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Seneca County Sheriff On Bail Reform


An open letter to the residents of Seneca County from

As your Sheriff, I feel that it is my duty to keep the public informed of issues surrounding public safety and speak out against injustices. I also took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the State of New York and the United States of America. It is my Constitutional duty to preserve the peace and provide protection to the residents and visitors of Seneca County. This duty would not be possible without the hard work of the brave men and women employed by the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office that protect and serve our community each and every day.

On Saturday, March 9, 2024, in the afternoon hours, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office investigated a robbery at a business in the Town of Tyre where a male approached a female taking money out of an ATM machine. The male grabbed the female from behind and forcibly stole $200 in cash from her.

On Sunday, March 10, 2024, in the afternoon hours, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office investigated an attempted robbery at a different business in the Town of Tyre where a male approached another male outside of the business from behind. The male suspect threatened the male victim verbally by saying, “Give me all your money or I am going to slit your throat” and then put the victim in a chokehold. The male victim was able to escape from the male suspect.

A short time later, another business in the Town of Tyre was reportedly robbed by a male who threatened the use of a firearm to the latest victim. The male suspect then fled the scene with case.

The ensuring investigation into all three incidents led to the arrest of Ron E. Poore, age 40, of Gardiner, Maine. Prior to the arrest, it is alleged that Mr. Poore was also operating a stolen vehicle and attempted to flee law enforcement by scaling a wall at yet another business in the Town of Tyre. Ultimately, Mr. Poore was taken into custody without incident.

As a result of the investigation and consultation with the Seneca County District Attorney, Mr. Poore was charged with the following:

  • Robbery in the Third Degree, Class D felony (two counts),
  • Attempted Robbery in the Third Degree, Class E felony,
  • Petit Larceny, Class A Misdemeanor (two counts).

Sheriff’s investigators lodged the charges against Mr. Poore, and he was held overnight in the Seneca County Correctional Facility for arraignment on all charges in the Seneca County Centralized Arraignment Court on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 8 a.m. before Hon. Steve M. Kelley. Representatives from the Seneca County District Attorney’s Office and Seneca County Public Defender’s Office were both present at the arraignment. Due to all charges in this matter being non-qualifying offenses and not eligible for bail, Mr. Poore was released on his own recognizance at the arraignment.

In this particular case, I believe that it is hard to comprehend that the allegations against Mr. Poore are not worthy of segregating him from the public in the interest of safety. We are very lucky that nobody was hurt as a result of these incidents. During the course of this investigation, it was also learned that Mr. Poore was alleged to have been involved in multiple recent robberies in Monroe County and had pending charges against him.

These three incidents caused the victimization of three individuals that were merely minding their own business and carrying on with their lives. It is alleged that Mr. Poore invited himself into these victims’ lives and threatened the lives of two of these individuals and physically grabbed the third victim from behind causing significant fear. These are true victims that now have to live with three incidents for the rest of their lives.

This issue surrounding the subsequent release of Mr. Poore is very concerning to me. I am fully aware that the bail reform issue has been debated heavily and there are many strong opinions that accompany it. However, I believe this particular case bolsters the argument for the public safety discretion for arraignment purposes.

I hope we can learn from this case and the many like it across New York State. I hope that our goals are united and that we are all working towards a constant improvement to our criminal justice system, but also keeping a balance that we must keep our citizens safe.

I would like to publicly thank the members of our agency and the many other agencies that assisted us during these incidents. There was a significant public safety risk while the subject was at large and potentially armed. The quick actions of law enforcement are to be commended and their quick apprehension of a dangerous individual is to be applauded.

As Seneca County sheriff, I feel an obligation to bring this to your attention in hopes that we can shed light on the lack of public safety discretion for our judges. It is my hope that Mr. Poore does not hurt anyone else and attends his upcoming court appearances as required.

Timothy J. Thompson, Seneca County Sheriff

The letter originally was published in the Weekend Edition of the Finger Lakes Times.

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