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Sun., Aug. 30
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena Police charge two teens with assault following incident on Richards Street


ASSAULT - MASSENA - Village police charged Richard Schwartfigure, 19, of 20 Parker Ave., Massena, and John F. Hart, 18, of 259 Center St., Massena, with third-degree assault early Sunday evening following an incident that reportedly took place shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday on Richards Street.

The two men are charged with punching John Swinyer, 31, of 151 Hopson Road, Brasher, during an altercation that took place near the footbridge off Richards Street. The various witnesses interviewed by police provided differing accounts of the incident, but they all agreed it started with an alleged marijuana transaction.

Mr. Swinyer, his girlfriend and a female friend told police they traveled to Massena from Norfolk to purchase $50 worth of marijuana from Schwartfigure. They said Schwartfigure grabbed $50 from Mr. Swinyer’s girlfriend’s hands but did not hand over any marijuana and when Mr. Swinyer attempted to intervene he was punched several times and knocked to the ground.

Mr. Swinyer told police he had been reaching for a tire iron when he was punched in the left side of the face. One of the witnesses, Mr. Swinyer’s friend, claimed Hart had struck Mr. Swinyer with the tire iron. Mr. Swinyer said he was knocked to the ground and punched several more times in the face.

The Brasher-area man was taken to Massena Memorial Hospital with complaints of head and neck pain, treated and released.

Schwartfigure was arraigned by Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustsafson and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $1,000 cash. Hart was released on an appearance ticket.

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