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Winthrop man celebrates early release from probation by drinking, getting arrested, going to jail

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WINTHROP - A 68-year-old Winthrop man received a letter from the probation department Monday informing him that due to his positive behavior while under their supervision, his probationary term was being ended early.

James E. Markes, 68, of 14B Reservation Street, Winthrop, reportedly celebrated his accomplishment by going to the store and buying a 12-pack of beer. A few hours later, he would be incarcerated at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility after being charged with several misdemeanor counts stemming from a neighborhood dispute.

Massena-based state police charged Markes with second-degree menacing, resisting arrest, second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was arraigned by Stockholm Town Justice Wayne Williams Monday night and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

Markes reportedly threatened neighbors with a long stick with a sharp instrument at the top that he had been using to prune trees, as well as a screwdriver. He also allegedly indicated he planned to kill all of his neighbors when they were sleeping.

Christina M. Arquiett told troopers the incident started Monday afternoon. She said he started swinging the stick around and yelling that he was going to slice all of his neighbor’s throats. “He said he was going to make fishbait out of all of us,” she said in the statement she provided police.

She said a short time later Markes came to her door and tried to barge his way into her residence, but her 14-year-old daughter was able to push the door shut and lock it.

Stephen P. Brayton said he was unloading his van when he heard the commotion and overheard Markes ask another man who had convinced Mr. Brayton’s mother-in-law to file a complaint with troopers over an alleged assault that had occurred several months earlier.

“I said I was the one that talked her into pressing charges against him. He said you need to come over here,” Mr. Brayton said in the statement he signed for state police.

He said he walked over to Markes and was promptly “nailed” in the chest. He pushed me as hard as he could with both hands,” he recalled.

Mr. Brayton said he stepped back and then pushed Markes back before other neighbors intervened and separate the two men. He said Markes then went into his residence before coming outside with the big stick with a sharp instrument at the end.

“He said he was going to slice everybody’s throats and kill everyone in the trailer park, including children,” Mr. Brayton said, noting Markes stood on his porch for a time uttering the same threats over and over again and arguing he had been falsely accused of assaulting Joanne Yerdon.

Markes had been sentenced to probation for three years in July 2011 for a criminal obstruction of breathing conviction in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied a forcible touching count stemming from an incident that occurred Dec. 31, 2010 in the town of Stockholm.

He had been charged with obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and forcible touching about 3:30 p.m. that afternoon. He allegedly pushed a pregnant woman against a refrigerator, grabbed her by the throat with one hand and squeezed her breast with his other in that incident.

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