Pleasant Night Inn resident gets public lewdness charge, arrested twice Sunday morning
More concerns with the living arrangement arise in West Carthage as residents and officials push for a policy change
WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - The Pleasant Night Inn in West Carthage has been used to house individuals by both the Department of Social Services and the Department of Corrections. It’s a concern for West Carthage residents due to the fact the motel sits less than 1000 feet away from a park and playground.
“The park is utilized all summer long. Right now, I’m receiving numerous messages that parents are scared to bring their kids here,” said West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto.
It’s a fear that became a reality Saturday afternoon.
Elvin Nieves, a resident of the Pleasant Night Inn, was seen by a handful of park goers pleasuring himself in view of two adolescent children using the playground, something that Nieves has apparently made a habit of.
“This gentleman has been arrested twice previously in the City of Watertown for the same exact public lewdness charge,” said Burto.
Nieves was processed and issued a public lewdness ticket for exposing his private area and touching himself. After he was released, Nieves immediately went to mayor Scott Burto’s house and harassed the mayor and his wife.
Nieves was arrested a second time and charged with Harassment in the 2nd Degree.
Burto says he and his wife are both fine, but he remains frustrated by the situation and says changes need to happen immediately. They are frustrations that are echoed by those at the county level.
“It’s a high risk situation. It is clear by now, and it should have been clear sooner. It’s a high risk environment to place somebody, and we should take extra time when we’re looking at an individual, and are going to place them in West Carthage,” said District 13 Legislator Scott Gray.
Gray says it’s a system failure from the state and local level, and that it’s not acceptable.
We spoke to Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush earlier this week. He said that he agrees with Burto and other Carthage officials, but any policy change at the state level could be anywhere from 12 to 18 months away. A timeframe that Town of Champion Councilman Matt Gump believes is too long to wait.
“I would like the county legislators, who the Department of Social Services answers to, to call an emergency meeting and pass a policy that says DSS can not put sex offenders in the Pleasant Night Inn,” said Gump.
We spoke with county officials Sunday who can confirm that they are working with the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Corrections, and that the person in question is being relocated out of the Pleasant Night Inn to another location.
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