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Massena man charged with pepper spraying ex now faces stalking charge

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MASSENA - A Massena man charged with pepper spraying an ex-girlfriend during a dispute was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility following an appearance this week in village court.

Village police charged Joshua J. Henderson, 24, of 76 Rooseveltown Road, Apt. E, formerly of 273 East Orvis St., Massena, with third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief and criminal possession of a noxious material at 12:08 a.m. May 26 on East Orvis Street. He was arraigned by Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson and has been held at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond since his arrest.

Police said the charges stemmed from a dispute with his former paramour, Alanna R. Cruz, on May 24. They said Henderson allegedly raised a closed fist before he was pushed away by Ms. Cruz. He then allegedly pepper sprayed her. When Ms. Cruz attempted to file a complaint with police, Henderson reportedly broke her phone.

Defense attorney Gary Alford continued Henderson’s not guilty plea and asked for a one week adjournment. “We expect other charges are coming down, and we have a tentative plea offer,” he said.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Andrew T. Botts concurred with the defense attorney’s position. “My understanding is the police department has gathered all the documents necessary to file charges of fourth-degree stalking,” he said.

That charge is reportedly connected to allegations that Henderson had attempted to convince young women to get into his vehicle with him.

Henderson was released under the supervision of the probation department at the time of his latest arrest. He had been charged with third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after he allegedly took Tammy Embark’s 2008 Toyota Scion without her consent in the early morning hours of Nov. 1. He drove the vehicle for approximately five hours before returning it. Henderson was dating Ms. Embark’s daughter at the time of that incident.

Henderson had been charged with first-degree aggravated criminal contempt and third-degree assault on April 9, 2012 and first-degree criminal contempt, petit larceny, second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child on April 12, 2012 in Monroe County. Police said there is a warrant from Monroe County alleging Henderson has failed to appear for court appearances there. He had been charged with aggravated harassment and obstruction of governmental administration June 30, 2012 in the town of Bombay.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Richard Schwartfigure, 17, of 20 Parker Ave., Massena, was sent back to the county jail with bail continued at $500 cash or bond. He had been picked up by village police June 5 on a bench warrant alleging he had failed to appear in court as directed on a disorderly conduct charge. He also has several other charges pending in village court.

■ Douglas H. Wilson II, 35, of 106 North Main St., Massena, was released from the county jail and placed under the supervision of the probation department. He had been held at the county jail on $250 bail since being picked up Saturday on an arrest warrant.

Police allege Wilson stole $150 from the center console of Carrie Burnor’s vehicle at approximately 9 p.m. March 19. Ms. Burnor, 259 Center St., Apt. 2, Massena, told police she was driving home when she saw Wilson walking on Liberty Avenue and stopped to give him a ride to his residence. “When Doug got out, he opened the door and snatched $150 I had left in my center console and ran into his apartment. I forgot I had left the money there. I have been texting Doug, and he told me he was going to give the $150 back to me. Doug has not given me the money, and I think he is giving me the run around,” Ms. Burnor said in a statement she signed approximately two hours after the incident. Wilson was arraigned Saturday night by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $250.

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