A Herkimer Crime guest posting by Stephen Ames Berry.
More Herkimer crime on parade, its magnet again the home of Joyce Barton and East Herkimer Fire Department Deputy Chief Douglas Barton. On November 18, the Barton’s 333 Pleasant Avenue home saw two performances of public drinking, street brawling and yet another sign of drug trafficking, with multiple police responses. (333 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer is owned by Alan Klock and Clara Klock of Cherry Valley, per tax records.)
Herkimer Crime and 333 Pleasant Avenue
Herkimer’s 333 Pleasant Avenue is no stranger to rowdiness, mob menacing, noise pollution and high-traffic nighttime activity. Screaming of obscenities and threats of violence are common here in Herkimer crime central, whose unwholesome heart is often the Barton residence. It’s not unusual to hear threats directed at small children here on Pleasant Avenue–short outbursts often ending with a nasal “Now!”, a loud slap and a wail of pain. It is unusual, however, to be able to capture sequential criminal activity cascading through one day.
It grew from scofflaw public drinking into a domestic brawl of about thirty very loud minutes. The major combatants were the bottle-bearing Booze Brother (below) and Joyce Barton’s older daughter, a noted soccer player.
Herkimer’s Booze Brothers Arrive
It began with the arrival of the Booze Brothers. They sauntered down Pleasant Avenue to the Barton’s and hung out there, chugging from a liter alcohol bottle. It became clear that bottle bearer was waiting for someone. When she arrived, the battle began.
Audio is needed to truly appreciate the volume of the screaming and the torrent of mutual abuse. It drowned out a telephone conversation I was having in my living room, windows closed.
Much alcohol-fueled male rage and anguish–sounded as though he felt betrayed by the Barton girl. (She’s off to the right, occasionally visible.) She held her own, even when all three males joined in, as loud and as abusive as they. The volume, obscenities and threats kept ratcheting up, echoing off the close-set houses and down Pleasant Avenue, sparking multiple calls to the police.
The Herkimer Village police responded quickly. It’s always fun to watch who scatters from Joyce and Doug Barton’s when the police arrive. #warrants (The record, set last June, was 10 people out of about 40, scattering from porch and street during a mob menacing incident of elderly retirees.)
The police settled things down in a few minutes and left. (Note the bottle was slipped away before the police arrived.)
Battling on hold and the police gone, it’s back to boozness on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue
5 minutes into the revelry, Joyce Barton arrives and is greeted by the bottle bearer as the sidewalk in front of her home fills with kids home from school. (Mother-of-the-Year.) The Booze Brothers shortly vanish down the street.
The Mysterious Orange Bag
The Booze Brothers and an orange bag are soon back at 333 Pleasant Avenue, sans bottle, briefly visiting at the porch with Joyce Barton and her neighboring associate from 332 Pleasant Avenue, whose purple van is parked in front of the Barton’s.
Keep your eye on the bag. It arrives empty. It appears to leaves less so, returns to the Booze Brothers place (possibly the Jay Smith property at 334 Pleasant Avenue) and returns chuck full. With a jaunty wave of the bulging bag to the porch people, the lads are off on their rounds.
Why is a mother whose daughter was just publicly abused by a guy and his friends tolerating the guy’s presence? One possibility might be that Joyce Barton and the Booze Brother have an ongoing business relationship that transcends even public brawling. If we knew the contents of the big orange bag, it might explain Joyce Barton’s tolerance of a guy who laid into her daughter.
So, class, what’s in that bag, taken from stashes along Pleasant Ave? Please circle one:
Just when you thought it was over, at 1728 hrs the screaming and the cursing and threats began anew at Herkimer’s 333 Pleasant Ave. This was so audible even from our deep backyard, and the threats of violence so hair-raising, that I called the police, who said they were already “back on our way.” In the lower left of the clip you’ll see Booze Brother #1 having it out with what appears to be the same Barton girl, then taking off before the police arrive.
With whatever was in the orange bag delivered, Joyce Barton is now quick to support her daughter, pointing out the direction in which he fled. Police operations continue for a bit, then we called it a day here in Herkimer crime central.
Here’s the master video for this posting. See if you can find where the booze bottle vanished, just before the police arrived the first time.