Deputies: No shots fired during traffic stop in Stafford

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BATAVIA, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office now says no gunshots were fired during a traffic stop in Stafford.

A deputy responded to Route 33 near Mill and Prole Roads around 6:15 p.m. Sunday, for the report of a car being operated in an erratic manner. The deputy conducting the traffic stop said the driver took off from the car, and he saw the man pull a handgun from his waistband as he ran into a wooded area. The deputy then returned to the vehicle and heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from the area where he lost sight of the suspect.

What were believed to be gunshots continued, but the sheriff’s office later determined it was actually a wildlife scare cannon installed by the property owner. The device is fueled by propane to make sounds to deter birds and other wildlife from damaging crops.

New York State Police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded to help find the driver. He was taken into custody around 11:20 p.m. Sunday. A search of the area was conducted and a handgun was recovered, the sheriff’s office says.

The suspect has been identified as Arthur J. Brown, 44, of Le Roy. He’s charged with criminal possession of a weapon, menacing a police officer, tampering with physical evidence, obstruction of governmental administration, criminal possession of a controlled substance, operation of a motor vehicle impaired by drugs, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and fail to keep right.

Brown was arraigned in the Town of Stafford Court and then taken to the Genesee County Jail on no bail. He’s due back in court on Oct. 5.

The passenger in the car, Breanna A. Smith of Rochester, was found to have an active violation of probation warrant from the state of Florida. She was released after the sheriff’s office learned she would not be extradited. Smith was issued an appearance ticket for a criminal possession of a controlled substance charge.

No one was injured during this incident.