Sullivan town judge accused of attacking teen

Justice James Roman / photo: Brian Erb

State Police confirm to CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that a local town justice is under investigation for an alleged physical confrontation with a teenager.

Police say they continue to talk with witnesses about the incident and have consulted with the Madison County District Attorney, but have not yet made an arrest.

15-year-old Mike Atkinson told Kenyon that on August 12th, he and his friend Josh Pratt were riding their bicycles near the home of Sullivan Town Justice James Roman on Bolivar Road, north of the village of Chittenango. Atkinson and Pratt claim that Roman sped up to them in his car, got out his car and accused them of stealing cash from a money box at his vegetable stand.

"He was calling me dirty names. He called me a 'dirty son of a bitch, get the (expletive) out of my neighborhood'" said Atkinson.

Atkinson says Roman punched him in the arm as he took his bike away and put it in his car.

Pratt's mother, Sarah Wagoner, says Roman arrived at her home and threw the bike in her yard. "He looked very mad... he just said to get him out of the neighborhood."

Atkinson is accusing the Justice of slashing his bike tire and bending the handlebars. The teen says he wants the Justice arrested and is seeking an order of protection.

Justice Roman told Kenyon he hasn't been charged. "It's a little premature to comment... there's an entire other side to this story" he said.

Roman said he exercised his rights and "declined to give a statement" to State Police. He did however point out that the cash from the money box at his vegetable stand had been taken several times this year.

He also showed Kenyon letters from neighbors complaining about the boys' vulg ar language and behavior in the neighborhood. Click here to download and read some of those letters provided to CNY Central by Roman.