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Massena man jailed on $100K bail for assaulting police officers

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MASSENA - A Massena man charged with threatening police officers with a knife and injuring three officers during a dispute that took place on his porch last month has been jailed on $100,000 cash bail after being charged Tuesday with four counts related to that incident.

Village police charged Terry L. Bercume, 48, of 250 Main St., Apt. 6, with three counts of menacing a police officer, second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, resisting arrest and a single count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the county jail with bail set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for next week. The Massena man had been hospitalized for several days following the incident.

Bercume, who has a history of confrontations with police officers, reportedly pulled a buck knife out of his pocket, opened the blade and threatened Massena Village Police Investigator Jason Olson and patrolmen Chris Flynn and Ian Vanier after they had responded to a mental health – check on the welfare complaint for male that was reportedly distressed and delusional at 11:24 a.m. June 7.

He also reportedly punched Ptl. Vanier during that confrontation sending the village patrolman to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment of concussion like symptoms.

Inv. Olson was treated for lacerations the received to both hands and Ptl. Flynn suffered a laceration to this right hand when they wrestled with Bercume on a small porch as they attempted to take him custody. Court documents indicated officers drew their handguns and a Taser during the confrontation.

Bercume is not allowed to possess weapons in light of a Sept. 9, 1996 conviction for a felony count of third-degree criminal mischief.

Ptl. Flynn, in a statement included in the court documents, said an agitated Bercume met the three officers on the porch when they responded to his residence after a relative had filed a complaint that he wad distressed and delusional.

“Mr. Bercume wanted to know why we were there,” he recalling, noting he told the Massena man they were checking on him because a relative was worried about his well being.

“Mr. Bercume started at Investigator Olson for a few seconds and then stared at Ptl. Vanier. Mr. Bercume then said, ‘You guys don’t have enough officers,’” the village police officer noted.

He said when he asked for clarification Bercume pulled a buck knife out of his right pocket and raised it over his head.

“Mr. Bercume started to open the knife up, and officers told Mr. Bercume to drop the knife a couple of times,” Ptl. Flynn said, noting when that didn’t happen he pulled his Taser and his colleagues drew their weapons.

“... Mr. Bercume started to open the knife up and then he dropped the knife and punched Officer Vanier in the face with his right hand so I Tased Mr. Bercume,” the village patrolman noted.

He said Mr. Bercume continued to struggle with officers after being told he was under arrest and needed to get down on the floor. Ptl. Flynn said Bercume had to be taken to the floor by officers, and he refused to comply with orders to put his hands behind his back so he could be handcuffed.

“Mr. Bercume rolled around on the floor and wrestled with officers for several minutes until we were finally able to handcuff Mr. Bercume,” Ptl. Flynn said in his statement.

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