September 16, 2010

Police Descend on Seneca Street, Arrest Ten

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With lights flashing and sirens blaring, more than 100 police officers arrived at the 300 block of Seneca Street — near the Commons — Thursday morning to round up approximately 30 people wanted for outstanding arrest warrants. The New York State Police, Ithaca Police Department and Tompkins County Sheriff’s office collaborated on the operation, in which 10 people were arrested — five of whom were Ithaca residents.

Though the warrants were for a variety of crimes, police said their primary goal for the crackdown was developing new leads for three major crimes that took place in Ithaca within the past year: the arson of IPD Officer Bryan Bangs’ home and the murders of Vincent Williams and Deborah Rumsey.

Bangs was involved in the fatal shooting of drug suspect Shawn Greenwood in February and was later acquitted of any wrongdoing by a grand jury. After the aquittal, an unknown arsonist set fire to Bangs’ home in early July.

In February, Rumsey was found dead in the Sandy Creek Mobile Home Park in Enfield, approximately 10 miles from Ithaca. Police have not yet found her killer.

The remains of Vincent Williams were found in a local field in July after he was reported missing for several months.

The majority of the individuals arrested were wanted for “petty crimes,” including drug charges, disorderly conduct and trespassing. New York State Police Trooper Nelson Torres told The Ithaca Journal on Thursday that “none of these individuals either directly or indirectly have a correlation to the larger investigations.” However, he noted that investigators may be able to trace leads to the larger cases as the individuals are examined and their backgrounds are thoroughly searched.

Representatives from the Ithaca Police Department and New York State Police were not available to comment to The Sun Thursday evening.

Original Author: Brendan Doyle