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

Views: 235

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

Views: 696

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. 

 

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

Views: 5044

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

Herkimer NY Jewish Blogger Gassed

Views: 438

by Stephen Ames Berry

We must be doing something right: Herkimer Post Crime Editor Stephen Ames Berry in front of sealed, lethally gassed Herkimer Post office in Herkimer NY

When you defiantly live among a band of murderers, as we do on Herkimer New York’s hopefully-named Pleasant Avenue, you Herkimer New York Blogger gassed by local band of murderersshouldn’t be surprised when they try to murder you. Perhaps the irony of their gassing a Jew in an historic German-American community escaped them. Or not.

“Go back to some Arab country!”

The Herkimer Jewish blogger gassed? The Herkimer Post’s Linda Kaidan. In fairness, she’d been warned by frightened but good-hearted people, that if she kept writing about Herkimer crime, “They’ll kill you.” And Herkimer anti-Semitic thug Curtis Cool and his alt-right chums, catching her out along one dark night, harassed her with “go back to some Arab country!”

Our attackers botched it, and by botching it revealed much. (More of that in the next posting.)

The gas attack followed our post Herkimer Crime 2016 – 20,421 Worldwide Views. It celebrated the Herkimer Post’s growing readership, an audience drawn by Herkimer’s  brazen criminality, and by the antics of  cop-coddled criminals like Curtis Cool.  Several of our depraved Herkimer neighbors participated in the attack, as they have in previous such attempts.

Herkimer – The Gassing of the Jew – 2/22/17

Somewhere between 0200 and 0400 on 2/22/17, assailants using a ladder breached Linda Kaidan’s 2nd floor office-bedroom at 330 Pleasant Avenue.  Her office is well-known to our creepily-watching criminal neighbors as home to her writing nook and to The Herkimer Post, which I co-write.

We awoke sickened, tasting and smelling the faint but distinct metallic residue of pesticide. Our symptoms were immediate, debilitating and familiar from previous poisoning attacks on us.

Those symptoms are typical of organophosphate and carbamate-based insecticide poisoning: Between the two of us we experienced dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, burning sensations in throat and eyes minor muscle spams, fatigue, joint and muscle pain. We’re still suffering discomfort, but are up and running.

Herkimer Jewish Blogger Gassed
The first gas mask I used wasn’t up to the job. I lasted 3 minutes amid the fumes in our office.

Our attackers avoided alarm sensors and motion detectors by perching on a ladder outside our house, silently dispensing with practiced ease a massive quantity of an aerosol-delivered, heavy-duty pesticide through the office-bedroom the window. They apparently poked a nozzle between the a/c’s insulation and the side of the window. A backpack sprayer was probably used. 

The Herkimer Post has transferred it’s flag. Linda’s office is sealed for later attention. That room has what’s probably a lethal level of pesticide in it, evident when you try to work there protected by anything other than  PT-100 certified respirator, of the sort used by hazmat teams and the military.

This murderous attack may be the first on an American activist blogger-a first for Herkimer New York. Given the US’ toxic political climate and its blossoming anti-Semitisim, there’ll probably be more.

We’ve reported this attack to the New York State Police. They now have everything we have on all things Herkimer. Future posts have all been written, which is why the delay in posting this one. They’re on a cloud server in Bulgaria and set for timed release, a virtual dead man’s trigger. We haven’t troubled Herkimer authorities with this matter.

 

 

Herkimer Crime 2016 – 20,421 Worldwide Views

Views: 403

by Stephen Ames Berry

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein

Forget Herkimer diamonds. Crime-ridden Herkimer New York’s greatest attraction is the village’s anarchic three-ring circus of brazen criminals, trafficker-coddling cops and willfully failed governance. In 2016, Herkimer’s unchecked, in-your-face lawlessness brought The Herkimer Post and its YouTube videos over 20,000 worldwide views. The human fascination with the grotesque drove our annualized viewing audience up 33% from our last statistics posting in March of 2016.

The Herkimer Post enjoyed 8,432 page views from 2,379 readers across 6 continents in 57 countries, with an average of 1.95 minutes per view. Our YouTube videos–Herkimer crime, all the time–brought 11,989 worldwide views averaging 3.32 minutes apiece. Top Herkimer Twitter tweets sparked at least 13,674 impressions, engagements and retweets, which aren’t counted in the 20,421 tally.

Living in Herkimer Village is convenient: except for our Herkimer Meth Bridge series, we’ve rarely had to travel more than 20 meters from our home on Herkimer’s wistfully-named Pleasant Avenue to acquire source material: Herkimer criminals trying to drive us from our home and Herkimer cops trying to intimidate us into silence just kept coming into our cameras or onto our microphones.

Herkimer Post 2016 – WordPress Page Views, Users, Sessions

 

Herkimer Post 2016 WordPress Sessions – Top 10 Countries

Notes on Google Analytics’ Metrics

  • One session can have multiple page views. Herkimer Post visitors viewed an average of two posts per session.
  • 2,777 blog visitors landed on the  Herkimer Post’s home page rather than a specific posting. They could have then selected one or more more categories and scrolled through the posts. Their views of individual posts wouldn’t have been recorded.
  • Country = “Not Set”: Origin may be a hidden ISP.
  • Best reporting option is 365 days. Calendar year selection not offered.

Herkimer Post 2016 Top Page Views

Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Blog Post

Our top recorded blog post for 2016 was of our neighbor and first Herkimer visitor, young mom Melodie Shulze, who dropped by with her mom Melissa Shulze to cuss us out for photographing our street and accuse us therefore of being pedophiles. Although the incident occurred in 2015, Melodie Shulze’s elder abuse has proven an object of repugnant fascination both on our blog and YouTube. (Melodie recently vanished from our street following an unusual flurry of Child Protection Services’ activity.)

Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton Win Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Posts Tally

Otherwise it was a postings slugfest in lawlessness and depravity between 333 Pleasant Avenue’s Bartons and 328 Pleasant Avenue’s Curtis Cool. It was won by the Bartons with 4 top posts: Herkimer Man Sexually Abusing Car was our 2nd top post, harassment dished straight from the Barton’s as they gleefully helped harass our very pregnant daughter. (Captured on a highly visible surveillance camera. )

Three other top 2016 posts featuring appearances by Joyce Barton and or Douglas Barton were Drug Trafficking On Herkimer’s Slumlord Row, [VIDEOS]Herkimer Crime – Drunks Along the Mohawk [VIDEOS], and Mission Accomplished! Fire Chief Barton’s Fire Revisited. This last highlighted a forensic video analysis of then-Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton’s garage fire, coincident with what appeared to be a large state and federal crackdown on Herkimer’s abundant meth makers. (The Bartons have apparently since abandoned their home-based enterprises and seem to be scrambling to make ends meet.) The drug trafficking post and related videos are from 2015; they’ve taken on a life of their own, drawing viewers month after month. (IP addresses hint law enforcement may be using them for surveillance analysis training.)

Curtis Cool Takes Close 2nd In Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Postings Tally

Herkimer Court Clerk Harriett Tangorra’s long-time tenant Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan) did well in three Herkimer Crime 2016 posts: Herkimer Thug Curtis Cool Again Fails to Burn Out Neighbors, in which his unchecked pyromania was on full display, and an associated post, Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner Sees Nothing. But Curtis truly shined, along with Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippin, in Herkimer Police & The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo. Accompanied by Curtis’ videoed zaniness, it relates how Officer Crippin gave us to understand that in Herkimer New York, the nanny nanny boo boo is exculpatory for criminal harassment. (As folks here sigh with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”)

Herkimer Crime 2016 – 11,989  YouTube Views

In 2016, Herkimer crime drew over 11,989 YouTube views in 51 countries with a total viewing time of 23,409 minutes, or 390 hours. (16.25 days.)

Our YouTube audience wasn’t the same as that of the The Herkimer Post: most YouTube viewers didn’t come from our blog posts, but from other YouTube viewers and referrers. Many of our videos contain links to our other Herkimer crime videos, making it possible to build viewership through a chain of referrals embedded in video descriptions, and also build blog readership through links to our blog. Curtis Cool’s 13 videos and the Barton’s 14 videos provided the virtual framework for widening our follower base.

In 2016, videos of Joyce and Douglas Bartons’ Pleasant Avenue activities had 6,815 views, with a watch time of 6,698 minutes, or 4.65 days. Their top video was 2015’s enduring Herkimer Crime on Parade – 333 Pleasant Avenue (5088 views). But Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan) blew the Bartons’ Crime on Parade out of the water with his bravura performance in Curtis Cool Street Harassment of 6/11/16: 154 hours (9,224) minutes, or 6.40 days. Herkimer’s untouchable Golden Child’s criminal harassment of his elderly neighbors was watched by 2,385 people on 6 continents, just one of Curtis’ series of street harassment videos. (Curtis abruptly moved after we hinted in a post that he might be involved in darker things than drug dealing. “The guilty flee where no man pursues.”)

Honorable Herkimer Crime Mention: Herkimer’s Historic Crack House Keeper. 926 minutes, 611 views. Not an elder abuser street harasser on a par with Curtis Cool, but the only one to have physically assaulted me. (He appears to have been deleted from the ‘hood.)

Herkimer Crime 2016 On YouTube – Top 10 Videos

Top 25 YouTube Herkimer Crime 2016 Videos

Herkimer Crime 2016 YouTube Viewers By Country

Herkimer Crime Watching COUNTRIES Page 1

 

HERKIMER CRIME WATCHiNG COUNTRIES Page 2

 

Herkimer Crime 2016 On Twitter

I didn’t go through Twitter to extract the analytics of views of our Herkimer crime tweets, which are automatically tweeted by our blog upon posting. They’d have to have been ferreted out of Twitter tweet by tweet, and the analytics for each manually copied and totaled. No. Life is short, death is long.

I have 72,000 Twitter followers. All of my posts make an impression. The more colorful, such as those of our Apricot Emperor or Herkimer crime, often create a thousand or more impressions. I’ve no idea what an impression is, and, reading Twitter’s definition, neither does Twitter. But those tweets do leave a large and consistent impression of Herkimer, and it’s not pretty.

Here’s a typical Tweeter analytics summary of some Herkimer crime tweets:

 

Acknowledgments

We thank all who’ve read our blog or viewed our videos. We hope they’ve given you some insight into what failure of governance looks like, and the stark reality of life when crime rules the streets of a once pastoral village.

We’d like to also thank Herkimer’s Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan), his landlady Harriett Tangorra, our neighbors Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton, Herkimer Police officers Patrolman Haight, Patrolman Jason Crippin and Sgt John Scholl II, and Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner, for helping make 2016 a very successful year for The Herkimer Post. Forward together into the New Year.

A sincere and especially heartfelt thanks to the New York State Police, Night Court, Trapper Ron, the New York State Intelligence Center, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and other US Department of Homeland Security entities, without whose officers’ vigilance and dedication to duty this post wouldn’t have been written.

And a big tip of the hat to Herkimer’s resident drones and their watchful wizards.

Quadcopter in dronebox
Quadcopter drone nested in a remote solar-powered recharging drone box. H3 Corp photo.

 

Herkimer Mobbing – Joyce Barton, Sgt. Tall, Officer Short

Views: 420

by Stephen Ames Berry

 

It’s been quiet along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. We’re keeping busy remodeling and writing posts that we hadn’t gotten around to, besieged as we were the last several years by neighborly attacks on ourselves, our pets and our home. As Herkimer has a new police chief, we’ll be having posts about past incidents involving some of his officers. We’re beginning with the Herkimer mobbing incident of June 15, 2015.

Herkimer criminals lend new meaning to homesteading
Outpost 330 – Herkimer Criminal Neighbors Give Fresh Meaning To Homesteading

It’s obvious that deprived of work hustling product from now-absent meth cookeries and crack makers, many of South Herkimer’s once abundant scrotes  have moved on. Pleasant Avenue is down to two homes owned by career criminal families, either in their own names or through proxies, and one homeowner who consistently rents her property to various members of a well-protected regional crime family.

State and federal law enforcement, augmented by surveillance drones, have swept the streets of Herkimer Village clear of its traditional  in-your-face wholesale drug trafficking. Attempts to move narcotics trafficking into the woods near the village were reported and crushed. 

Herkimer Police Stand Fast

Yet one Herkimer institution that’s endured unchanged through all the tumult of our three years on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is the Herkimer Police. In our experience, they’ve never heard a complaint worth taking, though some of its officers have proven quick to respond to the needs of well-monied criminals. (We do like several of the Herkimer cops, who do the best they can, boats against the stream.  My naming them probably wouldn’t help their careers.)

333 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer mobbing – June 15, 2015

One of our first experiences with a Herkimer police response was on June 15, 2015. The below is from my email of 6/22/15 to Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi, supplemented by later information. (Mayor Brindisi is reportedly a former Herkimer police officer.)

My entire touchingly naive email to Mayor Brindisi follows at the end of this post. It was written before we realized that Herkimer enjoyed a wide reputation as pirate haven, it’s booming cash economy driven by well-protected, interlaced networks of criminals, protected by a co-opted local government. The orchestrated mobbing incident below is a typical ploy used by drug gangs to maintain turf control. (I’ve added the bracket information.)

Herkimer's Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton
Herkimer’s Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton in happier days

From my letter to Mayor Brindisi:

This past Wednesday evening,  we were the focal point of an obviously preplanned and terrifying outpouring of mob hatred triggered when my wife asked ball playing children in front of our home to please stop throwing objects at our house, notably a ball at the side, and rocks at the security camera covering our driveway. About 40 people stood watching from the opposite sidewalk and the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave.

Joyce Barton's 333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY
Barton Residence 333 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer

Within less than 30 seconds of her polite request of the ballplayer children, who were quite polite, the adults poured off the opposite sidewalk and the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave. and into the street, screaming at my wife, with one of them (Joyce Barton of 333) coming  within inches of my wife’s face and screaming that my wife was “crazy” “all cracked out” and “stupid.” The invective continued, with others, notably the red-faced male in his twenties (see below) repeatedly coming up to within inches of my wife’s face, showering her with similar invective.

Hearing the din, I rushed outside. People came up to our faces, taunting us.  Out of the raw chaos and tumult of the mob, we recall such distinctive phrases as: “Go back to Florida!” “Stay on your side of the street! “Don’t yell at my daughter!”(Joyce Barton again—very much a ringleader. We never raised our voices.) “Punch me! Punch me!” (This last screamed said by several as they thrust their faces into ours, notably again Joyce Barton, of 333.)

Former Herkimer Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton's Former Helmet
Following his garage fire, Douglas Barton is no longer a deputy chief

And, most frightening of all twice,
“We’re going to burn you out!” (This from a man in front of Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton’s 333 Pleasant Ave, whom my wife believes she can identify.)

I called 911.  [911 was utterly disbelieving.] Before the police arrived, I was assailed by a red-faced male in his twenties who told me inches from my face to “get off our fucking street!” and when asked who he was, said “None of your motherfucking business.” He appeared to be either drunk or high. Our exchange continued for a moment. (A former behavior teacher, I never raise my voice in a volatile situation.) He concluded by spitting at my feet and storming back to the porch 333 Pleasant Avenue. The moment before, he’d subjected my wife to the same treatment, complete with spit.

Herkimer Police Response – Sgt Tall and Officer Short

Herkimer Police
Herkimer Police Sgt Tall & Officer Short

Two Herkimer police officers  responded. In the chaos we didn’t capture their names, but have since referred to them as Officer Short and Sergeant Tall.  As they appeared, about ten people scuttled from the street, leaving about 25-30 people there, notably those from 333, headed by Joyce [Barton] and reinforced by the red-faced chap, who were the most vocal and aggressive. The sergeant went to [amiably] question the people congregating across from us on and around the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave, leaving us in front of our house with Officer Short. [later revealed to be  Officer John Scholl.]

Officer Short-Scholl took our names and asked my wife if we could have precipitated events by crossing “to their side of the street,” seemingly affirming our assailants in their belief that they owned a public area.  She said no. My wife asked [Officer Scholl] if he was familiar with what’s been happening on this street to us over the past year [see letter below], given the numerous police responses. He said no. She attempted to brief him, but after about three sentences his eyes and his attention wandered and he appeared overcome by boredom. He told her to contact the landlords of our assailants and perhaps, after multiple complaints, they’d evict them. “You never know.” She then asked him how many people are allowed to congregate in a public street and if there’s any statute governing this? He said there was no limitation or statute, adding that “Herkimer’s very casual about it.”

New York Penal Code – Article 240 – § 240.10, Unlawful Assembly, clearly defines what was happening on Pleasant Avenue as “an unlawful and tumultuous activity likely to cause alarm,” a Class B misdemeanor. [The mob members were also committing First and Second Degree Harassment.]

Things having quieted down somewhat in front of 333 Pleasant Ave, Sergeant Tall then rejoined [Officer Scholl] and us.  My wife…told him twice of the man from 333 threatening us with arson, which the sergeant twice ignored. [As with much else in Herkimer, it’s wise to hear nothing.]

herkimer ny government
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

Then, shockingly, the officers departed without dispersing the remaining 20-30 still hostile belligerents once again lining the sidewalk across from our home.

herkimer-ny-pleasant-avenue-visual-motif-june-2015
What the Herkimer Police Left When They Skedaddled-Visual Motif-Herkimer Pleasant Avenue Mob 6/17/15

Aftermath

Later that evening, my wife was taking the trash out to our tote in the driveway, when hecklers on the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave began taunting her. To demonstrate that they were mistaken that they owned the street, she crossed over to their porch and attempted to humorously engage them in conversation. It didn’t go well. Insults were exchanged. (“Go inside and take a nap, granny.”) The same man as before threatened [from the Bartons’ porch] “We’re going to burn you out.”

The rest of the evening, the occupants of 333’s porch shined several large halogen lights at our bedroom window. Two cars of teenagers the age of those resident in 333 pulled up in front of our house several times, rap music blaring, screaming, “We’re gonna make you call the police!” (They sounded high or drunk.) Feeling we’d already trouble our police enough for one day, we didn’t bother calling them again…

Mayor Anthony Brindisi Responds to Herkimer Mobbing Incident

Mayor Brindisi called me the day after receiving my email. He seemed quite upset and said he’d look into it.

Two months later, Mayor Brindisi responded to his officers’ dereliction of duty by promoting Officer Scholl to sergeant–sending a clear message to his police, the community and its cash-heavy criminal enterprises.

Following a later Herkimer Police incident, Mayor Brindisi encouraged me to “play offense,” which we’ve done, though not in the way he meant.

Where Are They Now?

Sergeant Tall we never saw again. The Herkimer Police have some part-time officers; he may have been one of them.

Sgt. Scholl and I meet occasionally, most recently when I was attacked by a young meth tweaker on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. (The lad’s since disappeared, leaving open the position of Keeper of Herkimer’s historic crack house.)

Herkimer Police officers and district attorney
Herkimer police officers and District Attorney: Left to right: Officer J. Crippin, Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter, Sgt. John Scholl II, Capt. Jeffrey Crim

Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton appear to be having lean times–this following their cameo appearances in our posting and videos of drug trafficking on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. This was followed by our forensic video analysis of Fire Chief Barton’s garage fire, and videos of the Bartons’ harassment of our pregnant daughter. 

Both Bartons seem to be employing their vocations elsewhere, notably Douglas Barton, who leaves early, comes home very late and is sometimes gone overnight. Also absent are the fast food wrappers laughingly gifted our lawn by the some of the Bartons’ kids and their chums.

The Bartons threatened us with a lawsuit last year, alleging that our widely-viewed videos of their activities had caused them to “suffer[ed]damages to their reputation”  and “exposed the Bartons and their family members to contempt and ridicule.”  We were heartened. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who believed their conduct depraved and despicable.

The Bartons appear to have dropped the matter, perhaps after being told the amount of the required retainer and their chances of success.

More Herkimer crime and police postings to come. It’s a snowy day here in Upstate NY. Great day to edit videos and write.

Toodles.

 

The Herkimer Meth Bridge Part 3-Nightmare On The Mohawk

Views: 1344

by Stephen Ames Berry

The Herkimer Meth Bridge incident Part 3.  Part 1 tells how we stumbled upon a meth cook site beneath a major railway bridge in Herkimer NY and what we did about it. The bridge carries about 1,000 chemical tanker cars a day. Part 2 of the Herkimer Meth Bridge showed the initial massive state and federal response. In Part 3, you’ll see why there was such a massive response and what’s been done to safeguard the rails and lives and, as a wise man wrote, “Make Herkimer Safe Again.”

HARBINGER OF DEATH – THE DOT-111 CHEMICAL TANKER CAR

Surviving DOT-111 railway cars at Lac Megantic train explosion site
Surviving DOT-111 railway cars at Lac Megantic, Quebec train explosion site. Prior to the derailment they’d been detached from the other 63 DOT-111 cars that did explode .

The  2013 Lac-Mégantic, Quebec rail disaster was caused by the explosion of 63 derailed DOT-111 chemical cars carrying six million liters of petroleum crude oil. 47 people were killed and half the town destroyed. Lava-like streams of burning crude oil spread fire and more death through the town’s sewers.

lac_megantic-burning-day-after-dot111-chemical-cars-explosion
Police helicopter view of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec the day after the rail disaster.

 DOT-111 SODA POP CAN CHEMICAL CARS

dot111 chemical car derailment rockford llinois 2009
Aftermath of the 2009 Rockford, Il train derailment and explosion. Of 119 DOT-111 cars, 18 derailed, 13 were breached and caught fire. All carried denatured fuel ethanol. The train was traveling at 38 mph. There were fatalities and injures and the town was evacuated. (NTSB photo)

The DOT-111 chemical tanker car is the fragile workhorse of the chemical refinery industry. There are 272,000 DOT-111’s in service in the United States, comprising 67% of the US rail tanker fleet. 171,000 of them transport hazardous materials. The DOT-111 is highly susceptible to corrosion and containment failure. All models are notoriously fragile–critics call them “soda pop cans.”

Each car can carry 20,000+ gallons (78,200 L). The newer DOT-11A100W1 can weigh as much as 263,000 pounds (119,000 kg) when full.  They transport a witch’s brew of poisonous and volatile chemicals over our neglected, rickety national railway infrastructure. The DOT-111 is always a disaster waiting to happen.

My conservative guess is that over a thousand chemical tanker cars a day, most of them DOT-111’s, cross the CSX railway bridge over Herkimer’s West Canada Creek. The trains are frequent, often several an hour, and long, sometimes with as many as 100 DOT-111’s or other chemical tankers per train, sometimes just a few buffered by regular freight cars. The CSX line that traverses the Herkimer Meth Bridge is the major east-west rail conduit to and from the Northeastern United States.

WHAT’S IN THE TANKer CARS?

According to Pollution Law Watch, besides crude oil, the DOT-111 transports radioactive material, explosives, and some of the most toxic chemicals on earth… among them methyl bromide, ethyl trichlorosilane, methanol, sodium chlorate, sulfuric acid, chlorine, toluene, diisocyanate. Several are fatal if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Many if spilled have a recommended evacuation radius of 5-10 miles.

(Assuming a derailment at the Herkimer Meth Bridge, that would be at least Herkimer, East Herkimer, Mohawk, Little Falls and a large stretch of the New York State Turnpike. and the Erie Canal.)

graniteville_derailment_aerial_overview
Cloud of deadly chlorine gas spreads from a single breached DOT-111 chemical tanker car across Graniteville, SC. 60,000 tons of gas were dispersed.

In a 2005 train wreck in Graniteville, SC, a single derailed DOT-111 tank car carrying 90 tons of chlorine released 60 tons of chlorine gas, killing 9 residents, injuring another 250 and forcing the evacuation of 5,400 people for two weeks:

graniteville-train-wreck-dot-111-gas-release
Breached DOT-111 chemical tanker car that spewed 60,000 tons of deadly chlorine gas across Graniteville, SC lies amid other derailed cars.

Amid the heap of derailed railway cars above lies the breached DOT-111 chemical tanker car that spewed 60,000 tons of deadly chlorine gas across Graniteville, SC.

Derailment of any chemical tanker car anywhere can wreak havoc, destroying lives, property and the environment. The degree of devastation is determined by the volume and type of chemicals released, which depends upon the number of chemical tanker cars involved. In the horrific Lac Megantic disaster, six million liters of crude petroleum oil from 63 DOT-111 cars killed 47 and destroyed half the town. In Granitesville, one DOT-111 tanker car breach gassed 9 residents to death and injured 250. Both incidents occurred on land with no direct impact on watercourses. Here in Central New York, though, our major east-west railway line often parallels the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River:

csx-rail-lines-central-new-york-state
CSX Rail Lines Central New York State

The Bridge and Tanker car CATASTROPHE

223 mile marker

Here’s a 82 car DOT-111 chemical tanker train carrying methanol as it approaches the CSX railway bridge over Herkimer’s West Canada Creek at the 223 mile marker. Note the red flammable gas warning placard on the lower right.

Herkimer’s methamphetamine cooks aren’t Walter White and Jesse. Assume a night’s meth cook beneath the Herkimer Meth Bridge had gone wrong. And an explosion beneath the bridge triggered a derailment of a similar chemical tanker train. How many cars could have tumbled into the creek?

There are no online specs of the West Canada Creek railway bridge’s span. But just upstream is the much loved and long abandoned Herkimer Trolley bridge, which is 1,023.5 feet long. The bridges appear to be approximately the same length.

The Herkimer Trolley Bridge and the West Canada Creek Railway Bridge

Herkimer Trolley Bridge (just below Rt. 5 highway bridge), and West Canada Creek railway bridge (bottom).

 

dot-111-chemical-tank-car
Unexploded DOT-111 chemical tanker car.

The average DOT-111A chemical tanker car is 45 ft long. Given the bridge’s span, 22 chemical tanker cars could be on it when a derailment occurred. Most would tumble into West Canada Creek.

Given the DOT-111’s horrific history, many if not all the cars would breach, potentially spewing 484,000 gallons, or 15,242 tons of toxic chemicals into Herkimer’s air and water. Other DOT-111 cars that fell onto the embankments would also breach. The immediate nature and extent of the disaster in the Herkimer area would depend upon the cars’ contents: explosion, fire, poison gas or all three are possible. Whatever the outcome, it wouldn’t be pretty. And the rest of the hellish stuff would quickly flow 1/2 mile down the fast-moving West Canada into the Mohawk River and from there on into the Hudson River. It wouldn’t be the BP Oil spill, but the Hudson’s not the Gulf of Mexico.

Hudson-River-from-the-Poughkeepsie
The Hudson River seen from the Poughkeepsie Bridge

The Hudson River Watershed

Of the 65 major tributaries of the Hudson River, the Mohawk River is the largest, entering the Hudson near Albany. The Hudson River Watershed is comprised of 11 major sub-watersheds that drain approximately 13,400 square miles. About 60% of the water in the watershed is used for commercial or industrial purposes and is home to about 5 million people. Such a massive toxic spill would destroy marine ecologies and impact the health and livelihoods of the 5 million people who live in the Hudson River Watershed for a very long time.
hudson-river-watersheds

the herkimer meth bridge today

1005160930

The good news: since last winter law enforcement action at the Herkimer Meth Bridge, the bridge h1005160931as seen a lot of much-needed rail bed improvement, and upgraded electronic safety features.

The bridge is also the benficiary of more boots on the ground and eyes in the skies over Herkimer. And Herkimer’s itself is the beneficiary of an expanded policy enabling the domestic use of drone surveillance.

Most nights you can see several drones on station over West Canada Creek near the railway bridge, with others patrolling through the sky in every-changing surveillance patterns. Sometimes they hover lower, as one did last night in the vicinity of  Herkimer’s Eureka Avenue. (They don’t have to leave their navigation lights on. And probably sometimes don’t. That’s just a friendly hello. )

why herkimer has surveillance drones

Quadcopter in dronebox
Quadcopter drone nested in a remote solar-powered recharging drone box. H3 Dynamics photo.

It’s not just the bridge incident. That was but symptomatic of the anarchy spawned by Herkimer’s lawlessness and its rich tradition of failed governance.

herkimer government inaction
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

It’s made the Village of Herkimer a pirate haven harboring all sorts of criminals, notably narcotics and child traffickers. Then came the threat of mass destruction posed by a potential rail disaster, mindlessly touched off by Herkimer’s cop-coddled criminals. So Herkimer is now guarded by drones. Lots of them.

Depending on the type of drone, operators can track up to 65 different targets across a distance of 65 square miles. Drone cameras have infrared, complemented by heat sensors, motion detectors and automated license plate readers. Military and police drones integrated with facial recognition technology and multiple databases make it possible to remotely identify persons of interest.

the battle for herkimer

The battle for the Herkimer Meth Bridge was but part of the battle for Herkimer and the future of New York. From a broader perspective, New York appears to be aggregating resources to Central New York in anticipation of climate change driving industry and people inland and north. Worldwide, we’re facing the largest migration of populations since the collapse of the Roman Empire. Our region has a wealth of natural resources. Herkimer’s strategic location astride principal transportation routes with quick access to major metropolitan areas are what attracted the organized crime and now, the state and federal governments. The team with the biggest stick wins. Care to bet?

The deadly, immortal dot-111 chemical tanker car

Sadly, the DOT-111 chemical tanker cars that could wipe us all out in a few chaotic moments will continue rolling along as the oil industry and refiners fight proposed safety changes.  If you live near a major railway line as we do, you might want to buy a gas mask.

The Herkimer Post would like to thank the officers of the New York State Police and agents of the US Department of Homeland Security, without whose vigilance and dedication to duty this series would not have been written. Also a grand tip of the hat  to Night Court and Trapper Ron. 

 

The Herkimer Meth Bridge Part 2-The Hammer Falls

Views: 1195

by Stephen Ames Berry

Part 2 of a 3 part series, The Herkimer Meth Bridge. Part 1 tells of our discovery of a methamphetamine cook site beneath a major railway bridge spanning West Canada Creek in Herkimer NY. The bridge is about 1/2 mile from where West Canada Creek meets the Mohawk River, and 1/4 mile from Herkimer Village.

“Ice is nice and will suffice” Robert Frost, Fire and Ice

Despite Night Court’s warning to stay out of the woods, a few days after alerting the New York State Police to the danger, we set out to return to West Canada Creek and the Herkimer Meth Bridge. It’s a ten minute walk from our home in Herkimer Village’s Camera House.

Despite it being mid-winter, there was only a dusting of snow. Bear leading the way, we turned from the CSX access road and onto the cornfield road that goes to the bridge. And stopped, confronted by an alien landscape. Neither we nor anyone else was getting to that bridge until after the Spring thaw:

Herkimer Meth bridge access blocked
Freshly laid ice carpet block access to Herkimer Meth Bridge, seen at right

The ice was neatly sculpted, as became more apparent when a few months later it began to melt:

Neatly sculpted ice blocking the road to the Herkimer Meth Bridge.
Neatly sculpted ice blocking the road to the Herkimer Meth Bridge (Photo taken mid-Spring)

The other side of the bridge had been given the same treatment, preventing land access from the south:

Ice barrier applied to south side of Herkimer Meth Bridge
Ice barrier applied to south side of Herkimer Meth Bridge

Only a few days before, an unharvested field of corn had filled the huge cornfield. The corn was gone. The field looked as though it had hosted tank maneuvers:

Freshly harvested cornfield on access road to the Herkimer Meth Bridge
Freshly harvested cornfield on access road to the Herkimer Meth Bridge

Folks who hadn’t recently ventured over to the village’s cornfield road told us the ice was a natural occurrence–West Canada Creek was subject to flooding that would often lay swathes of ice along its banks.

If this was the river god in action, he’d perfectly laid out the ice along the road, paralleling the tree line and the flood control levee. And he’d used some truly impressive equipment.

Herkimer meth bridge giant tire tracks
Bear examines giant tire tracks along cornfield road
Herkimer meth bridge more giant tire tracks
Different giant tire tracks leading toward the Herkimer Meth Bridge. The walking stick is 5 feet long
turnaround-area-for-very-big-vehicles-clearnng-up-herkimer-meth-bridge
Turnaround point for very big vehicles at end of CSX access road from Herkimer’s East State Street.

Other areas of cover and concealment near the cornfield road had also been scrubbed:

undergrowth near Herkimer Meth Bridge scrubbed
Area of undergrowth removed by heavy equipment adjacent to CSX access road from East State Street and cornfield road leading to the Herkimer Meth Bridge.

“So what happens when the ice melts?” I asked Night Court when I sent him some of these pictures. He replied, “Bear looks perplexed.”

After the ice melted the bridge sprouted earthworks, blocking vehicular access:

earthworks-herkimer-meth-bridge
Earthworks defending the Herkimer Meth Bridge

the hammer of god quickly falls

The response to the threat was on the order of the Hammer of God. We were astounded by its scope and speed and the resources it must have required. It may have been drawn from a contingency plan, but there’s many a slip between plan and execution. It was a rapid, meticulous and flawlessly executed, multi-agency effort, probably involving the State of New York, the Federal government and possibly the Army Corp of Engineers.

The law enforcement agencies responsible knew what was traveling across that bridge day and night: the angel of death of the rails, the DOT-111 chemical tanker car. Hundreds of them roll across the Herkimer Meth Bridge every day. No wonder the Big Red Button was pushed.

dot111 chemical car derailment rockford llinois 2009the Series concludes with:

Nightmare Along The Mohawk – The Herkimer Meth Bridge Part 3

 

The Herkimer Meth Bridge Part 1-Discovery

Views: 664

by Stephen Ames Berry

Late January of this year in Central New York was unusually mild. Linda, dog Bear and I were happy to continue our morning walks in and around historic Herkimer Village.

On one of those winter walks, we discovered Herkimer’s abundant drug traffickers and manufacturers had also taken advantage of the nice weather to cook and distribute meth from beneath the safety of a major CSX railway bridge. The bridge passes over West Canada Creek, about 1/4 mile from its confluence with the Mohawk River. It carries about a thousand chemical tanker cars a day. The criminals had no idea and even less concern for the catastrophe they could have unleashed.

CSX Railway Tracks Crossing Bridge Over West Canada Creek Herkimer
CSX Railway Tracks Crossing Bridge Over West Canada Creek Herkimer

Drug traffickers had been largely absent from Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer’s principal drug street, since mid-November, after we published a series of videos documenting and analyzing one night’s drug trafficking along Pleasant Avenue, and shared it with the New York State Police. (With the drug traffickers mostly gone, Pleasant Avenue is again looking pleasant.)

Herkimer Meth Bridge area

The area around the railway bridge is not the Great North Wood. It lies within the boundaries of the Village of Herkimer and within the jurisdiction of the Herkimer Police.

West Canada Creek Herkimer approaching confluence with Mohawk River after passing beneath the Herkimer Meth Bridge
West Canada Creek approaching confluence with the Mohawk River after passing beneath the Herkimer Meth Bridge

A well-traveled public path runs beneath the bridge, paralleling West Canada Creek and a few hundred yards later, both it and the Mohawk River, moving down a narrowing spit of land between the two to their confluence, known locally as The Point. (West Canada Creek at the bridge is wider than many rivers.)

Meeting point of West Canada Creek and Mohawk River Herkimer NY
West Canada Creek (left) meets the Mohawk River at The Point, Herkimer, NY

herkimer meth makers move – a bit

Driven from Herkimer Village by the state and the feds, Herkimer’s meth makers had brazenly set up a semi-permanent encampment in plain sight of the public path, hidden from aerial observation by the CSX railroad bridge. As the Herkimer Police had never troubled them in the village itself, their only concern would have been the New York State Police and the DEA, who probably relied heavily on aerial observation for activities outside the village.

The path under the bridge gets a lot of foot traffic–it’s the remains of an old road predating the Erie Canal, and a pleasant walk or easy ATV drive  to The Point. Herkimites have long known to mind their own business when signs of drug and child trafficking appear, or risk an intimidating visit from the Herkimer Police or nighttime visits from neighbors.  And despite its closeness to the village proper, no one goes to the CSX railway bridge area after dark.

For ease of transport, the bridge could be quickly reached by vehicle from Herkimer’s East State Street via a dirt road running past an adjacent cornfield and flood control levee. We’d noticed the tent shown in the below photo for about a month, but hadn’t given it much mind. It was just another feature of the desolation zone near the railway bridge, a bleak and eerie place scattered with the derbies of stunted lives and failed hopes.

herkimer’s eerie desolation zone

Early Morning Fog Near West Canada Creek at Herkimer Meth Bridge
Early morning fog near West Canada Creek at the Herkimer Meth Bridge
Headless Horseman Tree near the Herkimer Meth Bridge Herkimer NY
“Headless Horseman Tree” near the Herkimer Meth Bridge
One of several abandoned piles of clothes near the Herkimer NY Meth Bridge
One of several abandoned piles of clothes near the Herkimer Meth Bridge
Abandoned shelter Herkimer along path between Herkimer Meth Bridge and meeting point of West Canada Creek and the Mohawk River Herkimer
Abandoned shelter along path between the Herkimer Meth Bridge and meeting point of West Canada Creek and the Mohawk River

Herkimer meth bridge encampment

When we’d last noticed the tent, there’d been no large plastic tarp, no translucent storage box filled with what appeared to small plastic envelopes of some crystalline substance, nor discards typically used in methamphetamine production. bridge-13Whatever heat source was used for a night’s meth cook could have easily been removed by pickup truck.

meth-tent-and-box

We didn’t look to see if there was anyone in the tent, but thought if we opened the plastic box, we might find out. We’d seen identical boxes confiscated by the New York State Police during an early morning drug raid on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.  Also, it seemed likely someone might soon be by to pick up the box of valuable goods. So we left.

Exchange with the New York State Police

I emailed a narrative and a raft of photos of the encampment to the New York State Police command center in Albany. I noted that one of the photos indicated possible scorching of an adjacent concrete bridge abutment, adding:

The bridge is well-built and itself probably impervious to a typical meth explosion, IMO.  But any explosion under the bridge could trigger catastrophic consequences: e.g., a panicked train operator jamming on the brakes at an explosion and the sight of [fire] erupting from beneath the bridge could trigger a derailment. As you’re aware, hundreds of tanker cars filled with deadly, highly volatile chemicals cross that bridge daily. Were one or more of them to fall into West Canada Creek so near its confluence with the Mohawk, it could cause an environmental cataclysm from here down to NYC. Our village leaders often speak of “putting Herkimer on the map.” That would do it. 

hudson-river-watershed

The state police quickly replied, asking me not to say anything until they could deploy resources. Which they did. I’ve kept silent till now, but if you look up at night sky you’ll see a solution is in place, providing comprehensive surveillance of the bridge, local waterways and Herkimer.

Night Court

I sent a  copy of my email to the state police and the photos to an old friend from Army Intelligence, Night Court. (“Some justice is best meted out in the dark.”)

Night Court has a key role in US counter-terrorism. I thought he should know that while all eyes are elsewhere, meth heads in Herkimer New York

old army friends
Old Army photo. Berry and Night Court. NC still has his goose feathers. My ex tossed mine.

had put a major railway bridge and the Hudson River watershed at risk of an ecological 9/11. What damage, I asked, could people who knew what they were doing cause? “It’s the Wild West here. Deadwood had more law and order than Herkimer. And it’s the backdoor to NYC and the rest of America.”

I was confident that the New York State Police and DEA would deal with immediate threat with their usual efficiency, but release of counter-terrorism funds–a bottomless treasure chest–to expand their operations might help provide the resources necessary for a permanent solution. Not that they’d be shy to ask, but if anyone could help catalyze that, it would be Night Court. The US takes any threat to its rail and waterways very seriously, especially since 9/11, and the Herkimer Meth Bridge represented both.

Night Court wrote back:
You might want to invest in a MAC 10. That’s dangerous work for someone of our age. [He has long enjoyed pushing my buttons.]
Speak for yourself, Night Court! I’m not entirely convinced you’re always in that nice office.
There seems to be a notion that we dodder about in the woods, looking for stuff. We don’t. Those pictures were taken along a popular trail from the village to the point of land where West Canada Creek and the Mohawk meet. It’s about a ½ mile from our home and Herkimer Village proper.

I added that we would be going back along that public trail to the bridge in a few days. And nothing, as our neighbors can attest, stops us from asserting our right of way.

Only later did I wonder if Night Court had known what we’d be walking into.

Nightmare Along The Mohawk – The Herkimer Meth Bridge Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officer Jason Crippen, Curtis Cool And The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo

Views: 789

12/17/16 Curtis Cool aka Curtis Doolen, has put Herkimer on the map: 6,100+ views of his videos and growing, as referring sites offer them for free download. One comment on a British site: “The Herkimer Police–the strong arm of the law.”  

by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan

“I’ve got a strong law enforcement community which is actively conducting … investigations.” Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey  S. Carpenter (9/8/16)  Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint.

Linda Kaidan making the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo gesture

Linda Kaidan unwittingly making the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo, ignorant that it was exculpatory for harassment  in Herkimer New York

Despite a change of command and increased patrols, Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint, even for this outrageous and well-documented incident. (We have more.) This one is fresh, others occurred under Herkimer’s previous police chief, Joseph Malone, who abruptly retired in the teeth of an ethics investigation. It demonstrates an alarming ongoing pattern of failure to protect by the Herkimer Police.

Typically the Herkimer Police say they’ll only take a complaint following a second incident of harassment because Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter won’t prosecute. Harassment must be repeated to qualify as a criminal offense, they assert.

Not true. Your tormentor must either “engage in conduct or repeatedly commit acts which alarm or seriously annoy the victim and serve no legitimate purpose,” according to New York state law.  We endured 7 threats of grave bodily harm in 10 minutes, following a previous incident of public harassment. Our assailant called the police to protect him.

Herkimer Aggravated Harassment Incident of 8/23/16

Curtis Cool Herkimer drug and child trafficker
Curtis Cool. Cop-coddled Herkimer drug thug and child trafficker

On Tuesday August 23, 2016, we were again verbally harassed and then threatened with multiple acts of physical violence by 328 Pleasant Avenue tenant, Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, first in our driveway and then on the public sidewalk. The previous night we’d again reported Cool for yet another of his multiple illegal late-night fires.)

The Herkimer Police and the New York State Police responded promptly and again defused Curtis Cool. The responding officers were very supportive and encouraged us to file a harassment complaint at the Herkimer Police station. Cool’s actions seemed to us to be obviously either 2nd or 1st Degree Aggravated Harassment. With Cool charged, we could obtain a Temporary Order of Protection, which would force him to move from his rented base at  Harriett Tangorra’s 328 Pleasant Avenue house.

On Wednesday 8/24 we gathered our evidence–two cellphone videos, a surveillance cam video and a detailed narrative.  At approximately 2:30 p.m, we went to the Herkimer Police station after first calling to see if it would be convenient to do so. The officer on duty, Officer Jason Crippen, said to come down.

Herkimer Police Say Nanny-Nanny-Nanny-Boo Excuses Aggravated Harassment

Officer Crippen asked us to wait while he looked at abundant evidence. He briefly reviewed a short portion of our first cellphone video, seen below, then stopped and refused to write up a complaint. “It would just be a waste of time,” he said.

Criminal-coddling Herkimer cop Jason Cripenn, Herkimer Police.
Boy-next-door: Criminal-coddling Herkimer cop Jason Crippen, Herkimer Police.

His reason? Officer Crippen said one of us (Kaidan) had triggered Cool’s menacing and 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. Officer Crippien’s implication? That Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter would not prosecute Cool, as Kaidan’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo would exonerate Cool, holding him harmless for his threats and menacing.

Here’s the portion of the cellphone clip reviewed by Officer Crippen before dismissing us. It has been closed-captioned for the selectively hearing impaired. (Full Screen/click on the CC icon.): [Yo! It’s Curtis Cool: Parents strongly cautioned.]

The incident continued a moment later as Kaidan, refusing to be driven inside her home by Cool, asserted her right to walk along the public sidewalk in front of Cool’s house. Here’s an extract from that clip. (Officer Crippen didn’t review it, so we didn’t close caption it):

Both full-length videos from 8/23 (7 threats of grave bodily harm), and our surveillance camera footage confirming the events, place, date and time are on our flash drive, gathering dust at the Herkimer Police station. Included with them is our narrative of the incident and our video of Cool’s previous public harassment of us on 8/11/16. (During this last he cited his landlord, Harriett Tangorra in demanding our arrest. For having surveillance cameras.  ) Officer Crippen used our narrative to review the first clip. Seeing the nanny-nanny-boo-boo, he gave Cool a pass and sent us packing.

“It’s obvious that over time Herkimer has ceded its streets to drugs and thugs. Gonna be hard taking them back.

Officer Crippen’s Advice: Hide In Your Home

Herkimer village trustees
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

Officer Crippen’s advice was the same as that of Herkimer’s drug thugs when we first unwittingly moved to Pleasant Avenue: Hide: “Keep away from him and just stay in your apartment, ” Crippen advised. 

It’s our house. We own it. It’s next door to the thug. A sidewalk is a public place. We asserted our right to use it. We’ll continue to do so. It’s obvious that over time Herkimer has ceded its streets to drugs and thugs. Gonna be hard taking them back.

Officer Crippen then belatedly added this was just this opinion. And that we might try our luck with one of the responding officers–maybe they’d take the complaint. Crippen seemed miffed that we’d distracted him from his law enforcement duties.

If the Police won’t take A criminal harassment complaint, WHo wins?

This is the 4th time in two years we’ve had the Herkimer Police ooze out of taking some flavor of a harassment complaint against cash-heavy criminals. We’ve heard the same from others. This isn’t policing, it’s depraved indifference. It throws  Herkimer’s people to the wolves for the sake of politicians cynically running for office as crime fighters. And it emboldens criminals like Cool, who recently moved away unscathed despite many police and fire department visits. (To our knowledge, Cool was never cited for his illegal bonfires nor charged with harassment.) When Herkimer Police refused again to take a criminal harassment complaint, they made it clear that law and order is not their priority.

And so it goes on, with Herkimer’s reputation as a lawless jurisdiction attracting more criminals and endangering even more people.

“A matter of public safety”

Herkimer’s good cops seem to leave if they can, the few bad ones content to stay, cozied up to criminals and even sometimes running interference for them. Crime goes unreported and soars, with entire streets abandoned to drug traffickers. Herkimer’s reputation as a lawless jurisdiction attracts more drug and child traffickers. It becomes an even more dangerous place to live. There’s a strong smell of rotten fish in the air.

What does it matter that Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint?

Who stands to win if we all lose? Criminals, greedy landlords, criminal defense attorneys. And some politicians: Incumbent Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter is trumpeting a lowered violent crime rate in support of his reelection. It’s easy to lower the crime rate if your police don’t take criminal complaints. To take them and act on them, though, is “A matter of public safety.”

[Narrative of incident of 8/23/16 submitted to Herkimer Police is below. Times stated refer to the full videos submitted to the Herkimer Police. Here’s the concrete block Cool was hefting off-camera.] And here’s the unedited clip given the Herkimer Police.