Inmate Death Town of Romulus

Seneca County Sheriff Tim Luce reports that the Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of an inmate at the jail at the Seneca County Law Enforcement Center in Romulus.  At approx. 8:46 pm last night (Tues March 31 2020) a Corrections Officer while doing his checks found an inmate hanging from a bedsheet unconscious . The inmate was immediately taken down and life saving measures were started.  Sheriff Luce reports that despite vigorous efforts by Corrections Officers ,Sheriff’s  Deputies and South Seneca Ambulance staff the inmate: Loyd Barnes, age 27, of Lodi N.Y. succumbed and was pronounced dead at the scene.  Barnes was transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiners Office where an examination will be performed. Sheriff Luce states that Barnes was locked in a cell by himself at the time and  had just been checked on by Corrections. The investigation is continuing but preliminary findings indicate that this tragic event was self inflicted.  Barnes had been committed to the Seneca County jail for parole violations.

On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office the Sheriff extended his sympathies to the friends and family of Loyd Barnes and promised a thorough investigation into the incident.

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Harassment arrest Domestic Incident Town of Lodi

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports on Tuesday March 31st at about 10:00 PM Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputies Responded to 2156 East Seneca Street in the Village of Lodi for a  Domestic Incident. Upon further investigation,  Sheriff’s Deputies charged  Brian H. James age 38 of 2156 East Seneca Street , Lodi  for the charge of Harassment in the Second Degree. The Charge stemmed from a Domestic Incident that occurred at his residence in which he is alleged to have had physical contact with a  unidentified female.  James  fled the scene prior to Deputies arrival and was later located  shortly  thereafter and   was taken into custody.   James  was taken to the Jail and held until arraignment at CAP court where he was released to appear in Lodi Town Court at a later date.

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Boat sinking Seneca Lake Town of Ovid

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports, on Saturday March 21, 2020 at approximately 0750 hours, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Seneca Lake in the area of Combs Road in the Town of Ovid for a boat taking on water. Upon investigation, the lone boater, Taylor J. Hersh age 26, of 4001 Cross Road Rock Stream was able to swim to shore after his boat quit, took on water and capsized in rough waters. Hersh was treated at the scene by South Seneca Ambulance and was released with no injuries. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Romulus Fire .   Deputies also notified officers from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.    Deputies report the boat was  recovered this week from the shallow water .

Boaters are reminded to always have a PFD and use extreme caution when on the lakes in high winds and rough waters.

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Warrant arrest Town of Ovid

 The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on March 22, 2020 at 3:00 PM deputies arrested Zachary C Rayno, 26, of 1661 Trumansburg Rd Ithaca NY, for a Warrant issued out of the Town of Ovid Court for Failure To Pay Fines stemming from the original Charge of Driving While Intoxicated. Rayno was committed to the Seneca County Correctional Facility to await arraignment.

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Reckless Endangerment Arrest

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports on March 20, 2020 at approximately 3:00pm, Investigators arrested Hunter L Rogers, age 28 of 2170 E Seneca St Ovid, for 5 counts of Reckless Endangerment 1st (Class D Felony).  It is alleged that Rogers inadvertently shot a .22 long rifle through the floor of his upstairs apartment.  It is believed that Rogers was cleaning the rifle at the time of the incident.  The bullet travelled through the ceiling of the downstairs apartment where there were five individuals inside.  No injuries were sustained by anyone involved.  Rogers was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to answer the charge at Seneca County CAP Court on April 6, 2020.

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DWAI / AUO 1st arrest Town of Tyre

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on March 19, 2020 at approx. 3:00 PM, Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Tifini R Mills, 43, of 1212 State Route 318 NY on State Route 414 in the Town of Tyre. Deputies report Mills was charged with Felony AUO in the 1st Degree and Driving While Ability Impaired. The arrest stems from an investigation where it was reported two females were physically fighting alongside the roadway.  Upon Deputies arrival,  they discovered Mills to be impaired by alcohol  , with her drivers license suspended for another DWI charge pending .  Mills was committed to the Seneca County Correctional Facility  ,arraigned  at CAp court and is to appear in Tyre Town Court at a later date to answer the charges .

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Sheriff Tim Luce on COVID-19

Sheriff Luce Announcement to Seneca County Citizens on COVID-19

As this situation unfolds it is important not to give in to rumors, unsubstantiated reports and fake news. The Sheriff is in daily contact with the Health Department and other County Officials to keep up on developments. Seneca County is on top of the situation and public officials are taking all reasonable precautions. A great way for citizens to keep up on the situation is to download the Seneca County Sheriff’s App at https://apps.myocv.com/share/a25713148 The App is constantly updating COVID-19 info. Local news media and the CDC website are also a reliable sources of updated information

Many measures have been taken in all Sheriff’s Office divisions to minimize exposure. For the duration of the COVID-19 situations the public can expect the following from the Sheriff’s Office:

1. There will be no reduction of emergency services and emergency responses to complaints.

2. Officers will be making enhanced use of personal protection gear such as facemasks, gloves, and other barrier protection

3. Non-emergency complaints will be handled by phone when possible.

4. Officers will to meet complainants outside of their homes when possible and appropriate.

5. Jail visitation is suspended. Inmates will be allowed a quantity of free electronic communications with family and loved ones.

6. Non-essential divisions such as Records, Pistol Permits and Civil are temporarily closed. Non-essential personnel have been furloughed and are working from home when possible.

7. The Civil Office will continue to handle emergency matters such as serving Orders of Protections and Custody Orders. Civil work mailed in will be handled. Civil Sgt David Smith is available for messaging at dsmith@co.seneca.ny.us or 315-539-1706

Sheriff Luce stated that fear and panic are the biggest challenges we face. When people are scared they can act irrationally. The Sheriff is urging all citizens to stay calm and use common sense precautions during this situation. It is important to remember that sickness like the cold and flu routinely happen and do not necessarily indicate a COVID-19 infection. Citizens should follow the advice of their medical providers and keep up on reputable news reports of the COVID-19 situation.

Sheriff’s Non-Essential Offices Closed

Seneca County Sheriff Tim Luce reports that the following cautionary measures are being implemented during the COVID-19 situation.

The Sheriff’s Office Records, Civil and Pistol Permit Offices will be closed starting March 18th, 2020 and will tentatively re-open April 6th, 2020.

Inmate visitation at the County jail will continue to be suspended until further notice. During this suspension inmates will be given an opportunity for a quantity of free phone calls and electronic communication with their family and loved ones.

Emergency Civil matters such as Orders of Protection and Custody Orders to be served will still be addressed. Civil Sergeant David Smith can be reached or messaged at 315-539-1706 or dsmith@co.seneca.ny.us

Freedom Of Information Requests will not be processed until after April 6th, 2020.

Sheriff Luce states that there will be no reduction in emergency police services and that the public’s patience in any delay of non-emergency services is appreciated.

Narcotics Arrests

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports, members of the Narcotics Unit arrested Sarah M. Kline, age 34 of Geneva, NY and Shawn P Mahoney, age 39 of Auburn, NY. Kline and Mahoney were both charged with the following after a traffic stop in the Town of Waterloo:

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree- Class B Felony

Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the second degree- Class A Misdemeanor (2cts)

Additionally, Mahoney was charged with Aggravated Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the second degree and Operating without an Interlock Device. Investigators recovered approximately one ounce of “crack” cocaine after the vehicle they were operating was stopped on State Route 5 and 20. Investigators also seized US Currency, digital scales, and packaging material. Kline and Mahoney were both released on appearance tickets and are scheduled to appear at CAP at a later date. Investigators were assisted by K9 “Coski” and members of the Geneva Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.