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Massena man sent back to jail with no bail following court appearance


MASSENA - A Parker Avenue man charged with threatening a neighbor while holding a buck knife was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility following his first appearance with counsel this week in Massena Village Court.

Village police charged Darrel P. Dodd, 29, of 17 Parker Ave., Apt. 2, Massena, with a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing at 7:56 p.m. Saturday following a neighborhood dispute. Dodd reportedly received a cab ride home and a short time after arriving home starting yelling at one of his neighbor’s 12-year-old daughters.

“I then started yelling back at him,” John Gambaccini, who identified himself as the girl’s father, noted in the statement he provided for police. “I told him he had better stop yelling at my daughter.”

Dodd, who has a felony conviction from December 2003 for second-degree attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument, then reportedly pulled out a yellow box cutter with a six-inch blade, advanced toward Mr. Gambaccini and threatened to cut him from ear to ear and shoot. Mr. Gambaccini said he pulled an axe out of the back of his truck to defend himself, and Dodd retreated. He said police arrived on the scene moments later.

Court documents indicate Dodd had been arguing with another neighbor shortly before the confrontation with Mr. Gambaccini.

Dodd was arraigned by Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson and sent to the back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with no bail. Local justices are unable to set bail on felony charges for defendants with two or more felony convictions.

Defense attorney Denice Goodrich urged the court to set bail, noting it was her understanding that her client only had one felony conviction. But Mr. Gustafson said Dodd’s conviction for unlawfully acquiring a controlled substance in April 2007 in Florida was the equivalent of a felony drug conviction in New York state.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday was cancelled, and Dodd’s case was reportedly presented to a St. Lawrence County Grand Jury.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Maxine A. Perkins, 42, of St. Michaels, Ariz., formerly of Bombay, was released from custody after pleading guilty to driving whole ability impaired. She had been held in the county jail overnight after being picked up on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court as directed. She was fined $300 and a $260 surcharge and her operating privileges were suspended for 90 days.

Perkins had been charged with driving while intoxicated following a personal injury accident Jan. 26, 2005 on Bridges Avenue at Main Street. She reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.17 percent.

■ David Rodriguez, 25, of 171 Middle St., Leomister, Mass., formerly of Dana Street, Massena, was fined $300 and a $260 surcharge and had his operating privileges suspended for 90 days after pleading guilty to driving while ability impaired.

He had been charged with driving while intoxicated on July 17 after he drove into a yard at 50 Parker Ave. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.13 percent.

■ Thomas W. Vielhauer, 23, of 8169 Capricorn Drive, Syracuse, also listing a Rochester address, had his operating privileges suspended. Mr. Gustafson also rejected defense attorney Lorraine White’s plea for the court to grant her client a conditional license so he could continue to travel back and forth to work sites and for trips for child visitation.

“The court can’t grant a hardship license due to his refusal to take the breath test,” the village justice said.

Vielhauer had been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop at 2:30 a.m. May 25 on Main Street. He was also ticketed for failure to keep right and charged with driving with a suspended registration and without insurance. His BAC was measured at 0.24 percent, police said. A DWI charge is elevated to aggravated DWI when the BAC is 0.18 percent or higher.

■ Kortnie L. Caldwell, 20, of 173 Chase Mills Road, Chase Mills, was granted a six-month adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation she perform 10 hours of community service.

Village police charged Caldwell with unlawful possession of marijuana and ticketed her for operation of a vehicle with an inadequate headlight following a traffic stop at 9:55 p.m. March 14 on Route 37. She was reportedly found to be in possession of a baggie with approximately 15 grams of marijuana during that traffic stop.

In recent court action before Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall:

■ Vernon R. Bakkum, 62, of 30 Elm St., Massena, was fined $500 and a $260 surcharge and had his operating privileges suspended for 90 days for a driving while ability impaired conviction. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge.

The Massena man had been charged with driving while intoxicated when he called police over to his vehicle after they had followed his car from the Sunoco station to a parking lot off Andrews Street near the Massena fire station.

Village police said Bakkum had a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent, double the 0.08 percent threshold for a DWI count.

Police said they had responded to the Sunoco station shortly before 7:50 p.m. April 22, 2012 after receiving a report of a possible intoxicated driver and a description of the vehicle he was operating. The complaint indicated Bakkum appeared to be intoxicated and had been inside the store swearing and causing a disturbance before driving away.

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