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Massena man fined following domestic dispute

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MASSENA - A 40-year-old Massena man has been fined and ordered to abide by the terms of a no harassment order of protection after pleading guilty to a violation to satisfy charges stemming from an October domestic dispute.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson fined Joseph P. Sokolowski Jr., 40, of 19 Washington St., Massena, $75 and a $125 surcharge for a second-degree harassment conviction and placed him under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation he not violate an order of protection that directs him not to harass, annoy or alarm his wife, Francine.

Village police had charged Sokolowski with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief at 7:52 p.m. Oct. 10 after responding to a domestic dispute call.

He reportedly pushed his wife, Francine, to the floor and ripped her shirt during an argument. She complained of head and neck pain and was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital by Seaway Valley Ambulance.

She told police the argument started when she returned home after moving a couch into her mother’s apartment. She said he had rejected her request for assistance with that task.

“I’m tired of Joe being lazy and not wanting to help me so I confronted him tonight about the issue,” she noted in her statement to police.

She said as she was walking upstairs to talk to him he started calling her names. She said she went into the bedroom and told him she really needed his help.

Ms. Sokolowski reportedly had a soda in her hand when he grabbed her by the left arm, pulled her toward him and threw her to the floor. She said her Harley-Davison shirt, which she said had cost $60, was ripped during the altercation.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Crystal L. Moniere, 30, of 7 Tamarack St., Massena, was fined $75 and a $125 surcharge and placed under a one-year conditional discharge with stipulations she abide by the terms of an order of protection and perform 15 hours of community service after pleading guilty to a reduced count of second-degree harassment in a plea bargain agreement.

Village police had charged Moniere with third-degree assault after she reportedly broke her boyfriend’s eye socket during an altercation Sept. 19. Her boyfriend, Bruce Kearns, 38, also of 7 Tamarack St., was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Police said Kearns took Moniere’s phone during a domestic dispute after she told him she was going to call the police. He also reportedly damaged the phone. Police said when they were investigating the domestic dispute they discovered Kearns, a convicted felon, was in possession of a black powder rifle.

The assault charge alleged Moniere punched Kearns in the eye and nose shortly after 10 p.m. Sept. 19 during an altercation at the couple’s home. He reportedly suffered swelling and substantial eye injury. He was initially treated at Massena Memorial Hospital before being shipped to Burlington, Vt.

Kearns told police the argument started over a discussion about her kissing one of his friends about a year ago.

She said she responded when Kearns started pushing her, telling police he had grabbed her very hard by the arms.

“The argument ended up going into the bedroom. Bruce and I wrestled around in the bedroom, and Bruce hit me a couple of times. I kept swinging at him. I struck Bruce a few times in the face, I also believe I scratched Bruce on the nose because I saw blood somewhere,” Moniere said in her statement.

“Bruce kept getting more upset. Bruce kept telling me to hit him. Bruce then grabbed my phone when he left because he knew I wanted to call the police,” she added.

Court documents indicated Kearns and Moniere both appeared to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

■ Shanon L. Brown, 36, of 11 Jameson Road, Apt. 17, Canton, was fined $200 and an $85 surcharge for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and an additional $125 surcharge for a disorderly conduct conviction.

The disorderly conduct plea satisfied an unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia count that stemmed from an incident June 29 in the Walmart parking lot when a U.S. Border Patrol agent observed drug activity taking place inside Brown’s vehicle. Two syringes, a spoon and a straw cut in half were located inside the vehicle, and Brown reportedly had the cap to the syringe inside her bra.

Court documents indicated Brown admitted she had injected her co-defendant, Amber B. Cook, with heroin while they were parked outside the Walmart store.

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