After drinking at a campus residence hall, 20-year old Adam Falcon headed to the Tick Tock Inn tavern in Canton, NY, with his friends where he drank using a borrowed ID. He was last seen leaving the tavern on Sunday, November 13th at 1:30 a.m. His coach and soccer teammates began looking for him after he failed to show up for a championship soccer game that Saturday afternoon. His body was found five days later in the Grasse River.
Five days after he went missing, K9 units alerted searchers to an area upriver of the bridge. Divers concentrated on this area and found an underwater footprint leading into the Grasse River in St. Lawrence County They concentrated their search on that area and located the body within minutes. Adam's body was found submerged in the water about a quarter of a mile upstream from the Tick Tock Inn.
An autopsy performed by St. Lawrence County Coroner Russell B. Lawrence indicate that he died from asphyxiation due to drowning and hypothermia. St. Lawrence County DA Jerome Richards says, "There is no indication of foul play." However, the exact cause and manner of death have not been determined. On December 14, 2004 the results of the toxicology tests revealed that Falcon’s blood alcohol level was 0.21 and no other drugs were present. Falcon’s death was ruled accidental by the St. Lawrence County coroner.
Based on autopsy results, one theory (according to NYSFEDSAR) is that Adam, under the influence of alcohol, passed out somewhere in the vicinity of where his cell phone was located. With night temperatures in the low to mid 30's, he might have become hypothermic and as a result entered the water in an attempt to "cool off" and drowned in the process.
The New York State Liquor Authority also met on this date and determined that there was not enough cause to do an immediate revocation of the Tick Tock’s liquor license. The NYS Liquor Authority did say that the Tick Tock is being charged with two counts of “Sale to a Minor,” two counts of “Sale to an Intoxicated Person" and two counts of “Improper Supervision.” The Tick Tock has until December 27, 2004 to answer these charges.
Adam's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit in September 2006 seeking damages from the St. Lawrence University and Garret Huntley, an SLU student from Massena, whose license Falcon used the night he disappeared. The suit also names students and part-time bartenders Greta Thomas and Keith Sullivan as defendants. Other defendants are Richard and Alfred Cassara, who operate the Tick Tock, and Elizabeth Masterson and James Merrill. Masterson admitted that she bought alcohol for the party Falcon attended, according to court documents. Merrill told investigators that he accompanied Falcon from place to place that night. On December 13, 2007, a partial out-of-court settlement was reached for $100,000 with Elizabeth Masterson, a fellow Saint Lawrence student who gave Falcon alcohol at a residence hall party.
Facts of Interest in This Case
Name/age: Adam Falcon, 20 (from Victor, NY)
College: St. Lawrence University
Physical description: 5’9,’’160#, curly brown hair, brown eyes, athletic build (soccer player)
Last seen: 11/13/04, 1:30 am, leaving Tick Tock Inn tavern (11 Hodskin St. Canton, NY)
Recovered: 11/18/04 Grasse River
Cause of death: drowning
Manner of death: accidental
Injuries: no signs of foul play
Blood Alcohol Content: 0.21
Water temp: 45 degrees