Herkimer Fire Watch, 6.4-5. Our continuing coverage of the dangerous ongoing antics of the fire bugs next door: 332 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer, a Jay Smith property. We’re a tinder-dry, flammable village along the Mohawk. We’ve had 3 deaths this year from a nighttime house fire, some very young kids perished. Open fires within 100 feet of anything are illegal. Have been for years. Some folks don’t care. We do. Others do. The police and fire departments certainly do.
Herkimer Fire Performance of 6.4-5
Tonight’s performance was brief with fewer players than previously. All of these guys either live at or are associated with 332 Pleasant Avenue, the house to the left. It’s owned by, did I say? Herkimer landlord Jay Smith.
Police responded promptly and the fire was extinguished.
The shirtless Kyle from 332 Pleasant was as usual the chief performer. At minute 0:45, someone points out the unconcealed camera to him. They at last figured it out. It’s been there for months, as have the lights. Kyle reacts and everyone files by into the house, low-hanging fruit for video recognition software.
Why do you move next door to a house with 25 cameras and a very active crime blog, unless of course, you want media coverage?
A tip of the hat to the Herkimer police for a quick response and to Herkimer County 911. We await the next performance.
Our Herkimer fire watch of 6.2.19 saw yet another in the spate of dangerous and illegal fires behind landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. Scofflaw tenants from all three Smith properties abutting Herkimer’s historic child trafficking lot participated, frolicking from 9 pm to midnight, just before Herkimer police arrived. It was obvious they’d been alerted that police were on the way. Following a phone call to one of them, the flames were quickly doused and most of the fire bugs scuttled into 332 Pleasant Avenue.
When the officer arrived a moment later, there were only two people fireside, watching a few dying flames. I doubt he was fooled—there was a lot of smoke still in the air.
1:05/3:05 334 Pleasant resident heaps household trash on fire.
3:30 Sparks fly. Happily a windless night and the ground damp.
3:39 Red and black jacket guy gets phone warning. Assume he had a friend monitoring the police channel. Fire doused by 332’s life-of-the-party Kyle.
4:01 All but the two fireside go into 332 Pleasant. Male voice overheard making unambiguous death threat about burning up two old people. All potential suspects captured on camera as they parade by. (They remind me of my old high school Behavior Boy class in Sarasota.)
5:05 Officer arrives. Not much to see. Quickly leaves.
Herkimer is highly flammable. We’ve already had 3 deaths by fire this year. This ongoing depraved indifference only makes it likely to happen again.
Sykes’ gang head Stanley Sykes returned briefly to his old Herkimer drug and child trafficking lair this week. It was seemingly for a harmless picnic and a cheery fire with his gang members at 341 Eureka Avenue—341 anchors one end of Herkimer’s historic drug and child trafficking lot the Sykes gang used to control. They don’t appear to be trafficking out 341 anymore—some are barracked there, courtesy of the gang’s longtime landlord, Herkimer’s Jay Smith.
The gang’s Wednesday social event was a venue to harass us and assert dominance over the tenants in the lot’s other two houses, 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue. The gang appears to now only fully control 341 Eureka Avenue.
The Sykes gang took over 332 Pleasant Avenue’s massive beloved fire bowl for the occasion and gathered kindling from behind 334 Pleasant. No one was going to deny them permission. They had two of their weaponized kids vandalize our fence on camera as Stanley Sykes serenaded us with the mighty horn of his signature red Honda SUV, parked as close to our yard as he could get without knocking down our fence.
Stanley himself left just after sunset, leaving some of his crew that had come with him gathered about the fire bowl with a mix of gang and non-gang locals.
Then the police came. A lot of them:
Video Timeline: 0:01-0:10 Stanley Sykes arrives at 341 Eureka Ave.
0:11-0:38 Carrie Ann Bass’s son Harvey, Stanley’s grandson (long hair), and Stanley’s putative son Eric harvest our fence for kindling.
0:39-0:54 Harvey gleefully waves his trophy for all to see.
0:55-1:09 Stanley contributes to fire. Seems jubilant.
0:10-1:35 Gang members frolic as they build fire at 332 Pleasant.
1:36 -1:43 Stanley Sykes leaves. (Possibly relocated back to Utica where from which he now operates.)
1:44-2:00 Mix of gang and non-gang members at fire behind 332 Pleasant.
2:01-2:12 Herkimer police officer seemingly warning that open fires are illegal in Herkimer. We are a small, close-set and highly-flammable village. Typically, violators are required to bank and their douse fire.
2:13-2:24 Same officer, different cameras.
2:32-2:43 Officer gone. Did someone say something they weren’t supposed to?
2:44-258 Lots of cops have appeared. Questions being asked. Seems to be a person of interest.
2:59-3:09 Police leave via 341 Eureka
3:10-3:35 Police return. Arrest made.
3:54-End Midnight debriefing among locals at 332 Pleasant Avenue.
Things began reasonably enough in the early evening. But as the hours wore on, the crowd grew, the music soared, the booze flowed and the sparks flew high. To be fair to the folks who live at 332, they got the lot of them to kill the music, then took their kids in. Most places that would have signaled the end of the evening. But no. People I recognized were soon outnumbered by people I didn’t, and still they came.
What began with five or so folks with some kids grew to more than dozen adults, gathered about a blazing fire bowl the size of the mother ship. Sparks soared high. The police appeared shortly after 1 am, shut down the festivities and ordered the fire doused. (A large federal surveillance drone was also in attendance.)
5/18/19 “Herkimer police shut down the festivities and ordered the fire doused.” The crowd is much smaller than it was a few seconds ago.
Herkimer Village A Tinderbox
Herkimer Village is a tinderbox of close-set very old houses. In January, we were all tragically reminded of how deadly this can be when three small children died in a fast moving house fire just a few blocks away.
Herkimer does not allow open fires of any sort within 100 feet of any house, vehicle or structure. Period. (A grill is not a cover—it’s a grill.) The Herkimer police these days are quick to respond to reports of open fires and large crowds. Call them. The neighbor’s being ticked at you is better than you and yours going up in flames.
Herkimer Fire Law, Section 1-14(B)
Camp fires and fires used solely for recreation purposes [are permitted[ when such fires are located at least one hundred (100) feet from any dwelling, structure, or vehicle and are properly controlled and supervised by the Herkimer Fire Department.
The ongoing Herkimer Police crackdown continues, with the arrest yesterday of an apparent drug gang member in front of landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. The arrest, by Herkimer and state police, occurred at the start of Pleasant Avenue’s annual Spring Gang Swarming, a Herkimer tradition usually not challenged by police. This year was different, with an arrest that ended the festivities before they grew. Last year’s Spring Gang Swarm was sponsored by the Joyce Barton gang, its centerpiece the beating of herkimerpost.com’s editor by Herkimer street thug Shianne Hill.
Herkimer Police Highly Proactive
Herkimer and New York state are aggressively challenging Herkimer gangs’ sense of ownership of village neighborhoods, this amid booming area real estate sales. As we long predicted, people are relocating to climate change safe Upstate New York. It’s a truism that as real estate values increase, crime decreases.
This gang appears to be the remaining dregs of the Stanley Sykes Gang, which trafficked children out of Jay Smith’s properties at 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue.
Police activity along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue has recently been constant and vigorous. A few days ago, Joyce Barton gang member, Joyce’s daughter Kylee Figueroa , was arrested at 333 Pleasant Avenue. Earlier on the day of this arrest at 332, multiple state and Herkimer police units responded to an incident at the King Street end of Pleasant Avenue, a few doors down from PK’s Pub. The house they entered remains cordoned off as a crime scene, with Herkimer police continuing to guard the property. Perhaps sometime the local press will tear itself away from its usual gripping coverage of 4H and village trustee meetings to tell us what happened.
332 Pleasant Avenue was reoccupied as a gang property in January, with intermittent drug trafficking activity occurring since. Additional gang members appear to have moved in there recently, or else are visiting so often and for so long as to be indistinguishable from residents. Herkimerpost.com hasn’t reported their activities: they haven’t bothered us and aren’t trafficking children, and we’re very busy with a major project. Federal law enforcement surveillance drones are a regular presence over the parking lot serving 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue, making any coverage of trafficking we’d provide redundant. But any arrest here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is always welcome news that we’re happy to share. Here’s the video of the arrest. The timeline follows below.
Timeline of Herkimer Arrest of 4/7/19
0.01 Gang congregates at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue, spilling out onto the sidewalk. Opposite, standing next to parked car: Shianne Hill, Joyce Barton gang thug, serving 1-year probation for unprovoked beating of her 63 year-old neighbor. Hill has been placed under a restraining order.
0.17 Herkimer police arrive
0.27 Gang member (woman in red top) hands off her daughter to fellow gang member from 334 Pleasant Avenue. Child taken to Jay Smith’s 334 neighboring Pleasant Avenue. Red Top’s a well-known and highly visible drug trafficker.
0.43 Arrest made
1:29 Closeup of arrest
1:48 State police arrive from crime scene at house at King Street end of Pleasant Avenue
4:24 Herkimer officer appears to offer protesting gang member (Black guy, red shirt) a ride in a police car.
Herkimer’s violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation… In Herkimer, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is one in 134…Of property crime, one in 21. [Also one of the highest in the nation.]
The most unsafe area of Herkimer, for example, is shown as the south of Herkimer Village, where we live. Looking at this blog’s crime postings and YouTube channel, you’ll see how accurate that report is: All of our 100+ videos of Herkimer crime were taken within 40 meters of our home.
The Good News About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Statistics
The good news about Herkimer’s bad crime stats is that they’re realistic. Had we seen such grim figures before buying a house in Herkimer 5 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this–we’d have bought that nice two-family in nearby Little Falls, and I’d be finishing my long-neglected technothriller sequel. Little Falls doesn’t seem to have much of a gang presence. Here we’ve long had a gang entrenched next door, still enjoying diplomatic immunity.
Only through hard won experience did we learn the crime figures were low because the police only made a few token arrests. If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars. It’s this misfeasance that made Herkimer a haven for drug and child trafficking gangs and its streets unsafe for the law-abiding.
Crime statistics are always a lagging indicator. Current dynamics hint that life is growing less perilous here in Herkimer. Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile. Poison gas attacks have stopped for now. And home sales are doing quite well.
Climate Change Boosts Herkimer Real Estate Sales
I want to believe that Herkimer’s apparent crime crack down’s due to a sudden epiphany. But frankly it’s probably because the feds and the state are leaning on Herkimer. New York’s neglected Upstate has been widely identified as an ideal climate change sanctuary area, with Herkimer County predicted to boom as much of the US struggles to cope with escalating climate change devastation.
Interestingly there are still no murders reported for Herkimer. This is very odd. Statistically, Herkimer should have murders, given its violent crime rate. We argued in our post Where Have All the Bodies Gone? that Herkimer does have murders, they’re just well concealed. Opioids would be the least messy way to accomplish that, given the region’s opioid crisis.
Crime Widespread in the Mohawk Valley
Not just Herkimer is dangerous. So is much of the Mohawk Valley. Neighborhood Scout gives Utica a crime rank of 9. Little Falls ranks 14. Surprisingly, our neighboring village of Mohawk is a seeming paradise, according to its crime figures.
Escalating real estate sale prices may decrease crime rates
As real estate prices rise, crime drops. We saw this happen in Boston as tech firm workers bumped up sales prices, sparking a city-wide real estate boom. We did well buying older houses in marginal areas and renovating them. Criminals could no longer afford to live in transitioned areas and were mostly gone after a few years. The same dynamics are emerging in Herkimer. Median monthly rents are now $900, up from $700 a few months ago. Herkimer’s legacy gangs live in and traffic out of rented houses whose owners will sell out when the price is right. And that time seems close at hand. The Herkimer Post will continue greasing their skids.
We’re hoping next year’s Herkimer crime report, reflecting 2018, will show significant improvement as a result of better law enforcement amid changing demographics.
“Human trafficking finds both its victims and perpetrators in regions of poverty, violence, and corruption.” Shannon A. Welch, Human Trafficking and Terrorism
Last month we met with New York State Police Investigator Jason Nellis at his request. We talked for about 90 minutes in a part of our home not yet contaminated by Herkimer trafficking gangs’ 21 months of poison gas attacks. Our conversation highlighted the inherent inability of local and state law enforcement to cope with gang-based domestic terrorism.
Herkimer Child Trafficking Sparks Concern In Albany
It was an information-only visit during which Investigator Nellis clearly articulated why the New York State Police aren’t players in the child trafficking and gang-busting arena.
We were our usual unflinchingly outspoken selves. Investigator Nellis was an engaged listener. He didn’t agree with some of our suppositions, and we didn’t agree with some of his assumptions. It was a polite and frank exchange during which we made the following points.
Herkimer child trafficking now apparently out of range of our cameras – Not gone far. Child trafficking brings welcomed cash into economically depressed Herkimer. Has long been protected here. Logistically complex operation with many dependencies. Has proven local partners and protected properties. Moving it from Herkimer would be difficult, costly, time consuming and risky.
Herkimer landlords complacently shelter child traffickers – Property owner need not be complicit with cash heavy criminals. Just has to rent to them. Herkimer’s historic child trafficking hub properties’ landlord Jay Smith was case raised by state police investigator. For years Smith provided rental properties to the high-volume transnational child trafficker Little Mama and the Stanley Sykes gang. Gang’s still there, still trafficking.
FBI has sole jurisdiction over child trafficking – This we knew. Local and state police agencies haven’t the resources to tackle child trafficking cartels and their transnational networks. Billions in child trafficking profits make large bribes possible. The FBI has the resources to take on large gangs and also provides assurance of integrity.
Why State Police can’t stop Herkimer poison gas attacks
It became obvious as we talked that the State of New York has no way to detect and interdict poison gas attacks on the scale we’ve experienced. No state does–states haven’t the resources and their police agencies haven’t the structure. These heinous attacks constitute domestic terrorism. They’re staged from fleets vehicles modified to stealthily dispense clouds of invisible, odorless pesticide, and from neighboring properties rented to drug and child traffickers.
This isn’t just about us. The many vehicles and properties involved argue this is a well-established, well-honed strategy for driving people from their homes, dead or alive. Houses can then be picked up for a song at tax auction, quickly mitigated and tenanted with gang members.
There was much talk of the burden of proof being our responsibility. Opening an investigation would require evidence in the form of medical tests and property toxicity reports–at our expense.
Investigator Nellis used the word “evidence’ quite a bit. No evidence, no investigation. We think probable cause should be enough to open an investigation with evidence to be obtained by the police during the course of the investigation.
Only the FBI Can Halt Herkimer Gangs
There have been strong indications in the last few years of a large Federal law enforcement presence in and around Herkimer. Eyes in the sky, boots on the ground. It seems to us toxicity levels from these poisons attacks have been confirmed by lab testing and direct observation. And resources deployed accordingly.
Some big bites have been taken out of the gangs’ poison gas campaign capabilities in Herkimer. The feds have the resources for this. Drone mounted thermal imaging cameras can detect poison gas being dispensed, and follow the identified spraying vehicles and deal with their drivers.
Hill apparently agreed with her foster mother Joyce Barton’s assertion to Herkimer police the day of the assault that Kaidan was trespassing by standing on the public sidewalk in front of the Barton’s house, and that her attack constituted self-defense.
Only after further consultation with her public defender and Joyce Barton did Hill reluctantly enter a guilty plea. She was sentenced to a year’s probation.
Order of Protection Extended
Hill had previously been served with an Order of Protection enjoining her from approaching Kaidan. Magistrate Thomas DeCarlo extended the Order of Protection to two years. Hill lives with the Bartons at 333 Pleasant Avenue, across from Kaidan’s home.
We would like to thank the Herkimer Police, notably Sgt Bowman and the officers who responded to the assault on 5/18–they diligently followed through to secure statements and evidence.
As far as we know, this is the first ever arrest of one of the extended family members who comprise the Joyce Barton gang, which long terrorized Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. We hope to see more of the same.
We’d also like to acknowledged the support of the Herkimer County District Attorney’s Office, especially Victim’s Services Coordinator Connie M. Stowell, and the excellent staff of the Little Falls Hospital Emergency Room.
Curtis Cool – Man on the Run?
While in court for Shianne Hill’s last appearance, a familiar name was called: Curtis Cool, a longtime associate of Joyce Barton. He failed to enter an appearance. We assume a bench warrant will issue for Curtis. Readers of this blog may recall Curtis’ hugely popular criminal harassment antics from when he was our neighbor. Happily, his old rental at 328 Pleasant Avenue was sold for a good price last month. We wish the new owners well.
Blogger punched in face by Herkimer teen gang kick boxer
herkimerpost.com editor Linda Kaidan, age 63, was attacked and beaten on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue last Friday by 18 year-old Shianne Hill, a of Herkimer’s Joyce Barton gang, which operates out of the house Barton tenants at 333 Pleasant Avenue.
Gang members were thronging the street and taunted Kaidan as she and her husband, author Stephen Ames Berry, returned from shopping and were unloading groceries in their driveway. When Kaidan responded, they told her, in the person of one of Joyce Barton’s daughters, never to come onto “their” side of the street and to “go back into your house.”
Kaidan and her husband don’t yield the street to filth. Kaidan crossed to “their” side of the street, stood on the public sidewalk in front of the gang’s 333 Pleasant Avenue as her husband scrambled for his video gear. She was stalked, menaced, punched in the face and hit in the back of the head by a Shiann Hill, apparently selected for the job because of her age and boxing expertise.
Kaidan’s glasses were lost after she was struck her in the face, seemingly driving a glass lens from its frame and into her face, lacerating it. The glasses were not recovered, probably hidden by the Barton gang.
Herkimer Police under the very able command of Herkimer Police Sgt. Bowman quickly responded. They took statements and dispersed a mob of 20-30 low criminal types gathered about the Barton’s and the Stanley Sykes gang’s 334 Pleasant Avenue. Kaidan was taken to Little Falls Hospital, suffering from the wound to her face and symptoms of concussion. She was treated and released. There were no immediate arrests.
Herkimer’s Shianne Hill was defending Barton gang turf home
Joyce Barton asserted to the police as always that she owns the house she doesn’t own, and owns the public sidewalk because she owns the house.
The Barton’s are brazen scoff laws and criminal traffickers.
Herkimer Gang Victim Threatened with Arrest
The only person threatened with arrest during the incident was the injured victim. Prior to the arrival of Sgt. Bowman, Herkimer Patrolman Robert Holt, in a remarkable demonstration of sensitivity, threatened Kaidan with arrest for being upset and too loud as he was interviewing Joyce Barton, who apparently knew him. (3:20 mins).
Our YouTube videos and blog postings of Herkimer lawlessness (herkimerpost.com) have been viewed and read by tens of thousands drawn to the grotesque. Cities and towns around Herkimer are experiencing booming property sales as climate change sends people, firms and wealth north to a safer haven. Not so Herkimer.
Prosperity will continue to pass Herkimer by as drug and child trafficking gangs rule its streets. As a family friend, a former federal agent familiar with Upstate New York says, “Herkimer’s dirty and likes it that way.”
Climate change migration will ultimately force Herkimer gangs out
Herkimer sits in a Goldilocks Climate Change Survival Zone. We think it will soon become such a national resource amid massive migration north that Herkimer’s gangs, if not gone, will be forced out at the point of bayonets and lawful governance restored. We live in hope.
Updated 5/24/18 to reflect Kaidan’s sustaining a concussion, the wound to her face by the glasses lens detached by her assailant’s fist and driven into her cheek, and to note the theft of her glasses.
10/31/2018 We later learned this was an orchestrated attack, centerpiece of the Joyce Barton gang’s farewell party for Stanley Sykes of the Sykes gang. Stanley moved following our postings of his child trafficker. His gang’s still here, though, still occupying Herkimer’s traditional child trafficking hub from which they traffic drugs. Stanley’s a frequent visitor.
Last night (8/21/17) both the Herkimer police and fire departments failed to adequately enforce the Herkimer ordinance regarding open fires. The long-term scofflaws residing at Jay Smith’s 326 Pleasant Avenue enjoyed a large open campfire from 8 PM until 2:00 AM. Both Herkimer FD and police responded promptly, a total of three times. One police officer saw to the fire’s being extinguished. The FD, though, gave the lads a pass. When I called the FD later to ask why, I was told that the large open campfire was a small cook fire. Had it been for cooking, it would have cooked an entire deer very well.
Herkimer Polluters Continue Sprees Unimpeded
The tenants at 326 Pleasant Ave have a history known to the Herkimer FD of burning formaldehyde contaminated shipping pallets; thus causing harmful pollutants to endanger those nearby. Indeed, one of these miscreants asked just this morning “Did you like the gas?” Was he talking about the recent poison gas attacks on us which originated his backyard?
Unchecked Irresponsible Behavior Ends Badly
Perhaps we should all join in this dangerous and destructive activity? Then the entire village might burn down and no one will complain about fires anymore.
Herkimer Fire Law – Read It Yourself
The ignored Herkimer fire law ordinance is below, courtesy of Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner:
Herkimer Village Local Law No. 3 of 2003, Section 2, defines prohibited burning in the village:
(a)Open Fire: Shall mean any fire or smoke producing process wherein the combustion products are directly emitted into the atmosphere.
(b)Stack: Shall mean any lawful conduit, chimney, duct, vent, or flue arranged to conduct gases or gas borne products to the other air.
1-13 No person shall burn any garbage, rubbish, or solid waste in any open fire except as permitted by provisions set forth herein.
1-14 When not prohibited by law, regulation, ordinance, or State officials having jurisdiction, such as the State Commission of Conservation or the State Commissioner of Health, the following types of open burning are permissible:
(A)Outdoor grills and fireplaces for the purpose of preparing food.
(B)Camp fires and fires used solely for recreation purposes when such fires are located at least one hundred (100) feet from any dwelling, structure, or vehicle and are properly controlled and supervised by the Herkimer Fire Department.
(C)Burning of solid or liquid fuels, or structures when under the direct control and supervision of a qualified instructor at a fireman’s training exercise or when done for the instruction and training of firemen.
(D)Properly operated industrial flares for combustion of flammable gases.
(E)Burning specifically authorized by permit by officials acting within their authority and jurisdiction so authorize, such as the State Commissioner of Conservation or the State Commissioner of Health or by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Herkimer.