Native Business Association - Allegheny
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 1997
At approximately 9:15 pm on Monday, May 12, 1997, Trent Abrams, a SenecaNation Marshal on patrol was stopped at gun point by what appeared to bea 7-man military unit dressed in camouflaged fatigues near the MemorialHeights cemetary on the Seneca Territory about 1 mile west of Salamanca,NY. This unit was armed with M-16 rifles and equipped with 2-wayradios. Mr. Abrams identified himself as a Seneca Nation Marshal andasked these men who they were and what they were doing on the Senecaland. The armed unit refused to identify themselves. Mr. Abrams washeld at gun point, frisked and detained until the individual whoappeared to be in charge radioed for instructions and was ordered tomove his unit "out of the area". Mr. Abrams was then told he was freeto leave. He observed the unit proceeding down the hill to two NYSPolice cars waiting on Route 17.
by Matt Anderson
Jimersontown--A Seneca Nation of Indians Marshal found himself surrounded bytroopers briefly Monday during an investigation into rocks and explosivedevices thrown onto Route 17 Sunday and Monday night.
Irma Cooper, who is the chairwoman of the Native Business Association, saidat about 9:15 p.m. Monday, SNI Marshal Trent Abrams was on patrol nearMemorial Heights Cemetery when the incident occurred.
Cooper said "the unit" of state police was a dressed in camouflage fatiguesand carried two-way radios and M-16 rifles when they stopped Abrams at gunpoint.
"Mr. Abrams identified himself as a Seneca Nation Marshal and asked thesemen who they were and what they were doing on Seneca land," Cooper said."The armed unit refused to identify themselves."
Cooper reported Abrams was frisked and detained until the leader of thegroup radioed for instructions and was told to move his unit "out of thearea," telling Abrams he was free.
"He observed the unit proceeding down the hill to two New York State policecars waiting on Route 17," Cooper said. Cooper was one of seven Senecasdetained during an April 30 melee on Route 17 when burning debris was tossedonto the roadway.
Trooper Charlene Mahoney confirmed the incident and said the unit comprisedmembers of the NYS Mobile Response Team who were investigating the tossing ofrocks and Molotov cocktails near the Breed Run overpass.
"Mr. Abrams was observed by troopers to be in the area of a wooden bunkerwhere criminal activities had occurred with the rock throwing and Molotovcocktails," Mahoney said. "Mr. Abrams was dressed in camouflage and wasapproached...for the purpose of identifying him" Mahoney said troopersearlier in the evening spotted an individual in camouflage pointing a longgun at them, however once officers realized who Abrams was, they let him go.
Marshals were appointed last month by SNI President Michael Schindler topatrol the reservation in and attempt to keep highways safe.
"Things have been fairly quiet lately," Mahoney said.