Fredonia Police announce FredFest arrest statistics

The Fredonia Police Department released final statistics related to arrests and incidents during this year’s FredFest weekend.

According to a report, 74 charges were handed out to adults by the police department between May 1 (Thursday) and May 4 (Sunday), while Fredonia officers were called out to 240 incidents during that time. Most of the arrests stem from unlawful possession of alcohol for persons under 21 years of age (21 counts) and possession of an open container of alcohol (22 counts).

“Those numbers are about average; around 40 individuals were arrested, so many of them had two or more charges,” Police Chief Bradley Meyers said. “Overall, it was a good year. Most people cooperated with police, dumping out alcohol when asked, for example. We did have some vandalism, but nothing like previous years; any amount of vandalism is, of course, bad, however.”

Meyers reiterated a point he previously told the OBSERVER: Nearly all arrests were for out-of-towners, not students or alumni, who simply showed up because they knew it was FredFest weekend.

One major incident during FredFest occurred May 3, when Tyler Veno, 19, of Portville allegedly stole another person’s vehicle and attempted to drive away, but crashed into a tree on Chestnut Street right after leaving a Fredonia bar. Veno was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI with a blood alcohol content of .18 percent or greater, failure to keep right and failure to use designated lane.

Chestnut Street resident Lisa VerHague, at Monday’s Fredonia Village Board meeting, reported her credit card bill and check had been soaked during FredFest because beer was poured into a USPS mailbox.

“As I’ve lived here, every year, it gets a little worse, a little worse, and yes there’s garbage, glass, even feces and urine,” she told the board. “It’s really sad that some people I talk to don’t even leave their houses that weekend. Now, the kids are already drunk by 11 a.m. I can’t take it anymore. I shouldn’t have the thought that someone may do something stupid to my mail when I mail something.”

Meyers said a number of arrests were also seen on the SUNY Fredonia campus. Fredonia Village Justice David Prince told the OBSERVER his records indicate there were 108 cases resulting from FredFest weekend, both within the village and on the college campus.

SUNY Fredonia’s public relations director, Michael Barone, previously reported most of the incidents on campus were “minor,” like open containers and unlawful possession of alcohol, with a few marijuana citations, as well.

In addition to the above charges, Fredonia Police issued tickets for the following: One count of second-degree aggravated harassment; two counts of petit larceny; one count of criminal mischief with intent to damage property; two counts of unlawful possession of marijuana; one count of disorderly conduct; and two counts of disorderly conduct from violent behavior.

The arrests continue with: One count of disorderly conduct from obscene language; one count of resisting arrest; four counts of second-degree harassment from physical contact; one count of second-degree harassment from following a person; four noise ordinance violations; one sewer ordinance violation; and seven counts of littering.

The following were significant numbers in the total incidents by type: Nine criminal mischief complaints, 13 disorderly persons, nine fights, seven larcenies, 16 noise complaints, 11 suspicious situations, 43 suspicious persons, 10 traffic problems/hazards, 12 miscellaneous vehicle complaints, 10 parking complaints, 13 vehicle and traffic stops and one report of injury to personnel.

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