Sykes’ gang head Stanley Sykes returned briefly to his old Herkimer drug and child trafficking lair this week. It was seemingly for a harmless picnic and a cheery fire with his gang members at 341 Eureka Avenue—341 anchors one end of Herkimer’s historic drug and child trafficking lot the Sykes gang used to control. They don’t appear to be trafficking out 341 anymore—some are barracked there, courtesy of the gang’s longtime landlord, Herkimer’s Jay Smith.
The gang’s Wednesday social event was a venue to harass us and assert dominance over the tenants in the lot’s other two houses, 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue. The gang appears to now only fully control 341 Eureka Avenue.
The Sykes gang took over 332 Pleasant Avenue’s massive beloved fire bowl for the occasion and gathered kindling from behind 334 Pleasant. No one was going to deny them permission. They had two of their weaponized kids vandalize our fence on camera as Stanley Sykes serenaded us with the mighty horn of his signature red Honda SUV, parked as close to our yard as he could get without knocking down our fence.
Stanley himself left just after sunset, leaving some of his crew that had come with him gathered about the fire bowl with a mix of gang and non-gang locals.
Then the police came. A lot of them:
Video Timeline: 0:01-0:10 Stanley Sykes arrives at 341 Eureka Ave.
0:11-0:38 Carrie Ann Bass’s son Harvey, Stanley’s grandson (long hair), and Stanley’s putative son Eric harvest our fence for kindling.
0:39-0:54 Harvey gleefully waves his trophy for all to see.
0:55-1:09 Stanley contributes to fire. Seems jubilant.
0:10-1:35 Gang members frolic as they build fire at 332 Pleasant.
1:36 -1:43 Stanley Sykes leaves. (Possibly relocated back to Utica where from which he now operates.)
1:44-2:00 Mix of gang and non-gang members at fire behind 332 Pleasant.
2:01-2:12 Herkimer police officer seemingly warning that open fires are illegal in Herkimer. We are a small, close-set and highly-flammable village. Typically, violators are required to bank and their douse fire.
2:13-2:24 Same officer, different cameras.
2:32-2:43 Officer gone. Did someone say something they weren’t supposed to?
2:44-258 Lots of cops have appeared. Questions being asked. Seems to be a person of interest.
2:59-3:09 Police leave via 341 Eureka
3:10-3:35 Police return. Arrest made.
3:54-End Midnight debriefing among locals at 332 Pleasant Avenue.
Things began reasonably enough in the early evening. But as the hours wore on, the crowd grew, the music soared, the booze flowed and the sparks flew high. To be fair to the folks who live at 332, they got the lot of them to kill the music, then took their kids in. Most places that would have signaled the end of the evening. But no. People I recognized were soon outnumbered by people I didn’t, and still they came.
What began with five or so folks with some kids grew to more than dozen adults, gathered about a blazing fire bowl the size of the mother ship. Sparks soared high. The police appeared shortly after 1 am, shut down the festivities and ordered the fire doused. (A large federal surveillance drone was also in attendance.)
5/18/19 “Herkimer police shut down the festivities and ordered the fire doused.” The crowd is much smaller than it was a few seconds ago.
Herkimer Village A Tinderbox
Herkimer Village is a tinderbox of close-set very old houses. In January, we were all tragically reminded of how deadly this can be when three small children died in a fast moving house fire just a few blocks away.
Herkimer does not allow open fires of any sort within 100 feet of any house, vehicle or structure. Period. (A grill is not a cover—it’s a grill.) The Herkimer police these days are quick to respond to reports of open fires and large crowds. Call them. The neighbor’s being ticked at you is better than you and yours going up in flames.
Herkimer Fire Law, Section 1-14(B)
Camp fires and fires used solely for recreation purposes [are permitted[ when such fires are located at least one hundred (100) feet from any dwelling, structure, or vehicle and are properly controlled and supervised by the Herkimer Fire Department.
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