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Brasher Falls man charged with assault after fight

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ASSAULT - BRASHER FALLS —Massena-based state police charged James A. Pearce, 52, of 1700 County Route 53, with third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon on Monday.

Troopers allege that at 6 p.m. Pearce went to a neighboring home at 1660 County Route 53 to visit an ex-girlfriend, Michelle Lee French, and got into a dispute with another man, Richard Liebfred Jr., who lives at the address. He is accused of cutting him in the leg with a utility knife, causing a minor injury. Liebfred, who said he suffered a seven-inch scrape on his leg, did not seek medical attention.

Mr. Liebfred told troopers he went outside his house to check on Ms. French when she was speaking with Pearce. “Jim got right out of his truck and came right at me and chest bumped me. I had mu Chihuahua inside my coat, and I told Jim to leave the residence,” he said, noting Pearce eventually left after “running his mouth” for a period of time.

But he said Pearce returned to the residence a short time later in a truck with no plates and with two dogs in the front seat. He told troopers Pearce got out of his truck and started calling Mr. Liebfred and Ms. French, who were standing on the steps outside the residence, bitches.

“Jim jumped up onto the step and got into my face. I extended my left arm and pushed him back. He stumbled off the step,” Mr. Liebfred said, noting he then saw a silver box cutter in Pearce’s right hand.

He said he again ordered Pearce to leave his property, and the Brasher man again complied after sharing some more thoughts before he left Mr. Liebfred’s yard.

“I was still outside and felt a draft by my left thigh. I reached down and felt my pants were ripped, and I noticed blood on my fingers. ... I had about a seven inch scrape down the left side of my leg,” he noted in the statement he provided to police.

Pearce was arraigned in Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and was sent to St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond.

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