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Stockholm man asks for town board’s assistance in dealing with nuisance neighbor


WINTHROP - A Winthrop-area man is seeking assistance from the Stockholm Town Board in addressing quality of life issues on the Wells Road. Fred Cockayne told town board members Tuesday evening that a resident on Wells Road has engaged in behaviors that are creating issues for his neighbors.

“As you know, across the road from me we’ve had this homeless Level 2 sex offender living in a camper trailer for over a year now. Is anything going to be done about him?” Mr. Cockayne asked.

“I’ve talked with (Code Enforcement Officer Robert Griffith), and he’s been up there. He’s been in touch with (the Department of Public Health,)” Town Supervisor Clark S. Decker said. “As I understand it from what Bob was telling me, there’s nothing that he can do at this point in regard to getting him out of there. His thought was that perhaps with public health there’d be an opportunity to do something and so far I don’t think (Public Health Sanitarian Myrna Barney) has come back with anything.”

Mr. Cockayne told board members that the man hitchhikes to Potsdam every day and returns with two plastic bags with groceries, two water bottles and a full tank of gasoline. “He never brings anything out. What’s he doing with it?” he asked.

“This guy thinks it’s a big joke to bring large chunks of ice and snow and place them across the end of the road on the Wells Road. We have to get out of our vehicles and move them to get on Route 11. He’s a nut,” he charged.

Mr. Cockayne added that he has spoken with Sheriff Kevin M. Wells and lodged a complaint but has yet to hear back on the matter.

“Now that the snow is melting he’s using little tin cans, empty Pepsi cans, etc. He’s unstable. He walks down the road and he talks to the trees. He’s a nut,” he said. “The police never got back to me. They were supposed to call me. They were supposed to come up and talk to me but so far nobody’s done anything.

“Bob told me initially the first requirement was he had to have a septic system, which he does not. So that’s not legal to begin with,” Mr. Cockayne said.

The Wells Road resident said that as more time passes the more worried he has been getting.

“He’s a danger. If somebody’s coming off Route 11 and that obstacle is in the middle of the road then you can’t exit the highway. There’s a lot of traffic there. If somebody gets hurt, if one of my family (members) gets hurt, there’s going to be hell to pay, and he’ll be the first one to hear it,” Mr. Cockayne said.

“I saw him place the stuff in the road one morning. I watched him walk down with a flashlight to get to Route 11 and place these ice chunks and snow at the end of the road. ... He’s just being a nuisance is all he’s doing. He figures there’s nothing we can do to him. ... He likes to run naked around the camper in the summertime when the weather is nice,” he added, noting his neighbor is listed on the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department website as a Level II sex offender, a classification for those viewed as a moderate risk to commit another sex crime.

Mr. Decker told Mr. Cockayne that he would be in contact with Mr. Griffith and the Department of Public Health to discuss the issue.

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