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Massena woman charged with harassment, endangering child

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HARASSMENT - MASSENA - Massena-based state police charged Amber M. Gardner, 20, of 234 Andrews St., Massena, with two counts of second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child following an incident at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at her residence.

Ms. Gardner allegedly hit her boyfriend, Robert F. Lavalley, repeatedly in the face while his 7-month-old daughter was present. She also reportedly hit Korey S. Mitchell in the face and ripped his shirt and then pushed his girlfriend, Tiffany A. Lavalley, during the dispute.

Gardner was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and released under the supervision of the probation department. She is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Louisville Town Court.

Mr. Mitchell, 26, told police he and his girlfriend had been staying with Mr. Lavalley and Gardner while they were waiting for their apartment to open up in Massena.

He said Gardner and Mr. Lavalley starting to argue about her ex-boyfriend, Adam Hall, shortly after noon Saturday. “Robert was making fun of him, and Amber didn’t like it very much. Amber became very upset,” Mr. Mitchell noted in his statement to police.

Ms. Lavalley told troopers not to talk about Mr. Hall and went into the kitchen. “Robert then mentioned Adam again, and Amber came out of the kitchen and started punching Robert in the head. She hit him several times and after he looked like he was in pain,” she noted.

She said her boyfriend then intervened, followed Gardner back into the kitchen and told her she should not have hit Mr. Lavalley. “She then grabbed my shirt and ripped it,” Mr. Mitchell said in his statement. “She continued to swing at me and tried to hit me. In the process, she scratched me under my right ear.”

Gardner then reportedly told the couple to leave the apartment and started throwing their property outside. “I went outside, and Tiffany stopped to put her shoes on. Amber then pushed Tiffany out the door,” he said, noting he and his girlfriend then got in his vehicle and left.

Gardner, in her statement to troopers, admitted she had slapped Mr. Lavalley in the head after he wouldn’t stop saying things about her ex-boyfriend.

But she suggested her actions with Mr. Mitchell were taken in self-defense. “... Cory got involved in it. He told me I made his girlfriend cry and that if I made her lose the baby there would be trouble. (Korey) made fist like he was going to hit so I rip(ped) his shirt,” Gardner said, also noting she had lightly shoved Ms. Lavalley with one hand and then locked the door.

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