Proof Our Cameras Aren’t Blind At Night

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Stephen Ames Berry

“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”
― Ludwig Wittgenstein

On November 4, members of the neighboring gang from landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue attacked my wife, Linda Kaidan, as she exited her car in our driveway after a 500-mile drive. One kept shouting “I’m gonna drag her!” before assaulting Linda in our driveway. They broke off their attack on the 68-year-old grandmother and returned to their front yard when the police arrived.  Linda counted nine of them, in and around the driveway.

11.4.22 Herkimer teen from 332 Pleasant Avenue attacks 68-year-old grandmother in our driveway.
11.4.22 Herkimer teen from 332 Pleasant Avenue attacks 68-year-old grandmother in our driveway as she exits her car.

“Those cameras don’t work at night.”

For some time now, we’ve been overhearing that our cameras don’t work at night because the little red lights aren’t always on. The little red lights are the infrared beams that illuminate the dark in the absence of enough ambient light. When there is sufficient ambient light, they don’t come on.

11.4.22 This photo was taken without the use of infrared enhancement, as the gang's porch light and the street lamp provide enough light.
11.4.22 This photo was taken without the use of infrared enhancement, as the gang’s porch light and the street lamp provide enough light.

The detail provided by this blind camera is more than enough for me to identify familiar faces:

11.4.22 332 Pleasant Avenue gang who participated in criminal trespass and harassment in support of assault on 68-year-old grandmother.
11.4.22 332 Pleasant Avenue gang who supported or participated in criminal trespass and harassment of the assault on the 68-year-old grandmother. Left to right: drug thug and gang den mother Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas of 328 Pleasant Avenue. The Pirate, seen trespassing and throwing stuff prior to the assault. Teenager and frequent criminal trespasser called “Lem” by his friends, all of whom hang out at Kim Vargas’ house. And the “Gonna drag you!” teen, who assaulted Linda Kaidan. She is most probably the sister of Kyle Stone, ace crack trafficker from 332. Not circled, but to the top of Vargas, next to the police officer: Kylee Figueroa, Joyce Barton’s daughter. The Bartons moved recently, leaving Kylee at 332 but taking their beloved dog.    
Bare ruined choris: Joyce Barton moved out recently,leaving amount of trash and daughter Kylee behind. (Their dog, they took.)
Bare ruined choirs: Joyce Barton moved out recently, leaving a mound of trash and daughter Kylee behind. (Their dog, they took.)

So yes, the cameras work at night. We’ve forwarded more videos to the police and expect charges to soon be filed. Of course, we’ll just keep, what was it? “Dragging,” on the blog.

Gang’s Last Gasp?

 

Hate–From Their Porch To Our Door

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Stephen Ames Berry

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

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

Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas

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

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

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

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

Video Timeline

0:01-0:41 The Hate Spraying

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

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

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

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

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

Sparks Fly! Chunky Monkey Could’ve Died

Gang’s Last Gasp?

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Stephen Ames Berry

Things have livened up here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue since I survived a vicious street assault on 9/30. Formerly quiet gang-allied neighbors have grown aggressive, harassing and assaulting my wife and daughter in our driveway. A squad of them went after my daughter Alex and wife Linda on 10/24, 10/25, and 11/4. The pattern keeps repeating: one of us enters our driveway after dark, and the swarm descends from next door at 332 Pleasant Avenue, long a gang haven— trespassing, throwing stuff, menacing, and attacking a 68-year-old grandmother as she defends herself. They scatter as soon as they spot the police. It’s a miracle no one here has been injured as the gangers practice elder abuse. I went down with a brain injury when Kim Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann threw me to the sidewalk and kicked me. (I was videoing his mother, drug thug Kim Vargas accosting my wife.)

“We do not retreat—retreating is how Rust Belt Herkimer became a pirate haven.

If this continues, one of us will be injured. We do not retreat—retreating is how Rust Belt Herkimer became a pirate haven. These folks aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and may not know what a Class B Violent Felony verdict would do to their lives—the sort of verdict young Mr. Bormann is facing. No more probation-only: it’s a mandatory multiyear prison sentence. Used to be, beating up old folks in New York was a misdemeanor blood sport, just youthful hijinks. No more. And if you kill or permanently injure one of us oldsters, you won’t be seeing the Outside for a very long time. Open Season on the elderly in New York is now closed. The Herkimer Police responded promptly. Hopefully, they’ll soon shut this dangerous game down.

The video is of all three incidents, somewhat edited. Those familiar with South Herkimer gangdom will recognize Kylee Figueroa, Joyce Barton’s daughter. (The Bartons left town about a month ago, leaving their trash and Kylee behind.) The young woman trespassing and assaulting my wife is also from 332 Pleasant, probably the colorful Kyle Stone’s younger sister. (She’s the one shouting “I’m gonna drag her!” meaning my wife.) 10:07

Don’t know who the ball-hugging, object-throwing trespasser is.
Don’t know who the ball-hugging, object-throwing trespasser is.

Don’t know who the ball-hugging, object-throwing trespasser is. Probably from somewhere here on our Pleasant Avenue. (There are people still living who swear it was once pleasant.)

Sorry, I couldn’t join the fray, but am still recovering from a subdural hematoma, courtesy of Jordan Bormann. (I get to see him each day as he lounges on his mother’s porch, 15 feet away, eating takeout and smoking weed. His trial’s tentatively scheduled for April. Until then, he gets to lounge at home, courtesy of New York bail reform. Don‘t worry, I’m protected from my violent mercurial assailant by a restraining order and his ankle monitoring device.)

Frankly, I think this is all about rage at the loss of drug and child trafficking income here in the ‘hood. We’ve lived here for 9 years and trafficking’s never been this light. Plus, our attackers keep checking in with mother-of-the-year Kim Vargas, who may be incentivizing their behavior. The dynamics of the Mohawk Valley are rapidly changing, fueled by an influx of affluence, itself catalyzed by climate change and the chip fab construction boom. 

Things are quickly changing here, hopefully for the better.

Monster Mom Kim Vargas: People v. Jordan Bormann–The Apple Didn’t Fall Far

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Stephen Ames Berry

On 9/30/22, 21-year-old Jordan Bormann savagely attacked his 74-year-old neighbor, leaving the elderly veteran unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk in front of his home. He was diagnosed with a brain injury. Bormann is charged with a violent felony against an oldster, a local blogger who was videoing a confrontation between Bormann’s drug peddler mother and the victim’s wife.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree: Bormann and his mother Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas, moved into the rental house next to the victim’s two years prior to the heinous attack. Mother Kimberly immediately began harassing and threatening the elderly homeowners, objecting to their surveillance cameras, their security lights and their activist blog, where they posted her alleged drug trafficking activities. She’d call the police and falsely report them for harassment and trespassing–charges given the lie by their surveillance videos.

The day of the assault, Kim twice threatened the victim’s wife with physical violence–in keeping with her history of threats and harassment. Bullied from Vargas’ porch as they were in their adjacent driveway, the couple sallied forth, the wife confronting Kim, her husband filming, Jordan’s friends heckling him and his wife as Jordan watched. (If you don’t confront bullies, they just escalate.)

With a role model like Kimberly Vargas, how else would Jordan turn out? Watch Kimberly strut her foul-mouthed stuff over the two years she’s lived next to us, the elderly couple: threatening violence, harassing our mentally ill daughter. Just a few brief highlights of her despicable behavior:

Jordan Bormann is of an age where he’s responsible for his actions and will be held accountable for them in court. He’s facing a mandatory minimum of 2 years, a maximum of 7, for a Class B Violent Felony.

As I told the District Attorney’s staff and the court, I hope his sentence sees him sent far away from his mother’s reach, where he can receive effective counseling and learn a vocation. To be just given probation would leave him where he is now, 15 feet from our house, lounging on his mother’s porch, eating takeout and smoking weed. He won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of a decent life if he’s returned to his mother Kimberly’s foul clutches.  To reinforce my suggestion to the court, I included a copy of this video with my Victim’s Impact Statement, which is reviewed prior to sentencing.

You can imagine what I think of New York’s crazy gone-today-here-tomorrow bail law.

Jordan Bormann--far right, on porch railing. He's with his heckler friends.Boy-next-door Jordan Bormann–far right, on porch railing. He’s with his heckler friends.

Bormann;s unconscious victim bled profusely.
Bormann’s unconscious victim bled profusely. Bormann kicked him as he lay out cold.

11/2/22 Correction. The name of my assailant is Jordan Bormann, not Jordan Harris. (I worked with Harris at Harvard. He never beat me up.)

Murder On Their Mind–Knock ’em To The Ground, Kick ’em While They’re Down

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Stephen Ames Berry

On September 30th, in the Herkimer tradition of beating bloggers,  I was the victim of a vicious unprovoked street attack by Jordan Bormann, son of longtime Herkimer drug thug Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas.  Jordan Bormann, a strapping young adult, charged me as I was photographing his drug-dealer mother’s usual harassment of us, hurling me violently backward onto the public sidewalk and seriously injuring me. As I lay unconscious, he cursed me,  kicked me and shoved my wife away when she tried to help me.

I sustained a subdural hematoma (deep brain bleed) and was taken first by medevac to Little Falls Hospital, and then by ambulance to Albany Medical Center for neurological treatment. A subdural hematoma can be fatal.

It’s taken me several weeks to recover enough to compile video evidence of the attack, file a police complaint and write this post.  As I write,  the Bormann-Vargases are next door on their front porch, partying and smoking substances legal and illegal. 

The initial police investigation was conducted by an officer against whom I previously filed an extensive misconduct report. After interviewing my assailant, his mother and their friends, he determined me guilty of provoking the assault; seems young Mr. Bormann was just defending his mom. Not interviewed was my wife, present the entire time. Footage from our two CCTV cameras covering the attack was not requested. Happily, I was not arrested for littering the public pavement with the copious amount of blood from my wound.

We’ve been writing about Kim Vargases’ drug dealing, threats and harassment for several years. In response, Vargas often calls the Herkimer Police with bogus complaints. On September 30th, she called them to complain that we’d stolen her cat. Her cat, the malnourished Shadow, often lounges on our porch railing and is delighted to be fed the good stuff. Astoundingly, the police often respond to Vargas’ absurd complaints, as they did that day, a Friday.

The Varga’s porch, as on most nice days, was filled with aggressive pondlife harassing us as we went about our lives in our adjacent driveway. While the police were present, Vargas told an officer on camera that she would “punch that bitch [my wife] in the face before I move.” The officer made no remark. Obviously, Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann comes by his violent behaviors honestly.

9.30.22 Usual aggressive pondlife who gather on Kim Vargas' 328 Pleasant AVvenue front porch to smoke substances legal and illegal and harass homeowners next door. My assailant, Jordan Bormann, sits on the railing.
9.30.22 Usual aggressive pondlife gathered on Kim Vargas’ 328 Pleasant Avenue front porch to smoke substances legal and illegal and harass homeowners next door. My assailant, Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann, sits on the railing.
9.30.22 Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas, aka Kim Bormann Vargas in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue. Son Jordan Bormann is to the rear.
9.30.22 A candid shot: Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas, aka Kim Bormann Vargas, in front of her 328 Pleasant Avenue. Son Jordan Bormann is to the rear. Vargas has just invited neighbor, software engineer Linda Kaidan, to “Hit me! Hit me!”
9.30.22 Blood from Berrry's skull in front of Vargas' house.
9.30.22 Blood from Berry’s injured skull in front of Vargas’ house.
10.1.22 Wound to my head following attack by Kim Vargas' Jordon Bormann on 9.30.22., which resulted in deep brain bleed. Note staples. 75-year-old-bodies heal slowly.
10.1.22 Wound to my head following attack by Kim Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann on 9.30.22., which caused a deep brain bleed. Note staples. 75-year-old-bodies heal slowly.

We have several videos of the attack. Below is a portion of an audio video, covering from the time of the police responding to Vargas’ 911 cat call to the moment just before the first responders arrive to scrape me off the pavement. It ends with my wife dashing into our house to get her cellphone, evil laughter following her. 

Video Timeline

0:01-0:44 My cellphone video.  Typical harassment from pondlife on Vargas’ porch. Police arrive, police leave. Usual attempts to drive us from our property and then from the public sidewalk.

0:45 Action has moved down the public sidewalk. (Suspect Vargases believe they’re off camera.) Vargas invites Kaidan to “Hit me!”

04:02    Jordan Bormann charges me as I’m filming, hurls me backwards onto the pavement, knocking me unconscious, lacerating my scalp and causing a subdural hematoma (deep brain bleed).

04:06    Bormann shoves my wife Linda away as she tries to come to my aid, then curses and stomps me.

05:00-End          Vargas and male thug from porch ignore my wife’s repeated direction to leave me alone. Linda dashes into the house to get her cellphone, denouncing the twosome hunched over me as “Monsters!” Evil laugher follows her.

More to come: A longer higher quality video, clips and a critque of the initial police investigation by Officer Jason Crippen.

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

 

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

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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.

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.

 

Child Trafficker Carrie Ann Bass Sparks Roman Fire Foray

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Stephen Ames Berry

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

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

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

The Roman Fire Foray

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

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

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

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

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

Herkimer Fire Freaks Frolicking'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herkimer Child Trafficking Hub Handover

Herkimer Fire Freaks Frolic Fecklessly

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Stephen Ames Berry

5/19/22 – Poison gas attacks on us have ramped up since we posted this. 

Last Friday evening, 5/13/22, noted Herkimer poison gasser, drug and child trafficker Cary Ann Bass threw a party for her friends and colleagues in Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Lot. The property has long been owned by Herkimer landlord Jay Smith.

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

Bass, an enduring blight on the Herkimer community, lives at Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue, one of the three properties comprising the child trafficking lot. At her party’s height, there were about 20 people in attendance:

The celebration lasted until the wee hours of the following day, orchestrated by booming quasi-music and a constantly stoked illegal fire. The fire was the centerpiece of the festivities, set amid some loosely stacked cinder blocks next to dry brush and a wooden fence.  (In Herkimer, we call this crack craftsmanship.)

It wouldn’t have taken much to send the whole flaming ramshackle mess tumbling into the brush–no mortar in that structure. It’s been very dry here–every few hours we seem to get a dry weather fire warning from the Weather Service.   The gang probably plans to use it for future parties. Someone needs to rain on their parade.

Gang-crafted ramskacled fire place amid the brush in Herkimer's Historic Child Trafficking's Lotg.
5.15.22 Slapped together gang fireplace beside brush and fence in Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Lot, just behind 341 Eureka Avenue. It appeared the afternoon of the party.

It required two 911 police responses to get the revelers to bank their illegal fire. It should have been extinguished. Herkimer Village doesn’t permit fire within 100 feet of a structure–that’s most of the village.

To be fair, these folks were sedate compared to previous next-door firebugs, such as drug trafficker Kyle (“I’m gonna sell crack until I die”) Stone. Though his fires never lasted as long or soared as high as their bonfire. 

8.4.19 Jay Smith tenant Kyle Stone preforms the cracked out druggies' fire jump behind 332 Pleasant Avenue.
8.4.19 Jay Smith tenant Kyle Stone performs the cracked-out druggies’ fire jump behind 332 Pleasant Avenue.

Hopefully, after this post and the 911 calls, village authorities will see to the disposal of that crazy firebox and issue a citation before we all go up in flames some night.

Oh. Here’s Carrie Ann Bass’ car. It has no rear plate. Hasn’t for months.  She’s always trundling about in it. The front plate is FVK1613, if anyone’s interested.

Carrie Ann Bass' car
Carrie Ann Bass’ car at 341 Eureka (rea4). No rear plate. The front plate is GVK1613, at least today.

Thank me–I’ve spared you the booming video of these fools. 

Stay safe.

Carrie Ann Bass Hosts Party At Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub

Sparks Fly! Chunky Monkey Could’ve Died

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer's mischievous Chunky Monkey at work.
Herkimer’s mischievous Chunky Monkey at work.

Here’s the latest attack on our little driveway light. This unwitting suicide attack occurred on 4/4. Watch and listen as masked kamikaze Chunky Monkey stands on our wet grass and chops away at the light cord with a pair of metal scissors. The result was what you’d expect. Chunky Monkey ran away whimpering in pain down the driveway of 335 Pleasant Avenue and didn’t appear again. I checked the footage of that house for the next 12 hours.

Is the fool alive? Don’t know. Several cars came out from behind that house over the next eight hours. He could have been in one of them, being taken to the hospital for cardiac arrhythmia, or up in the hills to have his body dumped. Electrical shock doesn’t always kill you immediately–it can occur hours or days after the event.  (Quoting my wife Linda, who was an apprentice electrician in Florida and has horror stories.)

We think some sadistic gang creeps put Chunky up to this–gave him or her a few bucks and some crack, not caring if Chunky suffered or died, maybe even hoping he or she would, and we’d find another body in our driveway. Previous corpses have been those of squirrels. A few calls to local hospitals would find if someone short and stocky was recently admitted for electrical burns or shock.

That gentle little $50.00  LED light has excited a lot of passion in the Herkimer community:

Our neighboring drug and child traffickers are especially incensed. Some even called the police, demanding that their right to darkness be protected. Others tampered with the light and were arrested, or harassed us over it, and were arrested.  It made a fine lure for petty criminals. And it seems to have sparked the installation of a number of similar lights along Pleasant and Eureka Avenues, more cameras, and better bulbs in our street lights. 

Repositioned Light Coming Soon

The light still works. It just needs a new cord. We’re not replacing it on the pole: we don’t want to be responsible, no matter how indirectly, for someone’s death. But, out of concern for the safety of ourselves and our neighbors, such as neighboring Kim Vargas and her family, we’ll install it or a brighter light high on the house, also pointed left toward King Street. Some of the folks who hate light are usually high by early evening–maybe they’ll be high enough to reach the light. 

About The Cameras

This is the first time anyone’s seen or heard our newest POE camera, dubbed Street Sweeper,  in action. As you can see, Street Sweeper has a huge field of vision. Chunky’s panicked retreat was captured by our faithful old 1080p Amcrest system and the two clips combined.

On Street Sweeper, an unhackable Reolink of the sort we have covering thug Carrie Ann Bass’s antics to our rear, you can hear Chunky approaching from the direction of Herkimer’s Historic Crack House at 318 Pleasant Avenue, a Jay Smith property. It picks up the sound of distant traffic and Chunky’s pathetic whimpering as he runs away. (It’s also recorded many hurtful things our neighbors have said about us and others. )

If you’re interested, the whole system– camera, ethernet cable, and POE switch, was about $100 and ties in nicely with a router. It can be easily controlled from your cellphone and permits real-time viewing. Great for checking out those odd night noises. The clips are MP4 and can be played on any media player and shared over a variety of media.  And of course, the Herkimer Police are always delighted to receive crime clips.

Chandler Seelbach Performs Criminal Tampering–Cameo Appearance By Kyle Stone

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Stephen Ames Berry

Something there is that does not love a light. Especially the gentle LED light gracing the end of our driveway here on Herkimer’s dingy-dark Pleasant Avenue. When we first installed it, one of our drug trafficking neighbors called the police. Another discussed putting anthrax in our mailbox. Oh! The endless wailings!

A few years later and walking down the street at dawn reveals a lot more of these cheap, bright lights, mostly in backyards.  And certainly our little light’s made it much easier for our cameras to pick out the faces of those trafficking out of landlord Jay Smith’s 326 Pleasant Avenue, two doors down. And the comings and goings of street bruiser Kim Vargas, next door at 328 Pleasant, as she makes her good-neighbor rounds of our village. On the bright side, we have some decent kids on the street who are happy to play ball in the lamp’s light. 

Prior to December, the light had been menaced but not attacked. That changed while I was away on 12/31, when 266 Pleasant Ave’s resident habitual offender Chandler Seelbach vandalized it. In November, Seelbach menaced and threatened my wife, Linda Kaidan over the light. She registered a complaint with the Herkimer Police and we hadn’t seen Seelbach for a while. Here’s a video of his vandalism. It begins with a brief clip of one of Kyle Stone’s occasional outbursts against the light:

 

“Neither Stone nor Seelbach would be infesting our community were it not for New York’s muddleheaded bail reform law

Stone and Seelbach are typical of Herkimer’s drug and child trafficking gang members: inept. Most of them have never worked and they have no grasp of cause and effect.  Despite their attempts, the light still works. Seelbach twisted its supports out of alignment, making it hard to properly position.  My complaint against Chandler Seelbach for Criminal Tampering is pending with the Herkimer Police. Seelbach seemed unconcerned about the 4 cameras recording him. And compared to the rest of his criminal history, it’s a minor offense. Neither Stone nor Seelbach would be infesting our community were it not for New York’s muddleheaded bail reform law, which is based on the philosophy that there’s really no such thing as a bad boy. In Florida, they’d have ago long been in prison.

Luring With A Light

330 Pleasant Avenue Battered Light
330 Pleasant Avenue – Battered but unbowed security light.

I probably should mount the new, brighter light we have on hand. But am happy to leave the battered lamp where it is for now in hopes that some other drug-addled dimwits will attack it and be arrested. Think of it as luring with a light. Here;’s the law:

New York Penal Law § 145.20: Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree

A person is guilty of criminal tampering in the third degree when, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he tampers with property of another person with intent to cause substantial inconvenience to such person or to a third person.
Criminal tampering in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalty is 90 days in jail or 1 year’s probation, a fine and restitution to the victim.  

The videos make it an easy bust for the police.