Jamestown man declared legally incompetent to stand trial
JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown man charged in February after harassing patrons at a Lakewood restaurant has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial on a stalking complaint.
Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley confirmed Thursday that Aaron A. Chase, 24, will spend up to 90 days in a Buffalo psychiatric center.
Foley would not comment whether the stalking charge was related to the Feb. 3 incident in which police said Chase walked into the Applebee’s Restaurant on Fairmount Avenue dressed in makeup as the Joker from the Batman films. Lakewood-Busti police said the Jamestown resident was intoxicated when he began harassing other people at the bar.
Police said Chase also was seen that day at Good Times Saloon in the town of Ellicott, where he was reportedly thrown out.
“We take any call of this nature very seriously, especially in a situation where a person dresses up in this manner and enters a restaurant or business,” Sgt. Paul Gustafson, investigator for Lakewood-Busti Police Department, said at the time.
“With the recent events in the country you have to take these situations seriously.”
Chase was charged with trespassing at Applebee’s, a violation, and taken to WCA Hospital for a mental health evaluation.
A competency hearing was held Wednesday in Busti Court, where two psychiatrists testified that Chase was not mentally competent to stand trial. The judge later confirmed the results in a written statement.
“He will be moved to a secured psychiatric center, with the closest one in Buffalo,” Foley said, noting Chase has been held locally since February.
The district attorney said a stalking charge requires a recurring incident, but would not elaborate on the case. He added criminal proceedings are complete at this time, and said the New York State Office of Mental Health would be notified Thursday of the hearing results.
“The doctors take over now,” Foley said.