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Massena man jailed for violating release conditions

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BENCH WARRANT - MASSENA - A Massena man’s failure to appear in court on a disorderly conduct violation ended up costing him his freedom.

Village police picked up David A. Lawrence II, 23, of 227 Main St., Massena, on the bench warrant at 11:50 p.m. Saturday on Parker Avenue. Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson had signed the warrant on Jan. 15 after Lawrence failed to appear in court as directed on the disorderly conduct charge.

He was arraigned on the bench warrant and released on his own recognizance.

But when the court was reviewing Lawrence’s files pending in Massena court at the arraignment on the bench warrant it was determined the probation department had filed a uniform court report on Dec. 11 indicating Lawrence had been arrested on a petit larceny charge since being released under the supervision of the probation department on a third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon count. A second court report issued Jan. 28 noted Lawrence had failed to report as directed to the probation department during the weeks of Dec. 14 and 28 and Jan. 11 and Jan. 25. That report also noted Lawrence had been discharged from the St. Lawrence County Chemical Dependency program for missing too many appointments.

Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall vacated Lawrence’s release under the supervision of the probation department on the assault charge and sent him to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond.

Village police had charged Lawrence with second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon at 3:44 a.m. Sept. 23 on Willow Street. The St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office later filed a motion to have the charges reduced to a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and returned to local court.

Lawrence allegedly stabbed Eugene E. Lamb, 45, of 303A Gates St., Palmer, Mass., on Willow Street. Mr. Lamb was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital by Massena Rescue for treatment of his injuries and was released.

The two men had reportedly been involved in a brief altercation earlier in the evening at The Rusty Wheel.

Mr. Lamb said he was sitting on the steps outside the bar about an hour later waiting for a ride. “I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I saw a guy standing in the lawn across the road from where I was sitting,” he said, noting he yelled over at the man and asked if he could call for a cab for him.

He said the man, later identified as Lawrence, replied he remembered him from the incident inside the bar and quickly walked across the street toward him.

“He had a screwdriver in his left hand and a knife in his right hand. He was swearing and yelling at me. He started trying to stab me. He swung and swung over again. I was running backwards down Willow Street towards (the) Parker Avenue Bridge,” he said, noting he called 911 to report the incident as it was occurring.

“I kept telling him to stop and that I was calling the police. When he was swinging, I dropped the phone. He stabbed me several times in the left arm and once in the back,” Mr. Lamb added in his statement to police.

The Massachusetts man said Lawrence had been standing behind the man he had briefly argued with inside the bar. He told police he feared for his life during the attack. “The guy continued to say, ‘I’m going to ... you up. He was relentless. I ... thought he was trying to kill me,” Mr. Lamb said.

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