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Thu., Oct. 8
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena man charged with preventing MMH staff from treating son pleads to reduced count


MASSENA - An allegedly intoxicated man charged with leaving Massena Memorial Hospital with his eight-year-old son before the child could be treated for a reported neck injury was fined after pleading guilty to a reduced count in Massena Village Court.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson fined John R. Empey Sr., 49, of 2 Richards St., Massena, $200 and a $125 surcharge after prosecutors agreed to reduce an endangering the welfare of a child to disorderly conduct. He was also ordered to undergo an alcohol and substance abuse evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment within the next 90 days.

Village police had charged Empey with endangering the welfare of a child on Nov. 18 after Empey’s eight-year-old child had been transported to Massena Memorial Hospital by Massena Rescue for treatment of a neck injury.

Empey, who police said had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, went to the hospital and wouldn’t allow the child to be treated. He then reportedly removed the child from the hospital without notifying staff of his intentions.

Empey was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he is being held on a felony driving while intoxicated charge, after being sentenced for the disorderly conduct conviction.

Village police had charged Empey with felony counts of aggravated DWI and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle as well as a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle following a traffic stop at 9:50 p.m. April 15 on Beach Street. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent.

Driving while intoxicated charges are elevated to the aggravated count for blood alcohol contents of 0.18 percent or higher. Court records indicate Empey has five prior drinking and driving convictions.

He was also ticketed for failure to keep right, operation of a vehicle with improper plates, failure to wear his seatbelt, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, operation of an unregistered motor vehicle and operation of an uninspected motor vehicle. Empey was also charged with consumption of alcohol in a vehicle.

In other recent village court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Chad J. Kirkey, 27, of 66 Woodlawn Ave., Apt. 2, Massena, was released from custody and placed under the supervision of the probation department. He had been incarcerated for five days.

Village police charged Chad J. Kirkey, 27, of 66 Woodlawn Ave., Apt. 2, Massena, with a felony count of third-degree criminal mischief, misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful imprisonment as well as three count of endangering the welfare of a child following an incident in the early morning hours of May 11.

Kirkey, who was allegedly was intoxicated at the time, returned to the Micheleine Cogdill residence at 2 a.m. May 11 and assaulted her. He reportedly bit Ms. Cogdill on the left cheek and burned her left leg with a cigarette during an altercation he initiated. She also reportedly suffered a cut to her arm. He also reportedly grabbed her by the neck when she was trying to get three children back to sleep after they woke up due to the commotion. He also reportedly dragged her to the bedroom and restrained her on the bed during the argument.

■ Eddie J. Slade, 21, of 349 County Route 37, Massena, was released from custody and placed under the supervision of the probation department. He was incarcerated for four days.

Slade allegedly stole checks from James Baker, forged his name on the checks and cashed them at On A Roll Deli on May 11 and 12. The first check on May 11 was for $135. He cashed checks for $120, $75 and $130 on May 12. Slade told police he was behind on his bills and was being pressured to pay off his debt.

■ Jordan M. Beard, 26, of 186 Elm St., Potsdam, was fined $200 and a $125 surcharge after a third-degree assault count was reduced to second-degree harassment. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation he perform 20 hours of community service.

He had been charged with punching Ian Frederick in the face twice during an altercation Feb. 1 in front of Charlie’s Tavern. Frederick suffered a cut lip requiring seven stitches and a black eye.

Police said the two men had exchanged words inside the bar on two separate occasions during the course of the evening, and the fight took place shortly after bouncers had escorted Beard out of the establishment.

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