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Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Assault at high school sends one teen to the hospital

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

An assault at Batavia High School this afternoon sent one teenager to UMMC for undisclosed injuries and/or an evaluation. The person was later released from the hospital. No furthers details are available. Police responded and will be filing a report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

'Kids partying' at the back of the School for the Blind

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

Kids are reportedly partying by the State Street maintenance entrance to the New York School for the Blind, and officials there called dispatch to report it. City police are responding.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Larceny at the Salvation Army

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A larceny was reported at the Salvation Army Store on Jackson Street in the City of Batavia. Police are in the process of taking a report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Two pedestrians run out and strike a car, then run away in Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy

After striking a vehicle, two white male pedestrians ran from the scene, according to person in the parking lot of Walgreen's in Le Roy who called dispatch. The two males reportedly ran into traffic and struck the vehicle, words were exchanged between them and the driver, and they ran. This was in the area of Mill and Bacon streets and they were last seen running down Bacon Street.

The only other description is that one of them is wearing a long-sleeved black shirt and blue jeans. Le Roy police are on scene.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: Prior to this incident the suspects were seen inside the Sugar Creek convenience store and officers are checking there for possible IDs.

UPDATE 3:11 p.m.: Police are back in service. There was no report made.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Batavia woman convicted of drunk driving may avoid prison under new treatment program

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A Batavia woman, convicted of drunk driving and parole violation, may be able to avoid state prison under a new multifaceted program.

Twenty-six-year-old Michelle Crawford appeared in Genesee County Court this morning. She was to have been sentenced for violating her probation following an accident in Byron.

She was also convicted of misdemeanor DUI charge in Erie County last March.

During her court appearance this morning, Judge Robert Noonan told Crawford that nothing other than state prison was appropriate in her case.

However, Noonan agreed to go along with a new program that allows Crawford to serve an interim probation involving in-patient alcohol treatment and supervision. It will also require that she wear a bracelet capable of detecting alcohol consumption.

Upon completing the program, Noonan said, Crawford may be able to avoid state prison.

The case was adjourned until Oct. 16 to allow her lawyer to set up the program, which is administered through the Buffalo City Court.

Monday, September 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm

St. Joe's school burglarized, cash taken from cafeteria cash register

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

St. Joseph's School was reportedly burglarized on Thursday, according to Batavia police Det. Charles F. Dudek.

Police received a call that a window had been pried open to gain entry and a cash register was removed from a kiosk in the cafeteria. The register was found near the exterior of the school. There was an undetermined, but likely very small, amount of cash in the register at the time it was stolen. Nothing else appeared to be disturbed. The school is located at 2 Summit St.

Anyone with information that could aid the investigation may contact the detective at <Dudek@BataviaNewYork.com>, call dispatch at 345-6350, or call the confidential Tip Line at 345-6370.

Monday, September 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Driver may have fled State Police over revoked license

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion

A high-speed chase that started in Covington, made its way into Genesee County, and ended in Leicester may have begun because the driver had a revoked license, State Police say.

Shawn E. Wallace, 41, of Rochester, is charged with reckless endangerment, 1st, a Class D felony, unlawful fleeing of police and several traffic violations in multiple jurisdictions.

According to State Police, a trooper stopped a 2000 Mercedes on Route 19 in Covington on Friday for alleged traffic violations. Upon approaching the vehicle, the Mercedes allegedly fled at a high rate of speed.

Troopers pursued the vehicle into Genesee County on Route 63 and lost sight of the vehicle near Route 246.

Area law enforcement agencies were advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle and it was spotted a short time later on Route 20A, heading east toward Livingston County.

Troopers and Village of Perry police again attempted to stop the Mercedes and the vehicle allegedly fled at a high rate of speed.

During the second pursuit, the Mercedes allegedly nearly struck a state police vehicle head on.

The pursuit continued onto Perry Road into Leicester. After crossing Route 36, the Mercedes headed down a dead-end road and left the paved highway.

Following a short foot pursuit, Wallace was taken into custody.

Following arraignment, Wallace was placed in the Livingston County Jail without bail.

No injuries to either Wallace or law enforcement officers were reported as a result of the incident.

Monday, September 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Law and Order: Traffic stop yield baggies of alleged marijuana, alleged illegal immigrant

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

Laurie J. Lerkins, 35, of 8 Erie St., Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Lerkins was reportedly driving a vehicle stopped on Wolcott Street by Le Roy PD early Saturday morning for alleged broken tail lamp. Upon investigation, officers found Lerkins allegedly possessed multiple small bags of marijuana. During the stop, police identified Jose Del Carmen Hernandez-Zarate, 26, and with the assistance of the Border Patrol determined Hernandez-Zarate, who was reportedly working on a farm in East Bethany, was in the country illegally. Hernandez-Zarate was turned over to the Border Patrol for immigration proceedings.

Laszlo Szabo, 59, of 8687 Keeney Road Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and improper right turn. Szabo was observed Sunday night making an allegedly wide right turn of Mill Street onto Lake Street, crossing fully in to the oncoming traffic lane. Szabo was stopped by Le Roy PD and subsequently arrested.

Booker T. Ricks III, 41, of 7 Chestnut St., Apt. #1, Batavia, is  charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. Ricks was allegedly involved in a domestic incident and is accused of choking a victim.

John W. Williams III, 20, of 8170 Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, improper right turn, uninspected vehicle and unlicensed operator. Williams was stopped at 2:09 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street, Batavia, by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Joseph Alan Home, 21, of West 5th Street, Erie, Pa., is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Home was stopped for allegedly speeding at 8:35 p.m., Sunday, on Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Greg Walker. Home was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Raymond Kyle Jonathan, 23, of Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, was arrested on bench warrants related to charges of DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation. Jonathan was arrested at his place of employment in Clarence and jailed on $250 cash bail or $1,000 bond.

Miguel Angel Valencia, 37, of Halfianen Street, Grand Junction, Colo., was arrested as a fugitive from justice. Valencia was an inmate at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia. Valencia is wanted in California on a child molestation charge. Valencia was arraigned and jailed without bail awaiting extradition.

Jerrell Jordan Travis Jones, 24, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Jones was arrested upon his release from the Genesee County Jail, where he was held on an unrelated matter. Jones was arraigned on the charge and released.

Robert L. Murray, 36, of Darien, is charged with felony DWI. Murray was stopped by troopers Sunday on Route 5 in Batavia. Murray's BAC was allegedly .15, according to State Police.

Dylan T. Rotella, 19, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. A trooper reportedly came upon an unoccupied vehicle with its doors open outside a Batavia business and upon locating and interviewing Rotella, it was determined he allegedly possessed marijuana.

Robert L. Knight, 44, of Rochester, is charged with petit larceny, criminal impersonation and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Troopers responded Saturday to a report of a subject trying to steal scrap metal from Bergen Auto Recycling. Employees of the business detained Knight briefly until troopers arrived. Upon arrival, troopers determined Knight allegedly hid scrap metal in the trunk of his vehicle. When interviewed, Knight allegedly provided troopers with a false name. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. Robert L. Knight Jr., 18, of Rochester, was determined to be the alleged driver of the vehicle and he was charged with unregistered motor vehicle, uninsured motor vehicle, switched plates, and operating without a driver’s license.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Man says his girlfriend hit him with her car in the jail parking lot

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents, crime

A man claims his girlfriend struck him with her vehicle in the parking lot behind the Genesee County Jail on Main Street. He reportedly has an arm injury. The driver has since left the scene. City police and Mercy medics are on scene.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Amount of money nurse must repay former employer still unresolved

post by Billie Owens in bergen, crime

The amount of money that former Bergen resident and convicted felon Michele Ann Case will have to repay her former employer is still unresolved following a hearing in Genesee County Court on Thursday. The hearing is to be continued at 4 o'clock, Monday, Nov. 5.

The registered nurse, found guilty by a jury of third-degree grand larceny in March, supposedly took $14,650 from her former employer. That's the amount HomeCare & Hospice maintains it paid Case based on inflated mileage records and fraudulent "call in" claims she submitted between January 2009 through January 2011.

In addition, the company is seeking reimbursement for $7,000 it says it spent to investigate Case.

But claiming it and proving it to Judge Robert C. Noonan are two different matters entirely.

Under state law, a person convicted of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, must pay restitution of $3,000 or more -- but it cannot exceed $50,000.

So, she'll have to pay at least $3,000 but any amount over that is something the judge must decide based on the proof provided.

He set an attorneys' conference on Oct. 11 wherein Public Defender Gary Horton and District Attorney Lawrence Friedman will update the judge on the status of evidence to be culled from trial transcripts and affidavits, testimonials or other sources to pin down how much money Case will be required to repay.

The transcripts are completed but they need proofreading before they can be released. The transcripts are also necessary because Case is appealing her conviction. She was sentenced to four months of intermittant jail time and five years probation.

On Thursday afternoon, Horton called four of the six witnesses present to testify. In his low-key style, leaning on the corner of the defendant's table with his right hand in his pocket, he questioned the women about their investigation of Michele Case.

Deborah Browne, the company's nursing services manager who works at the Warsaw office, testified that she pored over paper charts to verify Case's documentation of her nursing visits for the period of April through September 2011 logged to the Warsaw office.

Browne said she met with the human resources director and reviewed the information with her. When paper files were missing information, she attempted to find the information in the company's electronic database. She said they were in the process of transferring paper files into electronic databases.

Horton asked her to estimate how many paper files she reviewed. She indicated with her hands that she reviewed a rectangular box about three and a half feet long, and said it was full of about 40 to 45 files that documented nursing visits. Of those, she thinks "30 to 40" visits were questionable, but said she couldn't remember and that she couldn't always backtrack through the labyrinth and locate the patient.

She checked the paper cargo on several occasions but did not keep track of her time while specifically performing this task.

The 56 hours she swore to spending on her investigation in a signed affidavit were an estimate, she said, adding that the work also included meetings, phone calls, etc.

Friedman objected, and questioned the testimony's relevancy.

"I'm trying to ascertain the bulk of the work for those hours," Horton said.

Noonan overruled the objection.

"Did you prepare any written report of your findings?" Horton asked.

Browne said she made notes and passed them along to her supervisor. They were maybe a page long and took her 15 to 30 minutes to write, but she didn't keep track of her memo-writing time.

Altogether, she figures she spent "at least 59 hours" on the Case work.

On cross examination, Friedman seized on the inconsistency of her time estimates -- in the affidavit, she swore to 56 hours, now she says it was 59 hours or more.

Either way, Horton countered, they are both simply estimates.

Kathleen Miller, the director of clinical services, testified that "we had so many visits where we could not find the patient. ... That was quite an expensive search -- matching the patients with the visits."

When asked if she could quantify the number of patients or visits or the time spent matching them up, Miller replied "I can't tell you that, sir."

Miller said she reviewed the paper files of mileage claims for the Olean, Batavia and Warsaw offices. But to determine where Michele went, they had to access the patients' electronic records.

"How often did you have to do that?" Horton asked.

"I can't say -- hours," Miller said, adding that if she needed to travel, say, from Olean to Batavia to investigate, it could turn into "a 10-hour day."

Under Horton's questioning, Miller went on to testify that she did not put her findings in writing. If a visit couldn't be documented, there was no note made of the fact. She said she did not keep track of time she spent investigating; and that all throughout she was doing other tasks as needed.

Horton asked her if Browne had sent her a memo about the investigation, which Browne earlier testified to doing.

"I'm not sure, that was months ago," Miller said.

"Do you think you have anything like that (memo) in your possession?" Horton asked.

"I find it unlikely," Miller said.

Jodi Miller, an executive assistant for HomeCare & Hospice, testified that she was asked to help prepare for the lawsuit by searching MapQuest for mileage determinations, sending emails, faxes, setting up meetings, etc.

"How many MapQuest mileage determinations do you think you made?" Horton asked.

"I can't say," Jodi Miller said. "Weeks of my time was taken up with this."

Her affidavit specified 78 hours and she said that was an estimation because she did not make note of the time she spent on her lawsuit-related work.

Well, then, how did you arrive at the estimate of 78 hours? Horton inquired.

"One week (my supervisor) was gone all week and I spent that time (on the case) and then a couple of days before that," the executive assistant said.

At one point, Horton asked her if she recalled making copies of documentation for the former human services director and she did indeed.

"How many copies did you make?" Horton asked.

"I have no idea," she said.

The last witness to take the stand was an eight-year employee of the company, Kimberly Childs, an administrative specialist.

She testified that her boss asked her to verify Michele Case's nursing visits.

"How many?" Horton asked.

"There were a lot," Childs said, adding that she figures she spent two hours a day, three times a week on the task for a month.

But Horton noted that the company's CEO had indicated in the court record that Childs put in 14 hours.

"(The CEO) probably wasn't aware of how much I was working on it," Childs said.

After the witnesses' testimony, Friedman asked that the mileage and staff time spent by the employees of HomeCare & Hospice to come and testify Thursday be documented and put into the court record.

Horton told Judge Noonan that he saw no reason to include that in the record.

"Make a claim. We can hash it out like everything else," Noonan said.

Then Friedman asked the judge to allow him to question the defendant about her income and household expenses. They are relevant because they will be used to determine her monthly restitution payment, which is set to start Oct. 1.

Friedman said she provided handwritten notes about what she purports to be her income and her estimated household expenses but hasn't testified about them under oath.

Case took the stand and testified that she now lives with her mother and two children in Attica and pays no rent. Her home is in foreclosure. She has two jobs -- one at an abrasive products company in Lockport and one cleaning offices in Akron. During her trial, it was noted that she also receives $600 a month in child support.

She estimates that beginning Oct. 1, she will begin paying $550 a month rent for an apartment in Attica.

But under questioning by Friedman, she acknowleged that she does not have a lease signed and has not talked to the prospective Brooklyn Street landlord. She said her mother has spoken to him, but she doesn't know his name.

The DA questioned her $261-a-month car insurance payment and she said it was high because she had wrecked, "totaled," two vehicles within a 21-day period. Plus, she has monthly payments on a five-year loan for her current vehicle which she took out in January.

Laundry costs were also included in her household expenses.

"You mean your mother doesn't have a washing machine?" Friedman asked.

Case explained that, yes, her mother has a washing machine, but her estimate was based on her previous use of a laundromat, which she'll resume using once she's in the apartment she plans to rent.

She also based a claim of $175 a month for electricity on the amount she said she had been paying at her house that's in foreclosure.

"Nearly half the expenses she claims are for an apartment she doesn't have, owned by a landlord she's never met," Friedman subsequently told the judge, noting that it is all very "speculative."

The judge agreed and ordered Case to bring proof of employment when she returns for the conclusion of the hearing in November. Plus, he ordered her to make a lump sum restitution payment of $500, which is handled by the probation department, and provide proof of it.

Regarding her ongoing restitution payments, Noonan reminded counsel that the amount of the payments can be modified, but no additional victims can be added after restitution is set.

Thus, HomeCare & Hospice's insurer would need to be added as a claimant so Case can be required to pay the $1,000 deductible on HomeCare & Hospice's policy, which covered its losses.

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