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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

Law and Order: Man accused of providing false name to police during traffic stop in May

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, Stafford

James Timon Saddler III, 33, no permanent address, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, forgery, 2nd, offering false instrument, 1st, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Saddler was reportedly stopped at 10:30 p.m. May 31 on Ellicott Street, Batavia, by Officer Jason Ivison. Saddler allegedly provided a name and date of birth other than his own and signed a consent to search form under the false name. Upon further investigation of the stop and a review of camera footage of the stop, Ivison determined that Saddler was the person stopped who allegedly provided a false identity. Saddler is currently an inmate in the Genesee County Jail being held on unrelated charges.

Jerry Tyrone Saddler, 38, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment ,2nd. Saddler is accused of hitting a woman several times during an argument, causing minor injuries.

Samuel Forrest Brown, 26, of River Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to dim headlamps. Brown was stopped at 11:51 p.m. Friday on Route 5, Stafford, by Deputy Chris Parker.

Douglas Scott Sprague, 47, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt,1st. Sprague was arrested on a warrant for allegedly violating an order of protection on June 2.

Michael Lee Milroy, 48, of McLernon Road, Bethany, is charged with assault, 3rd. Milroy was allegedly the driver of a vehicle at 7:45 p.m. Thursday that drove away from a residence while another person was leaning in the open passenger side door of the vehicle. Milroy is accused of striking that person with the door frame and rear tire, causing an injury to that person.

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Use of gun helps land 20-year prison term for Park Avenue burglar

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, park avenue
Akeem Simmons Nathaniel Davis

Use a gun, go to prison.

Judge Robert C. Noonan applied that principle to 23-year-old Akeem Simmons today, handing down a 20-year prison term to the thrice convicted burglar.

"I can't think of any reason why you would bring a gun into a home invasion burglary other than kill somebody if you were caught," Noonan said. "I just can't think of any other reason."

Simmons was convicted Aug. 15 following a jury trial of first-degree burglary, criminal use of a firearm 1st, and conspiracy, 4th.

Noonan dismissed the firearm charge today because the burglary, 1st, conviction covers the use of a weapon in the crime, but Noonan still made it clear it was an important element of the crime.

Simmons and 18-year-old Nathaniel Davis were arrested Jan. 14 shortly after Batavia PD received a report of a burglary in progress at 28 Park Ave.

Davis was found with the handgun, but testimony at trial, Noonan noted, established that it was Simmons who brought the gun to the burglary and influenced Davis into joining him in break-in.

"It's very clear to me you were the moving force of a home-invasion burglary," Noonan said.

Simmons made no statement in court today.

As an adult, he has a prior burglary conviction in Monroe County, which counted as a predicate violent felony for the purpose of today's sentencing. He also has a prior burglary conviction that was given youthful offender status.

Before Noonan pronounced sentence, defense attorney Thomas Burns made a motion for a delay in sentencing because he suspects an undisclosed deal between the District Attorney and Davis for the testimony Davis provided at trial.

"I think it would be completely unfair to my client that any kind of wink-wink agreement between the prosecution and his attorney would be done in such a fashion," Burns said.

Noonan asked if he had any evidence of an agreement and Burns said the point of holding a hearing on his motion prior to sentencing would be aimed at uncovering any evidence.

The fact that Davis entered a guilty plea after the trial to a lesser burglary charge, Burns said, and after Noonan's plea cut off date, certainly suggests a backroom deal.

"I don't know how this is meted out without having princple players describe under oath what took place," Burns said. "I don't think that's unreasonable."

Noonan said his plea cutoff dates are not anything in statute, but used exclusively to help the court manage its calendar, and given the fact that Davis "implicated himself 100 percent" during the Simmons trial, it warranted giving him another shot at a plea deal.

Without evidence of a rights violation, Noonan wouldn't delay sentencing today and said Burns is always free to make a motion later if he uncovers any evidence of an undisclosed, inappropriate deal for the testimony of Davis.

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

Law and Order: Batavia resident accused of falsifying weigh slips at Ed Arnold

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

Joseph Allen Hogan, 46, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with four counts of petit larceny and five counts of falsifying business records. Hogan is accused of altering weight slips at Ed Arnold Scrap in order to receive overpayment on scrap. Hogan was jailed without bail.

Christopher M. Colantonio, 35, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and forgery, 2nd. Colantonio was arrested on a warrant for allegedly stealing checks from a woman he knew, forging them and cashing them at a local bank. Colantonio was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Thomas E. Hensel, 31, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of burglar tools. Hensel was allegedly found in possession of a full set of lock picks at a location on Pearl Street at 10:25 p.m. Saturday.

Anya R. Rambuski, 44, of Birchwood Drive, Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired. Rambuski was stopped at 11:58 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Linda L. Fagan, 65, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Fagan allegedly got rid of several instruments and other property owned by her brother.

Robert J. Propst, 34, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Propst was allegedly involved in a domestic incident in which he grabbed the shirt of the victim, threw her phone and was yelling at her in the presence of children. Propst was jailed on $2,000 bail.

A 16-year-old resident of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal contempt, 2nd. The youth allegedly threatened another person, violating an order of protection.

Paul M. Gelardo, 29, of Fargo Road, Stafford, is charged with petit larceny. Gelardo allegedly stole a bicycle from T.F. Brown's.

A pair 17-year-olds from Buffalo are charged with petit larceny. The two youths are accused of stealing money from their employer at the time, Darien Lake Theme Park.

Jeffrey John Farrell, 27, of West Avenue, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Farrell allegedly stole $433.74 in merchandise from Walmart.

Kimberly Ann Pietrzykowski, 26, of Old Telephone Road, Bethany, is charged with petit larceny. Pietrzykowski is accused of stealing $204.90 in groceries from Walmart. The shopping cart of groceries was recovered in the parking lot of Home Depot.

Bradley J. Barnard, 19, of Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Barnard is accused of taking a carbonated beverage and placing it in his backpack while in the cafeteria at GCC. Surveillance video was used to confirm the alleged theft.

Kyle B. Sovocool, 21, of Le Roy, is charged with promoting sexual performance of a child less than 17 years old, possession of sexual performance by a child and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Sovocool was arrested as the result of a State Police investigation stemming from a Jan. 22 complaint. Sovocool was jailed on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

Police say forgery suspect recruited by fraud ring

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy
O'Neil Llewellyn Thomas Webb

A second man has been arrested in an alleged attempt to cash forged checks at a Le Roy bank last week, and investigators say the scheme is part of a larger forgery ring based in out of state.

Le Roy PD, as part of a joint investigation with Batavia PD, has arrested 40-year-old O'Neil O. Llewellyn, of Hudson Street, Syracuse.

It's alleged that Llewellyn entered the bank knowingly in possession of a forged check with the intent to cash the check.

He is charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, a Class D felony.

Further charges are pending in Batavia.

Last week, Le Roy PD arrested Thomas A. Webb, 54, of Syracuse, and charged him with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd.

Webb was arrested after a bank employee called about two people in the bank trying to cash forged checks. Webb was apprehended at the scene while the second person fled.

Le Roy investigators say it appears that an out-of-state forgery ring went to Syracuse and recruited area residents to cash forged checks. The recruits were then driven around New York to various bank locations, where they attempted to cash the forged checks. 

Each recruit received a small percentage of the value of a successfully cashed check.

Llewellyn was ordered held on $10,000 bail.

Friday, September 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Bethany resident given 20 years in prison on federal child pornography conviction

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, crime

Press release:

Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Jerald Kicinski, 50, of East Bethany, who was convicted of receipt of child pornography, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and lifetime supervised release by Chief U.S. District judge William M. Skretny.
 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who handled the case, stated that between December 2010 and December 14, 2011, the defendant received child pornography on his computer at his residence in East Bethany. These images had been transmitted to the defendant in interstate commerce via the Internet. Kicinski was previously convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree in 2002 and sexual abuse in the third degree in 1990. Both of the defendant's prior convictions involved minors.
 
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys General Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
 
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of James C. Spero, special agent in charge.
Friday, September 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Parents in Le Roy alerted after report of unloaded gun hidden in tree on campus

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

A report of a gun on the Le Roy High School campus prompted a statement to parents earlier this week from the school district about the incident, but authorities say students were never in any danger.

The weekend incident began with a burglary on South Street. Items stolen included cash, jewelry and, it wasn't learned until later, a shotgun, said Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster.

Earlier, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old had been reported missing from a foster home.

Det. John Condidorio, Le Roy PD, observed the two youths walking in the village and stopped to speak with them. He notified the Sheriff's Office and Deputy John Duyssen and Youth Officer Tim Wescott responded.

The youths were identified as suspects in the burglary as a result of interviews.

At first, only money and jewels were reported missing. Later, the Sheriff's Office learned of the stolen shotgun.

Through subsequent interviews, deputies were able to locate and secure the unloaded gun, which had been hidden in a tree on school property.

Brewster notified the school district of the possibility of a gun on campus as soon as that information was obtained.

The 16-year-old, Johnathan Michael Falk, of South Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 2nd. He was jailed without bail.

The 14-year-old is being referred to Family Court.

Here is the statement issued by Superintendent Kim Cox after the incident:

Over the weekend the Genesee County Sheriff's department investigated a theft of an unloaded firearm from a residence on South Street. The item was found hidden in a tree at the edge of the Jr. Sr. High School property and South Street. It was recovered quickly after it was reported missing. The involved individuals were apprehended and are in police custody. I want to stress that at no time were any students or staff in any danger. The investigation of the incident is still ongoing. Once again, at no time was there any threat to students or staff at the Jr. Sr. High School. Thank you and have a good day.

Friday, September 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Lawsuit blames security miscue at Kid Rock concert for Jason McNeil's catastrophic injuries

If Craig Lawson had been properly escorted from the concert venue the night Kid Rock played Darien Lake a year ago July, alleges a Buffalo attorney, he never would have been able to deliver a devastating, life-altering sucker punch to Jason McNeil.

The punch took away the life Jason and his wife Pamela and their two children once knew in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

McNeil, 44, needs constant care after suffering serious head trauma as a result of the punch.

And he wasn't even Lawson's intended victim.

A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the McNeils will attempt to determine to what degree concert promoter Live Nation and concert host Darien Lake Theme Park is responsible for that punch.

The McNeils are seeking $150 million in damages.

The suit alleges other factors that contributed to McNeil's injuries, said attorney Donald Chiari, but at the heart of it is how Live Nation security handled Lawson after the decision had been made to eject him from the venue for being drunk and disorderly.

Lawson was taken to the concert venue gate (possibly the one known as South PAC), but the guard never completed the task of actually getting Lawson out the gate, Chiari said. If he had, there were security guards in place to keep him out of the venue.

There also would have been a fence between Lawson and the VIP gate, where McNeil was exiting the concert with Pamela.

While a Live Nation guard was taking Lawson to the gate, a person he had been in a confrontation with Lawson inside the venue was supposed to be leaving through the VIP gate.

That person wasn't McNeil.

With Lawson allegedly left unattended for a couple of minutes inside the concert venue, the 34-year-old Canadian ran over to the VIP gate, and in a case of mistaken identity, cold-cocked McNeil.

The punch delivered to a person he had no prior contact with is a fact Lawson admitted during his sentencing Aug. 18. He's currently serving a year in the Genesee County Jail on the assault charge.

McNeil was knocked out before his head hit the ground. He was in a coma by the time he arrived via Mercy Flight to ECMC and has required several surgeries and extended hospitalization since. He has suffered loss of speech; ability to read and write; and comprehend what people are saying; and the ability to walk.

The same security guard who allegedly failed to get Lawson out of the gate was one of the first on scene after the punch was thrown, Chiari said.

"The guard got there and said, 'Oh, my God, I was just throwing you out two-and-half minutes ago,' Chiari said, "that's literally in his statement."

It's not unusual -- as anybody knows who regularly reads arrest reports from concerts at Darien Lake -- for patrons to be ejected from the venue and then later try to return. There are frequent trespassing arrests at Darien Lake concerts. 

Chiari said the unique issue in this case is the alleged failure to follow through on getting a disorderly patron out of the concert venue so other patrons are properly protected.

"No premise's owner or any security is an absolute insurer of safety of third parties, but they still have to do what is reasonable," Chiari said.

The suit names as defendants Live Nation in its at least 10 various incorporations, Darien Lake (by three different corporate names), Craig Lawson, and the company, Contemporary Services Corporation, Live Nation contracts with for security personnel and training.

Not named in the suit is Kid Rock or the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Chiari said there is no plan to include the county in the suit.  

Live Nation pays for Sheriff's deputies to provide law enforcement on concert nights, but deputies do not enter the concert venue and from Chiari's description of events, it appears everything leading up to the punch happened within the venue.

The Washington Post recently published a story about the growing rowdiness and disorderly behavior at country music concerts nationally. It's not just a Darien Lake thing. Many contemporary music acts seem to encourage excessive drinking and concerts are often preceded by tailgate parties were copious amounts of booze are consumed.

The suit also names as co-defendants SMG Food and Beverage, and Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, stating those companies were the vendors of alcoholic beverages the night of the concert. The suit alleges the vendors unlawfully sold alcohol to an already intoxicated Craig Lawson.

This afternoon, The Batavian requested comment from both Live Nation and Darien Lake and have not as of yet received a response.

UPDATE: This from a spokesperson with Live Nation: "We cannot comment on pending litigation."

UPDATE: We received this from Darien Lake: "Darien Lake confirms that on August 29, a civil lawsuit was filed by the family of Jason McNeil. As a matter of policy, we cannot comment on pending litigation." - Rod Rankin, General Manager, Darien Lake

Friday, September 12, 2014 at 10:19 am

BHS student arrested on disorderly conduct charge

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A 17-year-old student was accused of causing a disturbance at Batavia High School earlier this week and as a result was arrested by police.

The youth was allegedly disruptive, yelling and using abusive and obscene language while in the presense of the student body in the cafeteria at lunch.

He was charged with disorderly conduct.

The incident was reported at noon, Tuesday.

The arrest is the first reported at the school this year.

Last year, working with Batavia PD, school officials decided to take a more law enforcement-oriented approach with disruptive behavior, especially fighting. The approach greatly reduced problem incidents at the school, officials said.

Previously: The potential for arrest has dramatically reduced fighting at BHS, school officials say

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Career con man still owes $15K in restitution locally

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Earlier today, we told you about Schoen LaBombard, the former Batavia resident who bilked several local businesses out of more than $27,000 with a phony story about a chance to drive a bobsled in the Olympics.

This afternoon, we learned that LaBombard still owes more than $15,000 in restitution from the 1994 conviction.

Because of the outstanding restitution, Judge Eric Adams signed a warrant for LaBombard's arrest April 21.

Adams, normally a Family Court judge, is handling the case because Robert C. Noonan was the county prosecutor in 1994.

The warrant may be the one a Florida TV station said is the reason LaBombard is being held by authorities in Daytona Beach after he allegedly pulled a scam to get free food, a free hotel room and $500 by impersonating a Navy Seal.

The ruse was uncovered after LaBombard, who was going by the name Alex Seppi, broke his leg and hotel employees found his correct ID in his hotel room.

No word on when LaBombard might be returned to Genesee County custody. He allegedly hasn't made a restitution payment since 2007.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm

BREAKING: Child molester Sean Vickers sentenced to 107 years in prison

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Sean Vickers, convicted at trial of molesting five children in Batavia, was sentenced today by Judge Robert C. Noonan to 107 years in state prison.

"I agree with the prosecution in this case," Noonan said. "I see no reason to impose anything less than the maximum available terms under the law."

Vickers received 25 years each on his conviction of the first four counts of the indictment against him and a seven-year sentence on count five, plus a couple of decades of post-release supervision (at which point he would be 152 years old if still alive).

On July 31, a jury found Vickers guilty of two counts of sodomy in the first degree, two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.

One of the child victims, who was in court today for the sentencing, had Det. Kevin Czora read a statement for him prior to sentencing.

"Sean came to my house and took me to fun places and bought us candy," read the boy's statement. "I called him Uncle Sean. He hurt me. I want him to go to prison for a lifetime."

The mother of a victim also had a statement read by Erin Martin of the Child Advocacy Center.

She said that Vickers hurt her family and her children tremendously.

"Sean did not take into account what he was doing or how it would effect the kids," read the statement. "I don't think you should take into account Sean's feeling in his sentence, because he was only thinking of himself when he hurt my son."

In August, Vickers accepted a plea deal in Niagara County for molesting the same three boys. He entered a guilty plea to three felonies in exchange for a 20-year sentencing cap.

The 20 years, once imposed at a Sept. 26 hearing, and will be served concurrently with the Genesee County sentence. It will also stand even if the Genesee County conviction is overturned on appeal.

Public Defender Jerry Ader indicated in court today that an appeal will be filed and did not make a statement regarding sentencing on his client's behalf.

Vickers also made no statement.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman noted that the plea offer extended to Vickers in Genesee County before the trial would have offered a 40-year prison term, but Vickers turned it down.

"If the crimes he's convicted of are not horrific enough, we know he sexually assaulted at least five other boys," Friedman said. "We know that's not all. We know that he has a history of pedophilia that goes back decades, literally decades. There are victims of his crimes who have come forward that occurred so far back that they can't be prosecuted under the statute of limitations."

Noonan said the mother of one of his victims from Monroe County was in the courtroom today because she's been tracking Vickers for 24 years.

"She's here to see the justice is finally done," Friedman said.

Noonan opened his brief statement about the 107-year sentence he was about to impose by saying, "This case is the worst one I've ever had. I've been in the criminal justice system for 40 years both as a prosecutor and a judge and I've never had anybody who has been prolific a predator as you have been Mr. Vickers."

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