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Three charged in alleged sign-stealing, shots-fired incident in Watson

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WATSON — Three people have been charged in connection with a reported sign-stealing incident Sunday on Erie Canal Road in the town of Watson in which the homeowner allegedly fired two shots.

Lewis County sheriff’s deputies said Robert Nagy, 25, and Desiree Balcom, 19, both of Thendara, stopped in front of the home of Timothy Bates, 51, and were in the process of stealing homemade signs when Mr. Bates fired two shots from a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle in their direction.

Mr. Nagy and Ms. Balcom also had their 8-month-old son in the vehicle at the time, while a subsequent search of the residence, with the assistance of police dog Wyman, turned up about 8 ounces of marijuana and an unregistered .32-caliber pistol, deputies said.

Mr. Bates on Sunday was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree menacing and single counts of criminal possession of a firearm, fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Watson Town Court and released on unspecified bail.

Deputies on Wednesday charged Mr. Nagy and Ms. Balcom with petit larceny, trespassing and endangering the welfare of a child, answerable in Watson Town Court.

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