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

Visits: 136

Stephen Ames Berry

The Crippen-Carpenter Effect: an unwitting dark synergy of nonfeasance and malfeasance…

2023 saw Herkimer’s long-entrenched drug and child trafficking gangs fade away. Gang-central Pleasant Avenue has rejoined civilization. It’s a delight after ten years of menacing, assaults and hundreds of poison gas attacks to bask in the silence along Pleasant Avenue and to chat with decent new neighbors.

Still with us, though, and clouding Herkimer’s future, are two complementary pillars of enduring rot that continue to make us all unsafe: District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter and Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen. 

Carpenter’s unblushing sweetheart plea bargains and Crippen’s sneering suppression of citizen complaints and false incident reporting form the Crippen-Carpenter Effect: an unwitting dark synergy of nonfeasance and malfeasance, creating a dangerous community in which the law is flouted, criminals go free and people Aren’t safe. If Crippen can’t put the shutup on your complaint, Carpenter can arrange a cheap plea deal. Between the two of them, Herkimer’s gangs were for years assured a steady supply of jail-free workers while the rest of us took our chances.

The good news for the Herkimer police is that they no longer have to blatantly ignore wholesale trafficking out of obvious long-time gang hubs. Nor do they have to scramble to avoid taking evidence-based complaints: the gangbangers are gone. 

End of the Trail

8.3.23 Brooding Herkimer gangbanger moves out of long time drug and child trafficking central 328 Pleasant Avenue. It and two adjacent properties long barracked active drug and child traffickers. It was Herkimer's Historic Chiuld Trafficking Hub.
8.3.23 Brooding Herkimer gangbanger moves out of long-time drug and child trafficking central at 328 Pleasant Avenue. It and two adjacent properties long sheltered active drug and child traffickers. It was Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub.

Gangs need poverty to flourish. The Rust Belt’s long hardscrabble existence is ending as a rising tide of prosperity sweeps the region. It’s eliminated the Section 8 housing that used to barrack Herkimer’s drug and child trafficking gangs. As property values continue to rise, owners are rehabbing houses and either selling them or renting them to newcomers, many of them driven by climate change, flock to climate-safe Central and Upstate New York. Google Guide Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Herkimer area have drawn 15 million views via Google Maps. 

Climate Migration Banishes Gangs

Stepped-up regional and federal law enforcement has helped convince traffickers to move on; a flotilla of federal surveillance drones often fills our night sky. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being invested in chip fabrication facilities spanning the Mohawk Valley on into Syracuse. Rust Belt gangs won’t be allowed to threaten what’s becoming the heart of America’s and the Rust Belt’s economic rebirth.

And yet…

Officer Jason Crippen – The Sorry Saga Continues

It’s disappointing to see Jason Crippen still on the Herkimer Police, patrolling with impunity despite the many recently revealed and substantiated complaints against him. Crippen’s continued wearing of a badge reflects a decision by Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory to prioritize the protection of his officers over that of the community. Unfortunately, it’s a very common decision.

Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory in 2017. Don't be fooled by his "Aw, shucks, I'm just a simple country boy" shtick. He's sharp and perceptive.
Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory in 2017. Don’t be fooled by his “Aw, shucks, I’m just a simple country boy” shtick. He’s sharp and perceptive.

Says police oversight specialist, Professor Daniel Bodah of  John Jay College of Criminal Justice: “It’s important for the police and the general public that (discipline) records are open. Departments opposed to making police disciplinary records public are possibly looking to shield officers and themselves from potential embarrassment. It’s a desire to not hurt the person, not a desire to have honest policing.” 

Certainly, the Herkimer Police Department has a lot to be embarrassed about, which we saw when three years of litigation finally compelled the release of the village’s police discipline records. The files reflected with the Utica Observer charitably called “substandard [police] performance” over many years.

Crippen tased a suspected shoplifter he knew to be pregnant. Left his service pistol lying about in a public area. Allegedly filed a false police report to revenge himself on a citizen who chastised him for driving recklessly. Why does a public embarrassment like Crippen enjoy continued protection as he imperils the community? Does he know where the bodies are buried? The money laundered?

Complaints Against Officer Jason Crippen

6.16.22 Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen trying to intimidate Herkmer Post's Stephen Ames Berry under the color of law.
6.16.22 Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen trying to intimidate Herkimer Post’s Stephen Ames Berry under the color of law.

Here are the publicly known complaints filed against Crippen, most only recently released after a three-year Freedom of Information lawsuit by Gannett/USA Today against the Herkimer Police and its brazen  flouting of New York law:

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There’s a suspiciously long gap in reported incidents between 2019 and 2022. Perhaps Crippen did nothing worthy of a complaint in those three years? The Herkimer PD didn’t release my complaints, filed before the suit was settled. Perhaps other incidents are being kept hidden?

The Crippen-Carpenter Effect: A Case Study

Here’s an example of the Crippen-Carpenter effect: On 9/30/22, I was attacked by neighboring drug thug Jordan Bormann and left unconscious on the sidewalk with a life-altering traumatic brain injury. Crippen, despite his history with me, was appointed the incident’s investigating officer. (With its annual budget of $1.45 million, the Herkimer Police Department supports a chief, a captain, an investigator and a squad of sergeants, led by a first sergeant.)

Kim Vargas' son Jordan Bormann assaults elderly neighbor in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. Officer Jason Crippen investigation, found elderly neighbor guilty of the assault. Reinvestigation based on victim's survei9llance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony.
Kim Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann assaulted me in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. I blogged about their alleged drug trafficking. Officer Jason Crippen’s investigation stated I was responsible for my own assault. Reinvestigation based on my surveillance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony and Crippen’s report given the lie.

Crippen has a history of using allegedly false reporting to revenge himself on complaining citizens. This was another instance. In his incident report, Crippen stated that Bormann was defending his mother from me. He reported the incident as harassment on my part. In the week it took for me to write up a complaint and prepare the video device, Crippen avoided asking for video evidence of the incident from our security cameras, which he knew covered the scene of the attack and which outed his investigation as yet another falsity.

I presented the undeniable video evidence of Bormann’s guilt to the Herkimer PD, which arrested him and correctly charged him with violent felony assault on an elder, which carries mandatory jail time.

District Attorney Carpenter Parrots Crippen’s False Incident Report

No one from the District Attorney’s well-staffed, well-paid office appeared at Bormann’s arraignment. Instead, DA Carpenter later offered Bormann a plea deal of $100 fine for misdemeanor assault and two years probation. Bormann unsurprisingly accepted. The plea bargaining process is murky. Money could easily change hands and no one would know.

Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter. His Sweetheart Plea Bargains Help Keep Violent Criminals On The Streets
Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter. His Sweetheart Plea Bargains Help Keep Violent Criminals On The Streets

No Time for Trials: $554,425 – 2023 Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter and Four Assistant DAs’ Salaries

Not Shabby: 2023 Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter and Assistantt DAs' salaries. (From the 2023 Herkimer County Budget)
Not Shabby: 2023 Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter and Assistant DAs’ salaries. (From the 2023 Herkimer County Budget)

The young thug never spent a moment in jail. I’m still recovering from my traumatic brain injury. (My walking’s advanced to an enhanced Parkinson’s shuffle.)

“If Carpenter forgot about the evidence he had, he was nonfeasant. If he knowingly didn’t cite the evidence, he’s malfeasant–no wiggle room.

Insult to injury, DA Carpenter, ignoring the video evidence on which he based Bormann’s felony assault charge, parroted Crippen’s bogus and disproven investigation report to the NY Attorney General’s Victims Services unit. I was denied full compensation for medical copays as “the instigator.” I’ve appealed. If Carpenter forgot about the evidence he had, he was nonfeasant. If he knowingly didn’t cite the evidence, he’s malfeasant–no wiggle room.

It’s been almost a  year and my appeal for reimbursement is still pending at Victims Services. Expectant mom-tasing Crippen still patrols Herkimer. Carpenter, who earns $200k a year and has four assistant DAs, will probably be running for reelection in 2024, based on his 16 years of protecting and serving Herkimer.

12.6.23 Herkimer Officer Jason Crippen, Co-Receiving Charitable Christmas Donation. Note his expectant-mom taser (yellow), ready for fast cross draw, and the Glock pistol he leaves lying around in public. (See his discipline record.)
12.6.23 A relaxed and confident Officer Jason Crippen as a jolly elf, co-receiving a charitable Christmas donation. Note his expectant-mom taser (yellow), ready for fast cross draw, and the Glock pistol he left lying around in public. (See his discipline record.)

“As long as their chief protects his rogue officers from scrutiny, rather than protecting the public by firing them, the community is not safe. 

Herkimer Police Chief Mike Jory has done a lot of good things. Most recently he’s promoted some of his best line officers to positions of authority and brought mental health professionals on board to help decriminalize mental illness.  He’s turned the Herkimer PD’s Facebook page into a Happy Hour of good news.

Herkimer Cops Aren’t the Baddies

This is our tenth year in Herkimer, using social media to out criminals who wanted us gone. We’ve worked with a lot of the Herkimer cops–the great majority of them are dedicated professionals, good people in a bad system. It must be very frustrating to see so many of your solid busts subverted by sweetheart plea bargaining that puts bad actors back on the street. That won’t change as long as  Herkimer’s chief law enforcement officer is the criminal-coddling king of low-ball plea bargains.

Why no Herkimer County DA attorneys are available to represent victims at arraignments. (Even when you reach the secret plea deal number, expect a delay.)
Why no Herkimer County DA attorneys are available to represent victims at arraignments. (Even when you reach the secret plea deal number, expect a delay.)

Carpenter’s old boss, former Herkimer County DA and retired New York Supreme Court Judge Bill Daley, ran against Carpenter for DA in 2016. He says of Carpenter’s criminal coddling:

Every felony is plea bargained and violent criminals put back in our community. There is a statute in place and that must be followed. When you plea bargain every single case, that tells me the offers are so low that the defendant has to take them.  When you’re offering such sweetheart deals that the defendants can’t turn them down, you end up with no trials.

Carpenter’s Instrument of Betrayal: Charge of Violent Felony on an Elder, with Mandatory Prison Time, Becomes a $100 Misdemeanor

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Case Study: People v. Jordan Bormann. How DA Carpenter Betrays the Public Trust

Eager to see how DA Carpenter magically transformed a violent felony into a misdemeanor, I researched my own case. It’s not for the faint of heart. Carpenter’s contempt for the community he’s charged to protect is on full display:

Open Season on Herkimer Elders As District Attorney Carpenter Waves His Magic Wand

Was Your Complaint to the Herkimer Police Not Made Public? Tell USA Today’s Police Discipline Records Team

New York law makes all police complaints, not just the unsubstantiated ones, open to public access. If you’ve filed a written complaint about a police officer, you’re entitled upon request to that information, no matter the disposition of that complaint. If you filed a complaint about a Herkimer police officer and it wasn’t released in response to the USA Today suit, tell USA Today’s Police Discipline Records Team. Here’s the link: https://shorturl.at/ty459

Public access to police discipline records in New York is now down to a department-by-department trench fight. Time, resources and the law are on the side of the public. Don’t be deterred.

“The window is fast closing on our chance to put our own house in order before heavy hammers fall. And it won’t be pretty.

Making Herkimer Safe Again

The only way for Herkimer to ever be truly safe again is to replace District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter with a chief law enforcement officer of proven worth and integrity. Someone who’ll enforce the statutes passed to protect us, not cut backroom deals and put violent criminals back on the streets. Someone who doesn’t flout the law but ensures its observance.  Someone who’ll prosecute bad cops, not parrot them.

Jason Crippen so needs to go, before he does even more and greater harm to the people of Herkimer. If Chief Jory won’t or can’t get rid of him and run a clean shop, then Jory needs to retire. Climate migration is sending a lot of people and new industries our way. They won’t tolerate the cozy corruption of old boy-run Rust Belt towns like Herkimer. This region is vital to the future of America.

A lot of eyes are on us–look up, count the surveillance drones. Too much is at stake here in an increasingly perilous world. The window is fast closing on our chance to put our own house in order before the heavy hammers fall. And it won’t be pretty.

Open Season on Herkimer Elders As District Attorney Carpenter Waves His Magic Wand

Visits: 553

Stephen Ames Berry

In March, with a wave of his magic plea bargaining wand, Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter signaled open season on Herkimer elders. 

Ignoring a tough new law written to protect the elderly from violence, Carpenter offered a sweetheart plea deal to a 21-year-old thug who violently attacked a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher. The thug was fined $100 and went home on probation. The vicious assault, captured on two cameras, left the victim unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk with a traumatic brain injury, from which he still suffers. 

The message to Herkimer’s criminals? It’s ok to beat up the old folks–Jeff Carpenter’s got your back.  No jail, no bail, a chump-change fine. Enjoy!

Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter, the People's Attorney.
Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter, the People’s Attorney.

Here’s how Carpenter flouted a tough New York law written to protect elders, putting a vicious criminal back on the street. It’s the same technique he’s long used to make Herkimer unsafe.

On 9/30/22, I was assaulted by Jordan Bormann, the 21-year-old son of our neighboring drug thug family. I was videoing harassment of my wife. The hefty young Bormann left me out cold and bleeding on the sidewalk with a deep brain bleed. Then kicked me as I lay unconscious. Medevaced to Albany Medical, I was treated for a subdural hematoma. If he’d shoved me a little harder or kicked me in the head, he could have killed me.

Here’s one of two videos of the attack given to Herkimer PD, as captured on two of our 22 security cameras: 

The Herkimer Police first tried to ignore the incident, aided by the bogus report of the responding officer, Jason Crippen, who wrote Bormann’s attack up as harassment–by me. (I’d previously reported Crippen for a rich history of alleged malfeasance.)

Alas for the coverup! I made it home alive and filed a video-based complaint. Which the Herkimer PD was compelled to act on–the clips from our security cameras left them no wiggle room.  Jordan Bormann was arrested and properly charged under New York Penal Law 120.05(12), Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D Violent Felony: 

…when with intent to cause physical injury to a person who is sixty-five years of age or older, he or she causes such injury to such person, and the actor is more than ten years younger than such person…

Effective in 2019 and cosponsored by Herkimer State Senator James Seward, the law recognizes the “uniquely depraved and heinous nature of attacks on the vulnerable elderly.” It carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison, with a minimum required sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Two brief court appearances later, Bormann was back on the street and home free. For this we have our District Attorney, Jeffrey Carpenter to thank.

People v. Jordan Bormann– Illustrated

 Herkimer's 21 year old Jordan Borman stars as Nasty Green Dragon Cited With Felony Assault of 74 year old neighbor gets 0 jail time in a Herkimer County court. Thanks Jeffery Carpenter DA!Jordan Bormann savagely attacks his elderly neighbor…DA Carpenter waves his magic wand

…transforming Bormann into a free man.

Legal Process Just As Brief and Cartoonish

Jordan Bormann’s Arraignment 10/19/22

Absent was my advocate, the People’s Attorney, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter. Or anyone from his office, 7 miles away.

Based on my complaint and accompanying video of the attack, Bormann was arrested on 10/19/22 and arraigned that day for felony assault before Judge Joshua P. Bannister in Little Falls City Court. Banister is a practicing attorney and a fairly new part-time jurist. Present in the court were Judge Bannister, the court clerk, and Jordan Bormann. Bormann was represented by his court-appointed attorney, Joesph Macri, Esq., of Herkimer, appearing online.

Absent was my advocate, the People’s Attorney, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter. Or any of his four assistant DAs, from their office, 7 miles away. LIke Macri, they could have appeared on-line. 

Jeffrey Carpenter makes over $200,000 a year. His ADAs are also very well-paid. Obviously Carpenter didn’t want the young elder basher in jail and had no intention of bringing the matter to trial.

Judge Bannister several times expressed his opinion that the bail request of $2,500  was “a little light”(p.10) for a violent felony assault on an elder.

But DA Carpenter did send in a bail request. Even with bail reform, New York law still permits bail or jail in violent felony cases. Judge Bannister several times expressed his opinion that Carpenter’s bail request of $2,500 was “a little light” for a violent felony assault on an elder. (arraignment transcript, p.10, below) Had DA Carpenter been there, he might have argued in support of his bail request. But he wasn’t.

Bormann’s attorney argued for his client’s release pending trial. Bormann, obviously well-prepped, offered a litany of lies in reply to Judge Bannister’s questions:

Bormann’s only relationship to teaching  is attacking a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher, sending him to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

Jordan Bormann’s Well-Rehearsed Litany of Lies
1. Bormann told the Court that he wanted to be a teacher and was an online education student in early childhood development at Utica College. (transcript, p.5). He said that it was his third year at that school. 
Utica College became Utica University 8 months previously, in February of 2022. It doesn’t offer an online early childhood development program or any degree in education. 

Bormann’s only relationship to teaching is attacking a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher, sending him to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

2. Bormann said he lives with his parents and three siblings, ages 20, 16 and 13. (p.6)
We lived next door to Bormann for three long years. Other than Bormann, the only child of the family there was his younger brother, about 13. Bormann’s parents are long separated; his father hasn’t lived there for several years. His mother’s Facebook page lists her marital status as “separated.”)

3. Bormann said his mother, Kimberly Bormann Vargas, is looking for work. She appears to work as a drug dealer, operating out of the long-time officially ignored retail drug trafficking property they lived in.

4. Bormann said he works at Lowes, about 20 hours a week. He may since he and his family moved on 1/8/23, but in the years he lived next door, he appeared to be a leisurely part of his mother’s alleged drug business. This is him in my drug house post photo.  Mostly he hung out on the porch with his friends, rarely rising before early afternoon. 

Herkimer's Jordan Bormann, the day he violently assaulted his 74 year-old neighbor.
Herkimer’s camera-shy Jordan Bormann, the day he violently assaulted his 74-year-old neighbor.

DA Carpenter’s Nonappearance Assures Bormann’s Release

With DA Carpenter a no-show, Judge Bannister released Bormann without bail, setting him free with only a monitoring bracelet from the Probation Department and a Protection Order directing him to stay clear of me. (p.11)

Carpenter’s absence gave Bormann and his attorney free rein to argue unopposed for the dangerous and volatile Bormann’s release, and without cost to him:
Bormann had never been arrested before. (Not unusual, given Herkimer’s habitual tolerance of crimes situated at entrenched trafficking properties.) (p.10):

Bormann’s family was poor–bail would be a financial hardship. (p.8)
Bormann was both working and working toward a degree. (p.5)
Bormann has ties to the community. (p.7)

Jordan Bormann Felony Assault Arraignment Transcript 10/19/22

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A trial date of 4/19/23 in county court was assigned. Felonies are tried only in the county court.

Bormann told the judge he was concerned that I’d use the Protection Order to try to entrap him into a probation violation, falsely stating that my wife and I were always hanging in front of his house (which happens to abut his porch and is impossible to avoid if we walk from our driveway to the public sidewalk). Bormann’s attorney told him to call the District Attorney or the Herkimer Police if I “maliciously used” the protection order. (p.12-13)

 Jordan Bormann was given first-class treatment, his bail-free release eased by the absence of District Attorney Carpenter. The Herkimer PD gave him a ride home from the Probation Department, a 1/2 mile away.

Later that same morning, Officer Jason Crippen appeared at our door and handed me a copy of the Protection Order, shook my hand, and left. An hour later, Bormann and his mother were enjoying takeout on their front porch, across the driveway from our living room window.

Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas

Jordan Bormann’s mother, Kimberly Bormann Vargas. (No, not a caricature.) Jordan Bormann, left rear.

Only later did I discover Crippen’s malicious role in support of my attacker, intentionally not requesting videos of the attack and blaming me for instigating it. Through DA Carpenter, this bogus report would later further deprive me of the protection of law.

Bormann’s 10/22/22 Protection Order–Note the Charge is Class D Violent Felony, Assault on Elder

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I settled down to slowly heal, buffeted by headaches, dizziness, and hypersomnia from the attack. All of which I put in my victim statement for the court, and submitted to DA Carpenter’s office, along with photos of my injury and the pool of my blood I was left lying unconscious in. 

Bormann;s unconscious victim bled profusely.

Jordan Bormann’s unconscious victim bled profusely.

Herkimer's Jordan Bormann's handwork.

Bormann’s handiwork required much stapling.

While awaiting Bormann’s April felony hearing in county court, I had the pleasure of watching him over the next five months, 15 yards away on his front porch, smoking smelly stuff, enjoying more takeout and hanging with his friends. 

New Protection Order Reveals DA Carpenter’s Magic Wand At Work

On 3/17/22, I was stunned to receive a fresh one-year-only protection order from the Little Falls City Court. There would be no felony trial.  District Attorney Carpenter had waved his magic wand, downgrading Bormann’s felony charge to a misdemeanor. It was over.

Rather than being tried under law for felony assault on an elder with serious injury, which carries a mandatory prison sentence, basher Bormann copped to a 3rd-degree misdemeanor assault charge. It’s an appropriate charge for a barroom brawl with minor injury.

Bormann’s 3/16/23 Protection Order–for Misdemeanor Assault

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Slam, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am: Jordan Bormann’s Sentencing

Here’s the transcript from Bormann’s 3/16/23 sentencing hearing before Little Falls City Court Judge Sarah M. Brinski. Brinski is a part-time judge with a full-time law practice. District Attorney Carpenter was present. I wasn’t–his office had said they’d let me know if the original trial date and place changed. They didn’t.

Although a misdemeanor assault can carry a one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine, Carpenter had proposed a sentence of two years probation and a $100.00 fine, which Judge Brinski approved.

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Did the Court ever see my victim impact statement, forwarded to DA Carpenter at his request? A judge can reject a plea bargain agreement and send it for trial on the original charge. 

Bravo Zulu! High-Five All Around for District Attorney Carpenter’s Office

The ever-surly Bormann seemed to feel he’d suffered enough.

At their request, I gave copies of my unreimbursed medical expenses to Carpenter’s staff. I was told the DA would seek a money judgment for restitution. Not true: the sentencing transcript revealed that I am responsible for requesting a separate hearing seeking reimbursement from my attacker, at which Bormann would be present. Neither he nor I liked that. The ever-surly Bormann seemed to feel he’d suffered enough.

I was also told by the DA Carpenter’s victims services coordinator that she’d forward a copy of my medical statements to New York’s Victim Services for payment. That never happened. Nor did it for my wife and co-blogger Linda, when she was beaten in the street by a different drug gang member.  (Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers hate us and our tell-all blog.) 

A few months after his sentencing, Bormann’s mother secured a mortgage and the family moved to a new home. (Perhaps the Cartel has a credit union for its franchisees?)

The federal surveillance drones that hovered over their part of Pleasant Avenue are gone, hopefully taking up station above the new Bormann-Vargas home, God help their neighbors. After decades of gang occupation, quiet has returned to Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.

Carpenter never intended to prosecute the case. He was always going to plea bargain it, no matter how heinous the assault. Young thug Jordan Bormann was always destined to fly free.

The Outrage Continues: DA Carpenter and Dodgy Herkimer Cop Jason Crippen

Jason Crippen, Herkimer's Dog Enticement Officer
Jason Crippen, Herkimer’s Dog Enticement Officer

A few weeks before Bormann received his get-out-of-jail-free card from DA Carpenter, New York’s Office of Victim’s Services (OVS) advised me that Carpenter had told them I was partially responsible for Bormann’s attacking me.  I would be penalized 25% of any medical expense reimbursement

Jason Crippen’s Bogus Incident Report, Lovingly Annotated By Me:

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Crippen’s discipline record, recently made public after a three-year lawsuit against the Herkimer Police by USA Today, is chilling: tasing an expectant mom who told him she was pregnant; alleged false police report filed against a civilian who called him out for acting illegally; leaving his loaded service weapon lying about in a public area; alleged intimidation under the color of law in support of a much respected Herkimer drug dealer. 

As for District Attorney  Carpenter’s mindless parroting of Crippen’s disproven report, its just another  example of the unconcern and indifference Carpenter displayed throughout this case. Surely his initial felony charge against Bormann was based on my irrefutable video evidence showing Bormann’s unprovoked attack on me?  Why then did he just regurgitate Crippen’s bogus report? Or did he never even look at the evidence?

The only plausible explanation? I believe Carpenter never intended to prosecute the case. He had no need to look at the evidence. He always intended to plea bargain it. If I’d been killed, would he have looked at it, or just accepted Crippen’s report and moved on, just another oldster dead by misadventure? Not prosecuting felonies is what Carpenter does, says his old boss. As a Herkimer criminal, young thug Jordan Bormann was always destined to fly free.

Carpenter’s Old Boss, Judge Michael Daley, Calls Him Out

Carpenter’s old boss, former Herkimer County District Attorney and retired Supreme Court Judge Michael Daley, says sweetheart deals are the norm for Carpenter: 

“Every felony is plea bargained and violent criminals put back in our community. There is a statute in place and that must be followed. When you plea bargain every single case, what that tells me is that the offers are so low that the defendant has to take them.  When you’re offering such sweetheart deals that the defendants can’t turn them down, you end up with no trials.”

Judge Michael Daily

Daley ran for District Attorney against Carpenter in 2016, campaigning under the slogan “Make Herkimer Safe Again.” Carpenter, as he does, toadholed throughout the election. The Republican Party ole boy network had his back, refusing to set up a debate between the two candidates, according to Daley, leaving Carpetner’s assertions of his history of felony convictions unchallenged.

Carpenter had more lawn signs than Daley. Carpenter won. It wasn’t even close. Carpenter ran unopposed in 2020. As folks here say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”

Que Bono? Who Profits from Jeffrey Carpenter’s Sweetheart Deals with Criminals? Herkimer’s Gangs

Plea bargaining’s a hidden process. Only the outcome is public. we’re forced to rely upon the presumed integrity of the negotiators, as attorneys and officers of the court.  If money changes hands to sweeten the deal, we’d never know.

Carpenter’s freewheeling use of Prosecutorial discretion to flout New York law, aided by bail reform, helped make Herkimer a welcoming criminal haven. Well-staffed trafficking gangs, operated with impunity out of police-safe properties, terrorizing the law-abiding and dominating streets. Herkimer police, whose chiefs report to Carpenter, were and still are reluctant to register complaints. Bloggers, the last bastion of genuine journalism in Herkimer, justly fear for their lives. In our 9 years in Herkimer, we’ve been harassed, vandalized, beaten in the street, and much poisoned. 

Thanks to climate change, Herkimer is an area in transition. Whatever recent improvements we’re seeing as the swamp drains of criminals aren’t due to DA Carpetner’s kindnesses to the worst among us, but to increased Federal and state law enforcement–those aren’t Jeff Carpenter’s drones up there. The gangs and their useful idiots in Herkimer government never saw how profoundly climate change would impact the region. 

As chip fabs build out in the Mohawk Valley and climate emigres continue to arrive here, waving their checkbooks, authentic law enforcement is ramping up. Carpenter and his magic misdemeanor wand won’t survive the increased scrutiny. Like the gangs, the welfare of the community requires that Jeffrey Carpenter be sent packing. Election 2024 is the next best chance.

Betray the public trust? Always expect that knock on the door.

New York’s New Commission On Prosecutorial Misconduct 

Plea bargaining takes place in the dark. Jeffrey Carpetner’s alleged extensive use of plea bargaining should be investigated for a pattern of misconduct.  For that, we need the State of New York.

After much opposition from New York State’s prosecutors, New York’s new Commission on Prosecutorial Misconduct is about to open for business, the first in the nation.  I’ll post when that happens and how to file a complaint. I can’t be the only one with just a grievance against District Attorney Carpenter.  I’ll be first in line with my complaint. There’s no statute of limitations on administrative punishment for attorney misconduct. 

Criminal Lawyers and The Hardcore Gang Unit

When we lived in Los Angeles, I worked with some of the prosecutors from the LA District Attorney’s Hardcore Gang Unit. (For the record, then-gang unit prosecutor Lance Ito is one of the world’s funniest comedians.)

The gang prosecutors were brought in by the California State Bar’s discipline branch to investigate years of backlogged complaints against California attorneys. We went back, and back and back through years of attorney misconduct complaints from people who’d lost their homes, their savings, their freedom, their sanity.  Attorneys found guilty were publicly censured. Some were disbarred. Some went to prison. Shock, amazement, consternation, whining, when that knock on the door finally came: “But it was a long time ago! What about forgiveness?”

Betray the public trust? Always expect that knock on the door.

Ban the Fat Fairy!
Oust Jeffrey Carpenter!
Herkimer DA Election November 2024

Jeffrey Carpenter has been Herkimer County District Attorney since 2013. He’s up for reelection again in 2024. This is July of 2023–not too early for viable candidates for Herkimer District Attorney to consider running for office. They might begin by researching Carpetner’s history of plea bargains. See if Judge Dailey’s charges of all those sweetheart deals are valid. If so, highlight them on social media, in the press and in public debates at election time. Don’t let Carpenter hide and stonewall as he did with Judge Daley in 2016. 

A great campaign platform is one of reform. Here’s Bill Daley’s from 2016:

“I will stand up to our crime problem by seeking lengthy sentences for child molesters, rapists, murderers, robbers and other violent felons. I will review and present cases left dormant by my opponent to the grand jury, including infant deaths, serial forgeries, police misconduct, and domestic violence cases, and end the ‘good-ole-boy’ system in Herkimer County.”

And so say we all.

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About the Art

A special thank you to my wife, computer software developer and artist Linda Kaidan, and her colleague, OpenAI’s DALL·E 2.  From a draft of this post and guidance from Linda, DALL·E 2 created the cartoon characters lampooning People v. Jordan Bormann.

herkimerpost.com crime editor Stephen Ames Berry is a four-times published author, a former officer of Harvard University and a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University. A veteran of US Army Intelligence, Berry was a Special Needs teacher for behaviorally challenged teens in Florida. 

 

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

Visits: 940

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.)

Joe Handy’s Herkimer Thug House – Presenting Kim Vargas (Videos)

Visits: 2370

Stephen Ames Berry

“Could that be what the world needs? Not dirty truths, not romantic paragons, but stubborn bastards who refuse to move?” Pierce Brown, Dark Age (Red Rising)

Analysis by the Herkimer Post’s Linda Kaidan shows a shortage of affordable housing anywhere near Marcy, NY, epicenter of the Cree Semiconductor Project’s growing impact on the region. Herkimer is no exception. Yet somehow the owner of 328 Pleasant Avenue,  Joe Handy of Ft. Plain, can only seem to find criminal tenants.  We’ve taken to calling it Joe Handy’s Herkimer thug house. The latest occupants  moved in a few months ago, following the departure of the last set of drug thugs from Handy’s 328.  As the affable Mr. Handy remarked to us while cleaning up after them, “Wait until you see the next tenants.” Indeed!

Joe Handy former tenant drug dealere amanda West signing a paen to us
Former Joe Handy tenant, Amanda West, drops by to thank us for outing her putative family’s drug dealing on our blog. Her malicious trespassing porch gig got her arrested.

Meet Herkimer’s Kim Vargas and Family

Our new neighbors are the Kim Vargas family–aka Kimberly Vargas, aka Kimberly Bormann, her husband Joel Vargas Sr., older son Joel Jr. and a younger boy. They seem to move a lot, most recently from 344 E. German Street.  Kim Vargas was barely unpacked before she roared into gang thug domination mode, flaring up about our legion of security cameras, in place for years. Guess she didn’t notice them or didn’t read the surveillance warning signs before signing the lease. It’s the same complaint made by Curtis Doolen, aka Curtis Cool, when he trafficked drugs and kids out of 328 Pleasant and harassed his neighbors on the street and with bonfires.

Herkimer's Kim Vargas glares at neighbor's cameras
Herkimer’s Kim Vargas family on the front porch of 328 Pleasant Avenue. Far left, Kim’s husband Joel Vargas, Sr. Far right, Kim Vargas. Both giving our nearest camera hard looks. (Thanks to the Herkimer PD for a copy of police incident report identifying Kimberly Vargas.)

328 Pleasant Avenue – The Doolen Gang House?

Maybe we should just call 328 Pleasant the Doolen Gang house, given the breadcrumbs that lead from its tenants to the Doolens: Original owner Harriett Tangorra was her longtime tenant Curtis Cool’s half-brother Davy Doolen’s aunt, according to Davy’s wife Emily, an RN and a straight-shooter. Davy and Emily were Tangorra’s tenants before Curtis. (BTW, we like Davy and Emily and their son. Nice young family. Pity you don’t get to choose your family.)

Current 328 owner Joe Handy, though now living in Ft. Plain, has public records showing a connection to 328 Pleasant in 2017 and to an Ilion address. Many of the Doolens also have roots in the Village of Ilion:

Joe Handy’s Addresses from Public Records’ Search

Joe Handy's addresses
Joe Handy possible address. Note there’s also a Joseph handy Sr, associated with Ilion NY,.

Kim Vargas and Curtis Doolen

Current 328 tenant Kim Vargas is also well-acquainted with Curtis Doolen, given what she said to our mutual neighbors, as captured on our audio the evening our light went on. (See below, audio timeline, Blinded by The Light, minute 2:22) Her husband’s family seem to be from New York and Vineland, NJ, according to background checks; any connection Kim Vargas has to the Doolens is probably via the local Bormann side of her family. (Gangs built upon  extensive and extended family must be very hard to infiltrate.)

Curtis Doolen, aka Curtis Cool

Curtis Doolen , aka Curtis Cool,following hisjail release
For his thousands of YouTube followers, many of whom have asked “What became of Fat Curtis?” A recent photo of Curtis Doolen, aka Curtis Cool. (We met some of The Cools. They told us they made Curtis change his name back to Doolen after all the notoriety. “He was adopted. We’re not like him.”) Photo taken after he fled the jurisdiction for neighboring Ostego County. (Richfield Springs) Jail was good for Curtis. He’s lost weight and from his hat, hitched his anchor to a star. Photo suitable for printing and framing by his many Herkimer admirers.

Let There Be (More) Light

Based on six years of hard won experience in Herkimer,  we added more light on that side of our house–both to enhance the night vision of our cameras (and those of the surveillance drones) and to see if the Vargas’ reaction marked them as friend or foe, straight or bent. Nothing to fear, nothing to hide, right? This isn’t Westchester; in Herkimer, honest people welcome lights and cameras.

We bought another gentle LED light, of the sort we use to illuminate the drug and child traffickers’ sanctuary landlord Jay Smith gifted Herkimer. Smith’s Sanctuary’s on the other side of our house from Joe Handy house. It stopped the poison gas spraying of us from Smith’s side of our property. The gang doesn’t much traffic out of Smith’s Sanctuary anymore–they use the gently-lit parking lot for cookouts and an occasional attempt at an illegal fire. 

“The officer patiently listened to Kim Vargas and our other neighbors–representing the Joyce Barton Gang, the Stone-Sykes Gang and unaligned drug traffickers–then advised them that they had no legal right to darkness…

Joe Handy’s tenants prefer darkness to light:  Kim Vargas began harassing us from her porch as we were installing the new light. Had to ask the police to have her cease. She only shut it when threatened with arrest.  When the little light went live the next day, Kim Vargas wailed she was blinded and led a chorus of like-minded neighbors in streaming complaints and insults, all captured on our surveillance audio.

Kim Vargas promptly called the police to protect her family and friends from blinding. The responding officer patiently listened to she and her neighbors–representing the Joyce Barton Gang, the Stone-Sykes Gang and unaligned drug traffickers–then explained to them that they had no legal right to darkness.

Here’s a June video of the Vargases and their friends, still suffering in the blinding glare from out light on Kim Vargas’s porch, a few weeks after it was installed. The audio portion of the video features their wails of anguish from the night the light first went on in April.

Kim Vargas and Her Blinded Neighbors –  
Video Timeline

0:01-0:15 328 Pleasant Avenue’s Vargas family on their porch, after six week’s of blinding by our LED security light. (Light – lower right.)

0:16- End Kim and Joel Vargas hosting other sight-impaired neighbors in our light’s blinding glare.

Audio Timeline – 6 Weeks Earlier -The Night the Light Went On

Audio of 4/8/20 – The light goes on! Kim Vargas leads the wails of outrage.

0:01-0:95 Kim Vargas protests the blinding light. Much cursing.

1:00 – 1:44  Kim Vargas: “I’m callin’ the cops!” (NY doesn’t have a light nuisance law.)

1:45 – 1:48 Kim Vargas: “There’s a camera inside of that!” [The light.]

1:58  Neighbor Amanda across the street at 331 Pleasant. “They put my kids on YouTube.” If that’s Amanda West, her drug running 19 year-old daughter is in two of our posts. NY law permits video recording of any public or semi-public place.  “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.”

2:22  Kim Vargas and Amanda: “Curtis…” Curtis Doolen aka Curtis Cool, now of Richfield Springs. Herkimer gang folk hero. A glad-handing drug and child trafficker free with the crack. Curtis is a previous tenant of 328 Pleasant Avenue. He’s known and revered by many of our neighbors. Heartening that our videos and posts of his criminal harassment of us got him jailed. We are grateful he bears us no ill will for helping make him Herkimer’s worldwide poster child of depraved criminality. (Couldn’t have done it without you, Curtis.)

2:37 “Shianne punched her.” Granny-slugging Shianne Hill, Herkimer’s other worldwide poster child of depraved criminality. Joyce Barton gang thug across the street from us at 333 Pleasant Avenue. Shianne, then 18, punched 64 year-old Linda Kaidan for crossing to the gang’s side of the street. The magistrate was unmoved by Shianne’s assertion that she was disabled and on SSI.

2:55  Amanda: “Red carpet…Broadway…” Curtis Doolen’s, aka Curtis Cool’s, zany criminal antics have been viewed on our blog and Herkimer Post’s YouTube channel by about 15,000 appalled people worldwide.  

3:55  Kim Vargas: “Fat old-young kid with no teeth who sits on their (our) front porch.” Our 39 year-old daughter sometimes stands on our front porch, when our neighbors haven’t sprayed it with pesticide. She has excellent teeth.

4:00 Amanda: “They (we) ain’t got no front curtains.” (True.) Kim Vargas: “That’s cause they’re takin’ pictures.” No. Thankfully picture taking is mostly automated. Sadly, viewing and editing is not.

5:29-6:45 Herkimer PD Officer Don Richards arrives in response to Kim Vargas’ 911 call about the blinding light.

5:20 Kim Vargas says she wants “…that light taken down! Bottom line!” Richards listens to chorus of  complaints from Kim Vargas and members of the drug trafficking Stone-Sykes Gang and the Joyce Barton Gang: “Blinded…blinded…No right…” Yadayada. Officer Richards speaks with me—he has an air of pastoral calm–and then tells Kim Vargas and our other neighbors that it’s a civil matter, i.e., they have no legal right to darkness. He leaves.

6:30 Whiny male neighbor, probably longtime Jay Smith tenant Shawn C. Thompson at 326 1/2 Pleasant Avenue, next to Kim Vargas’s, threatens to put anthrax in our mailbox. We’ve done what we can to highlight Thompson’s and his chums’ various criminal activities. In fact, we originally bought that light to better capture the nighttime faces of the parade of backpackers in and out of Thompson’s. 

6:37 Herkimerpost.com writers Kaidan and Berry rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light” dissolves in laughter.

6:43 – End Our neighbor Kim Vargas graciously given the last word.

Poison Gas Attacks from Joe Handy’s Herkimer Thug House Yard

328 Pleasant Avenue cover and concealment
Our backyard overgrowth blocks our cameras’ views of probable gas attack points launched from Vargas’ yard. As I began trimming it, the Vargases immediately attacked.

Backyard overgrowth and Vargas’ tent city protect poison gas sprayers of our yard from our surveillance cameras.Ever since our much cursed light went on in April, our backyard been blasted late every night with pesticides. Poison gas attacks are how the murderous band of our drug and child trafficking neighbors try to drive out people they don’t like. We call it The Herkimer Howdy. Our Herkimer Howdy’s been ongoing for several years now, showered on us in volatilized high pressure streams. The poison’s invisible unless the gang screws up a handfogger’s settings. The pesticides are dispensed by handfogger from adjoining yards, like that of the Vargas’s, or from beneath passing vehicles with specialized dispensers tied into the vehicle’s electrical system, here modeled by the Joyce Barton gang across the street from us.

Herkimer's Kim Vargas and brother-in-law assaulting her elderly neighbor
From my bodycam of Kim Vargas and her brother-in-law harassing and assaulting me in my yard. Brother-in-law just threw coffee in my face through fence. #Covid19

From the residue of the spray pattern, the attacks were and are coming from Joe Handy’s rental property, tenanted by the Vargases. Vegetation and a tent city erected by the Vargases along the fence line make for lots of cover and concealment along that fence. Our cameras are effectively blocked. We texted Joe Handy, asking for his help and permission to trim some of the overgrown near the fence on his side. He replied he’d come by and we’d talk, and to do nothing until then. Next day we heard him talking with Kim Vargas. He didn’t visit us. 

Joe Handy’s Thug House Tenants Assault Elderly Vet (Me)

“I was cursed, threatened with punching, having my teeth kicked in and had coffee thrown in my face –this during a pandemic.

A few days later, I started trimming the overgrowth on our side of the ancient fence. Joe Handy’s thuggish tenants were on high alert–Kim Vargas and her  brother-in-law immediately assaulted me.I was cursed, threatened with punching  and with having my teeth kicked in, and had coffee thrown in my face–this during a pandemic. The Vargas’s pitbull joined in. I called the police. Here’s the video.

Video Timeline – Kim Vargas -Harassment and Assault of 6.7.20 

 00:1-00:35 Our surveillance cam footage. No audio. Me hand trimming undergrowth in my yard at 330 Pleasant Ave.

00:40- 01:14 My bodycam footage begins. Audio. Kim Vargas, in yard at 328 Pleasant, confronts me, tells me to stop cutting “my tree”. I am not polite to bullies–she has a history of harassing us. I tell her to call the police if she has any issues with me. She was warned previously by police not to harass my wife and I as we worked on our property. (Driveway light installation. 4/5/20, Officers Crippen and Hill responded.)

01:15 – 02:07 Kim Vargas persists in harassing me. I ask her again to leave me alone and advise her she is bordering on criminal harassment. She does not break off. I try to continue working. Acrimonious exchange continues.

 02:07 Kim Vargas brother in-law  joins her in assaulting me with verbal abuse, physical threats and obscenities.

02:37 Kim Vargas’ pitbull menaces me, poking its snarling snout through a hole in the fence. I tell her to get her dog out of my yard or I’ll spray him. (Pepper spray.) Vargas responds that if I do, “I’ll knock your teeth down your throat.”

02:45 Kim Vargas’ brother-in-law throws coffee at me through hole in fence, spraying me in the face and also getting Vagas who says, “You hit me too.” Excellent view of both Vargases as harassment continues. Acrimonious exchange.

3:33 I call the police. Kim Vargas’ brother-in-law overhears call, scuttles into house, doesn’t come out until after police officer has left. 911 dispatch advises me to go into my house. I tell them I will be in yard asserting my rights, thank you.

5:14 Kim Vargas threatens to punch me in the face.

6:15 Kim Vargas calls her landlord, owner Joe Handy of Ft. Plain. Tells him many obvious lies.

9:48 – Herkimer PD Officer Jason Crippen arrives. Advises Kim Vargas of the law regarding tree trimming and camera and audio surveillance. She reacts angrily. Crippen cautions her. Kim Vargas accuses my wife of being a pedophile. End of bodycam footage.

13:19 – Our front yard surveillance clip: Police gone, brother-in-law Vargas thug comes out of hiding, paces the sidewalk in front of our home, returns to Vargas’ house. After Officer Crippen left, Kim Vargas went into the house and I resumed trimming.

14:44 – End Me trimming. Audio track: surveillance audio of Kim Vargas and her brother-in-law having a family discussion on the street.

Herkimer’s Dark Social Engineering and Joe Handy’s Herkimer Thug House

It’s obvious to us after six years of close observation that Herkimer’s 328 Pleasant Street’s a place of business, an example of dark social engineering which keeps decent, needy tenants from renting it, while staffing it with  traffickers and criminal harassers.  No matter whose name is on the deed, the pattern is clear and it leads to the illegal gangs that have so long profited from the misery they’ve brought to what was once a happy and prosperous village along the Mohawk.

Happily, the rapidly changing demographics of America are ringing the Herkimer gangs’ death knell. Upstate New York’s become a refuge, short on housing and long on need as folks pour in, driven by disease and climate change and the desire for a better life. Prices are soaring, construction is booming. Prosperity kills gangs and prosperity is at hand.

Joe Handy’s Herkimer Drug House – Kim Vargas Livin’ The Good Life (Videos)