Herkimer Gangs Fade, Danger Remains: The Crippen-Carpenter Effect

Visits: 191

Stephen Ames Berry

The Crippen-Carpenter Effect: an unwitting dark synergy of nonfeasance and malfeasance…

2023 saw Herkimer’s long-entrenched drug and child trafficking gangs fade away. Gang-central Pleasant Avenue has rejoined civilization. It’s a delight after ten years of menacing, assaults and hundreds of poison gas attacks to bask in the silence along Pleasant Avenue and to chat with decent new neighbors.

Still with us, though, and clouding Herkimer’s future, are two complementary pillars of enduring rot that continue to make us all unsafe: District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter and Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen. 

Carpenter’s unblushing sweetheart plea bargains and Crippen’s sneering suppression of citizen complaints and false incident reporting form the Crippen-Carpenter Effect: an unwitting dark synergy of nonfeasance and malfeasance, creating a dangerous community in which the law is flouted, criminals go free and people Aren’t safe. If Crippen can’t put the shutup on your complaint, Carpenter can arrange a cheap plea deal. Between the two of them, Herkimer’s gangs were for years assured a steady supply of jail-free workers while the rest of us took our chances.

The good news for the Herkimer police is that they no longer have to blatantly ignore wholesale trafficking out of obvious long-time gang hubs. Nor do they have to scramble to avoid taking evidence-based complaints: the gangbangers are gone. 

End of the Trail

8.3.23 Brooding Herkimer gangbanger moves out of long time drug and child trafficking central 328 Pleasant Avenue. It and two adjacent properties long barracked active drug and child traffickers. It was Herkimer's Historic Chiuld Trafficking Hub.
8.3.23 Brooding Herkimer gangbanger moves out of long-time drug and child trafficking central at 328 Pleasant Avenue. It and two adjacent properties long sheltered active drug and child traffickers. It was Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub.

Gangs need poverty to flourish. The Rust Belt’s long hardscrabble existence is ending as a rising tide of prosperity sweeps the region. It’s eliminated the Section 8 housing that used to barrack Herkimer’s drug and child trafficking gangs. As property values continue to rise, owners are rehabbing houses and either selling them or renting them to newcomers, many of them driven by climate change, flock to climate-safe Central and Upstate New York. Google Guide Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Herkimer area have drawn 15 million views via Google Maps. 

Climate Migration Banishes Gangs

Stepped-up regional and federal law enforcement has helped convince traffickers to move on; a flotilla of federal surveillance drones often fills our night sky. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being invested in chip fabrication facilities spanning the Mohawk Valley on into Syracuse. Rust Belt gangs won’t be allowed to threaten what’s becoming the heart of America’s and the Rust Belt’s economic rebirth.

And yet…

Officer Jason Crippen – The Sorry Saga Continues

It’s disappointing to see Jason Crippen still on the Herkimer Police, patrolling with impunity despite the many recently revealed and substantiated complaints against him. Crippen’s continued wearing of a badge reflects a decision by Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory to prioritize the protection of his officers over that of the community. Unfortunately, it’s a very common decision.

Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory in 2017. Don't be fooled by his "Aw, shucks, I'm just a simple country boy" shtick. He's sharp and perceptive.
Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory in 2017. Don’t be fooled by his “Aw, shucks, I’m just a simple country boy” shtick. He’s sharp and perceptive.

Says police oversight specialist, Professor Daniel Bodah of  John Jay College of Criminal Justice: “It’s important for the police and the general public that (discipline) records are open. Departments opposed to making police disciplinary records public are possibly looking to shield officers and themselves from potential embarrassment. It’s a desire to not hurt the person, not a desire to have honest policing.” 

Certainly, the Herkimer Police Department has a lot to be embarrassed about, which we saw when three years of litigation finally compelled the release of the village’s police discipline records. The files reflected with the Utica Observer charitably called “substandard [police] performance” over many years.

Crippen tased a suspected shoplifter he knew to be pregnant. Left his service pistol lying about in a public area. Allegedly filed a false police report to revenge himself on a citizen who chastised him for driving recklessly. Why does a public embarrassment like Crippen enjoy continued protection as he imperils the community? Does he know where the bodies are buried? The money laundered?

Complaints Against Officer Jason Crippen

6.16.22 Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen trying to intimidate Herkmer Post's Stephen Ames Berry under the color of law.
6.16.22 Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen trying to intimidate Herkimer Post’s Stephen Ames Berry under the color of law.

Here are the publicly known complaints filed against Crippen, most only recently released after a three-year Freedom of Information lawsuit by Gannett/USA Today against the Herkimer Police and its brazen  flouting of New York law:

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There’s a suspiciously long gap in reported incidents between 2019 and 2022. Perhaps Crippen did nothing worthy of a complaint in those three years? The Herkimer PD didn’t release my complaints, filed before the suit was settled. Perhaps other incidents are being kept hidden?

The Crippen-Carpenter Effect: A Case Study

Here’s an example of the Crippen-Carpenter effect: On 9/30/22, I was attacked by neighboring drug thug Jordan Bormann and left unconscious on the sidewalk with a life-altering traumatic brain injury. Crippen, despite his history with me, was appointed the incident’s investigating officer. (With its annual budget of $1.45 million, the Herkimer Police Department supports a chief, a captain, an investigator and a squad of sergeants, led by a first sergeant.)

Kim Vargas' son Jordan Bormann assaults elderly neighbor in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. Officer Jason Crippen investigation, found elderly neighbor guilty of the assault. Reinvestigation based on victim's survei9llance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony.
Kim Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann assaulted me in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. I blogged about their alleged drug trafficking. Officer Jason Crippen’s investigation stated I was responsible for my own assault. Reinvestigation based on my surveillance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony and Crippen’s report given the lie.

Crippen has a history of using allegedly false reporting to revenge himself on complaining citizens. This was another instance. In his incident report, Crippen stated that Bormann was defending his mother from me. He reported the incident as harassment on my part. In the week it took for me to write up a complaint and prepare the video device, Crippen avoided asking for video evidence of the incident from our security cameras, which he knew covered the scene of the attack and which outed his investigation as yet another falsity.

I presented the undeniable video evidence of Bormann’s guilt to the Herkimer PD, which arrested him and correctly charged him with violent felony assault on an elder, which carries mandatory jail time.

District Attorney Carpenter Parrots Crippen’s False Incident Report

No one from the District Attorney’s well-staffed, well-paid office appeared at Bormann’s arraignment. Instead, DA Carpenter later offered Bormann a plea deal of $100 fine for misdemeanor assault and two years probation. Bormann unsurprisingly accepted. The plea bargaining process is murky. Money could easily change hands and no one would know.

Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter. His Sweetheart Plea Bargains Help Keep Violent Criminals On The Streets
Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter. His Sweetheart Plea Bargains Help Keep Violent Criminals On The Streets

No Time for Trials: $554,425 – 2023 Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter and Four Assistant DAs’ Salaries

Not Shabby: 2023 Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter and Assistantt DAs' salaries. (From the 2023 Herkimer County Budget)
Not Shabby: 2023 Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter and Assistant DAs’ salaries. (From the 2023 Herkimer County Budget)

The young thug never spent a moment in jail. I’m still recovering from my traumatic brain injury. (My walking’s advanced to an enhanced Parkinson’s shuffle.)

“If Carpenter forgot about the evidence he had, he was nonfeasant. If he knowingly didn’t cite the evidence, he’s malfeasant–no wiggle room.

Insult to injury, DA Carpenter, ignoring the video evidence on which he based Bormann’s felony assault charge, parroted Crippen’s bogus and disproven investigation report to the NY Attorney General’s Victims Services unit. I was denied full compensation for medical copays as “the instigator.” I’ve appealed. If Carpenter forgot about the evidence he had, he was nonfeasant. If he knowingly didn’t cite the evidence, he’s malfeasant–no wiggle room.

It’s been almost a  year and my appeal for reimbursement is still pending at Victims Services. Expectant mom-tasing Crippen still patrols Herkimer. Carpenter, who earns $200k a year and has four assistant DAs, will probably be running for reelection in 2024, based on his 16 years of protecting and serving Herkimer.

12.6.23 Herkimer Officer Jason Crippen, Co-Receiving Charitable Christmas Donation. Note his expectant-mom taser (yellow), ready for fast cross draw, and the Glock pistol he leaves lying around in public. (See his discipline record.)
12.6.23 A relaxed and confident Officer Jason Crippen as a jolly elf, co-receiving a charitable Christmas donation. Note his expectant-mom taser (yellow), ready for fast cross draw, and the Glock pistol he left lying around in public. (See his discipline record.)

“As long as their chief protects his rogue officers from scrutiny, rather than protecting the public by firing them, the community is not safe. 

Herkimer Police Chief Mike Jory has done a lot of good things. Most recently he’s promoted some of his best line officers to positions of authority and brought mental health professionals on board to help decriminalize mental illness.  He’s turned the Herkimer PD’s Facebook page into a Happy Hour of good news.

Herkimer Cops Aren’t the Baddies

This is our tenth year in Herkimer, using social media to out criminals who wanted us gone. We’ve worked with a lot of the Herkimer cops–the great majority of them are dedicated professionals, good people in a bad system. It must be very frustrating to see so many of your solid busts subverted by sweetheart plea bargaining that puts bad actors back on the street. That won’t change as long as  Herkimer’s chief law enforcement officer is the criminal-coddling king of low-ball plea bargains.

Why no Herkimer County DA attorneys are available to represent victims at arraignments. (Even when you reach the secret plea deal number, expect a delay.)
Why no Herkimer County DA attorneys are available to represent victims at arraignments. (Even when you reach the secret plea deal number, expect a delay.)

Carpenter’s old boss, former Herkimer County DA and retired New York Supreme Court Judge Bill Daley, ran against Carpenter for DA in 2016. He says of Carpenter’s criminal coddling:

Every felony is plea bargained and violent criminals put back in our community. There is a statute in place and that must be followed. When you plea bargain every single case, that tells me the offers are so low that the defendant has to take them.  When you’re offering such sweetheart deals that the defendants can’t turn them down, you end up with no trials.

Carpenter’s Instrument of Betrayal: Charge of Violent Felony on an Elder, with Mandatory Prison Time, Becomes a $100 Misdemeanor

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Case Study: People v. Jordan Bormann. How DA Carpenter Betrays the Public Trust

Eager to see how DA Carpenter magically transformed a violent felony into a misdemeanor, I researched my own case. It’s not for the faint of heart. Carpenter’s contempt for the community he’s charged to protect is on full display:

Open Season on Herkimer Elders As District Attorney Carpenter Waves His Magic Wand

Was Your Complaint to the Herkimer Police Not Made Public? Tell USA Today’s Police Discipline Records Team

New York law makes all police complaints, not just the unsubstantiated ones, open to public access. If you’ve filed a written complaint about a police officer, you’re entitled upon request to that information, no matter the disposition of that complaint. If you filed a complaint about a Herkimer police officer and it wasn’t released in response to the USA Today suit, tell USA Today’s Police Discipline Records Team. Here’s the link: https://shorturl.at/ty459

Public access to police discipline records in New York is now down to a department-by-department trench fight. Time, resources and the law are on the side of the public. Don’t be deterred.

“The window is fast closing on our chance to put our own house in order before heavy hammers fall. And it won’t be pretty.

Making Herkimer Safe Again

The only way for Herkimer to ever be truly safe again is to replace District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter with a chief law enforcement officer of proven worth and integrity. Someone who’ll enforce the statutes passed to protect us, not cut backroom deals and put violent criminals back on the streets. Someone who doesn’t flout the law but ensures its observance.  Someone who’ll prosecute bad cops, not parrot them.

Jason Crippen so needs to go, before he does even more and greater harm to the people of Herkimer. If Chief Jory won’t or can’t get rid of him and run a clean shop, then Jory needs to retire. Climate migration is sending a lot of people and new industries our way. They won’t tolerate the cozy corruption of old boy-run Rust Belt towns like Herkimer. This region is vital to the future of America.

A lot of eyes are on us–look up, count the surveillance drones. Too much is at stake here in an increasingly perilous world. The window is fast closing on our chance to put our own house in order before the heavy hammers fall. And it won’t be pretty.

Open Season on Herkimer Elders As District Attorney Carpenter Waves His Magic Wand

Visits: 622

Stephen Ames Berry

In March, with a wave of his magic plea bargaining wand, Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter signaled open season on Herkimer elders. 

Ignoring a tough new law written to protect the elderly from violence, Carpenter offered a sweetheart plea deal to a 21-year-old thug who violently attacked a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher. The thug was fined $100 and went home on probation. The vicious assault, captured on two cameras, left the victim unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk with a traumatic brain injury, from which he still suffers. 

The message to Herkimer’s criminals? It’s ok to beat up the old folks–Jeff Carpenter’s got your back.  No jail, no bail, a chump-change fine. Enjoy!

Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter, the People's Attorney.
Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter, the People’s Attorney.

Here’s how Carpenter flouted a tough New York law written to protect elders, putting a vicious criminal back on the street. It’s the same technique he’s long used to make Herkimer unsafe.

On 9/30/22, I was assaulted by Jordan Bormann, the 21-year-old son of our neighboring drug thug family. I was videoing harassment of my wife. The hefty young Bormann left me out cold and bleeding on the sidewalk with a deep brain bleed. Then kicked me as I lay unconscious. Medevaced to Albany Medical, I was treated for a subdural hematoma. If he’d shoved me a little harder or kicked me in the head, he could have killed me.

Here’s one of two videos of the attack given to Herkimer PD, as captured on two of our 22 security cameras: 

The Herkimer Police first tried to ignore the incident, aided by the bogus report of the responding officer, Jason Crippen, who wrote Bormann’s attack up as harassment–by me. (I’d previously reported Crippen for a rich history of alleged malfeasance.)

Alas for the coverup! I made it home alive and filed a video-based complaint. Which the Herkimer PD was compelled to act on–the clips from our security cameras left them no wiggle room.  Jordan Bormann was arrested and properly charged under New York Penal Law 120.05(12), Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D Violent Felony: 

…when with intent to cause physical injury to a person who is sixty-five years of age or older, he or she causes such injury to such person, and the actor is more than ten years younger than such person…

Effective in 2019 and cosponsored by Herkimer State Senator James Seward, the law recognizes the “uniquely depraved and heinous nature of attacks on the vulnerable elderly.” It carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison, with a minimum required sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Two brief court appearances later, Bormann was back on the street and home free. For this we have our District Attorney, Jeffrey Carpenter to thank.

People v. Jordan Bormann– Illustrated

 Herkimer's 21 year old Jordan Borman stars as Nasty Green Dragon Cited With Felony Assault of 74 year old neighbor gets 0 jail time in a Herkimer County court. Thanks Jeffery Carpenter DA!Jordan Bormann savagely attacks his elderly neighbor…DA Carpenter waves his magic wand

…transforming Bormann into a free man.

Legal Process Just As Brief and Cartoonish

Jordan Bormann’s Arraignment 10/19/22

Absent was my advocate, the People’s Attorney, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter. Or anyone from his office, 7 miles away.

Based on my complaint and accompanying video of the attack, Bormann was arrested on 10/19/22 and arraigned that day for felony assault before Judge Joshua P. Bannister in Little Falls City Court. Banister is a practicing attorney and a fairly new part-time jurist. Present in the court were Judge Bannister, the court clerk, and Jordan Bormann. Bormann was represented by his court-appointed attorney, Joesph Macri, Esq., of Herkimer, appearing online.

Absent was my advocate, the People’s Attorney, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter. Or any of his four assistant DAs, from their office, 7 miles away. LIke Macri, they could have appeared on-line. 

Jeffrey Carpenter makes over $200,000 a year. His ADAs are also very well-paid. Obviously Carpenter didn’t want the young elder basher in jail and had no intention of bringing the matter to trial.

Judge Bannister several times expressed his opinion that the bail request of $2,500  was “a little light”(p.10) for a violent felony assault on an elder.

But DA Carpenter did send in a bail request. Even with bail reform, New York law still permits bail or jail in violent felony cases. Judge Bannister several times expressed his opinion that Carpenter’s bail request of $2,500 was “a little light” for a violent felony assault on an elder. (arraignment transcript, p.10, below) Had DA Carpenter been there, he might have argued in support of his bail request. But he wasn’t.

Bormann’s attorney argued for his client’s release pending trial. Bormann, obviously well-prepped, offered a litany of lies in reply to Judge Bannister’s questions:

Bormann’s only relationship to teaching  is attacking a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher, sending him to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

Jordan Bormann’s Well-Rehearsed Litany of Lies
1. Bormann told the Court that he wanted to be a teacher and was an online education student in early childhood development at Utica College. (transcript, p.5). He said that it was his third year at that school. 
Utica College became Utica University 8 months previously, in February of 2022. It doesn’t offer an online early childhood development program or any degree in education. 

Bormann’s only relationship to teaching is attacking a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher, sending him to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

2. Bormann said he lives with his parents and three siblings, ages 20, 16 and 13. (p.6)
We lived next door to Bormann for three long years. Other than Bormann, the only child of the family there was his younger brother, about 13. Bormann’s parents are long separated; his father hasn’t lived there for several years. His mother’s Facebook page lists her marital status as “separated.”)

3. Bormann said his mother, Kimberly Bormann Vargas, is looking for work. She appears to work as a drug dealer, operating out of the long-time officially ignored retail drug trafficking property they lived in.

4. Bormann said he works at Lowes, about 20 hours a week. He may since he and his family moved on 1/8/23, but in the years he lived next door, he appeared to be a leisurely part of his mother’s alleged drug business. This is him in my drug house post photo.  Mostly he hung out on the porch with his friends, rarely rising before early afternoon. 

Herkimer's Jordan Bormann, the day he violently assaulted his 74 year-old neighbor.
Herkimer’s camera-shy Jordan Bormann, the day he violently assaulted his 74-year-old neighbor.

DA Carpenter’s Nonappearance Assures Bormann’s Release

With DA Carpenter a no-show, Judge Bannister released Bormann without bail, setting him free with only a monitoring bracelet from the Probation Department and a Protection Order directing him to stay clear of me. (p.11)

Carpenter’s absence gave Bormann and his attorney free rein to argue unopposed for the dangerous and volatile Bormann’s release, and without cost to him:
Bormann had never been arrested before. (Not unusual, given Herkimer’s habitual tolerance of crimes situated at entrenched trafficking properties.) (p.10):

Bormann’s family was poor–bail would be a financial hardship. (p.8)
Bormann was both working and working toward a degree. (p.5)
Bormann has ties to the community. (p.7)

Jordan Bormann Felony Assault Arraignment Transcript 10/19/22

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A trial date of 4/19/23 in county court was assigned. Felonies are tried only in the county court.

Bormann told the judge he was concerned that I’d use the Protection Order to try to entrap him into a probation violation, falsely stating that my wife and I were always hanging in front of his house (which happens to abut his porch and is impossible to avoid if we walk from our driveway to the public sidewalk). Bormann’s attorney told him to call the District Attorney or the Herkimer Police if I “maliciously used” the protection order. (p.12-13)

 Jordan Bormann was given first-class treatment, his bail-free release eased by the absence of District Attorney Carpenter. The Herkimer PD gave him a ride home from the Probation Department, a 1/2 mile away.

Later that same morning, Officer Jason Crippen appeared at our door and handed me a copy of the Protection Order, shook my hand, and left. An hour later, Bormann and his mother were enjoying takeout on their front porch, across the driveway from our living room window.

Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas

Jordan Bormann’s mother, Kimberly Bormann Vargas. (No, not a caricature.) Jordan Bormann, left rear.

Only later did I discover Crippen’s malicious role in support of my attacker, intentionally not requesting videos of the attack and blaming me for instigating it. Through DA Carpenter, this bogus report would later further deprive me of the protection of law.

Bormann’s 10/22/22 Protection Order–Note the Charge is Class D Violent Felony, Assault on Elder

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I settled down to slowly heal, buffeted by headaches, dizziness, and hypersomnia from the attack. All of which I put in my victim statement for the court, and submitted to DA Carpenter’s office, along with photos of my injury and the pool of my blood I was left lying unconscious in. 

Bormann;s unconscious victim bled profusely.

Jordan Bormann’s unconscious victim bled profusely.

Herkimer's Jordan Bormann's handwork.

Bormann’s handiwork required much stapling.

While awaiting Bormann’s April felony hearing in county court, I had the pleasure of watching him over the next five months, 15 yards away on his front porch, smoking smelly stuff, enjoying more takeout and hanging with his friends. 

New Protection Order Reveals DA Carpenter’s Magic Wand At Work

On 3/17/22, I was stunned to receive a fresh one-year-only protection order from the Little Falls City Court. There would be no felony trial.  District Attorney Carpenter had waved his magic wand, downgrading Bormann’s felony charge to a misdemeanor. It was over.

Rather than being tried under law for felony assault on an elder with serious injury, which carries a mandatory prison sentence, basher Bormann copped to a 3rd-degree misdemeanor assault charge. It’s an appropriate charge for a barroom brawl with minor injury.

Bormann’s 3/16/23 Protection Order–for Misdemeanor Assault

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Slam, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am: Jordan Bormann’s Sentencing

Here’s the transcript from Bormann’s 3/16/23 sentencing hearing before Little Falls City Court Judge Sarah M. Brinski. Brinski is a part-time judge with a full-time law practice. District Attorney Carpenter was present. I wasn’t–his office had said they’d let me know if the original trial date and place changed. They didn’t.

Although a misdemeanor assault can carry a one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine, Carpenter had proposed a sentence of two years probation and a $100.00 fine, which Judge Brinski approved.

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Did the Court ever see my victim impact statement, forwarded to DA Carpenter at his request? A judge can reject a plea bargain agreement and send it for trial on the original charge. 

Bravo Zulu! High-Five All Around for District Attorney Carpenter’s Office

The ever-surly Bormann seemed to feel he’d suffered enough.

At their request, I gave copies of my unreimbursed medical expenses to Carpenter’s staff. I was told the DA would seek a money judgment for restitution. Not true: the sentencing transcript revealed that I am responsible for requesting a separate hearing seeking reimbursement from my attacker, at which Bormann would be present. Neither he nor I liked that. The ever-surly Bormann seemed to feel he’d suffered enough.

I was also told by the DA Carpenter’s victims services coordinator that she’d forward a copy of my medical statements to New York’s Victim Services for payment. That never happened. Nor did it for my wife and co-blogger Linda, when she was beaten in the street by a different drug gang member.  (Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers hate us and our tell-all blog.) 

A few months after his sentencing, Bormann’s mother secured a mortgage and the family moved to a new home. (Perhaps the Cartel has a credit union for its franchisees?)

The federal surveillance drones that hovered over their part of Pleasant Avenue are gone, hopefully taking up station above the new Bormann-Vargas home, God help their neighbors. After decades of gang occupation, quiet has returned to Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.

Carpenter never intended to prosecute the case. He was always going to plea bargain it, no matter how heinous the assault. Young thug Jordan Bormann was always destined to fly free.

The Outrage Continues: DA Carpenter and Dodgy Herkimer Cop Jason Crippen

Jason Crippen, Herkimer's Dog Enticement Officer
Jason Crippen, Herkimer’s Dog Enticement Officer

A few weeks before Bormann received his get-out-of-jail-free card from DA Carpenter, New York’s Office of Victim’s Services (OVS) advised me that Carpenter had told them I was partially responsible for Bormann’s attacking me.  I would be penalized 25% of any medical expense reimbursement

Jason Crippen’s Bogus Incident Report, Lovingly Annotated By Me:

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Crippen’s discipline record, recently made public after a three-year lawsuit against the Herkimer Police by USA Today, is chilling: tasing an expectant mom who told him she was pregnant; alleged false police report filed against a civilian who called him out for acting illegally; leaving his loaded service weapon lying about in a public area; alleged intimidation under the color of law in support of a much respected Herkimer drug dealer. 

As for District Attorney  Carpenter’s mindless parroting of Crippen’s disproven report, its just another  example of the unconcern and indifference Carpenter displayed throughout this case. Surely his initial felony charge against Bormann was based on my irrefutable video evidence showing Bormann’s unprovoked attack on me?  Why then did he just regurgitate Crippen’s bogus report? Or did he never even look at the evidence?

The only plausible explanation? I believe Carpenter never intended to prosecute the case. He had no need to look at the evidence. He always intended to plea bargain it. If I’d been killed, would he have looked at it, or just accepted Crippen’s report and moved on, just another oldster dead by misadventure? Not prosecuting felonies is what Carpenter does, says his old boss. As a Herkimer criminal, young thug Jordan Bormann was always destined to fly free.

Carpenter’s Old Boss, Judge Michael Daley, Calls Him Out

Carpenter’s old boss, former Herkimer County District Attorney and retired Supreme Court Judge Michael Daley, says sweetheart deals are the norm for Carpenter: 

“Every felony is plea bargained and violent criminals put back in our community. There is a statute in place and that must be followed. When you plea bargain every single case, what that tells me is that the offers are so low that the defendant has to take them.  When you’re offering such sweetheart deals that the defendants can’t turn them down, you end up with no trials.”

Judge Michael Daily

Daley ran for District Attorney against Carpenter in 2016, campaigning under the slogan “Make Herkimer Safe Again.” Carpenter, as he does, toadholed throughout the election. The Republican Party ole boy network had his back, refusing to set up a debate between the two candidates, according to Daley, leaving Carpetner’s assertions of his history of felony convictions unchallenged.

Carpenter had more lawn signs than Daley. Carpenter won. It wasn’t even close. Carpenter ran unopposed in 2020. As folks here say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”

Que Bono? Who Profits from Jeffrey Carpenter’s Sweetheart Deals with Criminals? Herkimer’s Gangs

Plea bargaining’s a hidden process. Only the outcome is public. we’re forced to rely upon the presumed integrity of the negotiators, as attorneys and officers of the court.  If money changes hands to sweeten the deal, we’d never know.

Carpenter’s freewheeling use of Prosecutorial discretion to flout New York law, aided by bail reform, helped make Herkimer a welcoming criminal haven. Well-staffed trafficking gangs, operated with impunity out of police-safe properties, terrorizing the law-abiding and dominating streets. Herkimer police, whose chiefs report to Carpenter, were and still are reluctant to register complaints. Bloggers, the last bastion of genuine journalism in Herkimer, justly fear for their lives. In our 9 years in Herkimer, we’ve been harassed, vandalized, beaten in the street, and much poisoned. 

Thanks to climate change, Herkimer is an area in transition. Whatever recent improvements we’re seeing as the swamp drains of criminals aren’t due to DA Carpetner’s kindnesses to the worst among us, but to increased Federal and state law enforcement–those aren’t Jeff Carpenter’s drones up there. The gangs and their useful idiots in Herkimer government never saw how profoundly climate change would impact the region. 

As chip fabs build out in the Mohawk Valley and climate emigres continue to arrive here, waving their checkbooks, authentic law enforcement is ramping up. Carpenter and his magic misdemeanor wand won’t survive the increased scrutiny. Like the gangs, the welfare of the community requires that Jeffrey Carpenter be sent packing. Election 2024 is the next best chance.

Betray the public trust? Always expect that knock on the door.

New York’s New Commission On Prosecutorial Misconduct 

Plea bargaining takes place in the dark. Jeffrey Carpetner’s alleged extensive use of plea bargaining should be investigated for a pattern of misconduct.  For that, we need the State of New York.

After much opposition from New York State’s prosecutors, New York’s new Commission on Prosecutorial Misconduct is about to open for business, the first in the nation.  I’ll post when that happens and how to file a complaint. I can’t be the only one with just a grievance against District Attorney Carpenter.  I’ll be first in line with my complaint. There’s no statute of limitations on administrative punishment for attorney misconduct. 

Criminal Lawyers and The Hardcore Gang Unit

When we lived in Los Angeles, I worked with some of the prosecutors from the LA District Attorney’s Hardcore Gang Unit. (For the record, then-gang unit prosecutor Lance Ito is one of the world’s funniest comedians.)

The gang prosecutors were brought in by the California State Bar’s discipline branch to investigate years of backlogged complaints against California attorneys. We went back, and back and back through years of attorney misconduct complaints from people who’d lost their homes, their savings, their freedom, their sanity.  Attorneys found guilty were publicly censured. Some were disbarred. Some went to prison. Shock, amazement, consternation, whining, when that knock on the door finally came: “But it was a long time ago! What about forgiveness?”

Betray the public trust? Always expect that knock on the door.

Ban the Fat Fairy!
Oust Jeffrey Carpenter!
Herkimer DA Election November 2024

Jeffrey Carpenter has been Herkimer County District Attorney since 2013. He’s up for reelection again in 2024. This is July of 2023–not too early for viable candidates for Herkimer District Attorney to consider running for office. They might begin by researching Carpetner’s history of plea bargains. See if Judge Dailey’s charges of all those sweetheart deals are valid. If so, highlight them on social media, in the press and in public debates at election time. Don’t let Carpenter hide and stonewall as he did with Judge Daley in 2016. 

A great campaign platform is one of reform. Here’s Bill Daley’s from 2016:

“I will stand up to our crime problem by seeking lengthy sentences for child molesters, rapists, murderers, robbers and other violent felons. I will review and present cases left dormant by my opponent to the grand jury, including infant deaths, serial forgeries, police misconduct, and domestic violence cases, and end the ‘good-ole-boy’ system in Herkimer County.”

And so say we all.

============================

About the Art

A special thank you to my wife, computer software developer and artist Linda Kaidan, and her colleague, OpenAI’s DALL·E 2.  From a draft of this post and guidance from Linda, DALL·E 2 created the cartoon characters lampooning People v. Jordan Bormann.

herkimerpost.com crime editor Stephen Ames Berry is a four-times published author, a former officer of Harvard University and a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University. A veteran of US Army Intelligence, Berry was a Special Needs teacher for behaviorally challenged teens in Florida. 

 

Officer Jason Crippen Investigates–Finds Victim Guilty

Visits: 754

Stephen Ames Berry

“One does see so much evil in a village.” Miss Marple  (Agatha Christie)

Dereliction of duty is the purposeful or accidental failure to perform an obligation without a valid excuse, especially an obligation attached to one’s job. Websters

In September, I was attacked on the sidewalk next to our home by 21-year-old Jordan Bormann, son of our neighbor, Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas. The strapping young Bormann slammed me backward onto the pavement,  causing a brain injury that is slowly healing. A bit harder, he could’ve killed me or left me drooling on myself in a permanent advanced vegetative state.  I’ve been exposing Kim Vargas’ drug trafficking and menacing since she moved next door several years ago.

Herkimer PD officer Jason Crippen responded to the “man down” report. In June, I filed a substantial, well-documented misconduct complaint against Crippen with his department, alleging malfeasance over a period of six years. Whatever action his department may have taken based on my complaint, Crippen was the investigating officer that day of my assault, still driving about our pastoral village, armed to the teeth.

Crippen’s report of the incident (below) , found I’d assaulted Kim Vargas, shoving her, and that her son Jordan had rightly leaped to her defense, shoving me back.  Crippen stated the incident was 2nd Degree Harassment, of which I was the perpetrator. Had I not been scraped off the pavement and transported, Crippen might have charged me.

Here’s Crippen’s full report, which was reviewed and forwarded by Herkimer PD Chief Michael Jory. I’ve annotated it a bit:

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Crippen based his finding of my presumed guilt upon interviews with my attacker, his mother, and two of their neighboring friends, the Snyders:

Officer Crippen’s Witnesses

Theresa and Adam Snyder of 332 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer.
Witnesses Theresa and Adam Snyder of 332 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer.
Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
9.30.22 Witness Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas, other of Jordan Bormann.
9.30.22 Jordan Bormann (right; circled) with friends as they harassed us from their porch, just before Bormann attacked me. 

 

 

 

 

 

c

Crippen didn’t interview the only other person who’d supposedly been on the scene the entire time–my wife Linda Kaidan. He stated that:

Linda Kaiden (sic) was yelling, swearing, and getting in the way of medical. Kaiden was advised by officers to stay away from medical, to calm down, and allow medical to do their job. Kaiden calmed a little, but continued to yell, and make comments to officers, medical, and people at the Vargas house.

Not true. Here’s the video clip:

Kaidan only raised her voice when Kim Vargas lied to the first responding officer, who was not Crippen.

Vargas can be heard asserting that I hit her. Kaidan was there during the assault and responded indignantly to the drug thug’s lie. Despite Kaidan having witnessed the attack and having access to the two cameras that recorded it, none of the officers interviewed her or asked for footage from our obvious, 22 CCTV cameras–cameras whose footage Herkimer PD have requested in the past; cameras whose existence Crippen commented on before, in a separate video.

You have to wonder how long this sort of murderous collusion has prevailed here in Herkimer.

Despite Crippen’s acrimonious history with me, his superiors apparently didn’t question his report and failed, in the days, to send an officer to interview Kaidan or request footage of the assault. (We get along well with most of the Herkimer PD officers.)

The Herkimer Village Police Department wallows in resources. It has a budget of $1.5 million a year, for a village of 7,000. As of 2021, it had 25 offices, including a chief, a captain, an investigator, and a squad of sergeants. Yet despite Crippen’s well-known animosity toward me, and his superiors’ knowledge of our video cameras covering the assault, they kept Crippen as the investigating officer and blessed his reports through their silence. Seems no one wanted to see a video of the attack.

Only when I returned from Albany Medical Center, and recovered enough to review the videos of the attack, and file a complaint, did the Herkimer police charge Jordan Bormann. Had Bormann killed me or left me in a coma, Crippen’s report would have prevailed–I’d officially have died in an incident I provoked with my good neighbors, senile dodder that I am. You have to wonder how long this sort of murderous collusion has prevailed here in Herkimer.

Lies aside, here’s what really happened:

Jordan Bormann’s charged with a Class D Violent Felony, with enhanced sentencing required due to his attacking an elder. He’s looking at 2+ years in prison and yet I’m looking at him next door on that porch, eating takeout, smoking dope and leisurely awaiting his Spring trial. (New York bail reform.)

“Case Closed,” Or Be Your Own Cop

Crippens report concludes:
Due to patrol’s knowledge of the several cameras Berry has … there were no arrests made on-scene. Case closed unless Berry brings forth evidence and/or wants to pursuit charges. JCC/240

Reporting Police Misconduct to New York’s Attorney General

If complaints to the officer’s department don’t have any good effect, your next stop is the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office. Reading between the lines on their website, complaints documenting a police agency’s systemic failure to protect rise to the top of the inbox.

Qualified Immunity On Its Way Out

The doctrine of Qualified Immunity, which has long protected police nationwide from private lawsuits, is on its way out: NYC has abolished it; abolition is pending the New York Legislature.  With qualified immunity gone, it becomes much easier to hold rogue police officers accountable in lower courts. And to attract an attorney on a contingency fee basis. 

Hate–From Their Porch To Our Door

Visits: 248

Stephen Ames Berry

On November 11th, someone spray-painted our front door with hate graffiti. Videos of previous criminal trespassing suggest it was one of the several teens who hang out at Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas’ 328 Pleasant Avenue, adjacent to our house. Surveillance videos show Vargas to very much be their den mother, providing them with food and whatever.

Vargas is the mother of 21-year-old Jordan Bormann, charged with a Class D Felony Assault on a 74-year-old neighbor, sent to Albany Medical Center on 9/30 with a brain injury.

Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas

Thanks to New York bail reform, young Mr. Bormann is at home on an appearance ticket, visible to his neighboring victim (me), hanging out on Vargas’ porch, eating takeout and smoking weed as he awaits trial this Spring.  Confined to home, Jordan has the Lost Boys of the video to keep him company. (And Democrats wonder why they lost seats in New York.)

The hate sprayer is of the age and size of one of the criminal trespassers caught on a previous video, raiding our property from Vargases. His friends call him Lem. (video-3:26)  We’ve seen Lem several times in the driveway of 326-326 ½ Pleasant, the house on the other side of Vargas’. As we walked by there on 11/11, he called my wife a “Crazy fucking bitch.” He might have gone on, but I pointed to my bodycam and he shut up.

Lem - Herkimer criminal trespasser and suspected hate crime perpatrator. Often seen at Kim Vargas' 328 Pleasant Ave.
Lem-Herkimer criminal trespasser and suspected hate crime perpetrator. Often seen at Kim Vargas’ 328 Pleasant Ave.

The sturdy lad doing hate art may also be Chunky Monkey, caught on camera vandalizing one of our security lights—a light Kim Vargas complained often and bitterly about, lighting up her drug trafficking as it did.

Video Timeline

0:01-0:41 The Hate Spraying

0:42-2:16 Previous recent criminal trespass incidents from Vargas’ house.

2:17    Trespasser’s friends on Vargas’ porch encourage him, call him “Lem” as he enters our driveway.

3:37 – End “The guilty flee where no one pursues.” (Proverbs 28:1

This behavior has gone well beyond youthful hijinks and has been reported to the police and the State of New York Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Unit. No one in our family is African American, but several are Jewish. These guys aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and may confuse a darkly-complected Ashkenazic Jew — my wife–with an African American. Not that they would know what a Jew was. But you don’t need to get your victim’s ethnicity right for it to be a hate crime. For example, I’ve overheard people expressing sympathy for “the old Jew who got beat up in the street.” My wife is Jewish; I’m Icelandic Dane. Doesn’t matter–hate’s hate.

The Herkimer Post is widely read. Lots of folks in this time of change looking for places up here to move to and invest in. If Herkimer doesn’t want the image of a racist community, it needs to track this kid down and charge him.

Sparks Fly! Chunky Monkey Could’ve Died

Dodgy Herkimer Cop Jason Crippen — “Complicit Or Just An Idiot”? You Decide.

Visits: 5002

Stephen Ames Berry

“Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law, is action taken under color of state law.”  United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 326

Herkimer police officer Jason Crippen, again! Suddenly he’s in our driveway and faces, hectoring and lying and rude. Summoned, per Herkimer normal, by yet another thug playing the victim. This time it’s our latest neighboring drug trafficker, Kim Vargas. We’ve written a lot about her harassment and trafficking. She’s a peach.

“I can’t decide if he’s complicit or just an idiot.”

We’ve been subjected to Crippen’s abuse of power multiple times over the last six years. In all instances, Crippen has malfeasantly supported our criminal neighbors, using his office to intimidate us and deny us the protection of law.  It’s obvious when you speak with him that Crippen’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. As I said to a state police investigator when he raised the subject of Crippen’s conduct, “I can’t decide if he’s complicit or just an idiot.” There’s enough material in this post for you to decide for yourself. Certainly, the performance Crippen puts on here would discourage anyone but a criminal from calling the Herkimer police.

Here’s his pattern: Crippen responds to a 911 complaint from one of our trafficking gang neighbors. He advises us that their accusations are valid, that We’re in violation of criminal law, and threatens us with arrest. He either ignores anything the complaining thugs have done to us or says their actions aren’t subject to criminal law.

On one occasion, Crippen refused to accept a complaint from us while he was manning the desk at the Herkimer police station.  The complaint was carefully written and supported by video evidence. (See below,  “Another Crippen Encounter”.)

This most recent incident on 6/16/22 is classic Crippen. The video should be used in police training classes as an example of intimidation under the color of law.

Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas holding court on her 328 Pleasant Avenue porch.
Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas holding court on her 328 Pleasant Avenue porch. Small children come and go. Vargas says she’s a licensed daycare provider. She’s not.
Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
Kim Vargas. Sadly, not a caricature.)

Our Latest Thuggish Neighbors, the Kim Vargases

Kim Vargas has lived next door at 328 Pleasant Avenue for two years–the Doolen gang’s most recent placeholder. Afternoons she holds court on her front porch, along with her supposed brother-in-law, a heavy-set, low-browed antisemite.  The two chain-smoke the day away. A bong is sometimes shared. In the afternoon small children come and go–Vargas’s latest lie is that she’s a licensed daycare provider. She’s not.

The porch people’s chain-smoking quickly fills their porch ashtray. In the morning, we often find cigarette butts heaped in our driveway, next to Vargas’s patch of paradise.

The Right Response To Outrageous Behavior Is Outrage

On June 16th, wife Linda had had enough of the butts and spoke to Vargas firmly, in words typically used by Vargas, to drive home her point. Vargas, horrified by the foul language coming from our driveway, called 911, falsely stating that she was a licensed daycare provider and that children were in danger. Vargas is not a licensed daycare provider. You can cuss in your driveway all you want.

“Crippen…stepped into his familiar role of intimidation through misrepresentation of the law

Children in danger, Officer Jason Crippen immediately responded, followed shortly by two other Herkimer PD officers, seemingly as adult supervision. (The sight of Crippen armed with pistol and taser is as worrying as the sight of Vargas caring for children.)

6.16.22 Hekrimer police officer Jason Crippen confronted by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan in their driveway as Kaidan challenges him to follow through on his threat to arrest her for child endangerment: she used the word fuck in her driveway within hearing of children, speaking to neighboring drug thug Kim Vargas (on porch) in words Vargas typically uses6.16.22 Herkimer Police was officer Jason Crippen confronted by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan in their 330 Pleasant Avenue driveway. Kaidan repeatedly challenged Crippen to follow through on his threat to arrest her for child endangerment: she’d used the word fuck in her driveway within hearing of children, speaking to neighboring drug thug Kim Vargas (on porch) in words Vargas typically uses in front of children. 

Crippen quickly stepped into his familiar role of intimidation through misrepresentation. Below are listed highlights drawn from our video. (A detailed timeline is in the video’s description on our Herkimerpost.com YouTube channel.

Here’s my bodycam video preceded by a brief street cam clip. 

Video

Caught In The Act: Highlights of Crippen’s Attempted Intimidation

In this last lie, Crippen seemed to be referring to our herkimerpost.com articles exposing Herkimer’s booming child trafficking trade, which we alleged was long conducted out of landlord Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue, about 50 yards from our house. Coincidentally, 341 Eureka Avenue was alleged child trafficker Little Mama’s house. It was to her complaint Crippen responded in his 2016 attempt to intimidate us, and inspiration for our dubbing him Herkimer’s dog enticement officer.

Also discussed was our perception of Officer Jason Crippen’s conduct in possible support of alleged child trafficker Little Mama.

State Police Investigation and Officer Jason Crippen

Our Herkimer Child Trafficking went viral, helping bring over a quarter-million combined views to our posts and videos. Apparently, many folks read our cornerstone child trafficking post after  Facebook News picked it up. (It’s taken on a life of its own. Surprisingly, it’s big in China.) Many readers expressed their concern about Herkimer child trafficking to New York state authorities in Albany.

Albany dispatched a state police investigator to discuss Herkimer child trafficking with us, as well as our reports of the years-long poison gas attacks on us by traffickers.

The investigator raised the subject of our perception of Officer Crippen’s conduct in possible support of alleged child trafficker Little Mama, as seen in our YouTube video about him entitled Herkimer’s Dog Enticement Officer. (Included in one of our child trafficking posts read by the state police.) I said I couldn’t decide if Crippen was complicit or just an idiot. (Later it occurred to me that he just might be a useful idiot.) That 2016 incident was our first exposure to Crippen’s trying to intimidate us under the color of law.

Another Crippen Encounter–Failure to Protect: Crippen Defends Drug Thug Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen

Also in 2016, Crippen, manning the desk as duty officer at the Herkimer police station, refused to take a well-documented harassment complaint about a  drug-trafficking neighbor, Vargas’ predecessor at 328 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer’s notorious Curtis Cool aka Curtis Doolen.  From the post: “Officer Crippen said one of us (Kaidan) had triggered Cool’s 10 minutes of menacing and 7 threats of grave bodily harm by making a nanny nanny nanny boo gesture from our driveway at Cool as he peppered us with taunts and obscenities.” (See our post Officer Jason Crippen, Curtis Cool, And The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo) Here’s an extract of the video viewed by Crippen, who then blamed us for provoking Cool’s threats. (Cool called the police to protect him from us.) 

The Nanny nanny boo boo exculpatory in Herkimer NY shoudl one use it in rpsone to harassment and threats of bodily harm, per Herkimer Ofrficer Jason Crippen
2016, Linda Kaidan makes the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo at neighboring drug thug Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen, ignorant that it was exculpatory for harassment in Herkimer New York, per Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen.

Has Crippen Intimidated Others Under the Color of Law?

Surely We’re not the only ones Officer Crippen’s intimated under the color of law?  According to Chief Michael Jory’s report to the Village Trustees and Mayor, Herkimer Village Police respond to about 500 phone calls a month.  How many of these calls have been complaints Crippen has suppressed?

Not everyone’s a pigheaded blogger and filmmaker with a well-established social media presence. Confronted by a belligerent, bullying Crippen, most folks are going to fade. No wonder the local gangers strut about with such an air of entitlement.

Below is my complaint about Crippen to Chief Jory. There’s at least one other current complaint about Crippen in the police database, according to the Herkimer Times Telegram, but you won’t be able to read it: After the Village refused to make its police complaints’ records available, as required by New York law, it was sued by the Gannet Organization, owner of The Herkimer Times Telegram and the Utica Observer. Rather than releasing the records, The Village of Herkimer hired a law firm to keep this public resource from the public. 

Herkimer Village won the first round in its attempt to avoid fully complying with New York’s Freedom of Information Law as it pertains to police discipline reports. The matter is on appeal.

We wondered the other day, as we tottered over Herkimer’s heaving stretches of ancient broken sidewalks, how our impoverished Rust Belt village justified spending an unpublicized amount of money to flout state law. But then, to quote The Herkimer Post, “‘It’s Herkimer,’ folks say with a shrug.” 

Herkimer Only Releasing Recent Substantiated P0lice Conduct Complaints: Jason Crippen’s Released

Many local police agencies are refusing to comply with the new FOIL requirements regarding police discipline complaints. Here’s the stonewall you hit when you query Herkimer County in the database.

Interviewed by the Herkimer Telegram’s Donna Thompson for her excellent coverage of Herkimer Village’s FOIL non-compliance, Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory expressed his support for the law. One reason for that may be that, as it stands now, bad apples can be passed from Herkimer County police agency to police agency, inflicting their bad behaviors on unsuspecting communities, with the county’s police chiefs unaware until the complaints start coming in.

Herkimer Village won’t release any unsubstantiated complaints made about officers, and then will only release substantiated ones filed since the FOIL was amended. This means the copies of complaints of the two officers it did release were substantiated complaints. One of those officers was Patrolman Jason Crippen. Perhaps someday we’ll get to read it, or them. 

It took the Village a year to provide those records to Gannet-Herkimer Telegram. Which can publish them as it sees fit. But only here on the doughty Herkimer Post can you read the most recent complaint against Herkimer’s Officer Jason Crippen. Or you can request a copy from the Village, and if it’s substantiated, wait a year or so to receive it. (All our PDFs are downloadable.)

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“Other Complicit Cops”

As I noted to Chief Jory in my complaint, in a heated part of my exchange with Officer Crippen I refer to “other complicit cops.” To the best of my knowledge, those who abused their authority to intimidate us are gone. Since Chief Jory took command, all of his officers but Crippen have been very supportive of us and often gone out of their way to offer encouragement and advice during some very stressful incidents, treating us as concerned citizen partners.

Digging Deeper: Jason Crippen And Revamp Fitness

Jason Crippen’s Revamp Fitness, 131 East Albany St., Herkimer, NY

Officer Jason Crippen came to widespread attention in Upstate New York during the pandemic threatening to reopen his Herkimer Revamp Fitness facility in violation of state law.  “Those are only civil penalties that result in fines, not laws being broken.,” He was quoted as saying about possible fines  “This is America … We’re not a communist country.”

Crippen and a staff of six opened the spacious  9,000-square-foot facility in January of 2018, financed by a combination of public and bank loans, and help from unnamed “private investors,” according to the  Herkimer Times-Telegram.

Crippen’s spiffy modern gym boasts a lot of gleaming top-of-the-line equipment, which he’s rumored to lease. If so, with 30-40 pieces of equipment at $60 – $100 a month per piece of equipment, the leasing fees could easily be $3,000-$4,000 a month.  But at $35 a month, membership is amazingly reasonable, and the place never looks crowded. Then there’s the cost of maintaining the building and paying the property tax and staff.

Respect

“Members enjoy being part of a private and respectful community,” says the gym’s website.  Respect is what I think of when I think of Herkimer’s Officer Jason Crippen.

Looking spotlessly new and unused, gleaming equipment abounds in Jason Crippen’s Revamp Fitness, Herkimer.

Herkimer Officer Crippen Investigates–Finds Victim Guilty

Child Trafficker Carrie Ann Bass Sparks Roman Fire Foray

Visits: 665

Stephen Ames Berry

On 5/13/22, Herkimer gang gal Carrie Ann Bass hosted a large fire-themed party at Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub, presided over by Bass and owned by landlord Jay Smith. The centerpiece of that most recent raucous gathering was a large illegal fire, which was twice shut down by Herkimer Police following my 911 calls. 

Bass rents a house on one end of the trafficking hub–341 Eureka Avenue– and has long treated the hub as her little empire for dirt: child trafficking, drug trafficking, poison gassing of nosy neighbors, criminal tampering. Cops and cameras have done much to stifle her, but she’s still there, the last holdout of the Stanley Sykes gang.

A criminal mastermind, Bass typically strikes back by hiring others, as happened here a week later.

The Roman Fire Foray

Audio: 00:40–Chatter     1:22-1:30 Wood breaking 

The Roman fire squad slipped into the child trafficking lot under the cover of darkness at 0200 hrs on 5/22.  They came in two cars whose license plate frames read “Rome Pre-Owned” and filled with wooden shipping pallets. (Never saw the two of them or their cars before.)

By 0204 they’d broken up some of the pallets and were kindling a fire in the rickety cinder block structure used for the party bonfire two weeks before.  I called 911.  The Herkimer Police police responded and made them put out the fire.

Undeterred, they later broke up another shipping pallet and started the fire anew, moving a car between the fire and our cameras. The brief and no doubt unsatisfactory fire quickly ran out of fuel.  Unusually, they didn’t rip the slats off of our poor old fence to kindle the flames. (24 cameras. )

Two of them then hung around for hours, waiting for Bass to return, presumably to be paid–she’d cleverly left well before they arrived. One of them met briefly with her, and then they were gone. Haven’t seen them time since. (The lad with the nice pink underwear doing some weeding should thank me for not putting that clip on YouTube. )

Herkimer Fire Freaks Frolicking'

5.13.22 Herkimer gang welcomes Spring with much noise and an illegal bonfire in their sanctuary at Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking’ Lot, landlord Jay Smith, proprietor.

There is no darkness or deep shadow where the workers of iniquity can hide. Job 34:22

(Forensic analysis of the accompanying video might produce usable facial recognition features.)

5.22.22 Gang guys breaking up shipping pallet to kindle illegal fire in Herkimer's Historic Child Trafficking Hub
5.22.22 Gang guys breaking up shipping pallet to kindle illegal fire in Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub.
5.22.22 Gang guys readying to break up shipping pallet to kindle illegal fire in Herkimer's Historic Child Trafficking Hub.
5.22.22 Gang guys readying to break up shipping pallet to kindle illegal fire in Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub.

Here are the two principals with their cars, waiting for Bass. (Facial recognition quality  images could probably be extracted from the video)

Roman Fire Squad in the child traffricking lot with one of their cars: Subuaru Outback NY license HHW5652. (Per binoculars.) Rear platge frame reads "Rome Pre-Pre-owned".

Roman Fire Squad in the child trafficking lot with one of their cars: Subaru Outback, NY license HHW5652.  (Per binoculars.) Rear plate frame reads “Rome Pre-owned”.

Other Roman Fire Squad car, Appears to be a Chevy 4 door. NY license JCH8451
Other Roman Fire Squad car. Appears to be a Chevy 4-door. NY license JCH8451

Another black, four-door Rome Pre-Owned is often seen at Bass’s: NY license KTH6114

Frequently seen at Carrie Bass's house at 341 Eureka Avnue on Herkimer's Historic Child Trafficking Lt: NY licesne KTH6114. Rear licxsns frame reads "Rome Pre-owned".
Frequently seen at Carrie Ann Bass’s house at 341 Eureka Avenue in Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub: NY license KTH6114. The rear license plate frame also reads “Rome Pre-owned”.

We’re keeping a camera on that tippy, uncemented cinder fireplace in the trafficking lot. It’s an easy accident away from the dry scrub around Bass’ law-abiding neighbor’s new wooden fence and the house they brought back from the dead through years of sweat equity:

Gang-crafted ramskacled fire place amid the brush in Herkimer's Historic Child Trafficking's Lotg.
5.14.22 Gang-built fireplace beside brush and fence in Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub.

Herkimer Child Trafficking Hub Handover

Saluting Herkimer’s Child Predator Watchdog

Visits: 2948

Above photo of Watchdog from WEB YouTube video screenshot.

Stephen Ames Berry

The Herkimer Post salutes the gutsy, brilliant decoy agent who’s been exposing Herkimer’s abundant sexual predators. He’s been posting on YouTube channel WEB, a nationwide resource for outing sexual predators. This week, Herkimer BOCES substitute math teacher Robert Reid was exposed in a decoy meeting at the Herkimer Walmart, and quickly fired. (Above video.)

The video’s over an hour long and well worth viewing in its entirety. Suspense builds while the watchdog tracks the pred on his cellphone, as the man drives to the Herkimer Walmart. There he’s confronted by the watchdog with the vile text messages he sent to the fictional underaged teen boy. The watchdog masterfully plays the flustered Reid, coaxing admission after admission from him in a confrontation laced with sarcasm, threats and half-truths. He even gets the alleged perp to wait for the arrival of the Herkimer police, who proved very supportive, as did Walmart store management. 

The video content is gripping and would do very well on social media, edited into a few smaller riveting clips.

Alleged Herkimer sexual predator exposed by vigilante--former BOCES substitute math teacher Robert Reid. (Screenshot of WEB YouTube video.)
Alleged Herkimer sexual predator exposed by Watchdog–former BOCES substitute math teacher Robert Reid as he reads his text messages on Watchdog’s phone, soliciting sex from a supposed 15-year-old boy. (Screenshot of WEB YouTube video.)

Video Highlights (Time noted in minutes)

7:10 – 24:20  Predator arrives at Herkimer Walmart and is confronted by the watchdog. Much explicit gross language is drawn from the perp’s emails to the fictional boy and read to him. Questions are asked of him. (My wife fled the room.)

24:25 Herkimer Police arrive and begin interviewing the suspect. The investigation expands to his vehicle.

43:11 Watchdog shares on camera page after page of text message solicitations received over just two days in response to his predator decoy ads. This part of the video just blew me away. Herkimer is not a big place. We must rub elbows with these child rapists every day. 

Dangerous Work

…people who rape kids are already warped. Exposed, their lives are over–the shock of that could trigger violence.

This is dangerous work. Not everyone who’s exposed will be as docile as former teacher Reid. That one predator doesn’t attack the watchcdog doesn’t mean the next one won’t. Certainly meeting inside Walmart with all its zillion cameras serves as a deterrent. But people who rape kids are already warped. Exposed, their lives are overthe shock of that realization could trigger violence. 

Where Are the New York State Police?

“State law enforcement needs to become involved in purging these loathsome predators from our community. 

Where are the New York state police? Why aren’t they running child predator sting operations here? No 9ne person, no matter how dedicated and resourceful, can stem the flood of preds Watchdog’s shown us. The Herkimer Police Department is a small rural agency that does a superb job, given its resources. State law enforcement needs to become involved in purging these loathsome predators from our community. Write Governor Kathy Hochul. Send her a link to Watchdog’s video or this post. Unlike the former guy, she’s aware that New York State extends north beyond Westchester County.

Dead Kids Walking–Child Trafficking and Sexual Predators

You can’t have a business without customers. We first exposed Herkimer’s booming child trafficking industry in a series featuring the video Dead Kids Walking. Sadly, just one of many videos. We estimated about $100 million a year as the market value of the kids being trafficked through Herkimer. 

That was the wholesale end of the business. Herkimer’s sex predator watchdog’s shown us why a trafficked child is worth an estimated $100,000 a year to his or her handlers–there are a lot of very sick people willing to pay for sex with children. You can see it from the huge number of text messages Watchdog received in just a few days, responding to his decoy ads. (Minute 43:11 in his video.) 

Child Predators Are Ambush Predators

It’s heartening, after too many years of battling seemingly alone in Herkimer, to see others besides the gray panthers of the Herkimer Post and law enforcement taking up the fight against the sexual exploitation of children. Look at the numbers–it’s a plague. And it will only be gone if we confront it together. I hope that apathetic days of  “‘Well, it’s Herkimer,’ folks say with a shrug,” are ending.

Even now there are real kids, lonely kids, in real rooms, making new friends on the internet, maybe with someone who enjoys connecting with children. Perhaps a veteran educator like Robert Reid?  (He’s been teaching for years, according to comments on the video. His students are shocked.) Child predators are ambush predators.

Do please subscribe to WEB’s YouTube channel. It’s only $4.99 a month. I  wouldn’t have the guts to do what Watchdoig’s doing. Would you?

Dead Kids Walking – Herkimer’s $100 Million Child Trafficking Hub

 

 

 

How To Bully A Bully: Blogger Linda Kaidan v. Gang Thug Chandler Seelbach

Visits: 1452

Stephen Ames Berry

An earlier version misidentified Chandler Seelbach and omitted reference to his violent criminal history. 

Chandler Zachardy trespasing as he menaces Linda Kaida in her driveway.
Chandler Seelbach trespassing as he menaces Linda Kaidan in her driveway.

How to treat a bully? Stand fast and bully back.

Herkimer Post Editor Linda Kaidan, my wife of 43 years, is an early riser. She puts out food for her beloved birds’ breakfast in front of our lovely 100-year-old house at Herkimer’s 330 Pleasant Avenue.

Last Thursday 11/29, at about 4 am, she was taking out the trash when she was harassed and menaced by the local gang’s latest sacrificial drug thug, young Herkimer dad Chandler Z. Seelbach. Seelbach emerged from his friend fellow drug thug Kyle Stone’s house at 332 Pleasant Avenue and immediately started in on Linda. Seelbach is a violent criminal well-known to local police, yet still walking the streets through the miracle of New York law.

His face inches from hers, Seelbach verbally assaulted her for about 8 minutes, heaping her with obscenities, threatening several times to “beat the shit” out of her as he trespassed on our property. She stood her ground and only came inside when she was good and ready. (He doesn’t seem to know who his mother is.)

Here’s the audio and a porch video of the attack. Though Linda was on four cameras, the only one with audio is the porch cam. The police have a full video of the incident; the audio is enough to convict. Several still shots from one of our videos are in this post. (The woman cheering Seelbach on is our neighbor, drug thug Kim Vargas.)  Turn on the volume.

Our local drug and child trafficking gang doesn’t like our very legal gentle street light it lessens their use of the two gang houses on the other side of our property for nighttime drug trafficking. Including Seelbach’s. 

For his finale, Seelbach threw a dramatic haymaker at our doughty little light. As with all else in his pathetic young life, Seelbach failed, and went off to where he lays his head, landlord Jay Smith’s 326 Pleasant Avenue, two houses down. form ours. 

The woman loudly supporting the elder-abusing thug is another elder-abusing thug, neighboring petty drug dealer Kim Vargas, skulking off-camera in her driveway. 

Zacchary Chandler throws at haymaker punch at our light.
“Seelbach then threw a dramatic haymaker punch at our light.”
“As with all else in his pathetic young life, Chandler failed…”

This latest ugly incident, with videos, was reported to Officer Burns of the Herkimer Police, who took and registered Linda’s complaint. Burns was one of the many officers who were very supportive when Linda was attacked and punched out by the Joyce Barton gang’s Shianne Hill a few years ago. (Shianne was sentenced to a year’s probation and restitution. The Bartons have been stripped of the illusion that they enjoy immunity from arrest within the village of Herkimer.) 

Chandler Seelbach – Poster Boy for  Herkimer Gang’s Eroding Empire of Dirt

Herkimer gang thug Chandler Z. Seelbach
Young Herkimer dad Chandler Z. Seelbach in daylight, March 2018. Seelbach lives two doors down from us at Jay Smith’s 326 Pleasant  Avenue.

Chandler Seelbach’s vile street skit is the latest of the Herkimer gang’s desperate final gasps. Gone are Zachary’s predecessors, Kyle Stone and Xavier Rowe. And Smith tenant Earl Thompson, who was always vowing to put anthrax in our mailbox. MIA from our patch of paradise for years now is gang chieftain Stanley Sykes. Present but mute is street harasser and child trafficker Cary Ann Bass, Sykes alleged daughter-in-law. Still seen about is Shyke’s good right hand Kevin Stone, who has open access to all the houses landlord Jay Smith’s gifted Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers one Christmas.

The rapidly improving demographics of Herkimer and all of Upstate New York is draining the swamp of organized criminal activity. The people now moving here in large numbers are affluent and seeking a climate change haven. Herkimer, to its surprise I’m sure, is one of the nation’s finest climate change survival zones.  

Herkimer doesn’t have much housing stock. Even halfway decent houses sell in a few days. Our nighttime skies are so filled with law enforcement drones that they must be filing flight plans. (We’ve seen some cute little prototype drones being tested  here.) 

When prosperity comes in, gangs move out, usually with the help from beefed-up law enforcement, and folks who no longer yield their streets to scum like Chandler Seelbach. Don’t be bullied. Stand your ground and bully back.

Better Camera Coming Soon to Driveway Hotspot

A much better camera for our front driveway has arrived. That’s where all the action’s been lately. It’s the same 4K UHD camera as the one we have out back, the one that was the heart of the popular post of Carrie Ann Bass’ party in the child trafficking lot. I’ll provision and hang it as soon as I finish my current project for my son-in-law. 

 

339 Eureka Ave Pickaxe Gang Strikes Again–Did Boris And Natasha Send Them?

Visits: 1949

Stephen Ames Berry

12/22/21 Last week, Amir Covic, aka Boris, listed both 339 and 330 Eureka Avenue for sale. 

Herkimer’s 339 Eureka Ave Pickaxe Gang struck again on D-Day, invading vacant vandalized 337 Eureka, their leader wielding his signature pickaxe as he further ravaged a portion of the rear border fence we share with 337. We’re wondering if Boris and Natasha sent them.

The shaggy-haired blond middle schooler first attacked the old wooden fence on 5/12, kicking out a few panels, then watched from next door at 339 Eureka as Linda Kaidan mended the damage with materials on hand, sharing a few fence repair tips with him as she worked. He said nothing, but judging from his method of attack on 6/6, he listened well, carefully deconstructing her repair by first removing the key vertical iron fence posts before ripping and bashing the weakened horizontal sticks. 

Job well done, he gave our surveillance camera a defiant two-handed finger salute and turned away with a scowl. He and his three cohorts, one his younger clone, hung out in 337’s thoroughly vandalized backyard for a while. Here’s the video:

Video Timeline

0:01       5/11/21 Both boys at home at 339 Eureka. Younger one retrieves ball from our yard.
1:05        5/12/21 Both boys in yard of 337 Eureka.
1:52                        Older boy kicks out fence slats.
2:42                        Neighbor mends fence as older boy watches from 339 Eureka.
3:22        6/6/21   Both boys in yard of 339 with two others. Older boy knocks out more slats.
4:12                        Older boy begins demolishing mend to fence made on 5/12 by L. Kaidan.
6:49                        Older boy finishes job with pickaxe. Salutes our camera with two fingers.

First Sighting

5/11/21 First sighting of Pickaxe Gang member, here seen trespassing in your battle-scarred yard
5/11/21 First sighting of Pickaxe Gang member, here seen trespassing in your battle-scarred yard, ostensibly chasing a stray ball. The desperados operate out of 339 Eureka Ave.

We first sighted a Pickaxe Gang boy on 5/11, when their youngest member came chasing a ball into our yard. Slipping through our gang-ravaged fence from the  child trafficking lot side, the kid reclaimed the ball and skillfully kicked it over both fences and back into the yard of 339 Eureka, giving our closest camera a glance. 

339 Eureka Avenue Long A Suspect Property

We’ve long marked 339 Eureka as associated with local gang chief Stanley Sykes and associate Carrie Ann Bass, the most recent gang to have trafficked kids and drugs out of adjacent 341 Eureka. Sykes, Bass’ putative father-in-law, had access to 339 during his years at 341 Eureka. Bass still may—she has but to walk next down Eureka Avenue to be off of our cameras. (I suspect Bass serves as the gang Airbnb host for 339 Eureka.)

The only times 339 Eureka has shown any signs of life is when kids, fleetingly seen, quickly come and go from there.

We’re in the midst of a national housing shortage–Herkimer properties are becoming gold, yet 339 Eureka is still vacant most of the time.

Amir and Selma Covic – Owners of 339 Eureka Avenue

339 Eureka has been owned by Amir and Selma Covic since 2014. They also own 330 Eureka Avenue. We overlook the backyard and deck of 339 and have for almost eight years, but we’ve never seen the Covics, either in the flesh or on our surveillance cameras. We’ve taken to keeping their photo, marked “Boris and Natasha,” on the wall beside our surveillance cameras’ monitor. Smart money says we’ll see Boris and Natasha at 339 long before we see Amir and Selma.

339 Eureka Avenue owners Amir and Selma Covic aka Boris and Natasha
339 Eureka Avenue owners Amir and Selma Covic, aka Boris and Natasha

339 Eureka Avenue – A Child Trafficking Hold House?

We’ve been including 339 Eureka Ave on our Child Trafficking Hub maps for years –we call it a  Hold House: a house kept empty and held for use at need by traffickers, but not occupied by them. We’ve also been suspicious of equally vacant 337 Eureka, its owners concealed through ownership by a New York corporation.

Herkimer child trafficking hub as of 4/18/18
Herkimer Child and Drug Trafficking Hub as of 4/1/18. 339 Eureka, to the left of 341 (white lettering) is noted “Sykes Controls.” Sykes has since been replaced by daughter-in-law Carrie Ann Bass.

Adults Seen at 339 Eureka

We’ve only ever seen three adults at 339 Eureka. Most recently, there was a brief glimpse of a blonde-haired woman on the deck with the two young vandals. In 2017, we saw Little Mama come and go from 339. She had open access to the house. Little Mama was Jay Smith’s child trafficking tenant at 341 Eureka before Stanley Sykes and his local gang moved in. We alleged elsewhere that Little Mama was a child trafficking conductor, working the regional territory of a transnational child trafficking cartel. Unlike the local gang, her management was organized, disciplined and perceptive, and pulled out once we mounted our first camera. 

The third adult seen at 339 was in 2017, a brief clip captured on an old ip camera of a tall blonde woman partying with Sykes and cavorting with kids in the backyard of 339. 

7/20/2017 Mystery Woman with Sykes Gang and at 339 Eureka
play-sharp-fill

7/20/2017 Mystery Woman with Sykes Gang and at 339 Eureka

…nighttime backyard poisonings grew to a frenzy the closer our trimming came to 337 and 339 Eureka.

Poison gas has been blasted into our front and backyards over the years. The backyard gassing, we now believe, was to keep us from looking too hard at 339 and equally empty 337 Eureka. It’s had the opposite effect–it attracted our attention. So, this year we finally had the time to do something about it. We blasted back with lights, trimmed the vegetation and plastered the yard with cameras. 

augmented backyard security lighting 328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer
Augmented backyard security lighting 330 Pleasant Ave Herkimer.

The nighttime backyard poisonings grew to a frenzy the closer our trimming came to 337 and 339 Eureka. We awoke some mornings to a yard saturated with a gaseous, flesh-searing caustic redolent of a meth bake. (It’s Herkimer–we know the smell.) Our backyard was a World War I battlefield. We broke out the gas masks again.

poison gas attack apparel
2017 – The author trimming a tree in front his house on Pleasant Avenue, wearing what every Herkimer activist blogger needs: Hazmat suit and P-100 gas mask.

Only when we cleared the last of the undergrowth and overhanging limbs obscuring the 337-339 border fence did the attacks slacken. Then came Pickaxe Boy.

Herkimer poison gas attack injuries
4.15.21 Contact rashes and blisters from toxic surfaces in our backyard

Did Boris and Natasha send him? Or did he and his co-vandals just slip off the reservation? The afternoon of 6/15/21 Carrie Ann Bass unwittingly told us.

Carrie Ann Bass – Herkimer Child Trafficking’s Airbnb Host?

Carrie Ann Bass, Herkimer NY child trafficker
Carrie Ann Bass, Stanley Sykes Gang drug and child trafficker

Early that afternoon, Carrie Ann was overheard on her cellphone being reamed out by someone for her failure to prevent the Pickaxe Gang from vandalizing 337 Eureka. And just as I was finishing this article.

Phone Call Proves Suppositions

      • Carrie Ann Bass is the gang’s short stays hostess for 339 Eureka. 
      • She let the lads of the Pickaxe Gang slip off the reservation.
      • Her client is very displeased.
  • Vandalism reported to the Herkimer Police, with videos. (Officer Carbone.)
  • We’re still watching for Boris and Natasha. 

Drug Thug Kim Vargas Models TV Toss And Washer Drop Skills

Visits: 473

Stephen Ames Berry

Last Wednesday our neighbor, Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas, demonstrated skills acquired through decades of deadbeatism. Called on to surrender her unpaid for rented TV and laundry equipment, Vargas, tenant of Ft. Plain landlord Joe Handy, flawlessly demonstrated the aerodynamic potential of a flatscreen TV, sending it soaring gracefully from the driveway of her 328 Pleasant Avenue driveway to land beside the Great Rentals pickup van. Vargas then delivered the coup de gras to the machine, chucking it into the van as the Great Rentals guys stood clear.

Not pressing their luck, the rental recovery crew called the Herkimer Police to aid in the recovery of their laundry equipment from mighty mini Vargas. After some off-camera discussion with officers, Vargas again showed off her well-honed vandalism skills, scoring a perfect ten-point washer drop onto the sidewalk. A neighbor kindly delivered an unharmed dryer to the van (not shown), ending that day’s performance. Rest assured, there will be more. Vargas is an unending source of entertainment.

Does Kim Vargas have a sugar daddy? She couldn’t afford the equipment rental fees, yet someone’s paying for those FedEx Ground packages she gets day after day, week after week.