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. 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.
We set out to establish that the Barton’s aged truck, used to gas us with volatilized pesticides, was modified to serve as a poisoning platform. Linda Kaidan performed this complex investigation. (Video below.)
Kaidan approached the Bartons’ truck–parked across the street from us in their driveway, and photographed it from the public sidewalk in front of their home. This was 3 months after she was beaten by the Barton gang’s Shianne Hill for standing on the same spot. Here is a Kaidan’s report:
Linda Kaidan’s Report of Poison Spraying by the Numbers
After feeling the searing burn of chemicals on my face for too many mornings, on 9/16/17, I finally took the initiative to look under the Barton truck parked across the street at their 333 Pleasant Avenue house. Here’s what I found.
On the driver’s side a long cylinder with a 50% cut out on the 180 degrees facing the street is apparent.
This cylinder may be an integral part of a spraying mechanism.
A electrical connection dangles from the rear.
On the driver’s side a similar cylinder with intact electrical connection can be seen.
Pesticide is typically dispensed by electrically volatizing it into a fine mist, rapidly dispensed under pressure in high volume over a wide area. The device is called a fogger.
The Barton gang’s truck appears to support both right, left and rear dispensing of a volatilized chemical.
There was no pesticide tank the day the photo was taken. The Bartons, apparently fearing increased official scrutiny, have had allies spraying us recently. But the necessary apparatus is still on the truck. I (Berry) recently watched as Joyce Barton sat in the truck cab, controlling the mechanism with a hand unit as she parked in front of our house. An invisible blast of pesticide mist hit the front of our house and me.
There are many of these vehicles in Herkimer. They been known to convoy past our house, spraying. Herkimer’s criminals dislike our cameras and coverage of their activities.
Stephen Ames Berry
The more things change, the more they remain the same-Herkimer’s poisonous Bartons spray on. Despite the arrest of one gang member and the disappearance of another, the Joyce Baton gang continues spraying our home and us with odorless pesticides. This is the 19th month of poison gas attacks on us here in Herkimer.
The Barton gang poison gassers seem mostly down to Joyce Barton and household members. Still using the same old truck, several times a day they send a burst of volatilized pesticide down our driveway from a concealed fogger somewhere on their spraymobile. (The truck apparently enjoys diplomatic immunity.)
If you don’t believe me, come stand beside outside me for a driveby. Or in an open window. Morning’s their preferred time, though the sight of us outside at any time often inspires a quick burst. Sometimes they fire down our 332 Pleasant Avenue neighbors’ driveway. Sometimes the gas gets into our 328 neighbors’ house and yard, sometimes it drifts into the street.
If there’s a will to stop this murderous conduct, a way will be found. Until then, the war of attrition between Herkimer’s legacy criminals and its first climate change migrants grinds on.
There seem to be only a few gassing vehicles now in use. The principal vehicle is Douglas Barton’s old truck, in the driveway across the street from us at the Bartons’ 330 Pleasant Avenue. (Barton himself is gone, his place taken by a younger clone.) That truck is no stranger to the law.
Joyce Barton’s shirt’s a fitting choice for Herkimer’s arch poisoner and drug dealer. The pesticide being directed from beneath all vehicles is more toxic than many previously used. The foggers used to volatilize and dispense the pesticide are apparently easily moved to other vehicles.
Herkimer Poison Gassers Using GPS Tracking?
In the past month, our murderous band of Herkimer neighbors have developed an uncanny ability to accurately predict when we’ll be arriving home. Pulling into our driveway, we’re often greeted with a fresh toxic cloud of odorless pesticide. It disperses within a few moments, indicating it was just applied. The drive time from our usual Herkimer haunts is only a few minutes. Knowing our location and travel route allows a reduced number of poisoners to apply fresh pesticide to our driveway without resorting to the high-volume, high visible driveby poison gassings which seems to have taken a lot of them off of the road.
The toxin in our driveway is often augmented by a custom poison spraying directed into our backs from the street as we unload groceries. Volatilized pesticide is invisibly released under pressure from a fogger beneath a vehicle. Doug Barton’s old truck is associated with quite a few but all not blasts of poison as it innocently backs out of the Barton driveway.
Herkimer Poisoners Using New Highly Caustic Chemical
The poison used on us in the past month is caustic and highly toxic It abrades the skin, and attacks the central nervous system and the lungs. Multiple showers are needed to detox Some clothing will clean up after repeated washings. If not, they must be discarded, or will serve to dispense more poison in the body.
Rather than ripping our car apart looking for a GPS tracker, then doing it again when another one’s secreted, we often wear Tyvek. Yard work safety calls for Tyvek, as does protection from opportunistic driveby poisonings. (The neighborhood abounds in spotters, who blame us for their loss of drug and child trafficking income, and of course, for “getting Shianne arrested.” )
For prolonged outdoor exposure on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, a military grade P-100 gas mask is standard. Here I am in full chemical warfare regalia, trimming a tree. Unprotected, this activity would subject me to a driveby gas attack, usually from the Barton’s truck.
Biohazard suits and the masks should do us for the duration, if Joyce Barton doesn’t source some Sarin nerve gas from Syria. Our yards though, are hopelessly poisoned, as are those of many of our neighbors.
The first Herkimer poison gas attack of the New Year was on Thursday, 2/15/18, between 1200 and 1530 on Pleasant Avenue, from the area of the rental houses the Stanley Sykes’ gang occupies next to our home. Herkimer’s entrenched drug and child traffickers were marking the one-year anniversary of their first murderous poison gas attack on us with a fresh mist dose of an invisible odorless pesticide.
Being gas, it didn’t confine itself to our yard, but spread as a toxic mist along Pleasant Avenue during prime school bus time. Not poisoned were the Barton and Sykes gang kids, all of whom had vanished from the street.
Herkimer Poison Gas Again an Odorless Pyrethroid Insecticide
Driveby poison gas attack on our home on 8.10.17 using Deltamethrin. Attackers stop in front of Carrie Ann Bass’ 334 Pleasant Ave to give victory flash.
The poison gas used again had all the attributes and symptoms of odorless Deltamethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide. The weapon of choice appears to remain battery-powered hand foggers. As educated victims of scores of previous Herkimer poison gas attacks, we recognized the symptoms of Deltamethrin: stinging of the eyes, dizziness, itching skin, rashes. Symptoms may also include including burning, partial numbness, “pins and needles”, skin crawling, and different abnormal sensations of the face and lips.
Herkimer Poison Gas Warnings
If you believe you or your children were or are affected, seek medical help and tell them you suspect a pyrethroid. Prolonged exposure to the repeated gas attacks common to Herkimer can cause a host of developmental medical problems, such as endocrine disorders and Parkinson’s disease.
Deltamethrin dissipates quickly but can leave havoc in its wake. It’s a neurotoxin; it attacks the central nervous system. It’s absorb by breast milk and can be passed on to nursing infants. It lingers in the environment, contaminating clothing, bedding and other soft goods, people and pets.
Latest Herkimer Poison Gas Attack Coincident with Joyce Barton’s New Prosperity
It was our first gassing since October here on Herkimer’s unfortunately-named Pleasant Avenue. As with other Herkimer poison gas attacks, this one was signaled by a sudden obvious infusion of cash to our neighbor Joyce Barton, who’d been struggling to make ends meet after her well-known green Herkimer methmobile delivery car died a very public death. She now has a cute used blue Corolla with a spiffy spoiler. Though she rarely uses her new car, she’s probably out there somewhere, adding to Herkimer’s opioid epidemic from her handsome new double-cab pickup truck, garaged elsewhere. Someone’s got her back. Again.
Joyce’s putative husband, East Herkimer Volunteer Fire Chief Douglas Barton, appears to have moved from Joyce Barton’s 330 Pleasant Avenue. Doug’s been replaced by a pickup truck-driving cutout.
Herkimer Landlord Jay Smith Continues Sheltering Stanley Sykes Gang
We weren’t home when the gas came in. It was targeted at a first floor window. Like many other of the preceding 50+ poison gas attacks, it came from the Stanley Sykes gang’s parking lot, which abuts our back yard and spans 341 Eureka and 334 Pleasant Avenues. The Sykes gang members are long-time tenants of Herkimer landlord Jay Smith.
Joyce Barton and Stanley Sykes are allies, probably dating back to before they were chased out of Utica. It was kind of Joyce to remember us after she got some cash and threw some Stanley’s way.
Herkimer’s Sykes Gang Steadily Trafficking Out of 334 Pleasant Avenue
Stanley Sykes himself no longer traffics in his signature red SUV heroin hearse. He’s downgraded to an older, rusted white Hyundai Elantra (NY license HUR 8272) of the sort favored by Herkimer’s less flamboyant drug dealers.
We keep hearing that Carrie Ann Bass has moved, but we continue seeing her slipping across that parking lot from 334 Pleasant to Stanley’s 341 Eureka. And a flow of customers to her side door, rather than her front, the Herkimer Police having apparently forbidden her the street.
Sykes Gang’s Carrie Ann Bass and Her Invisible Cat
We haven’t been treated to one of Carrie Ann’s harassment performances since September, when she slipped down the street a few houses to the no-man’s land between the creepy stalking methheads house and ours. Here she is in that performance. (The other woman appears to be from the methheads house.)
The brazen narco-terrorism of Herkimer’s poison gas attacks have sent our social media metrics soaring. (If only we were paid, and by the view.) People expect poison gas attacks in Syria and Yemen, not in America. But as the folks here say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”
Why Are They Still Here?
I’m sure we’re not the only ones relieved that the Herkimer police are finally cracking down on criminal harassment and street assaults and arresting thugs. But as long as Herkimer values the blood money of the vile likes of the Sykes gang and Joyce Barton over the safety of it citizens, Herkimer’s telling the world it’s dirty, and likes it. And if that’s not true, ask yourself, why are they still here?
8/19/19 – This post amused many of our murderous neighbors when it first appeared. (“There they go! Get the ladder!” the Sykes gang’s Carrie Ann Bass would holler as we walked by.) There was no ladder, as we later learned after toxic clouds were wreathed our home; they were using handfoggers to dispense organophosphate pesticides into our open office window whenever we went for a walk.
Well, as I live and breathe. After being gassed in February and poisoned in March, we took a bit of a vacation. When we left, our neighbors, Herkimer’s Douglas Barton and Joyce Barton, appeared to be going through tough times: home rarely, woebegone looks, no more convenience foods, house dark, kids sad and angry.
Returning ten days later, we found the Bartons’ lives seemingly touched by gold. There was Joyce Barton on her 333 Pleasant Avenue command porch,
Since our return, Joyce Barton’s been busy networking again with like-minded neighbors, partially in response to our unexpected return. (So many crestfallen faces when we pulled into driveway and emerged, relaxed and tanned. )
I suppose to the watching hopeful along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, it seemed we’d abandoned our poisoned Herkimer home, packed up our pets, a few things and fled. Had I been hired to dispose of such nosy neighbors as we, dead or alive, I’d have then demand my money, reporting mission accomplished. But would have had the brains to not spend like a sailor.
And what did Douglas Barton do with his share of the Barton’s sudden golden shower? Douglas Barton bought the East Herkimer Fire Department. (Volunteer company–one engine.) How else to explain his meteoric return from the ranks, following his…suspicious…garage fire and
Looking at the fire company’s roster (top), all their other top ranks are suddenly empty. They weren’t when Douglas Barton was returned to the ranks. Perhaps there was vehement opposition to Barton’s election as Chief, with old hands quitting in disgust? Or maybe they just ate some bad food and passed away.
Of Firemen and Ladders and Poison
The long-term salting of our furnace with a powdered insecticide required little finesse. The dosing of our home did with a spray-gun dispensed pesticide did. It was skillfully and stealthily carried out via a ladder, over a period of months in broad daylight. And done several times weekly with the aid of some of our depraved neighbors, who served as lookouts, calling the ladder man when we went for our morning walks and as we returned. Here’s one suspected lookout: 334 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer’s “The Blessing.”
The objective, as with the furnace salting, was to continuously poison us so we’d slowly sicken and die, never suspecting we’d been murdered. We’d just pass away, as have probably many other Herkimer murder victims here over the years. Well, the word is now out, and jig is up. Spring is here and the ground may soon give up its dead to autopsy.
For reasons which will later sound not at all paranoid, our systematic poisoning probably began even before we moved into our house, three years ago. That cold diabolical plan was destroyed by the enraged nighttime pesticide attack of February 22nd. (See Herkimer Jewish Blogger Gassed) The attack was apparently sparked by our sharing The Herkimer Post’s annual blog statistics a two days earlier: 20,000+ worldwide view of Herkimer crime. The Barton’s and Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, rocketed our blog to success. Neither does well in sunlight. Nor does Herkimer.
Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan – The Bartons’ Silent Backer?
Had I to guess who was bankrolling the Bartons, I’d say Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan. Curtis has long been chums with the Bartons. He seemed a cash-heavy entity when he lived next door at 328 Pleasant Avenue, renting Herkimer Clerk of Courts’ Harriett Tangorra’s house. Curtis, who waged a lengthy campaign of harassment against us, is rumored to be the scion of Herkimer’s most respected drug manufacturing family. In Herkimer County, New York, this would grant him the status of untouchable nobility; Curtis Cool could only be tried before the Herkimer Drug Lord Himself.
Lastly, we’d like to thank the Herkimer community and authorities for their outpouring of support and sympathy following two well-publicized, heinous attempts on our lives within the last two months. Their names and organizations are below:
[THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]
Oh well. As folks in Herkimer say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”
Herkimer’s community ethos is one which historically has left a lot empty shoes behind.
Perhaps a viewing of Schinlder’s List might help restore Herkimer’s atrophied social conscience?
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein
Forget Herkimer diamonds. Crime-ridden Herkimer New York’s greatest attraction is the village’s anarchic three-ring circus of brazen criminals, trafficker-coddling cops and willfully failed governance. In 2016, Herkimer’s unchecked, in-your-face lawlessness brought The Herkimer Post and its YouTube videos over 20,000 worldwide views. The human fascination with the grotesque drove our annualized viewing audience up 33% from our last statistics posting in March of 2016.
The Herkimer Post enjoyed 8,432 page views from 2,379 readers across 6 continents in 57 countries, with an average of 1.95 minutes per view. Our YouTube videos–Herkimer crime, all the time–brought 11,989 worldwide views averaging 3.32 minutes apiece. Top Herkimer Twitter tweets sparked at least 13,674 impressions, engagements and retweets, which aren’t counted in the 20,421 tally.
Living in Herkimer Village is convenient: except for our Herkimer Meth Bridge series, we’ve rarely had to travel more than 20 meters from our home on Herkimer’s wistfully-named Pleasant Avenue to acquire source material: Herkimer criminals trying to drive us from our home and Herkimer cops trying to intimidate us into silence just kept coming into our cameras or onto our microphones.
Herkimer Post 2016 – WordPress Page Views, Users, Sessions
Herkimer Post 2016 WordPress Sessions – Top 10 Countries
Notes on Google Analytics’ Metrics
One session can have multiple page views. Herkimer Post visitors viewed an average of two posts per session.
2,777 blog visitors landed on the Herkimer Post’s home page rather than a specific posting. They could have then selected one or more more categories and scrolled through the posts. Their views of individual posts wouldn’t have been recorded.
Country = “Not Set”: Origin may be a hidden ISP.
Best reporting option is 365 days. Calendar year selection not offered.
Herkimer Post 2016 Top Page Views
Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Blog Post
Our top recorded blog post for 2016 was of our neighbor and first Herkimer visitor, young mom Melodie Shulze, who dropped by with her mom Melissa Shulze to cuss us out for photographing our street and accuse us therefore of being pedophiles. Although the incident occurred in 2015, Melodie Shulze’s elder abuse has proven an object of repugnant fascination both on our blog and YouTube. (Melodie recently vanished from our street following an unusual flurry of Child Protection Services’ activity.)
Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton Win Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Posts Tally
Otherwise it was a postings slugfest in lawlessness and depravity between 333 Pleasant Avenue’s Bartons and 328 Pleasant Avenue’s Curtis Cool. It was won by the Bartons with 4 top posts: Herkimer Man Sexually Abusing Car was our 2nd top post, harassment dished straight from the Barton’s as they gleefully helped harass our very pregnant daughter. (Captured on a highly visible surveillance camera. )
Three other top 2016 posts featuring appearances by Joyce Barton and or Douglas Barton were Drug Trafficking On Herkimer’s Slumlord Row, [VIDEOS], Herkimer Crime – Drunks Along the Mohawk [VIDEOS], and Mission Accomplished! Fire Chief Barton’s Fire Revisited. This last highlighted a forensic video analysis of then-Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton’s garage fire, coincident with what appeared to be a large state and federal crackdown on Herkimer’s abundant meth makers. (The Bartons have apparently since abandoned their home-based enterprises and seem to be scrambling to make ends meet.) The drug trafficking post and related videos are from 2015; they’ve taken on a life of their own, drawing viewers month after month. (IP addresses hint law enforcement may be using them for surveillance analysis training.)
Curtis Cool Takes Close 2nd In Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Postings Tally
In 2016, Herkimer crime drew over 11,989 YouTube views in 51 countries with a total viewing time of 23,409 minutes, or 390 hours. (16.25 days.)
Our YouTube audience wasn’t the same as that of the The Herkimer Post: most YouTube viewers didn’t come from our blog posts, but from other YouTube viewers and referrers. Many of our videos contain links to our other Herkimer crime videos, making it possible to build viewership through a chain of referrals embedded in video descriptions, and also build blog readership through links to our blog. Curtis Cool’s 13 videos and the Barton’s 14 videos provided the virtual framework for widening our follower base.
In 2016, videos of Joyce and Douglas Bartons’ Pleasant Avenue activities had 6,815 views, with a watch time of 6,698 minutes, or 4.65 days. Their top video was 2015’s enduring Herkimer Crime on Parade – 333 Pleasant Avenue (5088 views). But Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan) blew the Bartons’ Crime on Parade out of the water with his bravura performance in Curtis Cool Street Harassment of 6/11/16: 154 hours (9,224) minutes, or 6.40 days. Herkimer’s untouchable Golden Child’s criminal harassment of his elderly neighbors was watched by 2,385 people on 6 continents, just one of Curtis’ series of street harassment videos. (Curtis abruptly moved after we hinted in a post that he might be involved in darker things than drug dealing. “The guilty flee where no man pursues.”)
I didn’t go through Twitter to extract the analytics of views of our Herkimer crime tweets, which are automatically tweeted by our blog upon posting. They’d have to have been ferreted out of Twitter tweet by tweet, and the analytics for each manually copied and totaled. No. Life is short, death is long.
I have 72,000 Twitter followers. All of my posts make an impression. The more colorful, such as those of our Apricot Emperor or Herkimer crime, often create a thousand or more impressions. I’ve no idea what an impression is, and, reading Twitter’s definition, neither does Twitter. But those tweets do leave a large and consistent impression of Herkimer, and it’s not pretty.
Here’s a typical Tweeter analytics summary of some Herkimer crime tweets:
We thank all who’ve read our blog or viewed our videos. We hope they’ve given you some insight into what failure of governance looks like, and the stark reality of life when crime rules the streets of a once pastoral village.
A sincere and especially heartfelt thanks to the New York State Police, Night Court, Trapper Ron, the New York State Intelligence Center, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and other US Department of Homeland Security entities, without whose officers’ vigilance and dedication to duty this post wouldn’t have been written.
And a big tip of the hat to Herkimer’s resident drones and their watchful wizards.
It’s been quiet along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. We’re keeping busy remodeling and writing posts that we hadn’t gotten around to, besieged as we were the last several years by neighborly attacks on ourselves, our pets and our home. As Herkimer has a new police chief, we’ll be having posts about past incidents involving some of his officers. We’re beginning with the Herkimer mobbing incident of June 15, 2015.
It’s obvious that deprived of work hustling product from now-absent meth cookeries and crack makers, many of South Herkimer’s once abundant scrotes have moved on. Pleasant Avenue is down to two homes owned by career criminal families, either in their own names or through proxies, and one homeowner who consistently rents her property to various members of a well-protected regional crime family.
Yet one Herkimer institution that’s endured unchanged through all the tumult of our three years on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is the Herkimer Police. In our experience, they’ve never heard a complaint worth taking, though some of its officers have proven quick to respond to the needs of well-monied criminals. (We do like several of the Herkimer cops, who do the best they can, boats against the stream. My naming them probably wouldn’t help their careers.)
333 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer mobbing – June 15, 2015
One of our first experiences with a Herkimer police response was on June 15, 2015. The below is from my email of 6/22/15 to Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi, supplemented by later information. (Mayor Brindisi is reportedly a former Herkimer police officer.)
My entire touchingly naive email to Mayor Brindisi follows at the end of this post. It was written before we realized that Herkimer enjoyed a wide reputation as pirate haven, it’s booming cash economy driven by well-protected, interlaced networks of criminals, protected by a co-opted local government. The orchestrated mobbing incident below is a typical ploy used by drug gangs to maintain turf control. (I’ve added the bracket information.)
From my letter to Mayor Brindisi:
This past Wednesday evening, we were the focal point of an obviously preplanned and terrifying outpouring of mob hatred triggered when my wife asked ball playing children in front of our home to please stop throwing objects at our house, notably a ball at the side, and rocks at the security camera covering our driveway. About 40 people stood watching from the opposite sidewalk and the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave.
Within less than 30 seconds of her polite request of the ballplayer children, who were quite polite, the adults poured off the opposite sidewalk and the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave. and into the street, screaming at my wife, with one of them (Joyce Barton of 333) coming within inches of my wife’s face and screaming that my wife was “crazy” “all cracked out” and “stupid.” The invective continued, with others, notably the red-faced male in his twenties (see below) repeatedly coming up to within inches of my wife’s face, showering her with similar invective.
Hearing the din, I rushed outside. People came up to our faces, taunting us. Out of the raw chaos and tumult of the mob, we recall such distinctive phrases as: “Go back to Florida!” “Stay on your side of the street! “Don’t yell at my daughter!”(Joyce Barton again—very much a ringleader. We never raised our voices.) “Punch me! Punch me!” (This last screamed said by several as they thrust their faces into ours, notably again Joyce Barton, of 333.)
And, most frightening of all twice,
“We’re going to burn you out!” (This from a man in front of Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton’s 333 Pleasant Ave, whom my wife believes she can identify.)
I called 911. [911 was utterly disbelieving.] Before the police arrived, I was assailed by a red-faced male in his twenties who told me inches from my face to “get off our fucking street!” and when asked who he was, said “None of your motherfucking business.” He appeared to be either drunk or high. Our exchange continued for a moment. (A former behavior teacher, I never raise my voice in a volatile situation.) He concluded by spitting at my feet and storming back to the porch 333 Pleasant Avenue. The moment before, he’d subjected my wife to the same treatment, complete with spit.
Herkimer Police Response – Sgt Tall and Officer Short
Two Herkimer police officers responded. In the chaos we didn’t capture their names, but have since referred to them as Officer Short and Sergeant Tall. As they appeared, about ten people scuttled from the street, leaving about 25-30 people there, notably those from 333, headed by Joyce [Barton] and reinforced by the red-faced chap, who were the most vocal and aggressive. The sergeant went to [amiably] question the people congregating across from us on and around the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave, leaving us in front of our house with Officer Short. [later revealed to be Officer John Scholl.]
Officer Short-Scholl took our names and asked my wife if we could have precipitated events by crossing “to their side of the street,” seemingly affirming our assailants in their belief that they owned a public area. She said no. My wife asked [Officer Scholl] if he was familiar with what’s been happening on this street to us over the past year [see letter below], given the numerous police responses. He said no. She attempted to brief him, but after about three sentences his eyes and his attention wandered and he appeared overcome by boredom. He told her to contact the landlords of our assailants and perhaps, after multiple complaints, they’d evict them. “You never know.” She then asked him how many people are allowed to congregate in a public street and if there’s any statute governing this? He said there was no limitation or statute, adding that “Herkimer’s very casual about it.”
Things having quieted down somewhat in front of 333 Pleasant Ave, Sergeant Tall then rejoined [Officer Scholl] and us. My wife…told him twice of the man from 333 threatening us with arson, which the sergeant twice ignored. [As with much else in Herkimer, it’s wise to hear nothing.]
Then, shockingly, the officers departed without dispersing the remaining 20-30 still hostile belligerents once again lining the sidewalk across from our home.
Later that evening, my wife was taking the trash out to our tote in the driveway, when hecklers on the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave began taunting her. To demonstrate that they were mistaken that they owned the street, she crossed over to their porch and attempted to humorously engage them in conversation. It didn’t go well. Insults were exchanged. (“Go inside and take a nap, granny.”) The same man as before threatened [from the Bartons’ porch] “We’re going to burn you out.”
The rest of the evening, the occupants of 333’s porch shined several large halogen lights at our bedroom window. Two cars of teenagers the age of those resident in 333 pulled up in front of our house several times, rap music blaring, screaming, “We’re gonna make you call the police!” (They sounded high or drunk.) Feeling we’d already trouble our police enough for one day, we didn’t bother calling them again…
Mayor Anthony Brindisi Responds to Herkimer Mobbing Incident
Two months later, Mayor Brindisi responded to his officers’ dereliction of duty by promoting Officer Scholl to sergeant–sending a clear message to his police, the community and its cash-heavy criminal enterprises.
Following a later Herkimer Police incident, Mayor Brindisi encouraged me to “play offense,” which we’ve done, though not in the way he meant.
Where Are They Now?
Sergeant Tall we never saw again. The Herkimer Police have some part-time officers; he may have been one of them.
Both Bartons seem to be employing their vocations elsewhere, notably Douglas Barton, who leaves early, comes home very late and is sometimes gone overnight. Also absent are the fast food wrappers laughingly gifted our lawn by the some of the Bartons’ kids and their chums.
Herkimer’s 333 Pleasant Ave’s Teenage Girl Bullies can learn a wonderful lesson from this 9 year old girl. She saw a problem–homeless people– and decided to solve it. No matter how old you are or how nasty your family might be, you can change the world for the better. You are not dust flying in the wind, aimlessly blown here and there. Rather, you are the sum of your deeds and every day matters. Each good deed you do increases your beauty. The opposite is also true.
As you grow older, you can look back with joy and contentment at a life well-lived or you can gaze upon a sad and wasted existence. The choice is entirely yours. Perhaps you can try changing 333 Pleasant Ave Teenage Girl Bullies to 333 Pleasant Ave Teenage Girl Heroes and make that the title for what you are going forward 🙂
Try being an entrepreneur, recycling free and discarded materials into products you can sell in flee markets and on craigslist or create a song and dance company. Look at kickstarter.com and get some inspiration. The whole world is out there for you to participate in and to inform your own creativity and strength. You can be a gold metal winner in life, starting right now!
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.