BATAVIA – Kelly L. Alcorn, a longtime Niagara Falls police officer, pleaded guilty in Genesee County Court in Batavia on Wednesday and admitted she was intoxicated when she assaulted and seriously injured a woman during a concert at Darien Lake in August 2012.
She had been on administrative leave since her arrest, but left the Niagara Falls Police Department of her own accord last month, retiring with her pension after over 20 years of service, according to Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto.
Alcorn, 48, of Grand Island, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless assault third-degree, a misdemeanor, but had faced felony charges of second-degree assault prior to her plea. She will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 and could face a sentence of up to one year in jail.
In August 2012, following a Jason Aldean concert, Alcorn was charged with second-degree harassment, but after the victim came forward and described the brutality of the attack, the Genesee County district attorney upgraded the charge to felony second-degree assault.
The victim, a Farmington woman who asked not to be identified, wrote to The Buffalo News following the assault and said the attack made her overwhelmed by anxiety and afraid to leave the house.
She said she was on her way to a restroom when Alcorn grabbed her by the hair, pulled her arms behind her back, slammed her head into a wall and punched her in the head, neck, arm and back. She said she was rolled up into a ball and Alcorn continued to attack her, punching her and slamming her into the concrete wall.
“It scares me to think that a person who lacks control can carry a gun,” wrote the woman.
After the charges were upgraded, DalPorto said police were conducting their own investigation, but on Wednesday he said the internal investigation was closed when she retired. He noted prior to this that any actions such as the ones that had been alleged in the incident are not acceptable for members of the Niagara Falls Police Department.
Alcorn’s attorney, Norman P. Effman, said in court Alcorn was questioned by Judge Robert C. Noonan and admitted she was intoxicated. She also admitted that she had wrestled the woman to the floor and hit her, recklessly causing her injury, he said.
Effman said of the plea, “There was a long discussion between my client and I of avoiding a felony conviction. She accepted responsibility by acknowledging that she did strike the victim and it was a reckless act that certainly could have caused serious injury.”
Noonan made no sentencing agreements in the plea, but Alcorn could face at the maximum, up to one year in jail, three years of probation, and a $1,000 fine; and at the least could receive a conditional discharge, according to Effman.
He said Alcorn is employed, but no longer in law enforcement.
Despite that, Effman said Alcorn will ask the judge to approve a certificate of relief from disabilities, which would allow her to seek job-related licensing that would allow her to continue a career such as law enforcement, government employment and other licensed fields. He said the probation department would make that recommendation to the judge.
Alcorn, who received the Niagara Falls Police Department’s Combat Cross in 2002, had worked as a jailer before she went on administrative leave.