ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.


Rochester City Council to Police Accountability Board: ‘What do you guys do over there?’

During City Council budget hearings Monday night, the council heard from the Police Accountability Board. The exchanges became heated at times, with officials asking the board what exactly they’re doing, citing little progress in one major area: taking complaints from the public. 

Councilman Willie Lightfoot not holding back when it came to questioning the PAB. “What do you guys do over there?” he asked.

Lightfoot says if they’re close to being fully staffed, why are they still not taking any complaints from the public or doing full investigations? 

“…why should the City continue to fund this agency at such a high level?” asked Lightfoot. There was a pause, then Lightfoot said “crickets”.

Their Chief of Investigations, Duwaine Bascoe, spoke up, saying it comes down to a number of things, including staffing, software delays, and clarity on regulations. 

“Now the rules of investigations have been passed by PAB’s board, however, RPD has yet to weigh in,” said Bascoe.

Bascoe says the police won’t even meet with them. Lightfoot asked his question again, wondering where the blame is, “It’s because of the charter, RPD, City Council…?”

Councilman Mitch Gruber said he didn’t want to sound crass– but it seems like the body has many barriers to getting things done. “Everything is external forces?” he asked the board.

The PAB says there are delays, and they remain committed.

Councilman Jose Peo asked out of a $5 million dollar budget, how much have they spent? The numbers were not readily available.

Councilman Miguel Melendez says this all boils down to one thing: “Complaints. Get to complaints.” He says all the other things PAB wants to do, he gets it– but…”If you’re not doing complaints, you’re not doing the will of the people.”

It was determined the PAB will begin taking complaints from the public starting in June. 

The entire budget meeting was over three hours, with the Police Accountability portion running a half hour. This article is a summary of events, click here to watch the exchange with the PAB.

Cousins found guilty in Greece kidnapping, burglary

Two local cousins were found guilty by a jury Monday in connection to a kidnapping incident last year in Greece.

According to officials from the Monroe County District Attorney’s office, Dimitri Cash Sr. and Joenathan Cash were convicted on charges of kidnapping, burglary, and robbery for the abduction of Dimitri’s children in January 2021.

Prosecutors say Dimitri Cash Sr., Joenathan Cash, and another accomplice, Kimara Pluviose, discussed the kidnapping plot in a vehicle rented by Pluviose. They say Pluviose and Joenathon Cash then went to the English Road home, broke in, and kidnapped the 3-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy.

The children were found unharmed on the floor of a car in Alabama 48 hours after they were abducted. Investigators say Pluviose drove them there, because she and Dimitri Cash Sr. lived there sometime before the abduction.

Dimitri Cash Sr., who had been arrested 1 year prior to the kidnapping when he was accused of forcibly removing his children from school without consent or custodial rights of the children, was arrested again days after the January kidnapping.

Dimitri Cash Sr., and Joenathan Cash are also accused of conspiring to murder a Monroe County Family Court Judge last fall.

Amerks in 2-0 hole after second straight loss at Laval

For the first time this postseason, the Amerks are in real trouble.

Mark Jankowski scored in the waning minutes of regulation to spoil Cayden Primeau’s shutout bid, but the Rochester Americans \were unable to erase a three-goal deficit nor generate much offensively as the Laval Rocket took Game 2 of the North Division Finals by a 3-1 win Monday at Place Bell.

The Rocket now lead the best-of-five series 2-0 after taking the first two games in Laval as the series shifts to Rochester for a must-win Game 3.

The Amerks had their backs against the wall and succeeded in a winner-take-all game five against the Utica Comets last round. This times, they’ll have to succeed three times in a row.

“We just need to really not play like them. We need to play like us,” defenceman Brandon Davidson said. “I think there’s minor details all over the ice that need to be cleaned up. Nothing huge. I think we’re right there. We’re a second behind a puck or a second ahead of it. We’re just not in a sweet spot right now.”

Jankowski redirected his fifth goal of the playoffs from Arttu Ruotsalainen and Peyton Krebs late in the third period for Rochester’s only marker. Jankowski has three goals over his last four games and four of his last six while Ruotsalainen, who leads the AHL with 12 points (8+4), has at least one point in eight of his nine games to begin the postseason. Krebs, meanwhile, paces all AHL skaters with 10 assists.

Goaltender Aaron Dell started his ninth straight contest, and despite making 29 saves, was dealt the loss. In six his of his nine appearances during the 2022 Playoffs, Dell has stopped at least 20 shots.

Laval forward Alex Belzile notched a pair of assists while Brandon Gignac, Louie Belpedio and Lucas Condotta all scored for the Rocket, who have now won three straight dating back to their series-clinching win in Syracuse last week.

Primeau, who has allowed two or fewer goals in five of his first six playoff appearances, delivered another stellar performance between the pipes, stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced for the second straight contest.

“We created plenty in the second and third. We didn’t finish enough,” head coach Seth Appert said. “We need to get more traffic on Primeau because he’s in a rhythm right now.”

“Like our goal that we got tonight, we had a net-front presence. I think that’s how you get to a goalie in a groove there,” Jankowski said. “You make it uncomfortable for him. You stand on top of the crease. You make sure he can’t get out. Make sure he can’t see pucks and just pepper him as much as you can and get second and third whacks at it.”

With the puck deep inside the Amerks zone just over five minutes into the game, Laval cycled it around the ice to the right corner of Dell. Gignac scooped up the puck and circled behind the cage. As he reached the corner, he fired it through the goal-mouth before it caromed to the right point for Tory Dello. Dell made the initial save on the blueliner’s attempt, but Gignac buried the rebound to give Laval the early 1-0 lead that they would take into the intermission.

Laval doubled its lead 4:55 into the second period. The Rocket intercepted an Amerk pass inside their zone before racing into the offensive end of the ice on a 4-on-2, odd-man rush. As Belzile carried the puck across the blueline, he left it for Cédric Paquette, who in turn dropped it to Belpedio as he joined the rush. The Laval defenseman took two more strides before whistling a shot past Dell for his first of the series and second of the playoffs.

While Laval took a 2-0 advantage into the final period, it was Primeau who continued to keep the Amerks silent as he stopped all 14 shots he faced during the middle frame. The netminder turned aside a pair of grade-A chances on Ruotsalainenand Lukas Rousek in the final minute in addition to Jankowski moments before.

In the third period, the Amerks continued to press to solve Primeau but the Rocket forced a turnover inside the Rochester zone near the midway point. Peter Abbandonato gathered the puck in the corner before spotting Condotta alone in-between the dots.

The goal from Condotta was his first of the playoffs and was the final marker for Laval, but Rochester refused to go away without spoiling Primeau’s bid for a shutout.

As the contest was nearing its completion, Dell was pulled for an extra skater despite the Amerks facing a three-goal deficit.

Rochester used the extra skater to its advantage as Jankowski redirected Ruotsalainen’s shot from the right face-off circle as there were just over two minutes left in regulation.

Krebs, who earned the secondary assist on Jankowski’s fifth goal of the postseason, sent the AHL’s leading scorer in the playoffs with a pass through the zone for Ruotsalainen to snap towards the front of the net.

The Amerks generated a few more chances during the final 2:34, but much like most of the contest, were unable to beat Primeau as he and the Rocket held on for a 3-1 win and 2-0 series lead.

The Amerk look to stave off elimination as the best-of-five series shifts back to Rochester for Game 3 on Wednesday, May 25 at The Blue Cross Arena. Puck drop is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.

‘We lost everything:’ Rochester couple living on porch after house fire

A Rochester couple is living on their back porch after their home went up in flames earlier this month.  

“We lost everything,” Buss told us. 

Matthew Buss was in the process of officially inheriting this home off Irene Street in the Charlotte community after his mother passed away in January. But in a matter of hours, everything he owned was reduced to ashes. Leaving him and his girlfriend Heather Turner sleeping on what’s left of the back porch.  

“We have an air mattress and blankets but the air mattress popped,” Buss said. “The back porch is enclosed and goes from the kitchen to the garage, but the rest of the house is not livable.” 

“Some nights it’s freezing or raining because the ceiling has holes in it now,” Turner added. “With worms dropping to the floor. They look like maggots.”  

Over the past few weeks, Matthew and Heather have worked day and night to salvage what’s left in the home without electricity, running water, or any way to cook food. Realizing the fire killed two of their three pets while destroying all but two bags worth of their clothes.  

“I got some clothes although a lot of them are water damaged and smoke damaged,” Buss said. “So, we had to throw a lot of stuff away.”  

“I lost stuff that was irreplaceable like my son’s ashes,” Turner cried. “My son died last year I lost things that I’ll never ever be able to get back again. That was all I had of my son who was 19-years-old and now I got nothing.” 

Help from insurance has not come through yet because the house isn’t in Matt’s name, since his mom died recently. With the future uncertain he is hoping for the kindness of strangers.

1 injured following separate overnight shootings in Rochester

A 22-year-old city resident was hospitalized as a result of separate shooting incidents in Rochester late Monday night.

According to authorities, officers were led to Rochester General Hospital around 10 p.m. for the report of a walk-in gunshot victim. There they learned the victim was taken to the hospital in a private car after having been shot at least once in the hand. His injuries were non-life threatening.

Investigators believe the incident occurred in the 600 block of Hudson Avenue. Officials are actively working to determine what led to the shooting, as there are no suspects.

Approximately 20 minutes later, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation on the 200 block of Glenwood Avenue around 10:20 p.m. Once at the location, they found evidence of gunshots.

An occupied home, with a sole occupant, was struck several times by bullets. Officials say the resident, a man in his 20s, was not injured or struck during the incident.

No suspects are in custody at this time. An investigation is currently underway.

Weather forecast: A chilly Tuesday morning ahead of a sunny afternoon

Highs Tuesday inch close to 70 degrees under a mix of clouds and sunshine. Well do the same Wednesday with several bonus degrees kicking us up into the middle 70s.