Kyle Stone, Herkimer gang performer best known for his fire and water gigs, on 7/22 took his art into the street. In an arresting two-hour performance on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, Stone debuted a brilliantly choreographed show of gritty urban realism. His repertoire of antisocial behaviors interwove crack smoking, public intoxication and urination, drunken and and reckless driving, bullying, alleged property damage and assault.It was a microcosm of the Herkimer gang behaviors that have long blighted the community.
Stone was ably backed up by his band of fellow druggies, seen most nights on the porch of Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. One of them provided the gray Dodge Dart used by Kyle for his high-speed drunken runs. (Vehicle identification courtesy of Herkimer police.)
The show concluded with Kyle and the gang allegedly driving a reluctant participant off camera and beating him, according to Herkimer police. He’s the tall kid with glasses and cap who looks like he should be in the high school science club.
Below is a shorter version of the gang’s two-hour performance video provided Herkimer police at their request. Watch closely and you’ll see Kyle throughout, tying to bully the alleged beating victim into smoking something other than cigarettes. He fails. A tip of the big hat to Mr. Science for courage and personal integrity. It’s rare in Herkimer. May he find some friends worthy of him.
Video Timeline 0:01-0:37 Gang’s party car and driver arrive. (Gray Dodge Dart.) Driver goes into driveway of Jay Smith’s 332-334 Pleasant Ave. gang rentals.
0:38-1:21 Kyle Stone warms up for his performance.
1:22-1:31 Kyle staggers about. Watch as he tries to physically intimidate tall, non-drug using kid, later allegedly beaten up by Kyle.
1:32-1:58 Kyle dancing with seemingly lit crackpipe.
1:59-2:33 Kyle in driver’s seat, smokin’.
2:34-3:18 Kyle preps for his signature Dance-of-the-Piss. Car’s driver accompanies.
3:19-3:34 Kyle’s The-Dance-of-the-Piss.
3:35-3:52 Kyle returns to drivers’ seat of car. All now in car.
3:53-5:53 Kyle and gang merrily speed off to King Street. Return going to Protection Avenue. (Who is that woman and what was she doing off-camera?)
5:54-6:29 Speeds back down Pleasant Avenue to King Street. Allegedly caused property damage around PK’s Pub, according to Herkimer PD. Pub is on the corner of King and Pleasant.
6:30-7:02 Car again blasts down Pleasant Avenue toward Protection Avenue. This time does not return. Here Kyle’s alleged to have beaten the reluctant party-going kid.
7:03-8:19 Alleged beating victim returns on foot to 332 Pleasant. Appears to be in pain and agitated. Woman is 332’s sole wage-earner and apparently Kyle’s long-suffering relative.
8:20-End Herkimer police arrive.
Kyle Stone – Herkimer Boy-Next-Door in Action
Did Kyle beat anyone up? Don ‘t know. But if he thought he was being “disrespected”? Probably. Here’s a recent short video of Kyle’s antics with a shovel and neighbor Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins Bass., after he thought she’s disrespected him. She’s the keeper of the Stanley Sykes Gang’s 347 Eureka Avenue, to the right of the video. Guessing Kyle grew up while Carrie Ann was around. (Sykes and Stones are closely allied.)
12/17/16 Curtis Cool 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.”
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.
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. Here’s a local aggravated assault case that resulted in an arrest by the New York State Police for second-degree aggravated harassment, based upon “19 menacing phone calls within a 20-minute time span.” We endured 7 threats of grave bodily harm in 10 minutes, following a previous incident of public harassment.
Herkimer Aggravated Harassment Incident of 8/23/16
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 base at Clerk of Court 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 Crippin, said to come down.
Herkimer Police Say Nanny-Nanny-Nanny-Boo Excuses Aggravated Harassment
Officer Crippin 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.
His reason? Officer Crippin 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 Crippin’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 Crippin 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 Crippin didn’t review it, so we didn’t closed 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 Crippin used our narrative to review the first clip. Seeing the nanny-nanny-boo-boo, he gave Cool a pass and sent us packing.
Officer Crippin’s Advice
Officer Crippin’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, ” Crippin advised. (
It’s our house. We own it. It’s next door to Tangorra’s. The sidewalk is a public place. We asserted our right to use it. We will continue to do so.
Officer Crippin 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 a complaint. He seemed miffed that we’d distracted him from his law enforcement duties.
the Herkimer Police wouldn’t take 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.
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.”
I’ve been sitting on Another Bad Day for Herkimer’s Douglas Barton for a while. I was abruptly reminded of it this morning as alert sirens wailed over the Herkimers and Herkimer and East Herkimer fire units roared past. Fearing that Herkimer Fire Chief Spanfelner and former East Herkimer Deputy Chief Douglas Barton were among the responders, I hurried home, hoping it was just an air raid and armed myself with a cognac. Here’s the posting:
Herkimer Police investigation at 333 Pleasant Avenue
A Herkimer Police officer appeared at Barton’s home at 333 Pleasant Avenue on 4/30/16 shortly after Barton arrived. Barton’s truck and house were photographed. His truck was carefully inspected, with special attention to the left front area, especially the wheel well. (We’ve noticed that Supreme Court Clerk Harriet Tangorra’s tenant Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan of 328 Pleasant Avenue, enjoys fiddling with his own wheel well. Must be a drug street thing.)
Hard to tell without video enhancement, given the distance from the camera and the drizzle, but Douglas Barton may have been issued a court appearance ticket.
It’s heartening to see authentic local law enforcement on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. It’s coincident with the abrupt retirement of our Pleasant Avenue neighbor, Herkimer Police Chief Joseph Malone, outed by an ethics investigation. Only a year ago the Herkimer Police contented themselves with at best gently chiding the Bartons when they did something foul, sometimes even supporting their reign of terror of the street by attempting intimidation under the color of authority.
Pleasant Avenue’s drug trafficking has fallen off, thanks to the feds and the state. Decent folks are moving into newly sold homes and many of our drug scum have left. Perhaps the Bartons will soon join them. (Chief Malone still commands in Mohawk. )
Author Stephen Ames Berry is a former officer of Harvard University and a veteran of the National Security Agency’s US Army Security Agency. He lives in Pleasant Avenue’s historic Camera House.
Abused dog, 328 Pleasant Ave, looking for food in our yard
Abusers and drug trafficking can be effectively restrained by comprehensive video surveillance. For those who read our post about the abused dog at 328 Pleasant Avenue, used in an obvious malicious harassment attempt by our neighbor, 328’s Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, the dog is gone. I copied the property’s owner, Harriet Tangorra, on our post and she said she’d promptly served Curtis Cool and his caretaker Cheyenne with an eviction notice via Attorney George Aney; their lease has a “No Pets”clause. They “cured” their deficiency by disposing of the dog. He was a huge, good-natured, utterly untrained short-haired hunting dog whose unfortunate behavior was the result of abuse and neglect.
Starving, freezing, howling piteously
The poor animal was left outside, ignored and unsheltered, without food or water, even in the depths of winter, often howling piteously as the temperatures plummeted, and day turned to night amid wind and snow. We and other neighbors often called the police. Officer Josh, the dog officer, always promptly responded whatever the time or the weather. Once Josh had to get police assistance to gain access. Another time he took the dog away, but it was soon back, still terribly malnourished and often without water. May the dog have found a better home where people at feed and shelter him, and perhaps kids play with him rather than ignore him. (If he had a name, we never heard anyone use it.)
Abusers’ rented home at 328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer
328 Pleasant Ave –Abuse and abusers
Those who abuse animals are quick to abuse others, notably children and the elderly. If you follow The Herkimer Post, you’ll know that my 61 year old wife Linda was 328 Pleasant Ave’s most recent known victim of abuse, set upon in the dead of night by a gang of anti-Semitic thugs lead by Herkimer’s Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, from 328. It’s well known hereabouts that Linda’s Jewish. It was ugly, despicable and conjured images of a horrific past:
Abuse is a classic drug gang tactic used to control turf and stifle opposition. Drug traffickers abuse animals and children to pervert them to their own ends. We’ve often seen such terrorism on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, and have been the brunt of it.
Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue Child Abusers and Drug Trafficking
Old folks and pets aren’t the major victims of abusers on Pleasant Avenue–children abused by their parents are. Exploiting or corrupting is emotional abuse “in which a child is taught, encouraged or forced to develop inappropriate or illegal behaviors,” says the American Humane Society. “It may involve self-destructive or antisocial acts of the parent or caregiver, such as teaching a child how to steal or forcing a child into prostitution.”
On Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, when criminal parents weaponize their children through abuse, its primarily to harass and dissuade neighbors from cooperating with authorities in suppressing the parents’ drug trafficking. Homeowners with surveillance cameras are a prime target–cameras don’t sleep and they never lie. We have 8 honest cameras.
Harassment–A sign of drug trafficking
The first sign that a house is involved in drug trafficking isn’t always its street traffic, but its residents’ reaction to a surveillance camera–even if it’s not pointed at them. It’s the pattern that’s emerging at 328 Pleasant Ave.
The child abusing parents cry “Pedophiles!” and “Our children! Our Children!”even as they send their weaponized kids to vandalize and criminally trespass on properties with cameras. When their children are outed by cameras, their abusive parents resume the cry of of “Pedophile!” and assail you at your door or on the street screaming, “I don’t want my kid on the Internet!” (This behavior has madeHerkimer’s Melodie Schulze the Internet’s icon of elder abuse. Just Google her name and up she pops. ) Recently we’ve had a parade of angry mothers of criminally trespassing children trespass to demand that we take down video evidence of their kids’ misdeeds. Not gonna happen. Get some, help, people.
Video surveillance is very effective at fighting crime, especially when abusers and drug trafficking are involved. To avoid further unwanted attention, the folks at 328 Pleasant Ave. could move. Mrs. Tangorra is eager to sell that property. And more nice neighbors would be cool.
Stephen Ames Berry is a former officer of Harvard University and a veteran of the National Security Agency’s US Army Security Agency.
Last night at about 1:00 AM I was woken by the sound of rustling next to my back fence, which has been vandalized many times. I also heard the chinking sound of glass bottles. I thought to myself, at last I’ll catch red-handed the vandals who’ve been making holes in my fence. I discovered a fire in the backyard of Harriett Tangorra’s rental propterty at 328 Pleasant Avenue..
When I looked out the window, I saw a bonfire with sparks flying everywhere, notably into the tree limbs. Such fires, even when supervised, are very dangerous. When it is dry as it is now, they can easily spread to fences and homes. Antique homes can be burnt to the ground in 3 minutes because the wood is so dry!
I called the Herkimer police, who came and quickly went with the belief that this fire was safely under control, neglecting that fact that an open fire within 100 yards of a structure is illegal within the Village of Herkimer.
With great consternation, I ventured outside to assess the situation personally. Three tall, thirtyish, burly gentlemen wearing army camos surrounded the backyard fire at 328 Pleasant Ave. One, later identified as Harriett Tangorra’s tenant Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, challenged me when I said I objected to their fire. Calling me names, Curtis Cool told me to “go back to some Arab country.” (I’m Jewish, a 4th generation American, educated in Israel.)
Ho Hum – More Neighborly Harassment
Curtis Cool’s pack of cowardly loafers enjoyed harassing their elderly neighbor, with Cool calling me a crazy, lying, swearing, child molester who should be sent to a loony bin. All accused me of instigating the altercation, though I told them that their illegal fire had woken me up and that I had to go to work at 5:00 AM.
My husband then again called the Herkimer Police. Again. It says much about Herkimer’s rich tradition of lawlessness that the responding officer didn’t enforce the law, allowing the thugs to continue with their illegal open fire, its embers flying within 3 feet of tinder dry fencing. It was sad to know that this officer seemed entirely unaware of the massive harassment and vandalism caused by this neighbor and others.
Neighboring children have been sent to molest us in our own yard breaking holes in our fence in order to trespass and despoil our yard with trash. We have captured these actions on video, and posted them on this blog. It seems to be nearly impossible to repel these weaponized, vandalizing children from our privacy-fenced yard, even with a locked gate and multiple security cameras.
Advice to Herkimer Village administrators concerned with community safety
Please make sure your officers can distinguish between a safe fire and an unsafe one. Please don’t call an open fire a covered one.
BTW, it’s quite evident from the above photo that this fire you described as safe is not and such fires should not be legal in this area at any time of day!
I have heard there are 3 criminal hot spots in Herkimer, of which Pleasant Ave is one and 328 Pleasant Ave all too typical. Would it be too much trouble to acquaint your officers with the ongoing criminal activity in this area?
Just when you thought it was safe to go out in your driveway again, the team sport of Herkimer malicious trespassing takes the field again.
If you read my previous post about The Ball, you’ll know that earlier this summer my neighbors called the police on me when I refused to return a ball deliberately kicked at me with great precision from across the street. It was kicked by a beefy teen, striking me on the back of my legs.
The responding Herkimer Village Police Officer, the pseudonymous Officer Heist, threatened to arrest me for Petit Larceny, duped by this very old scam. He accused me of intending to steal the worthless ball used to assault me, the one I’d already tossed into the neighborhood’s adjacent playing area. It was outrageous!
Ball Harassment Continues
Malicious trespassing in Herkimer is a popular team sport. The innocent children whose ball the Herkimer Police leaped to defend have taken to vandalizing our car under the pretext of retrieving their (new) ball. The ball rolls into our driveway frequently, although the street is perpendicular to the driveway. A baller retrieves the ball, off camera. During his or her stay, our car is scratched or sprayed with acid. Repeat. Repeat. Obviously it’s at their parents’ instigation. These kids are probably paid in cash or drugs. The State Police appear to have clamped down on their parents following their abusive mob interaction with us in the street. (Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is a quietly sanctioned haven of drug trafficking, its workers flush with drug money. There are signs that things far more heinous go on here, also involving children. )
I ordered one girl from my driveway the other day, telling her she was trespassing and not to return. She screamed “Don’t you ever talk to me that way!” As you’ll note from the video clip of her departure, she was quite indignant and circled her hand about her head, indicating that any defiance to her outrageous behavior was insane. Politeness and respect are obviously strangers in her family. Sadly there is an arrogant expectation that my home is a public way to be used however and whenever my neighbors see fit.
Additional cameras have been brought on line. More are coming. We live as I did in Cote D’Ivoire West Africa, where each home’s a fortress, and anarchy prevails.
What I’ve Learned from Herkimer’s Officer Heist and the Pleasant Avenue Ball Harassment
Shrugging our shoulders in helplessness because, Hey! It’s just Pleasant Avenue, ill-serves us all. There are two underlying problems here. The most important is attitude. As a community, we must provide basic services, or we’re not a community. If we can’t do this alone, we have to ask for help. To be a successful community rather than one in name only, we have to change to an “I think I can and I will try” attitude. Too often when problems are discussed here, even the best of Herkimer’s people sigh, shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s Herkimer.” (At some point, perhaps the citizens of Gomorrah probably did the same.)
Herkimer is crime-ridden and plagued by poverty. Many of the children on our street are very intelligent, but they are not engaging intellectually – their education is pathetically inadequate. Some are reading grade levels below what they should. It’s obvious the school system treats them as pariahs and tracks them as such. At least one middle school student didn’t know what the Atlantic Ocean is. One doesn’t know what an ocean is. A very bright and likable neighboring 9th grader is periodically made campfires from his homework assignments. He correctly determined that Herkimer considers him social junk that his school’s job is keep him off the streets during the day. Like many kids in Herkimer, he’s filled with rage and hopelessness.
We can do better than this, Herkimer. If not now, when?
Now is the time to invest for success. Herkimer real estate is still available at rock bottom prices as billions of dollars in local investment are being made.
Strong indication of economic transformation
Governor Cuomo’s Nano Utica initiative, a distance of 17.3 miles from Herkimer, is expected to create in excess of 4,000 world-class jobs over the next 10 years. It will contribute to New York State’s goal as a technology hub for nano-tech, education and economic development.
The long-depressed Herkimer economy has left a glut of low cost, rundown homes dating back to the 19th century. It appears prices have finally reached rock bottom. Unimproved homes on our street are for sale starting as low as 35K . A lovely garden and outstanding accessibility to country lanes, excellent shopping and medical services are within a 10 minute walk. When you buy an unimproved home, you can create just the space you want. It can be distinctive or neutral and you stand to increase your profit potential substantially.
History repeats itself
In 1998, I renovated a 3-family home on Walnut St. in Brookline, MA. I was very charmed to find such an affordable home in upscale Brookline Village. I purchased the building for $210,000 in the mid 90s from an architect who needed to cash out. At that time it looked like a tenement, with rusty bathroom fixtures and walls coated in grime. The back hall stairs were sagging and the basement had a dirt floor. The roof itself alerted me to its need for immediate replacement dripping water into my morning coffee just after I moved in.
I spent about $90,000 on renovations executed by a general contractor and converted the 3 rental units legally to condominiums. Today – 16 years later – the property is worth a total of about $1.35 million. While I sold each unit after completing renovations, some of the condo buyers may have ended up profiting more than I did. For example, I sold the bottom unit for under $200,000. It is now worth close to $480,000 which is still a deal for this area where the average home is valued at $800,000.
Technology driving economy
Technology companies, historic charm and lovely landscapes are great contributors to a healthy local economy. The ingredients for investment success are the same as those in Boston and neighboring Brookline back in the mid to late 90’s.
a depressed real estate market – Buying low means easy buy in with numerous choices.
a good location – I-90 accessibility, walk to commerce and nature, all within a 15 mile proximity to the burgeoning Marcy Tech area.
a healthy economy on the horizon – with billions of dollars being invested nearby it’s likely that the local property values will reflect new investment. What helped bring Boston back was the massive infusion of cash from expanding high tech and biotech firms.
Timing – Those who are on the scene first will likely reap the greatest rewards. If you wait too long, your chances will decline. And with the huge publicity and massive investment rolling into the Marcy Tech, I wouldn’t be surprised if groups of investors soon began quietly snapping up properties in Otsego and Herkimer counties.
New York City and San Francisco Bay have long been US high tech Leaders. New York is now extending its technology leadership to our Mohawk Valley. Consider being part of this success story.
The power of one can make an amazing difference. So many times people say “There’s nothing I can do about it – there’s only one of me.” But it’s been proven over and over again that with just one person seeing a problem and thinking about a solution, rapid achievements can be made.
One example recently in the news is the story of a man in Oregon who transformed an old man’s dilapidated home into a smart looking well maintained residence by doing the following:
1) The Problem – He realized that an old man was unhappy because he did not have the resources to fix his home which was dilapidated and the object of ridicule.
2) The Solution –
He realized that he could make a change by recruiting volunteers from social media like Facebook.
The home makeover could be done free of charge with the help of volunteers and with donations from local home repair stores.
3) The Result –
Community action and volunteerism leads to quick and substantial improvement at little or no cost.
If you see a problem that you think you can fix – post it publicly online and discuss it with friends and neighbors to plan a solution. Ask local organizations and merchants for contributions of materials and possibly time. Solving community problems can be far more rewarding than complaining. The results can fuel our creativity and contribute to self-esteem.