Disruption of Religious Service/ Trespass

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on December 24, 2023 at approximately 6:51 PM Seneca County Sherrif’s Deputies apprehended four individuals. Christopher A. Avila DOB:02/08/1992 79 Lored Rd Farmington NY, Jeremy S. Mathias 15466 Little Dry River Rd Fulks Run VA, Daniel J. Watson 21 Prtlnd Ct 73 Apt4 Rochester NY, Nathan J. Jackson 282 Zuber Rd Rochester NY. The arrests stem from a report of a trespass at a local church on Ernsberger Rd in the Town of Varick at approximately 5:58PM, where the four individuals entered the church during Christmas eve service, and disrupted the service, by making negative comments about Christianity. After investigation, the four individuals were taken into custody without incident. All suspects were brought to the Seneca County Law Enforcement Center. All four suspects were charged with Disruption of Religious Service, Conspiracy in the 6th degree and Trespass. The Sheriff’s Department was assisted by New York State Police and Waterloo Police Department. All four suspects were released on an appearance ticket to appear at Varick Town Court at a later date.

Criminal Contempt 2nd

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on 12/26/2023, Deputies arrested 37-year-old, Rebecca L. Merryfield, of Medina, NY on the charges of Criminal Contempt in the second degree. The arrest stems from an incident in the Town of Waterloo in which Merryfield violated a Class A Order of Protection by being in the presence and residence of the protected party. Merryfield was arraigned for the charges at Seneca County’s CAP Court and is expected to appear at a later date to answer to the charges.

Endangering the Welfare

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on 12/19/2023 at about 21:27 hours deputies arrested Brian D. Jones D.O.B. 05/26/1987 of 612 Packwood Rd Waterloo, NY 13165. Jones was charged with Harassment 2nd, Disorderly Conduct, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Resisting Arrest. The arrest stems from a child custody exchange, where deputies were present. During the exchange, it is alleged that Jones, threw a backpack at the victim and began arguing with the victim while a child was present. Jones was advised to leave and refused to. He then began swearing in a public area. Jones actively resisted deputies when he was taken into custody. Jones was turned over to the Corrections Division to await CAP court arraignment on 12/20/2023 at 08:00 hours to answer to the charges.

Animal Cruelty

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports on 12/19/2023 at approximately 11:46 A.M. Deputies arrested Cori R Spears, age 44, of Ovid NY for 4 counts of Abandonment of Animals and 4 counts of Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance. The incident stems from a citizen’s complaint to the Ovid Dog Control Officer. During the investigation 4 dogs were found to be in poor health and were currently owned by Spears. Spears was issued appearance tickets and is to appear to the Town of Ovid Court on January 16th, 2024 at 10:00 A.M. to answer for the charges. The dogs were removed from the residence and were taken to Beverley’s Animal Shelter for proper care.

Structure Fire

On December 19th, 2023, at approximately 0906HRS, The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office responded to 8463 Brokaw Road in the Town of Lodi, Lot number 2, for the reported structure fire. The complaint stemmed from a passerby who observed smoke flowing from the eaves of the residence. Upon Law Enforcement and Fire Departments arrival, it was quickly determined that there was a working fire inside of the residence. Fire departments on scene began working diligently to put out the fire. Lodi FD had command of the scene while multiple law enforcement agencies responded to assist with traffic and the investigation.
It was determined early on that there were possibly 3 dogs inside of the residence, as reported by one of the homeowners who later responded. They were not able to be saved due to the extreme heat and smoke caused by the fire. After approximately 30 minutes, Fire Crews were able to knock down the fire.
The Seneca County Fire Investigation Team was dispatched to the scene. Through their investigation, it was determined that the possible cause of the fire was a faulty electric space heater located inside of the trailer. It was discovered that the residents also did not have any type of insurance on the property. County Codes condemned the property after the investigation, due to the heavy damage sustained. The total loss is estimated to be about $50,000.
Homeowners Aimee Palmer and Thomas Palmer were not home at the time of the fire. The Red Cross was called on to assist the Palmers through this tragedy. The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by the New York State Police, and the Interlaken Police Department.
Lodi Fire was assisted by Romulus, Ovid, Interlaken, Trumansburg, Burdette, and Mecklenburg Fire Departments. South Seneca Ambulance was also on scene during this incident.

Bench Warrant

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on December 18th, 2023, Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Farah D Flynn Age 37, of 4725 Log City Road Dundee, NY in the Town Of Romulus at 5:31pm. Flynn had a Bench warrant for failure to appear on the original charge of Driving while ability impaired by drugs. This was the 5th warrant issued for the same charge. Flynn was brought to CAP Court to await arraignment.


The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of 57 year old Kurt Minges of of Ovid for DWI and DWI with a BAC of .08 or greater both class A Misdemeanors. Deputies report that the arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred on Friday night December 15th at around 11:00 PM when the 911 center received a call for the report of a dispute at a residence in the Town of Ovid. Dispatchers advised responding Deputies that the caller had an open cell phone line in a motor vehicle in transit allowing dispatchers to update the responding Deputies the location of the caller. Deputies located the vehicle in question and performed a traffic stop to ensure the safety of the caller. During the investigation Deputies found that Kurt had been consuming alcoholic beverages and then operated a motor vehicle, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were conducted and Kurt was taken into custody for Driving While Intoxicated. Kurt was transported to the LEC where he was processed and released with appearance tickets and is to answer to the charges on a later date at the Town of Ovid Court.


The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on December 8, 2023 at 6:00 PM, Deputies were sent to a theft in the Town of Junius. Upon arrival and after some investigating Suspect Austin M Molina-Alonzo, age 27, Homeless, was taken into custody. It was reported that Molina-Alonzo was walking around a business with merchandise in his arms. Once the employees turned their back, Molina-Alonzo ran out the door without paying. Molina-Alonzo fled the area in a vehicle but with the employee’s accurate description of Molina-Alonzo, Deputies were able to identify the vehicle he was driving. Deputies then made a traffic stop and Molina-Alonzo was taken into custody without incident. During the subsequent traffic stop Molina-Alonzo was found to be in close proximity to drugs. Further more, while at the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Deputies located another victim’s Driver’s License and Social Security inside Molina-Alonzo wallet. The Victim was contacted and wished to press additional Charges. Molina-Alonzo was charged with Petit Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree. Molina-Alonzo was held in Seneca County Correctional Facility due to his Criminal History.


The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports on 12/05/23 at around 2120 deputies responded for a reported shed fire at 598 Yale Farm Rd in the Town of Varick. On Deputies arrival the shed was fully engulfed. Through a subsequent investigation the cause of the fire was determined to be from a faulty laser etching device that was being utilized within the shed. The owner, Matthew E Jones, age 37, was treated on scene by North Seneca Ambulance for smoke inhalation and burns and was eventually transported to the hospital via personal vehicle. No other injuries were reported. Varick Fire Department was assisted on scene by the Romulus Fire Department, Border City Fire Department, Ovid Fire Department, Waterloo Fire Department, North Seneca Ambulance and the Seneca County Fire Coordinator’s Office.


On 12/04/2023 the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports the Arrest of 70 year old Harold R. Matasar a resident of Syracuse NY for the Charges of DWI, DWAI by Drugs and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance In the 7th degree all Class A Misdemeanors. The Arrest stems from an incident that occurred in the Town of Varick on State Route 414 when 911 was called for the report of a male that had fallen out of his vehicle and ran himself over in the middle of the roadway. Deputies responded to the scene only to find that the male had left the scene, Deputies checked the area and located the vehicle traveling south in the Town of Romulus and initiated a traffic stop. During the Investigation Deputies found that 70 year old Harold Matasar had an open bottle of alcohol within the vehicle and appeared to be impaired by prescription medications after Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were administered. Matasar was taken into custody after being checked over by South Seneca Ambulance. After refusing medical treatment he was taken to the jail later on for processing. Matasar was released on Appearance tickets and is to appear to the Town of Romulus Court on a later date.