residence in Alexander. She also reported that while at the same address in November, someone stole her debit card and used it to wire himself two money transfers through Western Union.

On Dec. 8, a Batavia resident reported that sometime in October a person removed a mountain bike from the laundry room of his apartment building.

Following an investigation, Biggins was identified as the suspect. 

Biggins was allegedly found in possession of the missing mountain bike.

On Dec. 9, Biggins was arraigned on all the charges except possession of criminal property. He was jailed on $10,000 bail. Last week, he was issued an appearance ticket on the criminal possession of stolen property charge.

The investigation was handled by Investigator Timothy Weis, deputy Cory Mower and deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Grand Jury Report: Indictment announced in fairground thefts

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

James V. Woyshner is indicted on four counts of burglary, 3rd, and a count of grand larceny, 3rd. Woyshner is accused of entering buildings on 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia, (the fairgrounds) on or about Dec. 26, 2013, and stealing property valued at more than $3,000, including 45 aluminum fence pieces, fences, mounting brackets, straps, heavy gauge wire, two semi-tractor batteries, a television, Sony Blu-ray player, vacuum cleaner and miscellaneous carnival prizes.

Jeremy D. Lyons is indicted on counts of burglary, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th. Lyons is accused of entering a shed on Old Creek Road, Town of Alexander, and stealing property valued at more than $1,000 -- a Honda ATV.

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

Law and Order: Attica man accused of altering prescription

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, Bethany, corfu, crime, Oakfield

David R. Cook, 20, of Lindsey Road, Attica, is charged with forgery, 2nd. Cook allegedly altered a prescription in an attempt to deceive a pharmacy into giving him more medication than original prescribed. Cook was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Daniel W. Hennebohl, 59, of Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Hennebohl is accused of scratching a car with a key while in the Walmart parking lot at 11:48 a.m., Sunday.

Nancy Ann Bennet, 44, of Center Street, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Bennet is accused of shoplifting at Kmart.

Christina M. Sanchez-Anderson, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Sanchez-Anderson is accused of failing to appear in court on a grand larceny charge in October.

Daniel J. Saeva, 35, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with strangulation, 2nd, criminal mischief, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, harassment, 2nd and assault, 3rd. Saeva is accused of putting his hands around the next of another person and shoving another while in the presence of three children during an alleged incident reported at 9:01 p.m., Friday.

Donya M. Vaughn, 48, of Richley Road, Corfu, is charged with issuing a bad check. Vaughn was arrested on a warrant issued by City Court.

Carter L. Hall, 37, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hall was stopped at 9:10 p.m. Friday at Route 63 and Veterans Memorial Drive by State Police.

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Hold-up alarm at Dick's Sporting Goods prompts big law enforcement response

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A hold-up alarm sounding at Dick's Sporting Goods prompted response from Sheriff's deputies and city police in both marked and unmarked cars. The store is located at 4180 Veterans Memorial Drive.

UPDATE 1:18 p.m.: This was a false alarm and law enforcement has cleared the scene.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 11:51 am

Plea deal in arson case will make probation possible for defendant

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Brian Sprague

A former Batavia resident now living in Henrietta who was arrested for trying to light a fire in the window of a house on East Avenue entered a guilty plea this morning to attempted burglary in the second degree.

It was a unique plea deal that will make Brian Sprague, 25, eligible for a probationary sentence.

He was originally charged with attempted arson, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, and criminal mischief. But conviction on those charges would not give Judge Robert C. Noonan the option of a probationary sentence, if he found it appropriate.

There is no lesser included offense in attempted arson, 2nd, so under the theory that by breaking a window, Sprague was attempting a burglary, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman offered Sprague the chance to plead guilty to that charge.

However, the facts of the case don't entirely support that charge, so under what's known as an Alford Plea -- where the defendent admits the facts of the case would likely mean a jury conviction if the case went to trial -- Friedman recited the facts of the attempted arson charge.

Sprague then entered a guilty plea to the attempted burglary charge, a Class D violent felony.

Sprague was arrested on the arson charge in September after residents on East Avenue were awakened by the sound of glass breaking. When they came downstairs later, they found gasoline had been poured around the window and through the window.

Sentencing will be at a later date and probation is no guarantee. The probation department will conduct a pre-sentence report for Noonan to review prior to sentencing.

The maximum prison time possible for a Class D violent felony is seven years.

The plea also satisfies a criminal mischief charge in the Town of Batavia.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

Law and Order: Five recent arrests

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

Kenneth Michael Gray, 23, no permanent address, was arrested on a warrant out of Le Roy by Batavia PD. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. No details provided on the underlying charge.

Joseph Antwan Fletcher, 18, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Fletcher was allegedly observed by a Batavia police officer in the company of a person protected from contact by Fletcher by a court order.

James P. Colantonio Jr., 26, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and refusal to submit to chemical test. Colantonio was stopped at 2:12 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street, Batavia, by officer Marc Lawrence.

Daniel S. Kilner, 46, of Redfield Parkway, Batavia, was arrested for an alleged violation of probation. Kilner was located at his residence by the Probation Department and transported to BPD headquarters where he was arrested. Kilner was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Gurpreet Singh Malhi, 41, of Charit Way, Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Malhi was stopped at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday on Lake Road, Le Roy, by deputy Matthew Fleming.

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