Police Blotter for Dec. 13, 2012 for the towns of Evans, Eden and Hamburg and the villages of Hamburg and North Collins
While on patrol at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, Village of Hamburg Police Lt. Joseph Wittmeyer observed a vehicle parked by the dumpsters at the Glen Meadows Park.
When Wittmeyer approached the vehicle he observed an older male with a teen male sitting in the car.
Further investigation by officers and Detective Matthew Cullen, revealed that Dennis Cucinotta, 53, of Williamsville and a 15-year-old male teen from Hamburg had connected through Craig’s List and Cucinotta had picked up the teen and brought him to the park.
It was later confirmed that the purpose of the meeting was to have a sexual encounter, which did allegedly occur.
Cucinotta was charged with felony third-degree criminal sexual act, felony luring a child to a vehicle, third-degree sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, acting in a manner injurious to a child under the age of 17 and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (prescription medication in non-original container).
A search warrant was executed at his residence and a computer was seized, police said.
He was arraigned before Hamburg Village Justice Andrew Fleming and was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center on $7,500 cash bail or $15,000 bond. He was later released.
Assisting in the arrest was Officer Ethan Rog.
Teen struck by car at Eden Jr./Sr. High School
A 14-year-old Eden boy was struck by a vehicle when he was in a crosswalk on Schoolview Drive in Eden at 7:05 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
According to Town of Eden Police, he was on his way to the Eden Jr./Sr. High School.
The teen was taken by Mercy Flight to Women and Children’s Hospital, for non-life threatening injuries.
The vehicle operator, a 28-year-old male from Orchard Park, was charged with failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Driving with no pants nets public lewdness charge
At 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, the New York State Police received a report of public lewdness from a truck driver who was traveling east on the New York State Thruway in the Town of Eden.
According to police, John A. Yervelli, 48, of Lake View, allegedly pulled his vehicle alongside the truck, allegedly turned on the dome light to display that he was not wearing any pants, while allegedly making lewd gestures.
A NYS Trooper was able to stop the vehicle while it was at the Hamburg interchange and after further investigation Yervelli, who is employed by the FBI, was charged with public lewdness.
No statement had been issued by the FBI at press time.
Blasdell man pleads guilty to meth trafficking
Paul S. Griffin, 29, of Blasdell, has pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The charge carried a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both.
On Tuesday, Dec. 11, Griffin appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to make his plea.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, the charges stem from a joint federal, state and local investigation, which revealed that Griffin was responsible for obtaining between 200 to 350 grams of methamphetamine from drug suppliers in the Genesee County area and distributed those drugs to others in the Erie County area between 2006 and 2008.
This case is part of a larger investigation, which resulted in the indictment and arrest of members and associates of the Rochester and Monterey (California) Hell’s Angels for drug trafficking and racketeering-related offenses in February 2012.
Griffin is scheduled for sentencing on March 19, 2013.
Fire at St. Francis High School’s Justin Hall
At 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, Town of Hamburg Police Officer Michael Prusak and the Lake Shore Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at St. Francis High School’s Justin Hall.
According to police, when they entered the building they located the source of the fire, just past Friar’s Chapel, at a wall mounted water fountain, which was actively burning. There was also heavy smoke in the hallways.
A fireman took an axe to the fountain, knocking it off the wall so that the source of the fire could be extinguished.
A sweep of the building revealed there were no other fires or anyone in the building.
The cooler was damaged beyond repair, there was heavy soot on the wall by the water cooler location and a bulletin board was also damaged, police said.
An investigation of the fire is being conducted to determine the cause.
Evans woman charged with burglary
At 4:40 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, Town of Evans Police Officers Ralph Maslach and John Geary were dispatched to the Head Start School on Erie Road, in regards to the theft of numerous items.
According to police, a camera, money, a cell phone, a purse, peanut butter, shaving cream, body sprays, hand sanitizers and two plastic cases of sharpie markers were taken from the school.
An investigation by the officers resulted in Heather A. McMullen, 26, of Evans, admitting taking the items and she turned them over to police.
McMullen was charged with felony third-degree burglary, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.
E.C. Sheriff’s report
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office Deputies from the North Collins substation responded to 162 calls from Monday, Dec. 3 to Monday, Dec. 10.
• On Sunday, Dec. 9. at about 3 a.m., Deputy Doug Grube responded to a report of a single car, serious injury accident on Feddick Road, near Haag Road in the Town of Boston.
According to police, Eric Suarez, 24, of Rochester, lost control of the 2002 Ford, F-150 pickup truck he was driving, crossed over the center line, left the roadway and struck a tree.
Members from the Boston Fire Company treated Suarez at the scene and he was transported by Mercy Flight to the Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.
Police are continuing their investigation of the accident and charges are pending.
Arrest made in theft of donation jar from Tops
Village of Hamburg Police have charged Melanie Mogavero, 21, of Angola with petit larceny, in connection with the theft of a donation jar, with an estimated $500 inside, from Tops Market in the village on Oct. 21.
Following an investigation, which led police to suspect Mogavero, on Thursday, Dec. 6 they were able to pick her up from the Erie County Holding Center, where she was being held for unrelated charges.
She was released on her own recognizance to appear back in court on Jan. 2.
Teen charged with assaulting two at school
At 1:43 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, Town of Hamburg Police Officers Scott Weyrough and John Bluman responded to a disturbance call at the Randolph/Hopevale Academy.
According to police, two students at the school were engaged in a verbal disagreement and a teacher attempted to intervene.
When the teacher stepped between the students, Monique Stewart, 17, of Buffalo, picked up a tape dispenser from a desk and threw it.
According to police, the tape dispenser first struck the teacher in the forehead, causing a large bump and substantial pain, before it bounced off, striking the other student above his eye, causing a laceration.
Both victims were transported to local hospitals for treatment.
Stewart was charged with felony second-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon and felony second-degree assault recklessly causing serious injury with a weapon.
In an ongoing domestic issue, Town of Evans Police continue to receive calls that Steven R. Snyder, 25, of Brant is harassing an Evans resident.
At 5:57 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Snyder allegedly forced his way through a side door of the victim’s residence and then struck the victim in the right shoulder before fleeing the area.
Then at 6:12 p.m. that same evening, he returned and tried to gain entry into the residence again, kicking the door and causing damage, before fleeing again.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and a stay away order of protection was issued.
At 2:23 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, police were notified that Snyder is continuing to harass the victim, calling almost 40 times in one day.
Snyder has been charged with second-degree aggravated harassment by phone/telegraph/written communication to alarm the victim, second-degree harassment physical contact and fourth-degree criminal mischief with intent to damage property.
Phoney call leads to arrest
When Village of Hamburg Police Lt. Rick Schara responded to a stolen car report at 3 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, he wound up charging the vehicle owner.
According to police, Jason Garra, 31, of Blasdell, reported that when he went out to the parking lot of Hideaway’s Bar and Restaurant, his locked vehicle was missing, but he still had the keys.
At 3:40 a.m. that night, Town of Hamburg Police located the missing vehicle further down on Camp Road, with a small dent in the license plate holder, some minor scratches on the roof and four flat tires.
Garra, who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest from the Town of Hamburg, later admitted that he had driven the vehicle down the road and then called that it had been stolen.
Garra was charged with falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement and submitting a false written statement.
He was arraigned before Hamburg Village Justice Andrew Fleming and released on his own recognizance to appear back in court on Jan. 2.
Town of Hamburg Police are warning residents that another sweepstakes scam has been reported in the area, as well as an FBI computer scam.
Police warn that legitimate sweepstakes contest do not require money up front. A recent Hamburg victim has lost at least $700 to a scam, which included automatic withdrawals from a checking account and was asked to pay an additional $4,500 fee before she would receive her winnings.
Another potential victim was contacted via his computer to send $300 via a “moneypak” because he was in violation of various copyright and related rights laws. A FBI seal was beside the message.
Police remind residents, do not ever send money to unknown entities, always contact your local police first.
Town of Hamburg report
During the month of November, the Town of Hamburg Police Dispatchers took care of 2,524 complaints.
This included 129 accident calls, 208 ambulance calls, 129 alarms, three assaults, 18 criminal mischief, 53 domestic incidents, 14 drug, 14 loud music, 34 fire, 15 harassment and 72 larcenies.
There were 100 animal complaints, 29 neighbor disputes, three sex crimes/offenses were reported, 15 trespasses, four missing persons, 97welfare checks, five community policing and 22 lockouts.
Thirty prisoners were held in the Town of Hamburg lockup.
There were 101 accidents reported to the state and 268 police reports were filed.
Police officers issued 592 traffic violations, which included 236 for speeding, 17 were driving while intoxicated related, 44 were license/permit violations, 16 were vehicle registration violation, 37 red lights, 95 required motor vehicle equipment, 26 no inspection, 20 cell phone use, nine stop sign and 10 seatbelt violations.
Village of N. Collins report
During the month of November, Village of North Collins Police were on duty for 202 hours and responded to 76 calls.
This included one motor vehicle accident, four deer/motor vehicle accidents, two suspicious vehicle incidents, two erratic operation complaints with one erratic motor vehicle operator located, one aggravated unlicensed operation arrest and one custody dispute.
Four funeral details, four court details, two EMS assists to the North Collins Emergency Squad, three assists to citizens and motorists and four assists to other police agencies.
The department also completed regular property checks of schools, businesses, public property and vacant properties.
Regular curfew checks were conducted.
There were 41 traffic tickets issued, with 27 for speeding, nine for cell phone use, one non-functional license plate lamp, one second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, two for open alcohol containers and one for failure to keep right, which resulted in a motor vehicle accident.