AUBURN — An Auburn man admitted punching a police officer during a brawl outside a bar.
Steven Felder, of 6 Brookfield Place, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree attempted assault, a class E felony.
The 22-year-old was arrested in February after officers responded to a complaint at Auburn Ale House on Genesee Street. At the time, the Auburn Police Department said a bar patron called police at around 2 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 to complain about Felder. The nature of the complaint was unclear.
Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said that when police arrived they found a "mini riot" outside the Genesee Street bar and, as officers took control of the scene, Felder's wife was placed under arrest.
"There was a group of people surrounding them yelling, 'Let her go,'" Budelmann said.
At that point, Felder claimed that an officer had hit his wife, so he jumped in to defend her.
"I was protecting my wife from a police officer," Felder said Tuesday in court. "He punched my wife ... and I lashed out."
In response, Budelmann said there was no proof that an officer ever hit Felder's wife. Felder's defense attorney, Sam Tamburo, said that regardless of what had transpired Felder never should have attacked the officer.
"He came to his wife's aid, but got out of control," Tamburo said, noting that Felder shoved the officer and punched him in the face, breaking the officer's glasses. "The officer really cut Mr. Felder some slack here. He didn't want to see (Felder) in jail."
Felder's wife ultimately pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, and Tuesday morning, Felder admitted to the attempted assault. Felder was initially charged with second-degree harassment, a violation, but police later upgraded the charge to a felony as the officer endured pain and swelling in his face.
In exchange for Felder's plea of guilty, Judge Mark Fandrich agreed to sentence him to five years probation and 35 hours of community service. However, if Felder gets into any further trouble, he could face up to 1 1/3 to four years in prison.
Felder was released from Cayuga County Jail soon after his arrest and remained out on $100 cash bail. His sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 12.
Also in court:
• A Cayuga man was sentenced to jail Tuesday for secretly recording a woman in her bedroom.
Nicholas Townsend, 25, of 7711 Route 90, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful surveillance in May. During his plea, Townsend said he hid his cellphone in a woman's bedroom closet in Aurelius and recorded her without her consent.
However, at Townsend's sentencing Tuesday, Judge Fandrich said he was "disturbed" by statements Townsend made to the probation department.
"Basically you were avoiding responsibility in your comments to probation," Fandrich said. "It certainly appears to me you are a troubled young man."
"I'm not sure what's more troubling — that he did this crime or that he is denying responsibility," the district attorney added. "At the end of the day, it's not me or his attorney or the victim (at fault) — it's the person he sees in the mirror."
Townsend apologized to the court, crying and saying he "got worked up" when speaking with a probation officer about his case.
In the end, Fandrich sentenced Townsend to six months in jail and five years probation. In addition, Townsend will have to register as a sex offender.
• An Auburn man has admitted to selling heroin in Cayuga County.
Alexander Temple, of 35 Quill Ave., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. In court, he told Fandrich he sold heroin to someone at Oak Creek Townhomes in August 2016.
The 26-year-old could face up to nine years in prison for the crime. However, Fandrich agreed to sentence Temple to six months in jail and five years probation. As a condition of his probation, Temple will have to successfully complete drug treatment court and pay $140 in restitution.
Temple has been in jail for roughly two months. He was remanded to jail Tuesday in lieu of $7,500 cash or $15,000 bond pending his sentencing Sept. 12.
• An Auburn man pleaded guilty to a felony Tuesday for violating an order of protection against his mother.
Matthew Bell Jr., of 11 Barber St., admitted to first-degree criminal contempt for smashing a window at his mother's home in May.
Bell was previously convicted of second-degree criminal contempt in 2015 and a full stay away order of protection was issued in favor of his mother. In court Tuesday, Bell said he violated that order this spring when he got in an argument with his mother at her home in Auburn.
Fandrich agreed to sentence Bell to a term of shock probation. However, if Bell is unsuccessful with probation or felony drug treatment court, he could face one to three years in prison.
Bell's sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 12.