Published: May 14, 2008Â
PORTER: Lawyer says Wilson teen illegally searched and arrested
By Dan Miner
Greater Niagara Newspapers
PORTER â€” The lawyer for 16-year old Colton J. Sherman said Tuesday his client was illegally searched and arrested on May 8 because of Shermanâ€™s involvement in another high-profile case.
â€œThere are problems with both cases,â€ said Kevin P. Shelby, from Williamsville-based law firm Shelby, Bakshi and White. â€œItâ€™s very early in both cases.â€
Sherman is one of three Wilson High School baseball players charged in an alleged assault on a school bus.
Sherman and two other teenagers were arrested April 25 for third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with that assault, which has sparked widespread publicity and community outcry. He was arrested again about two weeks later after police said they found him out at 1:30 a.m. with hydrocodone pills and bags of a white powdery substance in his pocket.
In that incident, Niagara County Sheriffâ€™s deputies stopped Sherman and two other 16-year old boys as they walked through the Ki-Po Chevrolet parking lot on Ransomville Road, according to the report. Deputies patted the boys down for weapons when they found the pills on Sherman, according to reports. He was the only one charged in the incident.
â€œHe was walking with his friends and for no reason was stopped and patted down,â€ said Shelby, speaking in front of Porter Town Hall. Second earlier, Shelby had directed Sherman and his parents out a side door, where they quickly entered their car and drove away, to avoid a television camera.
Later, Shelby added, â€œHe was targeted because of his name and because of the other matter going on right now.â€
He also said the felony sexual abuse count for the school bus incident was a â€œyoung man being overcharged for reasons I donâ€™t yet know.â€
â€œIt may have ruined three boysâ€™ lives,â€ Shelby said.
During Tuesdayâ€™s court appearance, Sherman appeared with his parents and Shelby in front of Judge David Truesdale. He was wearing a red dress shirt and tie, but let his parents and lawyers speak with him during the meeting.
Because Sherman broke his parentsâ€™ curfew when he was out at 1:30 a.m. in the morning, Truesdale set a curfew for him. Heâ€™s due for a June 3 pretrial conference with Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Heather DeCastro.
Sherman, along with Christopher A. Sidote, 16, and Geoffrey A. Seefeldt, 18, is due May 22 in Wilson Town Court to face charges for the hazing incident.
The trio are accused of assaulting at least two junior varsity players during an April 17 bus trip back to Wilson from Niagara Falls. They were arrested after an investigation by state police.
Two coaches who were on the bus, William Atlas, the junior varsity baseball coach, and Thomas J. Baia, the varsity baseball coach, have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Baia and Atlas appeared in Wilson Town Court on Tuesday, pleading not guilty on those charges.