Authorities target Central Park Gang in roundup
Federal agents and local police began a roundup early this
morning of alleged associates of a violent Buffalo street
gang. Leaders, members and associates of the Central Park
Gang, sometimes known as CPG, were the targets of the roundup,
police told The Buffalo News.
The roundup, involving more than 100 federal agents and
police officers, began around 6 a.m. on the city's East Side.
By 7:30 a.m., more than 20 suspects were in custody.
Law enforcement officials identified three Buffalo men,
Tyrone Pennick, David Manuel and Rodney Hill, as main targets
of the investigation.
The three will be charged with running a continuing
criminal enterprise. Their ages and addresses were not
released this morning. All three are in police custody.
Criminal dog fighting charges will be filed against at least
two of the men arrested today, police said.
Authorities said investigators learned that the Central
Park Gang got its cocaine from sources in Houston, Texas.
The Central Park Gang has been one of the most troublesome
criminal groups in the city in recent years, and some gang
members are involved in cocaine trafficking and dog fights,
"Buffalo Police have classified the Central Park Gang
as one of the most active gangs in the city," one law
enforcement official said this morning.
Although police encountered pit bulls at several of the
locations where arrests were made, no major incidents were
Several defendants will be charged with operating a
continuing criminal enterprise, a federal crime that carries a
lengthy mandatory prison term. The defendants are expected to
appear in U.S. District Court later today before Magistrate
Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr.
The gang was investigated by the Safe Streets Task Force, a
unit that is led by the FBI and also includes the U.S. Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Drug
Administration; State Police; Buffalo Police; Amherst
Police; state parole officers; and Erie County probation
Buffalo gang busted, two are at large
Central Park Gang
spread narcotics all over WNY
Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009
Moretti Posted by: Eli George
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Buffalo gang becomes
"ground zero" in the war on drugs.
The crackdown has netted more than two dozen arrests
and a search of this location on Northland Avenue in
Buffalo. The FBI's Safe Street Task Force has been looking
into the activities of the Central Park Gang for a year.
Chief Dennis Richard of the Buffalo Police said,
"We've actually confiscated 42 kilos of cocaine,
approximately $600,000 in cash. If you're involved in
illegal activities we will hunt you down. We will get you.
You will go to jail."
Federal arrest warrants were carried out at many
locations, including Connelly Avenue in Buffalo and Avery
Place in Cheektowaga.
Authorities say the Central Park Gang had connections
all the way to Houston, Texas. It's business, according to
law enforcement, was illegal narcotics trafficking across
western New York.
"This gang had tentacles that reached into all the
suburbs. To all our communities. And it's through drug
transactions which is truly ruining and devastating the
culture in our neighborhoods," said Captain Steven
Nigrelly of the NYS Police.
Authorities say they're still looking for two men in
connection with the roundup.
Swazine Swindle and Edward Bishop of Buffalo are in
fugitive status. Dwayne Nelson turned himself in late this
officer mowed down by car during chase on foot
November 14, 2009
Buffalo police officer was struck by a vehicle as he was chasing
a suspicious person on foot near Broadway tonight, and police
officials believe the officer was intentionally hit.
James O'Donnell, 24, of the Ferry-Fillmore District, was taken
to Erie County Medical Center, where he was being treated for
head injuries, including a possible concussion and facial
lacerations, police said.
appears to be an intentional striking of the officer,"
Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson said at a brief
press conference in front of ECMC. "The vehicle did not
attempt to stop as it struck the officer."
was struck from behind while chasing the suspicious person on
foot, on Grey Street, about half a block north of Broadway, at
about 8:15 p.m.
the officer was struck, fellow officers fanned out from the
scene, looking for both the car that struck O'Donnell and the
person he was chasing. Police believe the car was a dark
vehicle, possibly a four-door model.
with any information about the vehicle, its driver or the
suspicious person being chased is asked to call the police
department's confidential tip line at 847-2255.
shoots at cop in auto store
T.J. Pignataro Buffalo News Staff Reporter
Ferry-Fillmore District police officer dodged gunfire late this
afternoon inside a Broadway automotive store after he walked in
on an apparent robbery-in-progress, Buffalo police reported.
incident occurred about 4:50 p.m. at the AutoZone store at 1224
Broadway. A man was in the process of robbing the store when the
on-duty officer stopped in to have a pair of keys made,
according to Buffalo police officials.
few of the customers approached the officer and informed him a
robbery was taking place. Moments later, the robber turned
toward the officer with a gun and opened fire.
shots were fired. The officer dove out of the way and was not
struck, according to Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police
bullets struck a wall, along with a display of anti-freeze and
the front glass door to the store, cracking it.
robber then fled on foot.
police had much of the neighborhood cordonned off for about an
hour after the robbery while searching for the suspect, who
remained at large.
Son Arrested in Two Bank Robberies
NEWS December 03, 2009
mother-and-son tandem of bank robbers was nabbed Wednesday in
connection with the back-to-back August heists at an M&T
Bank branch on Grant Street, Buffalo police reported.
Simmons, 39, of Baynes Avenue, was charged with attempted
robbery for allegedly entering the 130 Grant St. bank at about
10 a. m. Aug. 25 and handing a note to a teller demanding money.
She left empty-handed.
next day, her son, James W. Tyson, 22, of the same Baynes Avenue
address, robbed the same bank about 10:30 a. m., police said.
was charged with third-degree robbery.
85, Mugged Walking near Her Home
NEWS November 26, 2009
85-year-old Henrietta Avenue woman was pushed to the ground and
robbed of her purse near her home early about 1 p. m. Wednesday,
Buffalo police said.
attacker, described as a 16- year-old white male with a red
hooded sweatshirt, shoved her from behind before grabbing the
leather purse, which contained $35 in cash and a cell phone.
victim was taken by ambulance to Kenmore Mercy Hospital for
District police were investigating.
woman charged in church thefts
hiding out in Southtowns trailer
Jay Rey and T.J. Pignataro Buffalo News Staff Reporters
November 25, 2009
Buffalo woman in search of quick cash has been charged
with stealing from worshippers at Sunday services a week
and a half ago.
M. Abrams, 36, of North Street, was charged late Tuesday
with three counts of grand larceny and one count of petit
larceny, stemming from the thefts at four Buffalo churches
in downtown, Allentown and North Buffalo on Nov. 15, said
Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards.
was just looking for a quick score," Richards said.
thefts occurred in St. Louis Catholic Church on Main
Street, nearby Westminster Presbyterian Church on Delaware
Avenue, St. George Orthodox Church on Nottingham Terrace
and St. Mark Catholic Church on Woodward Avenue.
each case, the victim lost either a purse, a wallet or
credit cards and other valuables taken from the purse.
got a break in the case when they obtained a photo of the
suspect — and the 1998 gray Ford sedan she was driving
— when she was caught on a surveilence camera at a gas
station, where she used a credit card she stole during her
first theft at St. Louis Church.
surveilence-camera photo — released by police on Saturday —
generated numerous tips and led investigators to the registered
owner of the vehicle in Lawtons, a hamlet in the southern Erie
County Town of North Collins.
learned it was Abrams — seen in the surveillance photos —
who borrowed the vehicle from the owner.
owner of the vehicle isn't connected to the crime in any
way," Richards said.
police zeroed in on Abrams as a suspect, they learned she had an
address on North Street, as well a previous address in
Salamanca. Buffalo police contacted the Erie County Sheriff's
was picked up Tuesday by sheriff's investigators Greg McCarthy
and Brian Moore, who turned her over to Buffalo police.
sheriff's department picked her up hiding out in a trailer in
the Southtowns," Richards said.
said Abrams set out with the vehicle for one purpose: quick
at St. Louis Catholic Church, she ended up with a credit card.
she kept going to the next [church] and to the next and to the
next," Richards said.
thief targeted women sitting in pews, and in one case victimized
a woman during a coffee hour after church. The method, in at
least some cases, included engaging the victim in conversation,
then stealing the purse or wallet when the victim was
the end, the larcenies netted Abrams less than $30 in cash,
Richards said during a late- night news conference in Northwest
District headquarters on Hertel Avenue.
said Abrams does have a record, but for relatively minor
Erie County Sheriff's Office also had a warrant for Abrams'
arrest, but it was unclear Tuesday night for what.
police believe Abrams was acting alone, they continued to
caution people about being vigilant and leaving their
term imposed in fraud at two banks
NEWS November 25, 2009
former employee who stole money from two separate banks will
spend a year and nine months in federal prison, the U. S.
attorney’s office said.
London-Walker, 31, of Buffalo, was sentenced Tuesday by District
Judge William M. Skretny for four felonies, including bank
fraud, filing false tax returns and making false statements on a
government loan application.
working at KeyBank in 2005, London-Walker set up a fake account
and deposited more than $109,000 into it from the accounts of
other bank customers, prosecutor Gretchen L. Wylegala said. The
money was then withdrawn from automated teller machines by the
woman’s husband, Bernard Walker, who also faces sentencing in
left KeyBank before those crimes were discovered and began
working at HSBC Bank, where she later withdrew $21,000 from a
dormant account belonging to a deceased customer, according to
banks, and not the customers, incurred the losses, Wylegala
said. She said London-Walker also admitted filing false tax
returns and making false statements on a loan application to the
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
|MASTERSON - Thomas, Lt., Sr. "Shakey"
November 10, 2009. Beloved husband of Kathleen (Beamish); dear
father of Aileen, Cara and Thomas "T.J." (Jill Slisz)
Masterson Jr.; son of the late Edward and Helen (Hennigan)
Masterson; brother of Edward (Sandy) Masterson, Helen (late
Frank) (late Anthony) Butler-Wagner and Maureen (Jerome) McIntee;
probe nets pastor in '98 slaying
say he admits shooting 17-year-old
09, 2009, 11:27 PM /
Case Squad detectives Monday arrested a West Side pastor in the
fatal shooting of a young father in front of the victim's
girlfriend and their infant son more than a decade ago.
G. Figueroa, 31, of Carolina Street, was charged with
second-degree murder in the killing of Alex Martinez, 17.
individuals broke down a rear door at 392 Grant St. at 12:30
a.m. Jan. 29, 1998, and entered the Martinez residence. Then,
without saying a word, Figueroa allegedly fired a bullet into
the victim's head.
the time of the killing, then-Buffalo Homicide Bureau Chief
Joseph Riga said it appeared that Martinez had been targeted.
didn't say anything. They just shot him in the head and left
through the same door," Riga said then.
who described himself to police as a pastor and a full-time
cleaner, was located after homicide detectives received his name
from a tipster a few weeks ago.
cold-case detectives went to Figueroa's home Friday, he was out
but later contacted them and agreed to go to Police Headquarters
on Monday for an interview.
minutes after his arrival, he confessed to the murder of Alex
Martinez," said Cold Case Detective Brian G. Ross. "I
believe his strong faith and conscience led to his willingness
explained to police that he had become a pastor since the
shooting, though he did not identify the church.
was clearly a different person than at the time of the homicide
and has taken steps to carve out a better lifestyle for himself
and his family in the years since the homicide," Ross said.
for Martinez's family members, they were notified Monday
afternoon that the case has been solved.
are extremely grateful. They told me, "Now we can rest,"
for a motive for the deadly shooting, the detective said that
remains under investigation. The shooting originally was thought
to be drug-related, but Ross declined to comment on that.
in solving the case were other Cold Case Detectives Charles
Aronica and Lissacq M. Redmond along with State Police
Investigator Geraldo Rondon.
is just an example of the outstanding police work done by our
Cold Case Squad, which I believe is one of the best in the
nation," said Deputy Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda,
who also credited homicide detectives for their help.
back up his praise of the Cold Case Squad, Derenda noted that
this is the eighth long- term unsolved homicide that has ended
in an arrest this year. Last year, 18 cold cases were solved,
and in 2007, 14 cases.
seize cocaine, cash in Riverside raid
POLICE November 10, 2009, 9:30 AM /
police Narcotics Squad detectives confiscated more than 4.5
ounces of powder cocaine and more than $58,000 in cash while
serving a search warrant in the Riverside area late Monday
led by Lt. Paul R. Delano Jr. also seized a shotgun and rifle
while serving the search warrant at the home of John Rickard on
Laird Avenue, just east of Riverside Park, according to police
charged Rickard, 37, with felony drug counts and weapons
drugs, the cash and the weapons are indicative of what our
officers are encountering on a regular basis, during their
covert investigations," Chief of Detectives Dennis J.
demonstrates the profit potential of unlawful narcotics dealing,
as well as the fact that illegal weapons are being used in the
officials said the investigation resulted from citizen
complaints and led to the search warrant signed by City Judge
made in fatal summer shooting
Friday, 06 Nov 2009, 2:18 PM EST
by: Kate McGowan
N.Y. - Buffalo Police Homicide Detectives arrested 22 year old,
Adrian Traylor in connection with the fatal shooting of a 61
year old, Larry Crosland while he was outside of a Senior
Citizen Complex on the east side.
is charged with 2nd degree murder and criminal possession of a
incident occurred Wednesday, August 12th just before 3 p.m.
was waiting outside of the Msgr. Adamski Apartments on William
Street, when he was struck in the upper body by a stray bullet.
believe Traylor was firing at a passing vehicle, when Crosland
was rushed to ECMC and later died
Park shooting claims life of man, 23
NEWS October 25, 2009
detectives are investigating the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old
man in the city’s Schiller Park neighborhood early Saturday.
shooting occurred shortly after midnight in the 2100 block of
Genesee Street, near Crossman Avenue. The victim was getting
into his vehicle when he was shot several times, according to
Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.
was driven by friends to Erie County Medical Center, where he
declined to release the name of the victim late Saturday.
shot at Main Street party
NEWS Updated: October 23, 2009
men in their 20s were shot, apparently at a party, early this
morning on Main Street near Leroy Avenue, Buffalo police said.
was some type of party last night, when an unknown suspect or
suspects fired multiple shots striking the three victims,"
police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.
three are being treated in Erie County Medical Center, where two
were listed in stable condition and the third in fair condition
late this morning, officials reported.
Lamar and Jeremy Hollis, both 23, were listed in stable
condition, while David Chiles, 26, was in fair condition,
victims drove themselves to the medical center, while the third
was taken by ambulance, following the shootings that occurred
shortly after 1 a.m.
with information about the shootings is asked to call the police
department's confidential tip line at 847-2255
dealer sentenced to seven years in prison
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
judge who today sentenced paralyzed Buffalo drug dealer Lamont
D. Williams to prison for seven years said she hopes his fate
sends a stern message out to the streets about the dangers of
21, of Poplar Avenue, continued to profess his innocence and
said his shooting by a Buffalo police officer 13 months ago
"changed my life drastically."
Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman told him she hopes his time
in prison will prompt him to turn his life around "in a
much-arrested Williams was sentenced on his Sept. 22 conviction
on weapons charges and for menacing a police officer, as well as
on his conviction last May for drug dealing. He could have faced
a maximum 19 years in prison, but Troutman spared him that after
defense attorney Scott F. Riordan told her the shooting has
already imposed "a life sentence he can never get away
is preparing to sue the city over the Kermit Street standoff on
Sept. 24, 2008, that left him permanently paralyzed. Williams --
who has been arrested at least 10 other times -- was shot after
police said he pulled a gun while being chased by officers who
were breaking up a group smoking marijuana and blocking
pedestrians on a street corner.
Jaime L. Gallagher argued unsuccessfully for the
stiffest-possible sentence, telling the judge that Williams
"continues to deny any wrongdoing" due to his
impending lawsuit against the city and the Buffalo Police
in fair condition after West Side shooting
NEWS October 19, 2009
man wounded in an apparent drive-by shooting on the West Side
was listed in fair condition Sunday in Erie County Medical
police said the victim, Cecilio Medina, 25, of Buffalo, was shot
at about 9:40 p. m. Saturday while walking north on Plymouth
Avenue near Pennsylvania Street.
asked anyone with information to call the confidential tip line,
injures 2 men on Letchworth Street
NEWS October 19, 2009
Buffalo men leaving a neighborhood bar were shot on Letchworth
Street early Sunday.
said the victims were in the first block of Letchworth at about
1:30 a. m. when they were struck by gunfire. Both men were taken
to Erie County Medical Center. Michael Woods, 20, was in fair
condition Sunday. The other victim, Jermaine Habeeb, 19, was
treated and released.
cops probe shooting after victim drives to ECMC
NEWS October 19, 2009
homicide investigators are assisting in the probe of an early
afternoon shooting that is believed to have occurred near the
intersection of Olympic and Alma avenues.
District officers answered a "shots fired" call at
about 12:45 p.m. involving a 17-year-old, whose identity was not
released. He had been struck multiple times before driving
himself to Erie County Medical Center, where he was undergoing
surgery, police said.
say they are looking at the possibility that the shooting was
prompted by a dispute involving the victim and at least one
with information is asked to call the police confidential
TIP-CALL line, 847-2255.
killed in one of three overnight shootings
NEWS STAFF REPORTER October 10, 2009
17-year-old Buffalo male was pronounced dead on arrival at Erie
County Medical Center late Friday, after being shot while
outside a house on Fillmore Avenue.
deceased, David J. Hyshaw, was one of six victims in three
separate shooting incidents late Friday and early today.
police responding to the call found Hyshaw laying in a pool of
blood on an East Ferry Street sidewalk at about 9:11 p.m.
personnel performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation but were
unable to revive Hyshaw, who was shot in the head.
victim, Dewey A. Taylor, 16, was shot in the leg and was taken
to ECMC for treatment.
said at least three males approached the two victims on foot and
fired multiple shots as they stood on Fillmore Avenue.
District officers also responded to reports of gunfire in the
200 block of Minnesota Avenue at around 8:30 p.m.
Battles, 17, was struck by gunfire while driving a Chevy Lumina
eastbound on Minnesota. He then collided with two parked cars.
was in critical condition at ECMC.
14-year-old girl who was standing in a nearby driveway on
Minnesota also was struck by gunfire, police said.
girl, whose name was not released, suffered a fracture in her
also had reports of another shooting near East Utica and
Fillmore Avenue at about 1 a.m. today in which two men were
Squad detectives responded to both of the Friday night shooting
scenes, and anyone with information regarding either of the
incidents is encouraged to contact the police department's
confidential tip line at 847-2255.
find loaded guns in two traffic stops
NEWS October 07, 2009
troopers assigned to Operation Impact in the city of Buffalo
recovered two loaded handguns in a pair of traffic stops, and
arrested three people in two other traffic stops on city streets
troopers stopped a vehicle on Broadway because the passenger
wasn't wearing a seat belt, they found a loaded 9mm handgun on
the back-seat floor. State police charged Samuel L. Walker, 23,
and Theresa N. June, 23, both of Buffalo, with weapons
police also pulled over a vehicle driven by Tamone T. Henderson,
25, of Buffalo, who was driving on Genesee Street near Zenner
Street while talking on his cell phone and failing to wear his
seat belt. While interviewing Henderson, troopers said, they
spotted a loaded Colt .38 Special between his feet on the floor.
He was charged with weapons possession and a warrant charge of
obstructing governmental administration.
three other people were arrested for having an open container,
fleeing from police and unauthorized use of a rental car.
leads police to suspect in burglary
follows imagefrom an intersection
NEWS STAFF REPORTER September 25, 2009
South Buffalo burglary suspect earlier this week fell victim to
a surveillance camera, old-fashioned police work and a family
member who says she is petrified of her crack-addicted brother,
police said Thursday.
thief drove to the Seneca Cazenovia Square senior citizens
residence Sunday morning, loaded a gas grill and snowblower into
the back of his pickup and took off, apparently thinking he had
minutes later, South District officers arrived at the center, in
the 2100 block of Seneca Street, and called the surveillance
camera room at Buffalo Police Headquarters to see whether the
camera at Abbott Road and Lorraine Avenue had recorded images of
a vehicle leaving the vicinity, Police Commissioner H. McCarthy
Gipson said in a news conference Thursday.
camera room personnel found an image of a truck with the stolen
items in the back passing through the nearby intersection of
Abbott and Cazenovia Street, Gipson said, they supplied officers
with the information.
suspect’s sister had complained to police about her brother,
who she said was on a seven-day, crack-smoking binge.
suspect Mark A. DelMonte was under arrest by about 7 a. m.
so grateful for those cameras. They should have more of them,”
said Karen A. DelMonte, who lives on Hayden Street with her
45-year-old brother, about a dozen blocks from where the camera
recorded his vehicle. “He’s finally hit his bottom after 25
years of smoking crack.”
camera technology, Gipson said, helped make the arrest happen a
lot sooner than it would have.
I’m monitoring the police radio, I hear officers call the
camera room all the time, asking if there are any images from a
crime scene, and the camera room was able to pull up this
image,” the commissioner said.
it was also DelMonte’s violent behavior that led to the
arrest, the sister said.
tried to break down my door and assault me. He had brass
knuckles. I called the police.
the police came, he had taken off, and they asked what does he
drive, and I told them, and they said they were looking for that
vehicle from a burglary,” Karen DelMonte said.
police left her home, she said, he returned, and she again
called 911, urging officers to “please hurry.”
was smoking crack all night. He was smoking it for the last
seven days,” Karen Del- Monte said. “. . . I want to see a
long-term incarceration or an in-house drug program where he
won’t come out for a while.”
brother has already received numerous chances from the legal
system to rehabilitate himself, she said, but he keeps slipping
back into addiction.
was on welfare and spending the money on crack. He was trading
food stamps for crack or money. It’s a whole scam,” the
sister said, adding that she is due in City Court at 2 p. m.
today to finalize an order of protection against her brother.
the news conference, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that more
surveillance cameras are on the way.
city has 70 surveillance cameras, and we expect to have another
57 by the end of the year,” Brown said.
camera costs about $45,000.
more cameras are installed, Gipson explained, police will be
able to take a bigger picture of the city.
cameras might seem like a lot, but the city is 42 square
miles,” he said, “and as we build out the camera system,
we’ll get a more comprehensive picture.”
credited with the arrest included Lt. Patrick A. Roberts,
Detective Mark J. Fitzpatrick and Officer Debra A. Hornberger.
Also, Officers James T. Reese and Kevin M. Kennedy recovered the
stolen property on Peabody Street.
cite danger of laser pointed at aircraft
Gene Warner and T.J. Pignataro
News Staff Reporters
may have seemed like a good idea -- just a harmless stunt -- at
the pointing of a green laser at both a FedEx airliner and the
Erie County Sheriff's helicopter multiple times Thursday night
has led to felony criminal charges against three men, and a
strong rebuke from a group of top local officials today.
pilot of the sheriff's Air One helicopter, Capt. Kevin Caffery,
cited the risks people take if they point a laser into a pilot's
a good chance you're going to wind up in jail," he said
following an afternoon press conference. "At the worst, you
could bring down an aircraft and kill a lot of people."
was joined today near the Erie Basin Marina by Mayor Byron W.
Brown, Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson and Sheriff
Timothy B. Howard. Those officials praised the efforts that led
to the arrest of three individuals.
to the collaboration and excellent police work, we were able to
apprehend three individuals on the ground in the Kaisertown area
of the city," Brown told reporters. "This is a strong
partnership, a partnership that already is paying
J. Voigt, 42, his son, Eric Voigt, 20, both of Griswold Street,
and Bradley J. Campbell, 28, of Barnard Street, all face
multiple counts of felony reckless endangerment.
green laser first was pointed at a FedEx plane at about 8:45
p.m. Thursday. Those pilots contacted air-traffic controllers,
who alerted Buffalo police. Then, as the sheriff's Air One
helicopter searched the Kaisertown neighborhood, it was
"hit" six times by the laser.
compared the laser light to a lightning strike, saying it lit up
the entire aircraft. A direct hit into your eyes can be
blinding, he and others pointed out.
was a slight disorientation and really a burning sensation in
your eyes," Caffery said. "I looked away and turned
the aircraft away from it."
Art Litzinger then used an infrared camera system to pinpoint
the laser's location and help Buffalo police make the arrests.
called the laser pointing into pilots' eyes "extremely
dangerous," citing studies that have been done for about
the last 10 years.
wasn't just a playful stunt, [even though] that may have been on
the minds of the individuals," he said. "Especially
during takeoffs and landings, this could have caused a plane to
night's incident forced authorities to close a runway at Buffalo
Niagara International Airport, because the sheriff's helicopter
was forced to fly into otherwise restricted airspace.
enforcement officials cited possible federal charges in this
now, this crime is being reviewed by the FAA and the FBI,"
cop accused in twin sex switch resigns
New Haven Register Tuesday,
September 15, 2009
ORANGE — The Orange police officer who was
arrested last month for allegedly pretending to be his twin
brother to dupe a woman into sex has resigned from the
department, police said in a statement Tuesday.
Probationary Officer Jared Rohrig, 25, of 7 Flax Mill Lane,
Milford, who is charged with first-degree sexual assault and
criminal impersonation, has been on paid administrative leave
from the Orange Police Department since July.
Rohrig submitted his resignation and it was accepted by the
Board of Police Commissioners on Monday, police said.
“Jared Rohrig’s decision to resign from his position as
probationary officer was in his best interest as well as the
best interests of the town of Orange, Police Chief Robert Gagne
said in a statement released Tuesday morning.
Rohrig’s attorney, Edward J. Gavin of Bridgeport, has said his
client intends to plead not guilty at his next court date, which
is Oct. 7.
The arrest warrant affidavit in the case says the alleged victim
in the case told Milford police she realized the man she
believed to be Joseph did not have a tattoo of a cowboy on his
buttocks and was therefore Jared, and she tried to leave but
allegedly was forced back on the bed and sexually assaulted.
The assault is alleged to have occurred late July 18 and into
early July 19 at the Flax Mill Lane home where both Jared and
Joseph live with their family.
Jared and Joseph Rohrig were home when the woman arrived at the
house, but Joseph had gone to his room before she left her car,
the arrest warrant affidavit says. The woman said Jared referred
to himself as “Joe” to trick her while the two were alone in
a hot tub at the house, it says.
But Jared’s sister allegedly called out to him by name, asking
him to turn down the music, the warrant affidavit says. The
woman told police she did not hear what Jared’s sister said.
Jared Rohrig is free on $50,000 bail. His case will be
transferred to the Part A docket, where more serious cases are
“Obviously, Jared maintains his innocence. … There is a
presumption of innocence, and this is an innocent man,” Gavin
said after Jared Rohrig’s recent court appearance.
woman falls through chimney in apparent stunt
NEWS September 01, 2009
29-year-old Buffalo woman who apparently climbed to the roof of
a Delaware Avenue commercial building early this morning
suffered multiple injuries when she fell through the chimney,
Buffalo police reported.
Mellon, one of four people arrested in connection with the
stunt, was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where she was
listed in fair condition late this morning with multiple
injuries, authorities said.
and Christopher Panzica of Buffalo apparently climbed to the
roof of a building on Delaware Avenue near Chippewa Street,
using a ladder attached to the building, at about 2 a.m. today,
according to police reports.
believe Mellon climbed another ladder to the chimney, before
falling through the chimney, police spokesman Michael J.
DeGeorge said. She had to be rescued by city firefighters and
charged Mellon with criminal trespassing and Panzica with
trespassing. Two others accused of helping them in the stunt,
Michael Pope, 23, of Buffalo, and Gregory Thomson, 23, of
Williamsville, were charged with reckless endangerment, police
and arrested by Lt Joseph Gramaglia and Police Officer Joseph
Ruggiero assisted by Buffalo Fire Department and Erie County
Sheriff's helicopter, Air-1
investigate east side shooting
believe man caught in crossfire
23 Aug 2009, 12:27 PM EDT
by Kate McGowan
N.Y. (WIVB) - Detectives were called to the east side to
investigate a shooting on Bailey Avenue near Wecker street.
person was taken to ECMC with non-life threatening injuries.
at the scene believe he was caught in the crossfire.
you have any information on the shooting, call the police
number is 847-225
shooting on east side
in Saturday night shooting dies
NEWS August 23, 2009, 12:20 PM /
of the three people shot late Saturday at Burgard Place and Doat
Street, on the city's East Side, has died.
police spokesman said the victim is a 21-year-old resident of
Janet Street. His name was being withheld until his family could
be notified, spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.
police were searching for the shooter or shooters who attacked
the three about 10 p.m.
of the victims were taken to Erie County Medical Center.
Denise Johnson, 18, of Burgard Place is listed in fair condition
third victim has been treated and released. She is 19-year-old
Tasima Hawkins of Hazel Place in the city.
believe the shooter or shooters escaped on foot," DeGeorge
with information is asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line
18, severely beaten in possible hate crime
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
August 19, 2009, 11:40 AM /
18-year-old man was severely beaten with a piece of concrete
late Tuesday night, in an assault that's being investigated by
Buffalo police as a possible hate crime.
victim, who lives off Genesee Street at the eastern edge of the
city, was listed in serous condition today in Erie County
Medical Center, where he's being treated for a severe head
are looking into the possibility that it could be a hate crime,
based on the information we have received," police
spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said, refusing to elaborate.
told police that the young man, who is white, was beaten by a
group of about 10 to 12 black males. Police are investigating
the possibility that the beating may have resulted from a
dispute involving a friend of the victim's.
the attack, which occurred at about 10:50 p.m. at Genesee Street
and Floss Avenue, the victim managed to make his way to his
fielded calls about a gang assault, and they followed the trail
of blood to the man's home.
say they have been hindered in their investigation by the
victim's reluctance to talk about the crime.
car shot when caught in crossfire
NEWS August 16, 2009, 6:30 AM /
woman reported to police early Saturday that on Aug. 8, she was
caught in the crossfire of a man shooting at another and that
her car was struck with bullets.
victim said she was in her 2005 Toyota at East Delavan Avenue
and Suffolk Street when two men began shooting. Bullets struck
her front windshield and the passenger side, she said.
from car hits man in the head
NEWS August 21, 2009, 6:43 AM /
Eggert Road man was struck in the wrist and head by gunfire
Thursday afternoon at Broadway and Person Street, Buffalo police
Inabinett, 33, was hit after someone opened fire from a gold
Ford Taurus driving by at about 3 p. m. A group of juveniles was
gathered there at the time.
bullet passed through Inabinett’s wrist and lodged in the left
side of his head, authorities said.
was taken to Erie County Medical Center and was undergoing
surgery at ECMC late Thursday.
identify man shot dead on East Side; another man, hit by stray
bullet Wednesday, dies
Gene Warner and T. J. Pignataro
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
police today identified the victim in a Thursday afternoon
homicide that occurred just before the resident of a
senior-citizens apartment complex on William Street died from
wounds he suffered in the crossfire of a gun fight Wednesday.
victim in the later incident, Terrance Craig, 40, of Landon
Street, died in Erie County Medical Center, a short time after
he was found shot in a shopping-plaza parking lot on Jefferson
Avenue near East Utica Street. Police were called to the scene
at about 5:40 p.m.
on Thursday evening, Larry Crosland, 61, of the Monsignor
Adamski senior apartments, died in ECMC. He was struck in the
head by a bullet fired in a shootout between two gunmen on
William Street on Wednesday afternoon.
two homicides raise the city's death toll for the year to 38 —
the same number as in all of 2008.
police are asking anyone with information to contact them on the
department's confidential tip line at 847-2255.
also are searching for suspects in the deaths of Crosland and
Eric Morrow, 21, of Kamper Avenue, who was fatally shot about 9
p.m. Tuesday near Auburn and West avenues.
three homicides this week are among six shootings that have
occurred in the city since noon Tuesday.
L. Sanchez, 20, remained in critical condition Thursday at ECMC.
He was struck by four bullets early Wednesday on Bird Avenue.
other victims who were shot on the city's East Side were treated
in ECMC and discharged.
was fatally struck just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, outside his
apartment complex at 855 William St. The fatal shot was from
gunfire near Townsend and William streets.
continued early Thursday, just after midnight, when a Prospect
Avenue man told police that a gunman 10 feet away from him
opened fire with numerous shots. The man, who fell to the
ground, managed to avoid being hit, police said.
police on Thursday also announced the death of 17-year-old
Joseph Galioto, who was shot in the head on Sept. 13, 2008, a
day shy of his 17th birthday, near 925 Niagara St. Galioto, who
had been on life support in ECMC since the shooting, died
shot critically injures man on city’s East Side
shootings logged since noon Tuesday
T. J. Pignataro, Gene Warner and Brian Meyer
NEWS STAFF REPORTERS
UPDATE Jazz Musician Struck by Stray Bullet Dies
Originally printed at wkbw news 7(Buffalo, NY)
Larry Crosland, the 61-year old jazz musician from
Buffalo who was struck in the eye by a stray bullet, has
Crosland was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire
of a two vehicle shootout on Wednesday when he was struck in
the eye while sitting outside of a building on William
Buffalo Police Department released this photo of the vehicle
they believe was used in the shooting Wednesday afternoon in
front of 855 William St.
police this morning released a photo of the vehicle they believe
was involved in the Wednesday afternoon shooting on William
Street that left a 61-year-old man critically wounded.
Crosland, 61, was listed in critical condition today in Erie
County Medical Center after a stray bullet hit him in the
say Crosland apparently was an innocent victim, standing outside
his senior-citizens apartment complex when he was caught in the
cross-fire of gunmen shooting at each other.
with information about the shooting is asked to call the police
department's confidential tip line at 847-2255. Crosland was the
victim in one of five city shootings over a 27-hour period that
started since noon Tuesday. Crosland was outside the Monsignor
Adamski senior apartments at 855 William St. just before 3 p.m.
Wednesday when gunfire erupted and he was caught in the
cross-fire of at least two gunmen firing at each other near
Townsend and William streets, police said.
appears that man was an innocent victim," said Michael J.
DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.
people were in custody and being questioned by police. No
charges had been lodged, DeGeorge said. A fourth person still
was being sought.
spate of violence stretched from one end of the city to the
other. One man died and another was critically injured in two
separate West Side shootings.
Morrow, 21, of Kamper Avenue, was fatally shot at about 9 p.m.
Tuesday near Auburn and West avenues — struck by gunfire in
the chest and leg while he was standing near a porch. Morrow is
the city's 36th homicide victim of the year. There were 38 in
all of 2008.
bullets struck Michael L. Sanchez, 20, after two men who
identified themselves as members of a West Side gang opened fire
on him just before 1 a.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Bird
Avenue. Sanchez ran from his attackers, who kept firing at him,
was listed in critical condition Wednesday night in the
intensive-care unit of ECMC, with wounds to his right side.
30 minutes before the fatal Morrow attack, four shots on
Goodyear Avenue, on the city's East Side, injured David
Williams, 19, of Colvin Avenue.
gunman in a black Ford Explorer with tinted windows pointed a
handgun out the window and opened fire, a bullet striking
Williams in the nose and just beneath his right eye, police
said. Williams was treated in ECMC, then discharged.
before noon Tuesday, Anthony Lark, 32, of Liddell Street, was
struck in the upper left leg as Frederick L. Jones, 29, of
Paderewski Drive, fired as many as nine shots into a group of
people on Liddell Street, police said.
District officers tracked Jones down on Broadway minutes after
the shooting, and he was charged with felony assault and other
charges. Lark was treated in ECMC and discharged.
a Wednesday meeting of the city's CitiStat accountability panel,
police attributed the spike in shootings this summer to gangs
and drug-related activity. "In the past six weeks, we've
had an upswing in shootings and homicides," said Deputy
Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.
this time in 2008, there were 24 homicides — meaning the
homicide rate is up about 50 percent from the same period a year
year's final figure of 38 homicides was below average.
this date over the previous five years, the city had registered
30 homicides in 2007, 44 in 2006, 39 in 2005, 33 in 2004 and 34
citing community concerns about the rash of shootings and
murders, members of the CitiStat panel focused Wednesday's
meeting on a reviewing crime statistics and strategies.
also announced plans to launch a citywide initiative designed to
forge closer ties between city police and neighborhood block
clubs. A pilot project has been under way in Riverside, where a
block club leader has been maintaining regular contact with
block clubs could be a powerful anti-crime tool, he said.
the eyes and ears of the community," he added.
city also plans its third annual gun buyback program on
Saturday. People are being encouraged to turn in firearms on a
"no questions asked" basis at seven drop-off sites.
suspect shot dead by officer
in apartment followed narcotics holdup at drugstore
robbery suspect died in his East Eagle Street upper apartment
late Friday afternoon after being shot once in a struggle with a
Buffalo police officer, according to Buffalo police officials.
23-year-old suspect, identified by police as Matthew Connors,
was located by police in the upper apartment at 873 E. Eagle St.
shortly after he allegedly robbed the Seneca Pharmacy, 1979
Seneca St., at gunpoint at about 4 p.m. and made off with a
quantity of prescription pills.
District Officer James T. Reese located the suspect in the
kitchen area of the apartment and a struggle ensued. Reese was
struck in the hand and the head with the suspect's gun during
the struggle, according to Police Commissioner H. McCarthy
Gipson, and discharged a single bullet from his service pistol,
killing the suspect.
officer was in a fight for his life," Gipson said.
was only later that authorities learned that the weapon Connors
used to beat Reese with and rob the pharmacy was a replica
assault-type weapon, Gipson said.
incident began when Connors entered the pharmacy and reportedly
told employees to get on the floor. He made off with a large
quantity of narcotics.
responded to a 911 call stating that a white male had fled in a
vehicle. Witnesses provided a license plate number to police.
license plate number was traced to an address on East Eagle
South District police patrol in the area responded and located
the vehicle a short time later in front of the East Eagle Street
house. One of the officers covered the back door to the property
while Reese got permission from a resident to enter the house.
was confronted by Connors in the kitchen area of his upstairs
apartment when the violent struggle began.
officer] was being hit in the head and hands from the butt of
the gun," Gipson said. "In the ensuing struggle, the
officer was calling for help, saying, "Help, I'm in a
when a police captain and another officer broke through a rear
door and entered the house. The gunshot occurred as they were
approaching the room where the Reese and Connors were
struggling, Gipson said.
the smoke cleared, Connors was slumped over at the end of a
couch with Reese on top of him, Gipson said. Connors was dead.
Reese had injuries to his head and hands and was treated at the
Erie County Medical Center and later released.
a 21-year veteran of the force, is a decorated officer whose
resume includes service with the Gang Suppression Unit. He is
known for his arrests of gang members and other criminals
carrying weapons and drugs and the archives at the Buffalo News
are packed with numerous details of many of those arrests.
H. Burton, attorney for the Buffalo PBA, said Reese's record
"speaks for itself" and said he was justified.
this suspect tried to do to the officer was nothing less than a
prescription for a suicide when he pulled out the gun,"
detectives, evidence and photography crews, and officials from
the department's Professional Standards Division were on the
scene collecting evidence.
contraband stolen from the pharmacy was recovered in Connors'
apartment. A Buick Rendezvous, believed to have been used in the
getaway from the robbery, was towed from the scene by Buffalo
said Connors lived in the apartment with his girlfriend, whose
grandmother owns the property, and his girlfriend's 4-year-old
was continuous fighting going on in their house," said one
neighbor who lives nearby but didn't want to give her name.
two fought with each other as many as four to five times a week,
mostly over drugs, she said.
teens wounded in East Side shooting
Buffalo teen-agers were wounded early today in what police say
may have been a drive-by shooting on the city's East Side.
provided by police are sketchy at this point, but the shooting
occurred about 1 a.m. in the 100 block of Cambridge Avenue.
Tolliver, 18, and Brian Gordon, 19, suffered unspecified
injuries. They were treated and released from Erie County
is the third incident of overnight shootings this week in
Buffalo. That includes the five people shot early Wednesday
morning, when Joseph "Joey" Lovett, 25, and Jamie
Norton, 19, were slain on Hirschbeck Street.
lost in mass shooting overnight
people dead and three injured
05 Aug 2009 Posted by: Emily Lenihan
N.Y. (WIVB) - Shootings on Buffalo's east side overnight left
two people dead and three others injured.
are searching for evidence that may lead them to the person or
persons responsible for this double-fatal shooting.
and friends are grieving at the scene of the deadly shooting
that happened around 2 a.m. Wednesday, on Hirschbeck Street near
Broadway Avenue. Buffalo Police say a total of five people were
shot, two fatally.
say a 25 year-old male from Buffalo and a 19 year-old female
from Derby died at the scene, outside of 72 Hirschbeck St. Both
were declared dead at the scene. Police are not releasing their
names at this time pending an autopsy and complete notification
three other victims who were shot while possibly sitting in a
vehicle outside of that address. All three other victims are in
their 20's and all of those victims were immediately transported
to Erie County Medical Center.
victims are 27 year-old-old Kimberly Caldwell of Derby, NY, in
fair condition at ECMC; and 29 year-old Joseph Cole of Buffalo
who has been treated and released from ECMC.
emotional crowd became angry over what happened Wednesday
morning that led police having to break up a fight between
victims' friends and family.
are still on the scene this morning gathering evidence.
Officials tell News 4 they're not sure what lead to the
shooting, but say a preliminary investigation points to robbery.
Police are also investigating a shooting that happened a couple
blocks away on Woeppel Street, off of Filmore Avenue. A
25-year-old male was seriously injured in that shooting.
you have any information on these recent shootings, call the
Buffalo Police Tipline at 847-2255.
says shooting was a hit job; police believe robbery was motive
Jay Rey, Brian Meyer and Jake May
NEWS STAFF REPORTERS
August 05, 2009, 9:30 PM /
and neighbors continue to search for answers following this
morning's shooting in the Broadway-Bailey area, which left two
dead and three wounded.
relative of one of the victims said he believes the shootings
were part of a hit job targeting a woman who testified Tuesday
as part of a grand jury deliberation. At a late afternoon news
conference, Daniel Derenda, deputy commissioner for the Buffalo
police, said police believe the motive was "an attempted
robbery that went bad."
people were killed and three were seriously wounded in the
shooting, which took place at about 2 a.m. outside of 72
Hirschbeck St., near Pullman Place, police said. The dead are
Joseph Lovett, 25, and Jamie Norton, 19, both of Derby. The
deaths were the 33rd and 34th homicides this year in Buffalo.
three other people, including two women and a man, were shot
while possibly sitting in a vehicle outside of that address,
police said. Those three victims were identified as: Lawanda
Strozier, 27, of Hirschbeck Street, listed in serious condition
at Erie County Medical Center; Kimberly Caldwell, 20, of Derby,
listed in fair condition at ECMC; and Joseph Cole, 29, of
Buffalo, who was treated and released.
motive for the shooting remains under investigation, but John
Bisci said he believes his nephew Joseph died in a revenge
killing that targeted a different victim.
wasn't a late-night drug deal gone bad," said Bisci, a
Buffalo native who now lives in Las Vegas. "This wasn't a
crime of opportunity. This was a revenge killing."
said he has talked with numerous people and believes a gunman
was targeting a woman who had given grand jury testimony this
week in an apparent homicide case. District Attorney Frank
III refused to comment on that report when questioned by The
had been visiting his family on Hirschbeck Street and was
leaving when the shooting occurred, said Bisci.
said his nephew was a good person who had the misfortune of
living in a declining part of Buffalo.
was a product of the neighborhood," said Bisci. "He
wasn't a criminal, but he wasn't an angel."
Lovett's digressions were relatively minor, said Bisci. He added
that Lovett had a tough childhood because of the tauntings he
encountered as a result of having a white mother and a black
father. Lovett and some siblings faced frequent abuse from
would get beat up at school, then get beat up on the way
grew up in the Bailey-Delavan neighborhood. While he hasn't
visited the city in a few years, he said the decline of many
neighborhoods is very sad.
the late 1960s, the entire East Side has deteriorated. It's
alarming," he said.
he last visited the area in 2006, he was taking photographs of
his old neighborhood..
bunch of kids tried to steal my rental car when I was out taking
pictures," he lamented.
mother was being moved out the family's Hirschbeck Street house
today, said Bisci.
family is getting a U-Haul and moving them out of there,"
late this morning, the family at 58 Hirschbeck had posted a sign
on their front door: "To friends and press: Our family is
in grief. We need time to recover -- We ask that you stay away
and allow our family to heal. The Lovett family. Thank
Caldwell spent Wednesday morning at ECMC checking up on his
sister, currently in stable condition and facing hip and arm
surgery after being shot twice, he said.
all right, she's OK," he said this afternoon. "It's
horrifying for her to live through something like that."
this morning at ECMC, relatives of the wounded told a reporter
that they expected all of the injured to survive, but they were
upset with the early-morning violence.
up doves are not peace prints. Every time they put up a dove or
picture, it is a tomb marker," said Lucretia Cole, who went
to ECMC to see one of the wounded victims, a relative she would
not identify. "Tell these people to stop killing each
other. They're taking away people's mothers, sons, nephews and
fathers. All of the people who were shot probably had kids of
their own. I'm tired of it. Can we just have one week without
anyone dying? This happens too much, too often. This is
Majka, 91, lives next door to the location of the shooting. He
said he has seen many people in and out of the house, but his
neighbors are good people.
worries Majka is how this crime will affect the safety of
Hirschbeck Street in the future.
is such a terrible and troubling thing to happen right here,
right next door to me," said Majka, a resident of the
street for 30 years. "It's just hard to believe something
like this could happen.
of all places. You never want to see someone shot on your
street. It never ends well."
Byron W. Brown expressed "outrage" today over the most
something that we can't tolerate," Brown told The Buffalo
News earlier today.
is encouraging anyone with information to call the police
department confidential tip line at 847-2255.
also said he will call on other government agencies that police
firearms to step up there efforts.
angered by this," Brown said. "I'm frustrated by this.
We're going to be calling on organizations like the A.T.F. and
others to help find out where these guns are coming from. This
is absolutely unacceptable. There are too many guns on the
mayor said all law-enforcement agencies must enhance their
efforts to take more weapons off the street.
that have a mandate to find out where these guns are coming from
need to do the work that they're supposed to do," Brown
the shooting, police had to break up a fight on the street,
involving a couple families on a neighboring porch.
was a volatile scene," said police spokesman Michael
DeGeorge. "I don't know if emotions spilled over."
Staff Reporters Danny Yadron and Matt Gryta contributed to this
who fled traffic stop is facing 10 charges
NEWS July 29, 2009
Buffalo man is facing 10 vehicle and criminal charges after he
fled a traffic stop Monday evening, then led Buffalo police on a
foot chase that ended after he jumped into Hoyt Lake.
Sheppard, 51, drove off after he was pulled over at Holden and
Wakefield avenues just before 7 p. m., then bailed out of his
vehicle on Nottingham Terrace. He led officers on a foot chase
across the Scajaquada Expressway, then plunged into the lake.
against him include reckless driving, reckless endangerment,
criminal mischief and aggravated unlicensed operation of a
|Police Officer Jose
A. Colon and his patrol partner Police Officer John
R. Poisson are hard hitting street cops that
have taken numerous illegal weapons off the streets of
Buffalo. Jose displays guns seized when making an
arrest. We will miss you Jose.
remembered as a dedicated officer
say he was ‘one of a kind’who took joy in making city
T. J. Pignataro
you love your job, you don’t take a night off.
Officer Jose Colon never did, his colleagues agree.
a member of the Mobile Response Unit, Colon’s tour of duty
took him through some of the city’s meanest streets and
roughest neighborhoods and often included a trip or more
“downtown” with a prisoner in one hand and a fistful of
evidence in the other.
those around Buffalo Police Headquarters knew when Colon was
usually arrive sweating and out of breath, but smiling. He’d
more often than not start a conversation with his trademark
expression: “Got a coupla guns tonight.” Then he’d be off,
launching into a story that sometimes seemed worthy of a
crime-fiction novel — but was nonetheless true.
knew the bad guys and the bad guys knew him,” said Lt. Thomas
Rogers of the Mobile Response Unit. “You can’t replace a guy
like Jose Colon, he was one of a kind.”
Fay Kwiatkowski, a report technician at Police Headquarters:
“He was very dedicated to his job. With paperwork, you never
had to ask him a question. He had everything down.”
was the Colon, those who knew him recalled in the wake of his
death Friday. Colon, 39, was fatally injured on his way home
from work by a 21-year-old alleged drunken driver on the Niagara
relished talking about his job — he was a street cop, not a
desk one — and would often describe in gritty detail just how
he and fellow officers flushed drug dealers or gang-bangers out
of their lairs and into handcuffs.
times, it involved chasing armed thugs through the streets into
darkened back alleys, over fences and through yards or even into
buildings. The stories ended when the good guys got their man.
a few weeks, City Hall will run its third citywide gun buyback.
Fewer guns will show up there because of Colon.
was as good as any gun buyback program,” said Rogers. “Jose
and his partner [Officer John Poisson] could get more guns off
the street in one year than most police officers do in their
just knew who was carrying the guns. He had a way of seeing it
— it was an instinct.”
who grew up on the lower West Side, was highly respected in the
Hispanic community and often served the department as an
that knew him said that even as he closed in on his 12th full
year on the job this month, he never lost his edge and kept the
enthusiasm and the passion of a rookie officer.
kid came out of the academy at 100 mph,” said Capt. Patrick G.
Mann, who was Colon’s first supervisory lieutenant in the
Northeast District. “About three months in, I said, ‘Jose,
you got to slow down a little, you’re not going to make it a
Colon’s response? “He smiled.”
who now works in the training academy at Police Headquarters,
said Colon was always excited about being a street cop and had a
work ethic like no other.
went full bore, every call. The guy was out there all the time
and he didn’t have an off-day,” Mann added.
one of those guys where, if you didn’t pay him, he’d still
do the job.”
earned Colon respect around the department and a slew of
won the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association’s Officer of the
Month Award numerous times, including:
July 2001—Colon and three other officers apprehended three men
holding two others at gunpoint inside a Sobieski Street house
after responding to a call of a masked man with a gun.
May 2002 — Colon and fellow Ferry- Fillmore Officer Molly
Sanford chased down a shooting suspect on East Ferry Street at
speeds of more than 50 mph after the suspect’s van nearly
broadsided them. They later recovered his gun.
June 2003 — Colon and Poisson arrested two suspects with guns
within a week of each other. In one, the gunman leapt from a
second-floor window onto Loepere Street and, in the other, the
suspect jumped off a bicycle on Wasmuth Street, brandishing a
November 2004 — Colon spotted an armed homicide suspect on
Dodge Street, broadcast the man’s description and then chased
him toward Gerhardt Street. The man entered an apartment
occupied by a mother and five children. Backup arrived and the
suspect was found in a bathroom and taken into custody. Police
recovered three handguns, a bulletproof vest and crack cocaine.
News archives and police reports detail numerous similar
accounts where Colon chased down and collared armed suspects. It
was what he did.
just wanted to clean up the streets,” Kwiatkowski said.
PBA announced Colon’s death on its home page stating that he
“was an active and respected police officer who served with
high distinction and honor . . . (and) will be sadly missed.”
officer dies of injuries suffered in off-duty crash
Brian Meyer and Gene Warner
Staff Reporters July 24, 2009
Jose A. Colon was given his police badge and began patrolling
city streets 12 years ago, his family knew he was starting a
they never imagined he would die while coming home from work at
the hands of an alleged drunk driver.
a 39-year-old Orchard Park resident, died at about 1 p.m. today,
nine hours after his SUV was struck on the Niagara Thruway.
Police said the operator of the other vehicle, 21-year-old
Raymond E. Jamison Jr. of Boston, was drunk.
relatives and friends gathered outside Erie County Medical
Center this afternoon, some appearing dazed, while others fought
Schmidt, who has been married to the late officer's father for a
decade, made a brief statement on the family's behalf.
believe that drinking and driving today in the United States is
much more dangerous than drugs or gangs," Schmidt told
who was not seriously injured, has been charged with driving
while intoxicated and second-degree vehicular manslaughter. The
latter charge could carry a term of up to seven years in prison.
Investigators have not ruled out lodging other charges.
said Colon's relatives are hoping justice will be done.
are hoping and praying that the driver of this vehicle is
punished to the greatest extent of the law."
officer's father, Jose Colon, spoke in a whisper, struggling to
find words to describe his son.
was a good boy," said the father. "Very
officer grew up on Buffalo's Lower West Side and attended
Hutchinson-Central Technical High School. He later attended
Rochester Institute of Technology, relatives said.
officer was divorced and has an 18-year-old son, said police
underwent surgery for internal wounds. He died in ECMC's Trauma
Intensive Care Unit.
Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson described Colon as a "very
active officer" who was assigned to the Mobile Response
Unit. Gipson noted that Colon is the third city officer to die
in the past five months. Earlier this year, Officers Richard D.
Woods and Richard Cruz both died after suffering apparent heart
attacks while off duty.
is being felt throughout the department," Gipson said.
"It has shaken the entire department."
suffered non-life-threatening injuries, including facial cuts
when his face struck the windshield. He was arraigned in Buffalo
City Court this afternoon and remanded to the Erie County
Holding Center on $50,000 bail.
had four passengers in his car, only one whom was seriously
injured. Steven E. Pelc, 21, suffered head injuries in the
crash, which occurred at about 4 a.m. on the southbound Niagara
Thruway, between Smith and Clinton streets in South Buffalo.
passengers in the back seat of Jamison's vehicle were not
seriously hurt. They were Alissa Beth Marshall, Katherine M.
Pelc and Sarah Brothwell, all 19.
do know, based on our initial interviews, that they were
downtown at some establishments," said State Police Captain
Michael P. Nigrelli, who declined to identify the businesses
until details could be confirmed.
had his flashers on when the crash occurred, said Nigrelli, but
it was unclear whether he was actually in traffic or starting to
move from the shoulder.
who has worked in the Ferry-Fillmore District and more recently
the Mobile Response Unit, joined the police force in 1997,
according to computer records.
had a reputation as a go-getter, an aggressive officer never
afraid to get out of his patrol car and chase down a suspect
the 2005 Buffalo Police Benevolent Association dinner, he was
honored as officer of the month from the previous November, for
his work in chasing and catching a heavily armed young man.
on night patrol near Jefferson Avenue, Colon spotted a teenage
boy crossing the street and then pulling a black handgun from
his waistband. The armed teen fled north on Dodge Street, then
broke into an apartment occupied by a mother and five children
on Gerhardt Street. Colon found the boy hiding in a bathroom,
according to police reports. Backup officers helped subdue the
teen, before confiscating three handguns, a bullet-proof vest
and crack cocaine.
Buffalo News archives are filled with numerous other stories
involving Colon's arrests, often in cases where he chased and
apprehended armed suspects, especially in the Ferry-Fillmore
he and another officer even chased a man with a gun into a
funeral home during a wake, in an incident that upset some
people but earned the officers some praise in the department for
aggressively pursuing an armed man.
|Retired Buffalo Police Officers Dennis P. Boos
died Saturday, July 25, 2009
P. Boos, 67, of 67th Street, died Saturday, July 25, 2009 in N.F.
Memorial Medical Center while under the care of hospice, after a
lengthy illness. Special thanks to Kathy Masur of Hospice. Mr.
Boos was born May 15, 1942 in Niagara Falls, the son of Eugene
J. and Mary Grace (Jackson) Boos. He graduated from Niagara
Falls High School. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean
War. Dennis was employed for 27 years as a patrolman for the
Buffalo Police Department prior to retiring in 1995. He enjoyed
fishing and going to the casino. He is survived by his wife, the
former Vicki Moreland who he married February 10, 1978; his
children, Keith (Jacqueline) Boos of Niagara Falls, Gayle
(Shawn) McKinnon of OK, and Matthew Boos of Niagara Falls; a
brother, George A. (Teresa) Boos of Niagara Falls; five sisters,
Kathleen (late George) Swailes, Jean Boos, Mary (late John Rice)
Qi, Ann Bale all of Niagara Falls and Barbara (Sonny) Morreale
of Ransomville; his grandchildren, Darrell Jr., Kashmir and
Kammi Moyer, Zachary and Atara Boos all of Niagara Falls, Shawn
McKinnon, Camryn McKinnon and Jacob McKinnon all of OK; and many
nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and cousins. He was
the father of the late Douglas Boos, and brother of the late
Richard J. Boos, Larry Boos, John M. (Barbara of Town of
Niagara) Boos, Charles R. (Rose of Niagara Falls) Boos and
Patricia Magliazzo. The family will receive friends from 4 to 8
PM Monday in the LANE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 8622 Buffalo Avenue,
where funeral services will be held Tuesday at 9:15 AM, followed
by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in St. Mary's of the
Cataract Church, 4th Street. Interment will be in Riverdale
Cemetery, Town of Lewiston.
Published in the Greater Niagara Newspapers from 7/25/2009 -
faker gets 20 years for robbery
NEWS July 21, 2009, 7:12 AM /
Bonner Jr., who helped concoct the fake 911 robbery call that
led to the death of a Buffalo police officer, was sentenced
Monday to 20 years in prison for his arrest in the same store
moments after a knifepoint street crime six years later.
26, of Linwood Terrace, was sentenced on his robbery conviction
for his role in the theft of about $50 from a woman in the 500
block of Linwood Avenue at about 8 p. m. last Oct. 28. He has
been in jail since his arrest about 15 minutes later in the
A-Plus Market at Delaware and West Delavan avenues.
was one of four men convicted of staging a fake 911 robbery call
from that same store Oct. 30, 2002. Police Officer James
Shields, a 36-year-old father of two, was killed when his patrol
car crashed into a tree responding to that fake “bandits”
call. Bonner and his cohorts had faked the 911 call to cover the
theft of money from the store
arrest suspect in attempted murder
NEWS July 21, 2009, 7:08 AM /
23-year-old Buffalo man was arrested Sunday on an
attempted-murder charge in the June 13 shooting of a Cheektowaga
police say the shooting took place at 3:30 p. m. June 13 at the
corner of Best and Ellicott streets, when a gunman fired several
shots from a 9 mmhandgun at the victim.
Erving, 20, who has a Cheektowaga address, was hit twice in the
stomach and once in the chest.
Sgt. Thomas J. Donovan and Detective Kevin T. Biggs arrested
Victor M. Terrell at 11:45 a. m. Sunday at his Grey Street
addition to the second-degree attempted- murder charge, Terrell
faces a charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
did not say what led them to Terrell nor did they release a
motive in the shooting.
was arrested in May 2007 in a carjacking incident following a
high-speed chase in which he drove the wrong way on the Niagara
prompt evacuation of City Hall, Police HQ
NEWS July 21, 2009, 7:08 AM /
Buffalo man was arrested Monday afternoon after police say he
called in fake bomb threats that forced the evacuation of City
Hall and Buffalo Police Headquarters for one hour.
T. Taylor, 23, of Edison Street, is charged with two counts each
of falsely reporting an incident, aggravated harassment and
disorderly conduct, said Michael J. DeGeorge, a Buffalo police
called 911 from a public phone shortly before 1 p. m. to report
first that there was a bomb at City Hall and then, in a second
call, that there was a bomb at Police Headquarters.
buildings were evacuated and searched by police and fire
personnel with the aid of a bomb-sniffing dog.
about 1:45 p. m., officials determined it was safe for employees
to return after no device was found in either building.
soon led investigators to Taylor, DeGeorge said, though he
declined say more.
did not immediately know the possible motive for the fake threat
cop hospitalized after crash
NEWS July 20, 2009, 11:42 AM
Buffalo police officer this morning continues to undergo
treatment at Erie County Medical Center for head injuries he
suffered in a car accident early Sunday.
injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, Michael J.
DeGeorge, a Buffalo police spokesman, said today.
29-year-old South District officer, whose name was not
released, was responding to an emergency call at about 2:30
a.m. when the accident occurred.
officer was driving east on Seneca Street through the
intersection of Seneca and Smith streets when a driver in
another vehicle traveling south on Smith broadsided the
officer's patrol car.
charges have been filed in the case.
of violence continues, as 2 more shot overnight
expresses shock as separate killings occur within 15 hours on
East and West sides
Jake May and Maki Becker
July 11, 2009
continued on the streets of Buffalo overnight as two men were
shot early today, after three other men were shot dead between
Thursday night and Friday afternoon.
three fatal shootings marked the deadliest 15 hours for
first to die was Markell J. Lewis, 27, of Crossman Avenue, who
was fatally shot at about 11 p.m. Thursday while sitting in
his vehicle on his street, near Buffalo's Schiller Park, city
Figueroa, 29, of Seventh Street, was shot at about 1:30 p.m.
Friday while walking in the 100 block of Whitney Place on the
city's West Side.
Haugabook, 19, of Willert Park, was shot about an hour later
near Paderewski Drive and Townsend Street on the city's East
doesn't appear to be anything to link the three murders, which
occurred in different parts of the city," said Dennis J.
Richards, chief of detectives. "It's newsworthy, but it's
not unusual that you could have this [three murders so close
in time] happen."
was about a year ago when a streak of violence between noon
July 5 and 12:20 a.m. July 6 left three people dead in
separate attacks, all on the East Side. The first homicide
victim was strangled, and the last two were shot.
latest deaths have increased the city's total this year to 28.
In contrast, the 22nd homicide occurred on this date last
hate to throw statistics out because these are people's
lives," Richards said.
are at a higher pace than last year, but last year was much
better than the year before and better even than the year
motives or suspects have been established in the latest
slayings, and police are urging the public to call the
Confidential TIPCALL Line with information. The number is
two shootings early Saturday, neither of which were fatal,
began at 1:09 a.m.
Almond, 22, told police he was shot while he was being robbed
of his gold chain. Almond was in the 100 block of Erb Street
when he and two friends were approached by a man he described
as a light-complected black man in his late teens or early
20s. He was of slim build, about 5 feet, 11 weighing 150
pounds and wearing a blue hat and a white T-shirt. He may have
man put a black, long nose revolver to the victim's ribs and
snatched the gold chain from his neck, Almond said. Almond
then grabbed the charm off the gold chain and put it into his
pocket, as the gunman took the safety off the weapon. The
victim's friends ran away and the gunman shot Almond in the
friends, who were also robbed, drove him to Erie County
Medical Center where has listed in fair condition late
Saturday morning. One friend lost $100 in cash to the thief,
the other lost his gold chain, $70 in cash and a cellphone
at 3:57 a.m., Morris Singer III, whose age was not available,
was walking into his residence on Colfax Avenue when a gunman
came up behind him and shot him three times in the left leg.
He suffered wounds to his lower part of his leg, knee and
upper thigh. He was taken by Rural Metro ambulance to ECMC
where was still in the emergency room at 9:30 a.m. He may have
to undergo surgery, officials said.
of the latest homicide at Paderewski Drive and Townsend Street
remained sketchy Saturday. Witnesses told police they heard
several shots at about 2:30 p.m. Haugabook died a short time
Whitney Place near Maryland Street an hour earlier, at least
five shots were fired at Figueroa, who was dead by the time
officers arrived, Richards said.
are looking into the possibility of a drive-by shooting and
are searching for a vehicle.
Whitney Place resident told The Buffalo News she heard
gunshots and went outside, where she found neighbors huddled
around Figueroa on the sidewalk.
shots sounded like a hammer or could have passed for loud
fireworks. When I came outside, he was on the ground,"
said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. "I was
face to face with him, and he was still alive."
woman, who has lived on Whitney Place for 18 years, said she
had seen Figueroa in the neighborhood recently but did not
just felt bad," the woman said. "I wanted him to get
88-year-old woman who said she sits on her porch during the
day, nearly every day, keeping tabs on the street's
activities, said the neighborhood is not violent.
was shocked to see this," she said, also asking to remain
vacant houses sit boarded up on the street, two near where
Figueroa was gunned down.
vacants are a problem. The city needs to come in and tear them
down," the elderly woman said. "I have seen boys
selling drugs in them. They come in and out of the
neighborhood. They need to demolish them once and for
Lopez, 64, and his wife just moved onto Whitney Place in early
December. As he and a few dozen others gazed at the crime
scene, he was thankful the shooting did not occur any later in
the afternoon, as his grandchildren were coming to visit.
played with one another on the front lawn laughing this
afternoon as Lopez talked about how this one instance has
transformed a once-quiet and quaint neighborhood into a
fearful place to live.
need to make sure my family is safe. I mean, really, this
shows me that anything can happen. Even to go and walk down
the street isn't safe anymore," he said. "Some
people, they don't care anymore. Whoever shot this man
doesn't. Look at this. Shooting people in the streets in the
middle of the day like that .What is this world coming to?
Anything can happen. Jesus!"
was shot shortly after 11 p.m., sitting with another person in
his vehicle on Crossman Avenue.
this point, we believe the victim was a front-seat passenger
in a vehicle operated by another person," Richards said.
"After the shooting, the driver fled the scene and hailed
down a police officer a short distance away."
was pronounced dead at Domedion Avenue and Heminway Street
which is around the corner from the shooting scene. That area
is south of Genesee Street, a few blocks west of the city
law enforcement sources said Lewis had a drug record.
in February, according to police reports and Buffalo News
stories, Lewis was charged with felony drug counts following a
federal raid that led to the arrests of 34 people with alleged
ties to a drug operation called the 31 Gang.
fourth shooting, which was not fatal, occurred at about 10:30
p.m. Thursday at High and Lemon streets. There, Christopher
Costner, 19, of Hempstead Avenue, was shot in the leg and
treated in nearby Buffalo General Hospital.
driver is victim of carjacking on Walden
NEWS July 09, 2009, 7:09 AM
man was the victim of a carjacking Wednesday on Walden Avenue,
Ferry-Fillmore District police said.
victim said that at about 5:15 p. m. while in the 100 block of
Walden, he was approached by two men wearing red hooded sweat
shirts who displayed a silver handgun.
man, who was inside his 2002 Chevy Trailblazer, was told to
get out of his truck. He complied, and the carjackers fled in
shot to death sitting in car near Schiller Park
Gene Warner BUFFALO NEWS
July 10, 2009
man in his la
te 20s was shot to death while sitting in a vehicle late
Thursday night in Buffalo's Schiller Park neighborhood, city
shooting occurred shortly after 11 p.m., while the man and
another person were sitting in the vehicle on Crossman Street.
appears that the victim was sitting in the passenger's seat
when shots were fired from outside the vehicle, and the victim
was struck," police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.
did not have any information about how many times the man was
struck and where on his body. Police have not yet released his
believe that the driver drove away, apparently to seek help,
before stopping the vehicle around the corner, at Domedion
Avenue and Hemingway Street.
man who was shot was pronounced dead at the scene, south of
Genesee Street, a few blocks west of the city line.
Buffalo's gangs a code of blood and 'honor'
07/05/09 11:59 AM
has been shot three times, and he’s only 22. A gang leader
who has bossed the boys in the Box-Kehr streets area, Curtis
is described by some as a “brutal young man.” Maybe seeing
his 17-year-old brother Carl—a random victim—get shot in
the face and watching him die in his arms had something to do
with the molding his brutish personality. Andrew “stayed on
the block” as a teenager, hanging with the 31 Gang, a local
posse of neighborhood toughs in the Broadway area.
was some drugs, some guns and stuff [involved],” says the
20-year-old, who does not admit to carrying or shooting a gun
Jamod has been shot in the neck, but “it’s no big deal,”
he says. After all, just about everyone he knows has been shot
or stabbed at least once. Some are dead. Some are in prison.
the gangsta life, the hustla life. That’s how it is for a
lot of young kids on Buffalo’s streets—kids who are in
search of a peculiar kind of honor and respect.
sources count more than 6,100 members in more than 40
“posses”— or gangs—scattered throughout the East and
West sides and in South Buffalo. Most of the groups are
“local and unorganized.”
spate of gang-related killings, shootings and arrests prompted
a Buffalo News reporter to spend the last four months reaching
out to members to learn what motivates them and discover what
makes them choose a path that puts them in life-threatening
circumstances on a daily basis.
names of the gang members have been changed to provide them
anonymity that they requested out of fear of police or gang
retribution. However, because youths often exaggerate their
experiences, The News also sought to verify through police and
courts the stories the gang members related.
lives of the young men interviewed and others like them
resemble those depicted in Hollywood movies or HBO gangsta
series. Only this is not a dramatization. For these young men,
the danger doesn’t end when the television is turned off.
guns. The drugs. The violence. The beatings.
all real for them, as real as bullets and blood.
Curtis, Andrew and Jamod—try to get out, with varying
degrees of success.
like 14-year-old Christian Portes, run out of time. Christian
was shot to death just after midnight June 13 while riding his
bike home from a party in his Lower West Side neighborhood.
a year ago, he started down a path that involved gangs and
run-ins with police, his family said. The night he was shot,
he had snuck out of their Niagara Street house to attend a
made some mistakes; a lot of kids make mistakes. But
[recently] he was doing better,” said his mother, Ruth
the gang life, though, “mistakes” can have deadly
game is real serious. We kill people. We sell drugs. We
recruit young people to get in,” said 20-year-old Cosme,
describing a lifestyle he says he has lived since he was 13.
He said he is trying to get out.
glory in it. Buffalo police recently found on YouTube a video
in which many of the young people in the video are masked and
wave what appear to police to be assault rifles and pistols as
they rap about the “cash chase.” It looks like something
off of BET or MTV—but it was set in the Langfield public
of Detectives Dennis Richards would not comment on whether any
of those in the brazen
video are known to police.
obviously seem to be using gang symbolism, and all of this
would be disturbing,” Richards said. While some might view
the YouTube clip as “just a video,” he said this recording
is “carrying it to another level.”
Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says crime in every major
category is down in the city since 2005, but that police still
try to be proactive.
are a lot of things we start putting in place [in summer] to
start dealing with what comes,” Derenda said, citing the
addition of police details and strict enforcement of the
curfew “to keep younger kids in the house.”
sense of belonging
Portes was violating curfew when he was killed.
teens and young men in gangs, the way of life is not really a
choice; it’s what they know—the way other teens know to go
to school or adults know to go to work. They find a sense of
belonging in places the rest of us don’t understand.
was doin’ robberies of other drug dealers, breaking and
entering, and selling drugs, but they showed a young brother
love,” said 22-year-old Anthony, explaining why he was drawn
to the life. He’s had run-ins with the police but does not
have a record.
Luis Acosta runs Urban Community Corporation for at-risk young
adults. He knows firsthand the allure of the street because he
was a gang leader when he lived on the Lower West Side and
while he was in federal prison for shooting an FBI informant.
got into it looking for a father figure. Our friends embraced
each other, we all came from broken homes,” Acosta said.
“We were each others’ fathers, big brothers and
is no deterrent because these kids don’t see the long view.
in mentoring sessions, some can be overheard planning to
“hit the corner” and “make that paper”— earn drug
money—as soon as the session is over.
guns they carry—many brought in from states with lax gun
laws—are easy to get if one has the right connections.
many cases, the “OGs” (older or original gangstas) provide
guns to the “YGs” (young gangstas). That’s so the older
ones can avoid getting caught packing by police, and because
juveniles don’t usually get prison time if caught with a
Cosme, a connection to the Latin Kings was his birthright: His
dad had been a Latin King, his mom a Latin Queen. One day when
Cosme was hanging out on the West Side, a guy driving a nice
car stopped him on the street and approached him about
said he knew my dad and he could bless me [into the gang],”
of being blessed into a gang, there are other, less pleasant
ways of joining.
they send a recruit on a mission with a gun, he and others
said. Other times, they subject a potential member to a
“jump.” That’s when a group surrounds the recruit and he
must fight his way out. If the recruit survives, he’s in. If
he doesn’t, they drape a flag over him.
still show you respect,” Cosme said.
is one of the five jewels on the Latin Kings’ symbolic
crown. The four other jewels represent honor, knowledge,
obedience and sacrifice.
gang lifestyle comes with its own rules, rituals and
symbolism, including athletic or business logos that take on
experts say the Latin Kings adopted the logo of hockey’s Los
Angeles Kings. The Crips adopted the logos of British Knights
sneakers and Burger King fast food, but, for the gang, the
initials “B” and “K” stand for Blood Killers.
handshakes are also significant, especially when one is
greeting a drug customer on the street in broad daylight:
Welcome the customer with the drug in your palm, slap hands
and give him a hearty handshake while transferring the
product. “Slap ’em up,” is what it’s called.
excuses, just facts
is not the kind of life many of the young men would have
chosen for themselves, but it’s what they know. They don’t
make excuses. They simply tell the facts.
door, we didn’t have doctors, lawyers, and in some cases, no
parents,” said Acosta, whose Seventh Street nonprofit agency
teaches at-risk clients marketable skills like construction
Kuebler runs the Youth With a Purpose program out of the Holy
Cross Church Youth Center on Seventh Street. On his office
wall, amid hundreds of pictures, poems and essays, are photos
of Christian Portes in happier times.
kids say things like, ‘They have money to light up the Peace
Bridge but no money to buy textbooks,’ ” Kuebler said.
“It’s driven by economics. We send a message that building
character and relationships is not important.”
is in Kuebler’s mentoring program. He says he does not want
to be a gangbanger anymore, saying he’s seen “too many
people getting hurt or killed over drugs or money.”
Judge James A. W. McLeod has seen too many kids in court who
“just need . . . someone they can sit and talk to”;
someone “that has lived their life experience.” So he
began a “youth court” in January, working with community
groups and educators to provide services that can help teens
escape the street life.
far, about 200 kids have been steered into the youth court.
McLeod said it’s too soon to assess the impact, but “if we
can just save 10 to 15 percent, as opposed to losing 100
percent, that’s a ‘win’ for me.”
lot to overcome
Jamod, Andrew and Anthony are in mentoring and GED programs
run by the Stop the Violence Coalition in the Ellicott-Masten
YMCA. Andrew has landed a hotel job while working on his GED.
program is in its fourth year, has graduated about 22 students
and has a 90 percent success rate, said Arlee “Joop”
Daniels Jr., a former gang leader who runs the program.
when the young men walk out the doors of that—or
any—program, they face the same poverty and joblessness, the
same hopelessness, the same drug deals, the same guns that
ensnared them in the first place.
can be a lot to overcome.
for example, slipped back in with the wrong crowd and now
faces a drug possession charge.
doesn’t take much to get a young man riled up . . . and back
into some of the things that got him in trouble in the first
place,” Daniels said.
also what happened to 18- year-old Fred Harris, who is in jail
now on $100,000 bail for his part in two armed stickups,
including a gunpoint robbery of a cab driver three months ago.
had two jobs, had enrolled in college. And then some part of
the streets, peer pressure, sort of got the best of him,”
don’t feel good about it, but I understand it wholeheartedly
because the system has not provided a lot of opportunities for
young men who live in areas where the poverty is a lot more
severe than in other areas.
heartbreaking, but we know that you can only do so much.
You’re not going to be able to save them all.”
of officer’s ear severed in attack by pit bull
NEWS 06/29/09 07:05 AM
Buffalo police officer needed 34 stitches to reattach part of
his right ear after he was attacked by a pit bull Saturday
attack occurred as Officer James Hosking was attempting to
arrest James Gardner, 19, of Olympic Avenue, on a trespass
Gardner allegedly resisted the officer, his pit bull left its
crate and attacked Hosking, according to a police report.
Hosking was released after treatment in Erie County Medical
initially were answering a trespass complaint when they found
Gardner inside a house on Olympic Avenue from which he had
been evicted in March, the police report said.
addition to trespassing, Gardner was charged with
second-degree assault, resisting arrest and second-degree
obstructing governmental administration.
|At least 15 shots fired in drive-by that
BUFFALO NEWS 06/11/09 11:30 AM
Two men shot in a drive-by shooting at the intersection of
Marshall and Bardol streets late Wednesday night were taken to
Erie County Medical Center where they were treated and later
An 18-year-old Town of Tonawanda man and a 20-year-old
Buffalo man said that while they were walking at the
intersection at about 10:50 p.m. an occupant inside a sports
utility vehicle began firing at them, according to
Ferry-Fillmore District police.
District detectives said they recovered 15 shell casings
from the scene
One victim dies after
Tuesday's triple shooting on West Side
victime dies a Police seek motive in afternoon attack
Michel BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER 06/09/2009
of the three men shot Tuesday afternoon on the city's West
Side died shortly afterward, Buffalo homicide detectives said
T. Rockmore, 24, of the 300 block of Breckenridge Street, was
shot in the stomach in the attack at about 1:50 p.m. and died
at Millard Fillmore Hospital at 3:55 p.m. Tuesday, detectives
other victims were Desmond Green, 24, of the 300 block of West
Delavan Avenue, and Jesus Rivera-Rios, 25, of the 100 block of
Baitz Avenue. green was shot in the back and Rivera-Rios was
hit in the stomach and arm. They were taken to Erie County
Medical Center and were expected to live.
shootings occurred on the 200 block of West Delavan, just east
of Grant Street. Police believe a lone gunman shot the three
and then fled. They do not yet know if the gunman had a car or
was on foot.
motive for the shootings has not yet been established and
police are appealing to the public to help them in their
investigation. Information can be reported to the force's
confidential tip line at 847-2255.
who was listed in serious condition today, was shot in front
of 272 West Delavan, and he collapsed on the sidewalk and
front step. Rivera-Rios and Rockmore were shot in the street,
a short distance from Green. Green's uncle, Lenny Green, said
his nephew had never been in trouble.
tried to rob them," Lenny Green said. "I heard they
pulled up in a white car and said, ‘Drop it.’ ”
continued: “To me, it’s just tragic. Bad things happen to
good people. My nephew doesn’t have a record, he’s not
involved in street gang life, and he’s worked as a security
arrested with loaded guns
separate arrests involving loaded weapons were made early
today and late Sunday by Ferry-Fillmore District police.
3 a.m. today, officers arrested Gregory K. Laster, 19, on the
100 block of Schuele Avenue after a foot chase through a
series of yards.
the pursuit, police said, they saw the Schuele Avenue resident
discard a loaded handgun, which was later recovered and had
three bullets in it. Laster was charged with criminal
possession of a weapon. Officers involved in the arrest
included Adam O'Shei, Mark Goodspeed, Brian Griffin and Dennis
10 p.m. Sunday, Griffin and Gilbert arrested Eric S. Johnson,
16, of the first block of Gerhardt Street, for possession of a
handgun at Dodge Street and Roehrer Avenue. There was one
bullet in the chamber and 15 in the magazine, the officers
say man pulled knife while resisting arrest
Rodney Avenue man was arrested late Friday and charged with
resisting arrest and several other counts after he allegedly
pulled a knife on police officers while struggling with them,
said they were investigating “neighbor trouble” at the
Rodney Avenue address when they were confronted by Michael
Smith, 19. As the officers approached him, he pulled out a
knife, a police report said. Officers struggled with Smith for
two to three minutes before he was handcuffed. He then refused
to get into the police car, kicking at the legs of the
officers, the report said.
was charged with resisting arrest, fourth-degree criminal
possession of a weapon, obstructing governmental
administration and two counts of disorderly conduct.
offender found guilty in robbery
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 05/23/09 10:46 AM
Linwood Avenue man, who was arrested last October in the same
convenience store where he had helped concoct a fake 911
robbery call that led to the death of a Buffalo police
officer, has been convicted of robbery.
Bonner Jr., 26, was found guilty by a jury following about
five hours of deliberation after a four-day trial before State
Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.
who has been in jail since his arrest about 15 minutes after
last year’s knifepoint crime, became visibly dejected as the
verdict was announced. The judge remanded him pending his July
Brian K. Parker said he will urge Erie County District
Attorney Frank A. Sedita III to recommend the judge impose the
maximum-allowable 25-year prison term for the crime. Bonner,
who did not take the witness stand, faces at least 10 years
behind bars because of his earlier conviction.
20-year-old robbery victim Wednesday told the jury she gave
her wallet containing about $50 to a second robber as Bonner
held a curved knife to her neck and demanded her money after
she was confronted on Linwood near Lafayette avenues Oct. 28.
second person, who had run off with the wallet, was never
identified, and the wallet was never recovered, the jury
closing arguments, Dell insisted Bonner had been the victim of
mistaken identity, and he questioned the victim’s
credibility on her description of the knife held to her
said he will appeal the conviction.
was arrested in the same A-Plus Market at Delaware and West
Delavan avenues involved in the 2002 on-duty death of Police
Officer James Shields. He was killed when his patrol car
crashed into a tree as he tried to avoid hitting another
vehicle while chasing the non-existent fleeing robbers Bonner
and his cohorts described.
to state prison and court records, Bonner was released on
parole from the Groveland Correctional Facility Oct. 29, 2004,
13 months after State Supreme Court Justice Joseph
Forma sentenced him to a two-year prison term on his felony
false reporting plea in the Shields case.
fake 911 call had reportedly been crafted by Bonner and his
cohorts to cover their theft of money from the store.
prison terms levied in attempted murder case
News Staff Reporter
East Side men today were sentenced to long terms in state
prison for trying to kill a Buffalo police officer during a
high-speed car chase.
A. Carr and Demetrius McGee, both 21, were sentenced by Erie
County Judge Shirley Troutman for their actions during an
incident on May 15, 2008.
police began chasing them after they allegedly fired from
their sport utility vehicle at houses and cars in the
Cambridge Avenue area.
of Perkins Place, was ordered to serve 30 years to life term
on his April 14 jury conviction for first-degree attempted
Erie County district attorney's office identified Carr as the
gunman who hung out the passenger side window of the vehicle,
repeatedly firing at houses and then at Officer Ronald J.
also 21, of South Division Street, was ordered to serve 25
years to life on his first-degree attempted murder conviction.
He was identified as the driver who tried to escape when Clark
and other officers tried to arrest them after a 7 p.m.
shooting spree on Cambridge Avenue.
two defendants were arrested when they abandoned and fled from
their vehicle in downtown Buffalo about an hour after the
of the defendants spoke during their sentencings but both
raised their handcuffed hands to show solidarity with several
of their supporters as they were led from the packed
chided McGee, a high school dropout, for driving through a
populated area at speeds up to 100 mph.
that DNA evidence on both a hat and a handgun found after the
shooting contained Carr's DNA, the judge denounced him for
what she called his "depraved" disregard for human
Max Humann urged the judge to impose the maximum
40-year-to-life terms on each of the men for endangering the
lives of police officers and citizens, including children.
Authorities said the motive for the shooting spree is still
unknown to law enforcement.
both defendants appealing the convictions, Joseph J. Terranova,
McGee's attorney, told the judge he still cannot understand
why his client turned down a pre-trial plea deal that would
have seen him facing only a maximum seven-year prison term.
Ross Fogg, Carr's attorney, insisted that Andre B. Goldsmith,
20, of Bissell Avenue, who is still jailed and facing trial on
only weapons and reckless endangerment charges in the case,
was the actual shooter.
leads to arrest for selling drugs from taxi
tip to police lead to the arrest Wednesday of a cab driver
selling drugs from his vehicle in the Northeast District.
P. Courtland, 33, of the 700 block of East Delavan Avenue, was
stopped by Officer Joseph Wendel at about 5:45 a.m. after he
failed to signal when making a turn at the intersection of
Davidson and Bickford avenues, the officer said, describing
when he had spotted the green taxi.
inspecting the cab, Wendel said he found 17 bags of crack
cocaine. He also determined that Courtland lacked a permit to
work as a cab driver.
was charged with criminal possession and intention to sell a
Daniel Owczarczak assisted in the arrest.
quickly captured in Broadway shooting death
37-year-old Buffalo man was shot several times early this
morning near a Broadway parking lot and was later pronounced
dead in Erie County Medical Center.
police quickly apprehended a suspect, Timothy Sanders, 29, of
May Street, near the scene. The shooting was the 16th homicide
in Buffalo this year.
was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession
of a weapon.
Mark Goodspeed was on routine patrol at about 4 a.m. when he
heard gunshots coming from near a parking lot at 1478
responded to the sound and saw Sanders running from the lot.
Upon seeing the officer, the suspect tossed a handgun to the
ground, police said.
tackled Sanders and took him into custody. He was assisted by
Officers Brian O. Griffin and Dennis Gilbert.
shooting victim, whose name was being withheld by police, was
rushed by ambulance to ECMC, where he was pronounced dead.
said they don't have a motive for the shooting yet.
reasons yet unknown, the suspect had shot at the 37-year-old
victim, striking him several times. He was attempting to flee
the scene when he was spotted by the alert Officer Goodspeed,"
said Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards.
recovered a .25 caliber handgun that they believe is the
detective helps rescue woman
L. Kelley, a Buffalo detective recovering from surgery, was
headed to physical therapy Tuesday afternoon when he came
across a burning house on Janet Street.
flames and smoke poured out of the structure’s second floor,
he stopped and tried to alert the occupant to get out.
that failed, he and an on-duty officer went into the burning
home to rescue a woman.
called 911 and assumed someone was in the house, and so I took
my cane and began banging on all the doors,” said Kelley,
who recently had a hip replacement.
the frantic efforts, Kelley was unable to get a response.
help arrived. Northeast District Police Officer George
Fletcher pulled up, and Kelley, who is not up to full strength
because of his surgery, shouted instructions.
that log,” Kelley said pointing to a landscaping timber.
“I held open the screen door, and George broke open the door
window with the log.”
They then rushed inside.”
soon as we gained entry, the lady was coming toward us to
answer the door. She said, ‘What’s going on?’ and I
said, ‘There’s a fire. You gotta get out of here.’ She
had no shoes on,” Kelley recalled. “We got her out and put
her in Officer Fletcher’s patrol car.”
arrived just as the three were coming out the burning house,
and one of the first reports the firefighters radioed into
dispatch was that the occupant had gotten out of the house
you’re off duty or on duty, you have to do what you have to
do to make sure everyone is safe,” Kelley said.
wound up missing his physical therapy appointment at the
University at Buffalo but said it was for a good cause.
just have to reschedule it,” Kelley said. “The woman
thanked me, and so did her neighbors.”
rescued woman was identified as Sharee McIlwain.
phoned in the fire at 50 Janet, between Davidson Avenue and
Eggert Road, at 12:49 p. m.
said it started on the second floor, and the cause remains
under investigation. Damage was estimated at $85,000.
cop kills one intruder, wounds another
Gene Warner News Staff Reporter 04/22/09
off-duty Buffalo police officer shot two burglars, one
fatally, at the officer's home in the Kensington-Bailey area
this morning, police said.
double shooting occurred about 9:25 a.m. at a home on
Burlington Avenue, after police said the officer heard someone
trying to break in at his side door.
off-duty officer was home at the time, heard the commotion and
shot the two intruders," Chief of Detectives Dennis J.
Richards said late this morning.
would not identify the police officer or the two people shot,
but officials said the man who was killed was 36 years old. He
was pronounced dead on arrival at Erie County Medical Center.
other man who was shot also was taken to ECMC, where he was
undergoing emergency surgery late this morning.
still are looking for a third person who may have been
involved in the burglary attempt, but they're not sure of that
person's role in the crime.
off-duty police officer used his personal weapon in the
shootings, officials said.
detectives and the police department's Professional Standards
Division both are investigating the shootings. Police officers
still at the scene late this morning were taking the side door
from the scene as a piece of evidence.
Avenue is a small L-shaped street that runs east from Olympic
Avenue, before running north and south, just west of Bailey
Avenue, a few blocks south of Kensington Avenue.
Officer Richard Cruz
Buffalo Police Officer Dies After Collapsing
Richard Cruz, a decorated member of the Buffalo Police
Department and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom,
died Wednesday evening in Buffalo General Hospital
shortly after collapsing in the driveway of his West
53, a 23-year veteran of the department, was an
officer in the Ferry-Fillmore District.
learned that Cruz — who was off-duty at the time —
was stricken at about 7 p. m.
was the second off-duty Buffalo police officer to die
in less than a month after being stricken at home by
apparent cardiac illness.
Richard D. Woods, 47, a leading authority on street
gangs and 24-year veteran of the Police Department,
died March 6 after suffering a heart attack at his
department certainly was stunned with the loss of
Richard Woods and is equally as stunned by Officer
Cruz’s death,” said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo
police spokesman. “It’s a very difficult time for
the department right now.”
Woods and Cruz started as police officers in the city
2004, as a sergeant in the Army National Guard serving
in Iraq, Cruz suffered a head wound when a vehicle in
which he was riding was attacked by insurgents. At the
time, Cruz was training police recruits.
in his police career, Cruz received an award by
then-Mayor James D. Griffin for “courage and
dedication” after taking a seriously injured
motorcyclist to the hospital in his own vehicle.
who was off-duty at the time of the 1988 Scajaquada
Expressway wreck, stabilized the broken arm of the
motorcyclist, who had been hit by a hit-and-run
driver. Doctors credited Cruz with saving the man’s
arm and possibly his life.
Cruz was a credit to this department and his
country,” De- George said.
Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson ordered all Police
Department buildings to fly its flags at half-staff.
T. J. Pignataro
hit poker game at Hertel Avenue restaurant
NEWS Updated: 03/31/09
An early-morning poker game in the North End Restaurant on
the 1400 block of Hertel Avenue ended abruptly when two
robbers upped the ante.
The thieves entered the restaurant through a side door and
attempted to rob the card players at 12:05 a.m. today,
according to Northwest District police.
When one of the crooks proved he wasn't bluffing and
displayed two handguns, the eight card players ran from the
restaurant, leaving behind their bets.
Police said an undetermined amount of money was taken and
no shots were fired.
fires shot while being chased by cops
Buffalo teenager, accused earlier this month of threatening a
family with a firearm, fired a gun during a brief foot chase
with police on Saturday night, according to a city police
Q. Goree, 16, faces four felony counts following his arrest on
Oxford Avenue, near Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital.
of Parkdale Avenue, was approached by officers on Oxford, ran
north and fired one shot from a .38 caliber revolver before
dropping the gun. He was apprehended on Oxford between West
Balcom Street and Lafayette Avenue at about 11:20 p.m.,
according to a report.
was charged with two counts of first-degree reckless
endangerment, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon
and obstructing governmental administration.
had been called to the area for the report of a man with a
was arrested earlier this month by Niagara Frontier
Transportation Authority police after he and three other men
allegedly threatened a woman and her family with guns.
the March 5 incident, Goree, Chaz C. Davis, 19, of Humber
Avenue, and Marcus A. Glover, 24, of West Balcom, allegedly
threatened the family on Oxford and West Ferry Street.
was charged with menacing, promoting prison contraband and
unlawful possession of marijuana. At the time, NFTA police
said the arrested parties were members of a gang.
Police Expert on Gangs
|Buffalo Officer Richard D. Woods, a 24-year
veteran of the department and a leading authority on street
gangs, died today after being stricken at his Lancaster home.
He was 47.
Woods, who most recently worked in the department's
training academy at the 74 Franklin St. headquarters, was a
decorated officer who sat as an expert on several local panels
on gang activity.
He served as the vice president of the Western Chapter of
the East Coast Gang Investigators Association. Those who knew
him called Woods' death a "tremendous loss" to the
community and his profession.
Woods was apparently stricken in his driveway about 4 p.m.
and rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital, Cheektowaga, where he
died. Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson was at the
hospital with Woods' family, police said. Buffalo News 03/06/09
Teachers Accused of Having Sex With Same Student In Utah
relationships alleged with 13-year-old high school student
10:30 PM PDT, Sat, Mar 7, 2009
junior high school teachers in Utah have been arrested
for allegedly sexually assaulting the same 13-year old boy,
according to a newspaper report.
inappropriate student-teacher relationships involved Utah
studies teacher and cheerleading adviser Linda
R. Nef, 46 and Valynne Bowers, 39, a math teacher, the
Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Bountiful Jr. High teachers did not know the other was
carrying on an affair with the student until recently,
Bountiful Police Lt. Randy Pickett told the Tribune.
reportedly met with police and said that she had been
having sex with the boy for over a year, police said. She then
told police about the boy's subsequent relationship
with Bowers, who later confirmed it
former NYC cops sentenced to life for mob hits
former New York police detectives convicted of moonlighting as
contract killers in eight mob hits were sentenced Friday to
life in prison after telling a judge they were innocent.
was a hard-working cop," Louis Eppolito told U.S.
District Judge Jack Weinstein in federal court in Brooklyn.
"I never hurt anybody. I never kidnapped anybody. ... I
never did any of this."
was sentenced to life in prison for his conspiracy conviction
plus 100 years for various other offenses including money
laundering, and fined $4.7 million. Stephen Caracappa received
a life term plus 80 years, and a $4.2 million fine.
has been sentenced to life in prison on Friday, March 6, 2009,
for his conviction in eight gangland murders. Prosecutors said
Eppolito and fellow detective Stephen Caracappa moonlighted as
hitmen for the Luchese crime family while on the force during
61, and Caracappa, 67, had worked as partners on the police
force and logged a combined 44 years on the job. They were
found guilty of secretly being on the payroll of Luchese
underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso starting in the
said the pair used their police credentials to make traffic
stops that ended with the driver killed. They also said the
officers kidnapped a man suspected in an attempted mob hit
against Casso and turned him over to a mobster responsible for
former detectives also were accused of providing bad
information that led to the mistaken-identity murder of an
innocent man killed as his mother washed the dishes following
a Christmas Day family dinner.
and Caracappa were arrested during a 2005 drug sting in Las
Vegas, where they had retired.The case had been marked by
legal twists, including the judge's 2006 decision to throw out
a conviction after finding that the statute of limitations had
expired on the slayings. An appeals court reversed the
decision last year, clearing the way for the sentencing.
Attorney Benton Campbell said in a statement that he hoped the
sentences would bring closure "for the families of the
victims of these defendants' unspeakable crimes and for the
citizens of the city whose trust they betrayed."
Lino, the son of one of the victims, told the former officers:
"May you have a long life in prison."
Police Officer Patty Parete, wounded in Dec. 2006, goes home
months of delays,wounded police officeris about to move
intoher custom-built houseand closer to a new life
is a story about a newly built raised-ranch home in Niagara
County—and the hope it offers a wounded Buffalo police
officer who hasn’t caught a lot of breaks in the last few
a gorgeous new home, a 2,300- square-foot house, complete with
a roll-in shower, lower countertops and light switches,
hardwood floors and wider hallways to accommodate Buffalo
Police Officer Patricia A. Parete and her wheelchair.
home in the Town of Pendleton is almost finished, and Parete
and her partner, Maryellen Opalinski, plan to move there in
the next couple weeks.
was critically wounded when she was shot on duty in December
2006, and she still has no real use of her hands, arms or
legs. She talks clearly and moves her head back and forth. She
also can access a computer, by using her mouth to aim a stylus
(a pointed instrument) at her computer screen.
she’s also had some recent physical setbacks, and she
hasn’t been up and around much since October because of
lingering gastrointestinal infections.
think this house symbolizes hope,” Opalinski said inside the
couple’s new home. “Patty sees this house as a new chapter
in her life. Now we can focus on her abilities, not her
often talks to Opalinski about things she’s going to do
“once I’m in the house.”
have so much catching up to do to get her back to where she
was a year ago,” Opalinski said last week. “She needs
something to give her a gentle nudge—this house.”
a practical sense, the new home will end the nomadic existence
that Parete and Opalinski have faced since that awful night,
Dec. 5, 2006.
then, Parete has lived in Erie County Medical Center, in a New
Jersey rehab center and in a handicapped- accessible apartment
in Orchard Park.
means getting some normalcy back in our life,” Opalinski
said, referring to little things like getting their dogs and
parrot back home with them.
new home—back on track now after some long delays tied to
the former builder—also is a testament to Western New
Yorkers’ generosity, a roughly $350,000 home built with the
dollars and sweat from Buffalonians who rushed to Parete’s
aid after she was shot on duty on West Chippewa Street.
think it’s clearly the result of an outpouring of support
for Patty Parete in recognition of her sacrifice to the city
of Buffalo,” said Stephen J. Schop, an attorney who
represents Parete and Opalinski. “It is a place where she
can live the rest of her life in dignity and safety.”
it’s a tangible symbol of the more than $500,000 that has
been raised in benfits and donations for Parete and fellow
Police Officer Carl Andolina, who was shot the same night.
Andolina has directed attorney Thomas H. Burton, who manages
the fund, to funnel all the contributions to Parete’s care.
this isn’t an entirely heartwarming story.
and Opalinski figured to move into their home last fall, after
construction began in April. But their previous builder has
been accused of overcharging the couple on some items, failing
to pay some subcontractors and failing to finish the home in
happened here is one step away from scamming Mother Teresa,”
one, though, has claimed publicly that any crimes were
fall, a small community of builders, attorneys and
subcontractors came together quickly to help get the building
project back on track.
the story of Parete’s and Opalinski’s new home is a story
of dramatic ups and downs. A tragic and violent incident led
to an outpouring of support and dollars from a close-knit
community. A builder’s problems led to major delays and more
frustration. Then the team of attorneys, builders and
subcontractors rode to the rescue.
Taj Mahal couldn’t make up for what happened injury- wise to
Patty,” Burton said. “But maybe this house will make the
everyday challenges Patty and Maryellen face a little
heroes here are attorneys Schop and Burton, along with
Richard, Barbara and Robert Tesmer from Tesmer Builders and a
group of subcontractors, who donated materials or gave sizable
look at this basically as a beautiful story,” said Schop, an
attorney with Harris Beach.
and Maryellen were taken advantage of, but we were able to get
in soon enough to limit the damage,” he added. “While
we’re angry that anyone would take advantage of someone in
Patty Parete’s condition, or Maryellen Opalinski’s
situation as her caregiver, the truth is they haven’t paid
for the same nail twice. They know they’re moving into a
house that is well built and will meet their special
the delays with the other contractor, the Tesmers went to the
house last October, hooked up a sump pump to remove more than
a foot of standing water from the basement and signed a
management contract to finish the job.
Tesmers determined that roughly $100,000 worth of work
remained. Various subcontractors, including Candlelight
Cabinetry and Buffalo Granite, donated materials or provided 5
percent to 10 percent discounts or equipment upgrades. And two
individuals, kitchen designer Don Cotler of Kitchen World and
Danise Levine, an architect with the University at Buffalo,
joined Team Parete/Opalinski to help with the details.
just wanted to finish the house for her [Parete],” Richard
Tesmer said. “What happened to her was a bad reflection on
the building community. We wanted to finish it as quickly as
possible and do a good job.”
Tesmers assured the subcontractors that they would be paid for
their work. But that didn’t take much convincing.
all wanted to make sure that they donated something,” Robert
Tesmer said. “They didn’t want to take advantage of
attorneys and builders who took over the project claim that
the first general contractor, Sciandra Building and
Construction, ran short of funds while building the home.
compiled by the attorneys and contractors show that Sciandra
was paid $217,000 in four “draws,” between December 2007,
when the building contract was signed, and last
draws are partial payments typically made at various stages of
the construction process.
also paid an additional $5,000 to Sciandra, according to those
But during the building process, subcontractors began
attaching liens to the house, and those who took over the
project claim that subcontractors never received $40,000 of
what they were due.
has been accused of some unreasonable building practices, such
as putting on drywall with at least a foot of water in the
basement, with no basement floor and no heat. Those who worked
with Parete and Opalinski also complained about several
unreasonable charges from Sciandra, including an excessively
high $18,500 for filling in the lot.
he has done anything wrong, I would say he has overcharged for
certain matters, and when he received money, he failed to pay
a handful of subcontractors who had done the work,” Schop
had harsh words for Michael Sciandra from Sciandra Building
took advantage of a police officer that the city has embraced
and cared for. He didn’t just take from Patty. He took from
the people who gave money to Patty for her quality of life.
telephone number for Sciandra Building and Construction has
been temporarily disconnected, and the principal’s attorney,
John Garas, declined to comment Friday.
thoughts are more focused on her partner, and what the house
can mean for her. The home was designed to help Parete be as
independent as possible.
a house like this, if she can roll up to a toggle switch and
use her shoulder to turn the light on, it will improve the
quality of her life, improve her self-esteem and make her more
independent,” said Levine, the architect. “That also will
motivate her to work harder.”
one knows how much Parete can improve.
don’t stop hoping,” Opalinski said. “I just want
something more than she has now.”
that’s why the new home is so important.
gives us a future,” Opalinski said. “We really have been
stagnant for so long. This is the boost Patty needs.”
“The Factory” is produced by Dark
Castle Entertainment, a Warner Bros. The movie in which John
Cusack stars in is set in the city of Buffalo and he plays an
obsessed cop who is tracking a serial killer stalking the streets of
Buffalo, N.Y. Following the disappearance of his teenage daughter,
Cusack’s character forgets the legal restraints of his job and
goes after the killer his own way.
The movie with a Buffalo story line is being filmed in Montréal,
Factory,” will have background scenes shot here to add to the
Photos Forwarded by Jason Howe
man arrested with 35 pounds of pot
News 02/14/09 06:34 AM
Maryland man faces felony marijuana possession charges after he was
by caught by police with 35 pounds of marijuana stuffed into two 5-
gallon buckets in the trunk of a rental car, Buffalo police said.
W. Barrow, 26, of Takoma Park, Md., was stopped shortly before 4 p.
m. Thursday in a rented 2008 Dodge Avenger at Bailey and Davidson
avenues. Police said Barrow’s vehicle matched the description of
an earlier call of a man with a gun.
of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said the marijuana, which was
packaged in brick form, was not suspected to be of the highly potent
hydroponic variety. Richards estimated that the street value of the
marijuana was about $800 to $900 per pound.
was charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and
taken into custody pending court action. If convicted, Barrow faces
up to 15 years in prison.
arrested in sting at Buffalo massage parlor
Buffalo News 02/14/09
people were arrested on prostitution charges in an undercover vice
sting about 1:20 p. m. Thursday at a massage parlor at 69 Fulton
St., Buffalo police said.
suspects were identified as Susan Chong, 60, of Fulton Street;
Kristin Roll, 27, of Military Road; and Deanna Marchetti, 22,
Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls.
was charged with felony promoting prostitution, and Marchetti and
Roll face misdemeanor charges of prostitution.
on tips there was illicit activity going on, undercover narcotics
officers conducted an investigation into the complaint,” said
Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives.
scope of the operation remained under investigation, Richards said.
inmate forcibly carried to death chamber
DENA POTTER Associated
Press Writer Updated:
02/19/09 10:24 PM
inmate declared his innocence Thursday after he was forcibly carried
into Virginia's death chamber, where he was executed for gunning
down a police officer.
Nathaniel Bell, who was convicted of killing the officer during a
foot chase a decade ago, was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. Thursday
at the Greensville Correctional Center.
the door between Bell's cell and the death chamber opened, the
inmate thrust his hips backward and wouldn't step toward to the
gurney where the lethal injection was administered. Six stocky
corrections officers pulled him through the doorway and lifted him
onto the gurney.
the Timbrook family, you definitely have the wrong person,"
Bell said in the death chamber, addressing the victim's family.
"The truth will come out one day. This here, killing me,
there's no justice about it."
lawyer, who also witnessed the execution, said a sedative the inmate
was given made it difficult for him to walk.
case is an example of how the system does not catch and correct
errors," said attorney James G. Connell III.
43, was condemned for shooting Winchester police Sgt. Ricky Timbrook
as the officer chased him down a dark alley on Oct. 29, 1999.
least 10 current and former Winchester police officers witnessed the
execution, including Winchester Sheriff Lenny Millholland.
can't say it's closure but it's another chapter in the life of Ricky
Timbrook and it ends the chapter that included Eddy Bell," said
the sheriff, who was on the police force in 1999 and investigated
maintained that he did not shoot Timbrook, a 32-year-old popular
police officer, SWAT Team Member and DARE instructor. Prosecutors,
however, say Bell was a flashy drug dealer who held a grudge against
Timbrook for arresting him two years earlier for possessing a
was the 103rd Virginia inmate executed since the U.S. Supreme Court
reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Virginia ranks second only to
Texas in the number of executions since then.
issue warning about tax scam e-mails
News 02/15/09 06
the tax-filing season now upon us, look out for an e-mail scam that
tries to gain personal and financial information such as Social
Security, bank account and credit card numbers that can be used to
commit identity theft.
of Tonawanda Police said the scam has surfaced among e-mails sent to
City Hall employees.
e-mails lead recipients to believe they’re eligible for tax
refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. The e-mail leads
recipients to a page that looks like an IRS refund page, and then
onto a bogus refund form that asks for the personal information.
IRS does not ask for personal information, passwords or account
numbers through e-mails, the police said.
receiving the e-mail and wishing to report it can visit the IRS Web
Murders Are Still Too Many
crime-fighting, community outreach and health carereduced the
deaths, but drugs and guns remain deadly factors
T. J. Pignataro NEWS STAFF REPORTER Updated:
one homicide is too many.
been the sentiment Mayor Byron W. Brown, Police Commissioner
H. McCarthy Gipson and homicide detectives have repeated for
nearly three years.
acknowledge, however, two years after one of the bloodiest
years on record, things are headed in the right direction.
were 37 homicides in 2008. That’s down by 33 percent from
last year when there were 55 homicides and by half from the
decade-high 74 that were recorded in 2006. In fact, 2008 ended
as the third-lowest number of homicides in
lot of factors made it happen. Intensive crime-fighting
efforts and community outreach are keys to the dramatic
decrease, authorities point out, while also acknowledging the
important role played by trauma doctors performing
got a little luck in there, but we’re also doing the right
things,” said Daniel Derenda, deputy police commissioner.
“We need to continue to do what we have to to keep crime and
we’re not going to be able to stop every one,” he said,
“but, we’ll try.”
other cities across the nation, homicide figures in 2008
set to record its lowest number of homicides in four decades,
according to the Detroit Free Press, and homicide numbers also
totals were, however, up dramatically in places like
37 and 54 percent, respectively — as well as in
28 percent; and
14 percent, according to reports.
the 2008 homicides in
15 — or about 41 percent — were cleared by arrest or other
means, police said. The Cold Case Squad also resolved 17 old
homicides in 2008, making 12 arrests.
officials were quick to heap praise on residents who, they
say, have come forward to provide police and prosecutors with
the information they need to take killers off the streets and
keep them in jail.
community is getting involved and saying ‘enough is
enough,’ ” Brown said.
should know. Late in 2007, after two teenagers were mowed down
in a hail of gunfire outside an
Brown launched his own door-to- door anti-crime initiative,
dubbed WAVE for Working Against Violent Events.
effort continued in 2008 and, in August, Brown, top police
brass and city religious and community leaders took to the
streets following the slaying of 14-year-old Nancylia Salter
a series of shootings near a
over Nancylia’s death seemed to unite neighbors once
reluctant about going to authorities with information. The
teenage girl died after being struck in the back by gunfire
directed at a group of more than two dozen neighborhood kids
about 8:30 p. m. Aug. 26.
Fraticelli-Lugo, 19, became the city’s 30th homicide victim
on Sept. 15 when he was gunned down in an apparent drive-by
Two days later, in front of the nearby
another 19-year-old male was shot. He survived his injuries.
WAVE efforts seemed to have paid off. Arrests have been made
in three of the four homicides after citizens contacted police
with tips. Only Fraticelli- Lugo’s case remains unsolved.
action, combined with a crackdown on illegal drugs and street
gangs along with Brown’s gun buyback program, willingness to
commit overtime expenditures to homicide investigations and
partnerships with anti-violence groups, have built a recipe
for success, authorities say.
relentless effort to rid the streets of illegal narcotics has
kept the drug dealers on their toes,” said Richards, who
pointed to a study suggesting that 16 percent of the general
population commits 60 percent of the crime — including
you concentrate your efforts, you’re going to get
results,” he said.
the second straight year, police have executed more than 1,000
search warrants for illegal drugs and weapons. By comparison,
only a little more than 100 narcotics raids were conducted in
intensive efforts in cracking down on narcotics have driven
down the numbers in the other categories, including
homicide,” said Derenda, who added that about 4,500 guns
have been seized by police during raids or collected in gun
buyback programs in the last three years.
drastic drop in the number of slayings brought
homicide rate in 2008 to about 13.6 per 100,000 residents,
lower than several metropolitan centers. Homicide rates per
100,000 were higher in
rate was 6.1 per 100,000 residents.
37 homicides in
year are the lowest since there were 32 in 1999. No criminal
homicides were recorded during October and the city went 44
days without a single homicide from Sept. 24 to Nov. 6.
the 2008 victims, 29 were male and 8 were female.
youngest was the infant daughter of 19-year-old
Alicia Zebrun, who put the newborn baby in a shoe box and left
it in a garbage tote on
September. Zebrun faces one to three years in prison after
pleading guilty to manslaughter.
oldest victim, Cheryl Booker, 51, of
died Sept. 15 after being shot inside a
city’s lone double homicide of 2008 occurred Aug. 24 in an
There, Loren Hinkle, 26, of
and Dhanika McDaniel, 25, of
shot at close range, execution-style, in an apparent
drug-related retaliation, police said.
admit there’s plenty of work to be done, especially in terms
of gunplay. Despite efforts to reduce the number of illegal
guns on the street, officials said there were about as many
shootings in 2008 as the two previous years.
the 37 homicide victims, 30 died from gunshots.
more deaths occurred by shooting in 2008 but are not
classified as “criminal homicides,” police said. They
Marvin Sullivan, 43, who was killed July 29 on
he was shot by a
deputy during a drug raid in which he apparently pointed a
shotgun at police.
Mitchell Woodruff, 21, who, in attempting an Oct. 21 home
was shot in the chest by Marcus Mitchell, 18. Mitchell was
deemed to be defending himself and was charged with weapons
Kelvin Rodolph, 15, who was shot dead Oct. 24 attempting to
rob off-duty Buffalo Police Officer Lamar McCulley at East
Delavan Avenue and Grider Street.
said the death of Shantin “Tina” Grant, the 16- year-old
girl missing for a week in July before her body was found on
remains classified as a “suspicious death.” The case,
Richards said, has not been declared a homicide by the Erie
County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Staff Reporter Aaron Beseckercontributed to this report.