Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

March 7, 2013

Former bouncer gets a year in jail

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A Lockport man who worked as a bouncer at Finnan’s Sports Bar & Grill will spend a year in Niagara County Jail for beating up a patron.

Charles J. Bootes, 56, East Avenue, was sentenced Wednesday by Niagara County Judge Sara S. Farkas. Bootes pleaded guilty on Jan. 2 to third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor.

On Jan. 8, 2012, Bootes beat the victim by kicking and striking him. The victim, a Lockport man, filed a suit in state Supreme Court against Bootes and Finnan’s on Jan. 7.

Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said the victim suffered a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. The victim also suffered a broken nose and orbital bone as well as suffering traumatic brain damage. The suit said the victim suffered lacerations on the head and face, a torn meniscus in the knee, tendonitis, post-concussion syndrome and lost teeth.

Caldwell said there were three witnesses who saw Bootes assault the victim, kicking and hitting him, then dragging the victim outside.

”He suffered extensive injuries,” Caldwell said.

Dominic Saraceno, Bootes’ attorney, said Bootes hasn’t been in trouble with the law since 1988 and asked for probation. Farkas denied the request.

In another case before Farkas, a former Somerset town justice avoided jail time Wednesday. Jeffrey P. Wick, 38, received three years of probation for endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree criminal contempt, both being class A misdemeanors.

In January, when he pleaded guilty to the charges, Wick told Farkas he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during the summer. Assistant Niagara County District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said Wick has a history of hiding behind his mental health issues and not taking responsibility for his actions.

Reports about Wick were excellent, Farkas said. Patrick Balkin, Wick’s attorney, said his client was making changes, in “tiny steps.” 

But Wick has has told me that before, Farkas responded.

”And that’s the problem,” she said.

Wick told the judge he never expected to be back in court. What could have happened with his son, “It hurts me,” Wick said.

New York State Police reported last June Wick had pressed down on the accelerator as his son was driving on Route 31 in Cambria. A collision was avoided when the 16-year-old put the vehicle’s transmission into park.

Wick was charged with violating an order of protection against his wife and son the following day. A new order of protection for the wife was given Wednesday.

Wick was elected town justice in 2003, remaining in the position until 2005. The following year Wick was no longer serving as justice, as he pleaded guilty to harassment of his wife, received a one-year conditional discharge, then violated the order of protection against her a few days later.