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Sat., Aug. 29
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Rooseveltown man fined for possessing gun during bar fight


MASSENA - A 37-year-old Rooseveltown man charged with showing a gun during an altercation at a Massena tavern has been fined after pleading guilty to a reduced count in Massena Village Court.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson fined Sheldon L. Cole of 19 County Route 45, Massena, was fined $300 and a $205 surcharge for a a fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon conviction. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge.

Cole is prohibited from possessing a weapon due to an Aug. 26, 2001 conviction for a felony count of first-degree criminal contempt in St. Lawrence County Court.

Vilage police had charged Cole, then listing a 44 Indian Village Road, Hogansburg, address, with second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree menacing and disorderly conduct. The plea bargain agreement satisfied those charges,

Police said they responded to The Ale House shortly before 10 p.m. Oct. 23 after receiving a report that shots had been fired inside the bar.

Their investigation revealed no shots had been fired and the sound of alleged gunfire had actually been chairs tipping over during an altercation inside the bar while a telephone call for assistance was being made to 911.Police had responded to the bar using the threat of deadly force to secure the bar, according to court documents.

Cole was taken into custody a short time later without incident when he was playing pool at Charlie’s Tavern. Police said they obtained a search warrant and located a pellet gun under the seat of the vehicle that Cole had been in when he left The Ale House.

Ptl. Scott Rogers, in a statement he filed with the court about the incident, said Cole allegedly entered the tavern with the air gun and pulled it from his pocket and pointed it directly at Thomas Moore’s head.

He said other patrons inside the bar attempted to grab the gun, and the weapon fell to the floor. A large fight then broke out. “During the fight, several chairs were knocked over leading the 911 operator to believe shots were being fired in the bar,” Ptl. Rogers noted.

An Ale House employee told police Moore and Cole were grabbing each other and hugging each other like they were fooling around before they stopped and then she noticed a large commotion break out.

“I noticed a handgun on the floor. I watched it as Tommy Moore picked it up and put it the back of his pants in his waistband. Some guy came over that was at the party and confronted Tommy about the gun and a big fight started,” bartender Jeanette L. Denesha recalled in her statement to police.

Police and court documents indicated Cole had traveled to The Ale House with Moore and Marcus Racine.

A bouncer at Charlie’s had reportedly seen Cole’s weapon when he entered the bar and convinced it to give it to him. The bouncer said he had taken a magazine off the air gun and put it back in his vehicle.

The Ontario Provincial Police Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement squad had sent out a request to the public seeking information on Cole’s whereabouts three years ago.

That report noted Cole was one of three men sentenced in connection with the death of a Toronto man shot during a cigarette smuggling deal gone bad in January 2003 in Cornwall, Ont.

He was reportedly released from prison fin September 2005 for six months under parole supervision. He allegedly left the House of Hope in Ottawa, Ont., on Jan. 10, 2006 and then failed to return to the residence before curfew.

Massena Village Police said they had contacted Canadian authorities following Cole’s arrest last month and had been informed police they were not interested in beginning extradition proceedings to have Cole, a Native American with citizenship in both countries, returned to Canada. They reportedly noted Cole had nearly completed the terms of his parole supervision.

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