Herkimer New York’s a picturesque crime-ridden village along the Mohawk. It’s cursed by a booming drug trade abetted by a rich history of failed governance. Our video-enhanced posts document a vivid public rape threat, drug trafficking, malicious trespass, child abuse, drug abuse, public drunkenness and brawling, harassment, public menacing, and crime coddling police responses.
Herkimer police are scouring the area for gang member Kyle Stone. Stone is wanted on a felony charge stemming from an incident on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue in the early morning of July 22.
Kyle’s a real bad boy, as you can see in our videos of him. He lives next door to us at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. We haven’t seen Kyle since Thursday, 9/19. It’s been quiet without him screaming death and arson threats at us in the night. Or singing “I’m gonna sell crack until I die,” as he leaps through his illegal bonfires, sparks flying into our trees.
Oddly, we haven’t noticed any instances of poison gas spraying of us or our property since Kyle and his partner in crime Xavier Rowe left. (Xavier has already been arrested–not for the first time.)
Kyle is a very junior and seemingly not highly valued member of the Stanley Sykes Gang, which still operates out of Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue. It’s currently occupied by Stanley Sykes’ grandson’s mother, Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass, Stanley having moved after our Herkimer child trafficking series. She seemingly just traffics drugs out of there throughout the day. No more little kids coming and going day and night.
The gang’s very indignant that the privacy of their parking lot sanctuary is now routinely violated by law enforcement. You can sometimes hear them bitching at night from beneath their picnic canopy behind 341 Eureka.
0:01-1:08 Police arrive in force on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.
1:09-2:30 Search in and around Kyle’s mother’s rental at 332 Pleasant Avenue.
2:31-3:31 Police approach 341 Eureka Avenue (rear) and trouble Carrie Ann Bass.
3:31-3:40 Police questions Kyle’s mother. (We like her. She seems a very nice person, as does her daughter.)
3:41-End Photo of Kyle Stone during one of his illegal summer bonfires.
If you see this thug on the run, please call the Herkimer Police at 315.866.4330. Or dial 911. We don’t want him back. And you don’t want him walking our streets. Things are looking up for Herkimer and the region. Time to close these legacy criminals down.
Why would you traffic drugs next to a house with 25 security cameras? Cameras feeding a crime-themed blog with 100k+ views a year? Not just trafficking, but a major drug wholesaler publicly resupplying a local retail distribution point? At least that’s what it looks like to me. Maybe I’m wrong and those are just Appalachian Trail backpackers fresh down from the Adirondacks, meeting with friends?
8/30/19 Pleasant Ave – The Drugs Come In
This gathering took place on August 30th here in Herkimer, NY, in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue. The older man you see is 328’s caretaker, probably part of the Stanley Sykes Gang out of Utica and Herkimer. (Stanley says his gang’s a set of the Crips, but then Stanley says a lot.) Looks like the locals are being resupplied for retail distribution. Guessing it’s crack, hoping it’s not heroin or fentanyl. (Where would the opioid crisis be without Herkimer and the Sykes gang?)
328 Pleasant passed into the local gang’s grimy hands last year after it was sold to the elusive Joseph Handy of Ft. Plain and Schenectady. Not a trace of the man on social media. The house has since become increasingly visible as a gang hangout, narcotics distribution point and an Airbnb for criminals. Sometimes there are young kids there, quickly gone.
The video opens zooming in on 328 Pleasant’s front porch. Seated is the Sykes gang’s manager for the four properties it controls on Pleasant Avenue and for 341 Eureka Avenue. His visitor’s a new face, and about to leave.
The young woman with the stroller receiving a gift from 328 Pleasant’s Caretaker [7:01:47] is Herkimer’s Alexis Rowe. She lives at the gang-controlled house next door to ours: 332 Pleasant Avenue, a Jay Smith property. Smith has long owned some key Sykes’ gang-controlled properties here in our pastoral village along the Mohawk. (He says he’s sold them. He hasn’t.)
To the other side of the gathering—small white porch– is 326 Pleasant Avenue. It’s also a Jay Smith property, gang-affiliated, with so many backpackers recently arriving on foot at all hours that they now leave their front door open 24/7. At 6:47:51 another courier arrives on foot and walks past the group and into 326.
8/31/19 Pleasant Ave – The Drugs Go Out
Product being in both by foot and car, it’s time to distribute it. Some will go out at night by cars seen traversing Pleasant Avenue. But much will go out the next day, 8/31, from 326 Pleasant Avenue. [6:10] The tall blonde has long been associated with of 326 Pleasant, usually seen bicycling about Herkimer wearing that backpack. [6:49] She’s been working the Village on and off for the six years we’ve been here. That day she got a ride. Dropping off a consignment with another local retailer?
Narcotics distribution via backpack picks up here in Herkimer whenever the feds crackdown on vehicular distribution. Were not seeing the multi-car volume of drug distribution we used to see out of Jay Smith’s Historic Child Trafficking lot to the rear of our house. (341 Eureka and 332-334 Pleasant Avenues.) In fact, it’s mostly Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass, doing the driving from there. She seems to enjoy diplomatic immunity in Herkimer.
We’ve been busy recently and it’s been quiet along the street. I wouldn’t have looked at the goings on here in the hood, if we weren’t again being subjected to poison gas attacks by our murderous band of neighbors, using high volume pesticide distribution gear installed under their vehicles.
Why? What don’t they want me to see? I asked as the poisoning picked up. So I looked. And now I know, this and more. And more to tell. Later.
For the moment, all trafficking activity has stopped: a few days after these events, someone–probably the gang’s 328 Pleasant’s Caretaker–was overheard to tell all to start taking their goods to alternate trafficking transfer points on Eureka and Eastern Avenues, parallel streets to either side of Pleasant Avenue. And not to walk down Pleasant Avenue. Experience says they’ll be back as drug trafficking rebounds. And our cameras will be waiting.
It’s the usual high-pressure spraying of invisible volatilized pesticides, probably from beneath specially outfitted vehicles, like the Joyce Barton gang’s vanished sprayin’ truck. (Below.)
Herkimer Poison Chemical Attacks Ramping Up?
Attacks have been light so far. Possibly just ramping up: spraying of our backyard with poisons from landlord Jay Smith’s gang sanctuary to one side of us, long occupied by the Stanley Sykes gang, the rest from Pleasant Avenue. Toxic spraying of our front yard. From experience, we believe all attacks were from vehicle mounted pesticide sprayers.
Today I was blasted in the back with poison while bringing in the groceries, though our driveway had already been dosed with pesticides when we were out shopping.
Analysis of surveillance footage revealed only one candidate vehicle, an unfamiliar gray truck. It traversed the street several times shortly before our return from shopping at 1040 hrs, and hasn’t been seen since 1248 hrs. It is the only candidate.
“Analysis of surveillance footage revealed only one candidate vehicle, an unfamiliar gray truck.”
Here are its times down Pleasant Avenue: 1034 hrs , 1048, 1110, 1251. And here’s the vehicle. No other vehicles were on the street at the time of attack.
Law enforcement has perfected ways to detect these terroristic attacks. Those who want to make money poisoning people in Herkimer should ask, “Why aren’t you doing this yourself?” And–crucial!–what happened to the previous poisoners? We don’t know—we don’t get those emails. But it’s probably not pretty.
Kyle Stone, Herkimer gang performer best known for his fire and water gigs, on 7/22 took his art into the street. In an arresting two-hour performance on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, Stone debuted a brilliantly choreographed show of gritty urban realism. His repertoire of antisocial behaviors interwove crack smoking, public intoxication and urination, drunken and and reckless driving, bullying, alleged property damage and assault.It was a microcosm of the Herkimer gang behaviors that have long blighted the community.
Stone was ably backed up by his band of fellow druggies, seen most nights on the porch of Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. One of them provided the gray Dodge Dart used by Kyle for his high-speed drunken runs. (Vehicle identification courtesy of Herkimer police.)
The show concluded with Kyle and the gang allegedly driving a reluctant participant off camera and beating him, according to Herkimer police. He’s the tall kid with glasses and cap who looks like he should be in the high school science club.
Below is a shorter version of the gang’s two-hour performance video provided Herkimer police at their request. Watch closely and you’ll see Kyle throughout, tying to bully the alleged beating victim into smoking something other than cigarettes. He fails. A tip of the big hat to Mr. Science for courage and personal integrity. It’s rare in Herkimer. May he find some friends worthy of him.
Video Timeline 0:01-0:37 Gang’s party car and driver arrive. (Gray Dodge Dart.) Driver goes into driveway of Jay Smith’s 332-334 Pleasant Ave. gang rentals.
0:38-1:21 Kyle Stone warms up for his performance.
1:22-1:31 Kyle staggers about. Watch as he tries to physically intimidate tall, non-drug using kid, later allegedly beaten up by Kyle.
1:32-1:58 Kyle dancing with seemingly lit crackpipe.
1:59-2:33 Kyle in driver’s seat, smokin’.
2:34-3:18 Kyle preps for his signature Dance-of-the-Piss. Car’s driver accompanies.
3:19-3:34 Kyle’s The-Dance-of-the-Piss.
3:35-3:52 Kyle returns to drivers’ seat of car. All now in car.
3:53-5:53 Kyle and gang merrily speed off to King Street. Return going to Protection Avenue. (Who is that woman and what was she doing off-camera?)
5:54-6:29 Speeds back down Pleasant Avenue to King Street. Allegedly caused property damage around PK’s Pub, according to Herkimer PD. Pub is on the corner of King and Pleasant.
6:30-7:02 Car again blasts down Pleasant Avenue toward Protection Avenue. This time does not return. Here Kyle’s alleged to have beaten the reluctant party-going kid.
7:03-8:19 Alleged beating victim returns on foot to 332 Pleasant. Appears to be in pain and agitated. Woman is 332’s sole wage-earner and apparently Kyle’s long-suffering relative.
8:20-End Herkimer police arrive.
Kyle Stone – Herkimer Boy-Next-Door in Action
Did Kyle beat anyone up? Don ‘t know. But if he thought he was being “disrespected”? Probably. Here’s a recent short video of Kyle’s antics with a shovel and neighbor Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins Bass., after he thought she’s disrespected him. She’s the keeper of the Stanley Sykes Gang’s 347 Eureka Avenue, to the right of the video. Guessing Kyle grew up while Carrie Ann was around. (Sykes and Stones are closely allied.)
“A child is not a dog. No matter whose child. It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer.” Look no further than Herkimer, New York, USA, to see the illegal taking of a child from his family. On 4/24/19, Herkimer County sheriff’s deputies entered our home and took our two-year-old grandson Avram from his mother. They didn’t have a warrant. They didn’t have a valid court order. They said they had “verbal permission.”
A Herkimer Kidnapping – In The Tradition of Schindler’s List
It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer. No matter how inconvenient. No matter whose child. New York’s Domestic Relations Law governs the return of a child to a parent in another state. It incorporates the provisions of the federal Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The law requires registration of an out-of-state custody order with the local family court, due notice and a hearing. Then the custody order can be legally enforced. It only takes a few days. Apparently too cumbersome for scofflaw Herkimer.
Herkimer Family Court Involvement?
The deputies said they had “verbal authorization” [Video, below: 1:56] from Judge John Brennan of the Herkimer Family Court to take our grandson. If so, Brennan played fast and loose with the law. New York’s family courts are notoriously packed and dysfunctional. Scooping up a kid without a warrant for an out-of-state return and whisking him to the waiting parent avoids further clogging the court calendar with the tedium of due process. Especially when outcome appears predetermined. In an extrajudicial kidnapping like this–in legalese, “an illegal taking”– speed is of the essence: Not much a parent can do when the kid’s back in the other state. It seems a cynical practice encourage by long success. Had our daughter been known to have an attorney, and lived at a better Herkimer address, the law might have been followed.
“2:41: Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer.”
Video Timeline001-1:05 Herkimer County Sheriff’s deputies, accompanied by Herkimer police officer, arrive at our house. (Police here to protect deputies from us.) 1:06-1:14 I foolishly let them in without examining their order. I’d assumed they were acting lawfully. Never assume this in Herkimer County. 1:15-1:15 One deputy identifies himself as Sgt. George. The other merely says “Herkimer County Sheriff.” (He’s not the sheriff.) 1:20 – 1:55 Sgt. George reads the order to our daughter. It’s quickly apparent it’s a Michigan court order. George states it authorizes them to take our grandson for return to his father in Michigan. It doesn’t. I object, citing New York law and the procedure necessary to lawfully execute an out-of-state custody order in New York. Sgt. George says they have verbal permission from Herkimer County Family Court to enforce the Michigan court order. I continue to dispute their authority.2:41 – 2:54 Deputy(?) Nameless tells me to “go argue the order” with Herkimer County Family Court Judge John Brennan if I don’t like it. I point out that I can’t, it’s a Michigan court order. Judge Brennan is a New York judge. He has not issued an order in this matter. Nameless Deputy repeats that they have verbal authority from Judge Brennan to take our grandchild. Seems hostile. 3:14 – 3:20 “Where is the child?” is the demand. 3:21 – 3:45 Little Avram taken. Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer. She hesitatingly does so. May know we’d recently reported Herkimer CPS workers Sara Riente and Lisa Bates to NY authorities for malfeasance. 3:46 – 4:36 Avram passed to unidentified woman wearing unviewable badge driving unmarked car. 4:37 – 4:56 Grandma gives kindly Herkimer Police Officer Holt clothes and shoes for shoeless Avram, who takes them to the sheriff’s officers.End: Unknown woman in unmarked car makes good her escape with our grandchild.
“Our grandson now lives in an upscale townhouse in an upscale college town with his Rhodes Scholar professor-‘father’. We fear for his safety.”
A Herkimer Kidnapping Finale
Gloating email later that evening from Mukherji to our daughter saying he was at a Herkimer motel and that Avram had been returned to him. He’s refused all attempts at contact by our daughter. Our grandson now lives in an upscale townhouse in an upscale college town with his Rhodes Scholar professor father. We fear for his safety. Why? Read on.
A Herkimer Kidnapping – Backstory
In late January 2018, our daughter escaped with our grandson from her allegedly abusive and neglectful husband, Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national. As she attests in her custody case court filings, he’d allowed her no contact with us for years and kept her in almost complete social and physical isolation. Mukherji’s a nontenured assistant professor of Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He’s not the child’s birth father. Our daughter alleges in her custody case filings that Mukherji signed Avram’s birth certificate to enhance his status with US Immigration.
The trigger for our daughter’s flight to Herkimer was Mukherji’s announcing the three of them were going on a trip with him to Turkey, along with his equally abusive mother. The US State Department advises against travel to Turkey: “terrorism, kidnappings and arbitrary detentions.” Anything could happen, especially to a toddler. Sounded like it might be a one-way trip for the “son” our daughter alleges Somangshu calls “the little bastard.” Somangshu’s vigilance slipped for a moment and our daughter and grandchild bolted for here. Penniless, she took a cab across several states, paying with the Uber account Somangshu kept on her phone for his convenience, she noted.
Somangshu Mukherji – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Somangshu Mukherji’s Green Card and his well-paid professorship were made possible by his marriage to our severely bipolar American-born daughter.
And we took a hand, too, having earlier and foolishly helped him stay in the US. In 2003, we sponsored Mukherji after Harvard dropped their sponsorship of him as grad student, alleging “academic dishonesty,” according to our daughter’s court filings. (Mukherji had earlier been a research assistant to Harvard evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser, who was found guilty of scientific misconduct and arrested on federal charges.)
At our daughter’s pleading, we posted a $40k bond for Mukherji with the U.S. Department of State so that he could remain in the US. (17% of our total assets at the time.) Mukherji’s repaid us by exploiting and abusing our daughter, misusing his medical guardianship of her and denying our grandchild clothes, shoes and toys. “Never a dime,” alleges our daughter in her Ann Arbor MI Family Court custody defense filings. (Case 19-352-DC )
“Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.”
Somangshu Mukherji in Pursuit
I texted Mukherji that his missing wife and her two-year old son were safe with us in Herkimer. No reply, but his feet must not have touched the ground as he raced to his attorney’s office to file for sole custody of the son he’d always allegedly neglected—the son of his wife and another man–and for the child’s immediate return to him in Ann Arbor. Doing the math he may have suddenly realized his love for the boy and wanted him back: child support would cost him over $1,000 a month.
After a long court battle in Ann Arbor, Somangshu Mukherji was awarded sole custody. (He had a lawyer, our daughter didn’t. Ann Arbor Legal Aid, which is partially supported by U. Mich Law School, wouldn’t represent her.) My summary of his lengthy case and filings: Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.
Here’s our daughter’s Michigan court filings in the case. It’s the sad tale and probably all too common tale of how an unscrupulous foreign national can exploit a mentally ill American to jump the Green Card queue and secure a good job. And then escaped unscathed by taking advantage of America’s patchwork of child custody laws and fragmented family court structure.
Mukherji apparently established a cordial relationship with Herkimer County Sheriff’s personnel during his 4/11/19 trip, likely through then Herkimer Undersheriff Scott Scherer. His Michigan court approved visitation of that date seemed a transparent attempt to nab our grandson on the cheap. He may have convinced the sheriff’s staff that his “son” was in grave danger from the psychotic mother, loony grandmother and pedophile grandfather. (From his slanderous Child Protection reports, since dismissed.) The day before the kidnapping, Mukherji won sole custody of Avram in an Ann Arbor court. Victorious at last, he immediately flew to Herkimer to take possession.
Michigan court order in hand, Somangshu was but one step from obtaining a lawful custody order, one issued by a New York court, which the Herkimer county sheriff could legally enforce. He needed only to register his Michigan order with the Herkimer Family Court, which could, after a hearing for all parties, issue a New York order mandating the return of the child to Michigan, all required by New York law. Of course, it would have cost Mukherji more money. Instead, Herkimer County cut him a break him by skipping past New York law and sending its deputies right over to take Avram from his nap.
Preventing A Herkimer Kidnapping: “Get A Warrant”
I suspect the Herkimer Family Court and the Herkimer County Sheriff get away with this all the time, possibly by saying that the parent voluntarily consented to accept service of the out-of-state custody order. As the video of this illegal taking shows, our daughter did not do that. The Herkimer sheriff’s officers presented her with the Michigan court order, which without a New York order had all the validity of a Post-It note. I contested their authority and cited the UCCJEA and applicable New York law. They didn’t care. Told me to “get a lawyer.” [video-2:41] This extrajudicial kidnapping spared Professor Mukherji the bother and expense of obtaining a legal New York custody order.
New York State Commission on Judicial ConductCorning Tower, Suite 2301Empire State PlazaAlbany, NY 12223 If you videoed the incident, as we did in A Herkimer Kidnapping, either upload it to the agencies or send it in with your complaint on a thumb-drive. Publish it on social media. It’s New York. It’s your right. Use it or lose it.
Herkimer Fire Watch, 6.4-5. Our continuing coverage of the dangerous ongoing antics of the fire bugs next door: 332 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer, a Jay Smith property. We’re a tinder-dry, flammable village along the Mohawk. We’ve had 3 deaths this year from a nighttime house fire, some very young kids perished. Open fires within 100 feet of anything are illegal. Have been for years. Some folks don’t care. We do. Others do. The police and fire departments certainly do.
Herkimer Fire Performance of 6.4-5
Tonight’s performance was brief with fewer players than previously. All of these guys either live at or are associated with 332 Pleasant Avenue, the house to the left. It’s owned by, did I say? Herkimer landlord Jay Smith.
Police responded promptly and the fire was extinguished.
The shirtless Kyle from 332 Pleasant was as usual the chief performer. At minute 0:45, someone points out the unconcealed camera to him. They at last figured it out. It’s been there for months, as have the lights. Kyle reacts and everyone files by into the house, low-hanging fruit for video recognition software.
Why do you move next door to a house with 25 cameras and a very active crime blog, unless of course, you want media coverage?
A tip of the hat to the Herkimer police for a quick response and to Herkimer County 911. We await the next performance.
Our Herkimer fire watch of 6.2.19 saw yet another in the spate of dangerous and illegal fires behind landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. Scofflaw tenants from all three Smith properties abutting Herkimer’s historic child trafficking lot participated, frolicking from 9 pm to midnight, just before Herkimer police arrived. It was obvious they’d been alerted that police were on the way. Following a phone call to one of them, the flames were quickly doused and most of the fire bugs scuttled into 332 Pleasant Avenue.
When the officer arrived a moment later, there were only two people fireside, watching a few dying flames. I doubt he was fooled—there was a lot of smoke still in the air.
1:05/3:05 334 Pleasant resident heaps household trash on fire.
3:30 Sparks fly. Happily a windless night and the ground damp.
3:39 Red and black jacket guy gets phone warning. Assume he had a friend monitoring the police channel. Fire doused by 332’s life-of-the-party Kyle.
4:01 All but the two fireside go into 332 Pleasant. Male voice overheard making unambiguous death threat about burning up two old people. All potential suspects captured on camera as they parade by. (They remind me of my old high school Behavior Boy class in Sarasota.)
5:05 Officer arrives. Not much to see. Quickly leaves.
Herkimer is highly flammable. We’ve already had 3 deaths by fire this year. This ongoing depraved indifference only makes it likely to happen again.
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.