LOCKPORT – Former Somerset Town Justice Jeffery P. Wick was arraigned Thursday in Niagara County Court on an indictment charging him with endangering his son’s safety in a traffic incident.
Wick, 38, now of Shenk Road, Sanborn, pleaded not guilty to first-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree criminal contempt.
State Police Investigator Thomas E. Gibbons said Wick was arrested in the wake of a June 12 incident on Route 31 in Cambria.
Gibbons said Wick’s 16-year-old son was driving when Wick allegedly reached over with his foot from the passenger seat and placed it on his son’s right foot, pressing down on the accelerator.
Gibbons said the teenager prevented a possible crash by putting the transmission into “park.”
The next day, sheriff’s deputies charged Wick with violating a court order of protection against his wife and son.
Defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said Wick was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the day of the incident.
Wick has been held without bail in the County Jail for almost four months. Faso asked County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to make it possible for him to get out.
Faso said Wick isn’t receiving all his psychiatric medications in jail, and he asked for a low bail so Wick could get back on his meds.
Farkas replied that her file showed that Wick wasn’t taking medications before the incident and that he told jail staff he didn’t have to take them.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre told Farkas that Wick had been released from a hospital the day of the incident. Farkas replied that meant he should have been fully medicated. She set bail at $200,000.
Wick was elected town justice in Somerset in 2003, defeating 48-year veteran justice Beryl T. Coleman Sr. But by 2006, Wick was off the bench.
In April 2006, Wick, a father of four who was arrested in December 2005 on a charge of threatening to kill his wife, pleaded guilty to harassing his wife.
He was given a conditional discharge by Farkas, with one of the conditions being that he maintain his dosage of psychiatric medications. The day of his sentencing, he checked into a hospital.