Six teens arrested in burglary ring

By Sandra Tan Buffalo News Staff Reporter

Published:December 1, 2010, 02:59 PM


Buffalo Police have broken up a ring of high-school-age thieves that may have burglarized more than 40 homes and businesses.


Officers arrested six teenagers, ages 15 and 16, who are believed responsible for a string of 18 daytime home break-ins in South Buffalo and a similar number of thefts in the surrounding suburbs.


The arrests began Tuesday and continued overnight with all six in custody as of this morning.


With the help of an eyewitness, a good tip, school police officers and a review of school attendance records, police were able to identify and arrest the six who police believe committed most of the crimes, said Lt. Patrick Roberts of the A District.


"A great deal of property was recovered," he said at a news conference announcing the arrests.


The suspects, some of whom are currently still attending high school, have been tied to 18 home break-ins in South Buffalo, as well as burglaries in Allentown, Lovejoy, Orchard Park, Lackawanna and West Seneca, said Mayor Byron Brown.


Police said parents of the suspects were shocked and pained by police revelations.

Brown added, "This goes to the importance of parental responsibility."


The names of the suspects and the schools they may have attended were not released by police, who added that more arrests may be possible as the investigation continues. All the suspects had Buffalo addresses, but some also lived at other locations, police said.


Some of the stolen items, laid out on a nearby table, included jewelry, digital cameras, an iPod, a flat-screen TV, smart phone, and a bag of tear-off bell jar tickets. More valuable items, worth thousands of dollars, had already been fenced or otherwise sold, police said.


South District Chief Patrick Pascall said the first suspect caught by police took them to an address where much of the loot was stashed.


"It looked like a pawn shop in itself," he said.


Police are continuing to "peel back the layers of an onion" to see if the burglary ring involved more suspects or more victims than is currently known. Both Lt. Roberts and Officer Anthony Lebron were praised for their work on the case.


Cases involving the three 15-year-old suspects have been sent to Family Court for processing. The remaining three cases have been moved to City Court.


Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda and Mayor Byron W. Brown examine assault rifles in Police Headquarters. Derenda says these weapons exist for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to kill.

Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News


The return of the assault rifle


High-powered weapons seem to be regaining their deadly role in WNY crime and violence


By Lou Michel BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER Published:November 21, 2010, 08:08 AM


AK-47 rifles and other high-powered semi-automatic assault weapons were the guns of choice for street gangs back in the 1990s during the crack cocaine epidemic.


Drive-by shootings and AK-47s were synonymous in some Buffalo neighborhoods as city homicide levels reached an all-time high.


But now, more than six years after a federal ban on assault rifle sales ended, the feared weapon and similar ones appear to be regaining a foothold in local crime.


  • At the end of September, 15-year-old Dominique Maye was working at a computer in her aunt's East Side home when a gunman sprayed the house with some 19 rounds from an AK-47 in a drive-by shooting.
  • A loaded AK-47 was confiscated in a raid late last month at a West Side apartment, where city narcotics detectives seized more than four ounces of crack and powder cocaine and arrested three individuals.
  • An AK-47 was taken from a drug house on the 400 block of Cambridge Avenue during a series of raids at the beginning of November.

Those are just some of the incidents in the last year involving AK-47s and similar high-powered rifles city police say they have taken off the streets.


During a 22-month period prior to the expiration of the federal ban on assault rifle sales in September 2004, authorities confiscated 40 such guns in Buffalo.


By comparison, over the past 22 months, 84 of these types of firearms have been seized. That's a 110 percent increase in confiscations, based on figures provided by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Throughout all of Erie County outside Buffalo, only two assault rifles were confiscated during the 22 months analyzed shortly before the ban ended. But that number increased in the just-concluded 22 months to 32 assault rifle seizures. That's a 1,500 percent rise. Assault weapons are generally defined as guns that have large-capacity magazines allowing for continuous firing of dozens of rounds, a pistol grip that permits spray firing from the hip and a folding stock that enables the weapons to be easily concealed.


The powerful high-caliber ammunition, another feature, is able to pass through multiple walls in a dwelling, adding to the danger of killing innocent people when drug gangs and other criminals have shootouts, authorities say.


So did the federal ban's expiration enable more of these weapons to enter New York State, even though the state has its own ban on assault guns?


ATF officials say they cannot comment on policy issues involving Congress, but concede it is possible that assault weapons legally purchased in other states may have ended up in Buffalo by way of the black market.


"The ATF has several ongoing investigations into illegal possession and trafficking of these types of firearms out of our Buffalo-area office," said Ronald B. Turk, special agent in charge of the ATF's New York field division, which oversees the entire state.


The local ATF office, Turk said, has more than two dozen of these weapons in its evidence vault.

But it remains unknown how many assault weapons have been purchased since the federal ban ended. That's because federal law prohibits the ATF from keeping records on any gun sales.


Officials at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., say that since the ban expired, the pace of violence inflicted by assault weapons has increased and Congress needs to take action to halt it.


"The growing number of police officers and average Americans being killed by assault weapons should worry all Americans concerned about making our neighborhoods safer," Brady Center President Paul Helmke said.


"These guns are the weapons of choice for mass killers, drug dealers, gang members and other rogue elements. And yet the NRA [National Rifle Association] continues to push harder and harder to put more of them in circulation. Assault weapons have nothing to do with the Second Amendment, and we as a nation should stop making it so easy for dangerous people to have access to them and create mayhem in our communities."


NRA officials did not respond to requests to comment.


Tracing the guns


Marshall J. Brown, a longtime local advocate of gun ownership rights, says there is a place for these semi-automatic rifles.


"They are excellent for home protection and protection at businesses and in civil disturbances," Brown said. "As usual, criminals ignore gun laws and illegally possess arms of their choice, potentially outgunning decent citizens. In other words, gun laws only impact law-abiding citizens."


And while the ATF is not allowed to keep gun sale records, it does collect statistics on guns recovered in crimes, which provides a glimpse into the re-emergence of assault weapons in Buffalo and other big cities.


Because New York State has another law requiring a trace on the background of every gun seized in a criminal situation, local police agencies often get information from the ATF that leads to additional gun seizures and arrests, according to ATF spokesman Joseph Green.


Tracing, Green explained, provides a paper trail on who originally bought the gun and where.

"The traces lead us initially to potential straw purchasers who buy guns for someone else in another state," Green said. "Those individuals then bring the guns back to their state and keep them for themselves or resell them on the black market. You develop more leads, and you get more guns that way."


Straw buyers are individuals who pass a background check and legally purchase the gun for someone with a criminal record or from a state that bars ownership of assault weapons. Only a handful of other states prohibit the sale of assault firearms.


But criminals are often wise to the steps authorities take in tracing guns, as was the case in mid-October when Ferry-Fillmore District detectives, with assistance from ATF agents, arrested a deli owner for possession of an AK-47 loaded with 30 rounds.


The gun's serial number had been defaced, making it extremely difficult to trace.


Progress made


And while efforts to halt the flow of these weapons is a priority, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says the guns serve no useful purpose.


"In my opinion, they exist for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to kill," Derenda said.


The Buffalo Police Department, he says, has made significant progress in removing thousands of guns from the streets in recent years, including assault weapons.


"Since Jan. 1, 2006, just under 7,000 guns have been taken off city streets. They include assault weapons, handguns, shotguns and other rifles," Derenda said.


Mayor Byron W. Brown says he is well aware of the devastation assault rifles can cause when in the hands of criminals.


"Illegal assault weapons are even more lethal," he said last week, 11/18in vowing to continue providing resources to police for removal of those and other guns from city streets.


In perhaps the most brazen incident involving an assault firearm this year in the city, Dominique Maye was working at a computer at her aunt's Hewitt Avenue home the night of Sept. 30.


A gunman in a car began shooting at the house and one of the 19 rounds from the AK-47 struck the ninth-grader at Riverside Institute of Technology in the back and killed her. Police said she was an innocent victim in an attack that was aimed at someone else.


The incident, Brown said, "was horrible, tragic and shouldn't be happening."


The teenager's family could not agree more and wants AK-47s permanently banned.


"It's made for destruction and it shouldn't be in the hands of anyone, except trained military personnel," said Dominique's stepfather, Brian Stiles. "For senseless reasons, that weapon has taken the life of a beautiful young girl. Nobody deserves what happened to Dominique."


Drug trafficker found guilty in fatal shooting


Published:November 19, 2010, 12:03 PM


Earl Howard, an admitted Buffalo drug trafficker only months away from parole, was found guilty today by


Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico of second-degree murder and weapons charges for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man during an early-morning street fight two years ago.


Howard, 19, had claimed he was home at the time of the shooting of Drayton Collins, 21, about 12:30 a.m. July 6, 2008, on Bailey Avenue near Collingwood Street.


He did not react to the guilty verdict, which came after a three-day non-jury trial he had demanded.


Prosecutors Lauren Nash and James F. Bargnesi said they will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III to recommend the judge impose the maximum-allowable 25-year-to-life term when Howard is sentenced on Dec. 20.


Bargnesi, chief of the DA's Homicide Bureau, said Collins, who held an associates art degree from studies at Buffalo State College, was "an innocent kid who thought that he was going to be having a fist fight" after arguing with Howard. But Howard "pulled out a gun and shot him."


Howard was indicted last March for the homicide.


He was slated to be paroled in February on the drug conviction, which resulted in a prison term of up to two years he received about a year ago, Bargnesi said.


On Thursday, both Howard and his mother, Rhonda Henderson, testified that he was home at the time of the fatal shooting. But the judge rejected their claims, given that two men and a woman identified Howard as the shooter.


Collins was the father of a boy who is now 4 years old.

Albert Jackson is taken out of Hamburg Town Court this morning.

Bill Wippert / Buffalo News


Stabbing suspect seized after chase

By T.J. Pignataro BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER 11/18/2010


The suspect in a Hamburg burglary and stabbing was apprehended late Wednesday after a high-speed chase that culminated in a violent crash outside Coca-Cola Field.


Police this morning identified the suspect as Albert Jackson, 18, of Pembroke Avenue. He has been charged with attempted murder, burglary and assault in connection with an attack on a 71-yer-old man early Wednesday afternoon in the attached garage of his home on Linwood Avenue in the Town of Hamburg.


The chase began shortly before 10 p.m., after an employee of WIVB-TV, Channel 4, alerted police to a car stolen during the burglary and stabbing. The car was spotted near Erie County Medical Center shortly before 10 p.m.


Police tracked the car to Deerfield Avenue and Sussex Street, where the chase began.

Buffalo and NFTA police followed the car through city streets and onto Fillmore Avenue, then toward downtown. One officer said speeds exceeded 100 mph.


The chase continued onto Ellicott Street, with the car jumping a curb on Swan Street in front of the ballpark, hitting two trees, shearing off a light pole, narrowly missing a homeless man on the sidewalk before stopping at a sign directing traffic to the Niagara Thruway on Oak Street.


Further details remained sketchy late Wednesday, but at least one police officer was injured in the ordeal, and numerous patrol cars were damaged, according to Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.


"During the chase, the individual attempted to run one of the patrol cars off of the road," DeGeorge said.


Meanwhile, at ECMC, the stabbing victim was recovering from multiple stab wounds to his upper body after confronting the burglar in his garage at about 1:30 p.m. The victim had returned home to discover the man in his garage.


When the homeowner confronted the burglar, a struggle ensued, and the homeowner was stabbed several times in the upper body. He is expected to survive, according to police. Neither his name nor address was released by police.


The burglar then fled in the victim's black, four-door 2001 Honda Accord, police said.


Hamburg police Capt. Greg Wickett said it doesn't appear as though the homeowner was targeted or knew his attacker. There have been no related problems in this neighborhood. Linwood Avenue runs between East Frontier Drive and Elmwood Avenue in the north end of town.


"It seems like it is just a random thing," Wickett said. "He just surprised the burglar, there was a confrontation, and in [the suspect's] haste to get out of there, he took the victim's car."


The description of the car included the New York license plate, which was spotted by the Channel 4 employee, who contacted Hamburg police, then continued to follow the vehicle until police caught up with it.


Officers at the scene believed the suspects were attempting to get onto the Niagara Thruway when the crash occurred.


The car received heavy front-end damage. The possible suspect and other occupants of the car apparently escaped serious injury. The names of the occupants and possible charges against them have not yet been released.

Shooting in Bailey-Genesee seriously wounds man, 19

Buffalo News Published:November 17, 2010, 12:00 AM


A 19-year-old man was seriously wounded late Tuesday afternoon in a shooting in the city’s Bailey-Genesee neighborhood, Buffalo police said.


The victim, whose name was not available, was shot in the upper part of his body just before 4 p.m. in the 100 block of Theodore Street. He was rushed to Erie County Medical Center, where he underwent surgery late Tuesday.

Teen shot in the head on east side
Published : Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010, 5:18 PM EST

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Homicide detectives rushed to the scene of a shooting late Tuesday on Buffalo's east side.


Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge said around 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in the 100 block of Theodore Street a young man in his late teens was shot in the head. The teen is listed in serious condition at ECMC.


A number of people told News 4 that they were outside and they witnessed an intimidating group of young people walking down the street. Shortly after, the gunfire broke out.

Police respond to 2 overnight shootings

Published : Sunday, 14 Nov 2010, 12:06 PM EST Lauren Hall

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Police were called to two shootings overnight n the matter of about an hour.

The first happened just after 12:30 AM on Butler Avenue.

Police say a 19 year old male was shot at a house party.

He was taken to ECMC with non-life threatening injuries.

There's no word yet on the victim's name or any arrests.

Just about an hour later, another male was shot on Fargo Street on the west side.

Police say the 38 year old male from Rochester was getting into his car when another vehicle pulled up and someone got out and opened fire.

The suspects also robbed an undisclosed amount of money from the victim.

Anyone with information in connection with either case is asked to call the confidential tipcall line at 847-2255.

Kubala is youngest to be appointed chief

Buffalo News Published:November 13, 2010, 12:00 AM


One chief in the Buffalo Police Department stepped down earlier this week to accept a civil service promotion to the rank of captain, while a lieutenant was elevated to that vacancy in the Ferry-Fillmore District.


Michelle R. Kubala was appointed to the management post of chief, replacing Marcia C. Scott, who will serve as a captain in the department’s Internal Affairs Unit.


Kubala is moving from the Northeast District to be the top police official in Ferry-Fillmore.


“I’m coming from a pretty busy district and planning to do the best job I can,” Kubala said.


Kubala, 39, is the youngest person to be appointed chief in the department and is well-respected by rank-and-file officers.


The two staffing changes were part of a much bigger ceremony Tuesday involving a number of other promotions in Buffalo Police Headquarters amid comments and praise from Mayor Byron W. Brown and Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.


Albert J. Liberatore was elevated from lieutenant to captain. Promoted to lieutenant were Detective Barbara A. Lark and Police Officers Robert S. Joyce, Peter L. Kocol, Robert P. Sheridan and Kimberly L. Beaty.


Six police officers were promoted to detective: Molly A. Costantino, Thomas M. Starkey, Anthony J. McHugh, Joy L. Jermain, James R. Kaska and Kimberly A. Tomassi.

Man stabbed on city's West Side

Buffalo News Staff Reports Published:November 11, 2010, 5:04 PM


A man stabbed by a group of people this afternoon in the vicinity of Amherst and Howell streets was taken to Erie County Medical Center with what appear to be non-life threatening wounds.


The victim, believed to be in his early 20s and whose identity was not yet released, was stabbed multiple times, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.


Several individuals fled the scene after the stabbing, which occurred at about 3:40 p.m.

Further details were not immediately available.

Man in stable condition following shooting

BUFFALO NEWS Published:November 6, 2010, 1:55 PM


An 18-year-old man was in stable condition at Erie County Medical Center on Saturday after he was shot Friday night on Ericson Avenue, police said.


The victim was shot at about 10 p.m. on Ericson, near the intersection of Lang Avenue.

Homicide detectives were called to the scene.


Police investigating the incident later heard shots fired in a house on Lang. They recovered inside four firearms -- a shotgun, a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a 30-30 lever action and a .44 revolver. The weapons were being tested for DNA evidence.

Mayor vows drug raids will be relentless


By Lou Michel

BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER Published:November 3, 2010, 11:41 AM


Holding up an AK-47 assault rifle similar to one confiscated from a drug house in the Masten District earlier this week, Mayor Byron W. Brown on Wednesday reiterated his vow to be relentless in pursuing criminals.


The actual AK-47 taken from 410 Cambridge Ave. during Monday's and Tuesday's raids was being processed by crime lab technicians for evidence, but there was little doubt a dent had been made in neighborhood drug sales.


Seven pounds of marijuana, three ounces of crack cocaine, two sawed-off shotguns, $2,000 and 17 arrests, including suspected gang members, were all part of the roundup in the two-day blitz, which involved SWAT teams from four police agencies. At the Wednesday afternoon news conference in front of the Cambridge Avenue home, Brown and Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda promised more of the same in putting drug dealers on notice.


"We promised that we would be relentless in our pursuit of criminals harming our residents' quality of life, and we have lived up to that promise," Brown said. "These coordinated raids will continue."


Search warrants were executed at 23 houses in the Cambridge-East Delavan neighborhood and other locations on Jewett, Shirley and Marigold avenues.


The properties were targeted based on complaints from residents to police. Many of the tips came in through anonymous calls and text messages to the Police Department's confidential tip line, 847-2255, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge. In making a point of how disruptive a drug house can be to a neighborhood, a 13-page printout of 911 calls to 410 Cambridge in the last couple years was also displayed at the news conference.


"There's calls for drugs and other nuisances at this house," Derenda said. "We want to eradicate these dealers from the neighborhoods. We want it to be safe for children to go out and play."


SWAT teams from Buffalo, the Erie County Sheriff's Office, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department and the Amherst Police Department participated in the raids with Buffalo narcotics detectives.


So far this year, 700 search warrants have been carried out by city police. Twenty-five people were arrested in late September during a similar two-day operation.


Crackdown on Prostitution


Major sting operation nets 42 arrests in two weeks.


By T.J. Pignataro

BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER Published:October 31, 2010, 7:18 AM


One by one, they marched into the lobby of a downtown hotel -- trailing clouds of perfume, lured by the smell of money.


Seven women from Buffalo and the suburbs, ranging in age from 24 to 44.


All willing to trade an hour or less of sex for a stack of tens and twenties.


One was "thick in all the right places," as her Internet ad touted. The ad didn't mention that was because she was five months pregnant.


Another in her mid-20s had already been in a Mississippi jail for selling sex. She proclaimed herself to be on a "state-by-state" prostitution tour.


A third woman, a 44-year-old former Erie County employee now unemployed, arrived clad in a tight magenta dress and bright makeup. She lugged with her a duffel bag full of adult toys.


There was just one problem for the women.


Upon agreeing to provide sex for money to a man in a guest room inside the hotel, each was arrested by Buffalo police.


In all, 42 arrests were made during a two-week local vice sting that wrapped up late last week. That accounts for half of the total vice arrests in Buffalo this year and twice as many as in all of 2009.


Police targeted prostitutes and johns, both on the streets and at city and suburban hotels.

The first night of the sting occurred at a downtown Buffalo hotel and prevented seven online prostitutes from selling themselves -- if only for a night.


For the prostitutes, it was a wake-up call. Perhaps.


The pregnant 30-year-old Brunswick Boulevard woman jumped up, startled, as police forced their way into a room she shared with an undercover detective, moments after she agreed to perform a sex act for $100. When her nerves settled, she had a question for police.


A need for money


"You probably don't believe me -- this is my first time -- what happens now?" she asked solemnly.


After being apprised of the booking and arraignment process, the jobless woman, who says she can't locate her baby's father, explained that she felt forced into prostitution.


"I'm doing it to support myself," she said.


At least two others arrested that night had the same story -- no jobs and a need for money.


"I need to pay my bills, I have to take care of my kids," said a 36-year-old Bridgeman Street woman arrested for agreeing to perform a sex act for $170.


Added a South Division Street woman who was arrested moments later and identified herself as a student at Buffalo State College: "I have to take care of my kids."


What would her kids would think of her making money by selling sex?


"Devastated," she responded.


Although tragic stories abound, police make no apologies for taking a tough stance on vice crime in Buffalo.


"We're responding to complaints," said Lt. Paul Delano of the Buffalo Police narcotics and vice unit. "It's a quality-of-life issue, and it needs to be addressed."


And, police say, an overwhelming number of the women they see selling their bodies are after one thing -- drug money.


"A lot of them are heroin addicts," Delano said. "We had an 18- or 19-year-old -- and, she looked like she was 30 -- from the suburbs hooked on heroin. She's just turning tricks for her next hit."


The women netted in the first day of the undercover sting made themselves available in less than 30 minutes. Those who advertise online often command higher fees than those walking the streets -- $100 to $400 per hour -- and sell themselves by blocks of time rather than by sex acts a la carte.


"They're all independent contractors," said one vice detective who asked that his identity be protected. "And, with these Web sites and the Internet, they're everywhere."


They post seductive pictures (police point out many of the photos are of other women entirely) with their online ads, but they're a far cry from the elite call girls former Gov. Eliot Spitzer summoned to thousand-dollar trysts.


False advertising


What you see in online advertising is almost always what you don't get, police say. As evidenced by the sting, a "slender 100-pound frame with 34D bust" transforms somewhere between the Internet and hotel into reality.


The reality is 250-plus, rugged-looking pounds.


"There's nothing exotic about these women," said a ranking officer who didn't want to be named. "The reality does not live up to the fantasy."


Police used a variety of strategies in targeting prostitution in this sting. Besides setting up stings at a downtown hotel, as well as one in Cheektowaga, they also:


* Used undercover police detectives both during the day and at night to solicit street-walking prostitutes on the city's West and East sides;


* Rented a limousine that was occupied by several undercover detectives posing as a guests at a bachelor party who arranged to pick up three online prostitutes at a location on the city's East Side. Once an explicit offer of sex for money was made, the women were arrested;


* Placed undercover decoys -- female Buffalo Police detectives and an Erie County sheriff's deputy -- on the street to be solicited by johns who were then apprehended on charges of "patronizing a prostitute."


Two of the 10 johns who were arrested hailed from the suburbs -- one from Cheektowaga and one from East Aurora, according to Daniel J. Derenda, Buffalo police commissioner.


"They come [into the city] and make a playground for their illegal activity," Derenda said.


The eight other johns were from various Buffalo neighborhoods, including Riverside, South Buffalo, Kaisertown and the East and West sides.


Derenda said Buffalo police are eyeing plans to adopt a policy used by Chicago police by publishing the names and photos of area johns on the police department Web site.

"We're taking a strong stance on it," said Derenda.


Arrest figures bear out the commissioner's statements. In all, 84 vice arrests have been made in 2010 -- 72 women and 12 men -- as compared to just 21 in all of 2009. Then, 19 women and 2 men were arrested on prostitution-related charges.


Top police brass admit stings such as the one this month are only effective when executed sporadically -- "every couple of years," they said -- because the prostitutes get wise to police tactics.


Necessary expense


For instance, police might have made even more arrests this month but several women, upon learning the location where the undercover officer planned to take them to consummate the exchange of sex for money, demanded to be let out of the car.


"You're a cop," they'd say, according to detectives.


"You've got to change your tactics up quite a bit from one time to the next," Delano said. "They definitely coordinate and talk to one another."


Still, several of the women arrested in the recent sting have multiple arrests or convictions for prostitution in their pasts.


So, does a misdemeanor offense, which for many doesn't seem to result in any lessons learned, justify all of the police manpower and logistics?


Absolutely, police say.


"It's a necessary expense," Delano said. "It boils down to quality of life and the quality of the neighborhood. This sort of activity brings down the neighborhood."


Added Derenda: "It leads to other crimes -- drugs, robberies. There are a lot of things that come with it. And it will not be tolerated."


Teenager stabbed to death during fight on Chippewa


Buffalo News Staff Reports Published:October 31, 2010, 1:31 PM


A teenager has died after being stabbed in a fight at Elmwood Avenue and Chippewa Street early today, Buffalo police said.


Spokesman Michael DeGeorge said the fight broke out around 4:30 a.m. and the victim, believed to be in his late teens, died at Erie County Medical Center.


DeGeorge said detectives made an arrest in connection with the stabbing but the department did not immediately identify the suspect or the victim.


The death is Buffalo's 50th homicide of the year.


13-year-old critical after being hit by apparent stray bullet


Buffalo News Staff Reports Published:October 31, 2010, 3:21 PM


A 13-year-old girl is listed in critical condition at Erie County Medical Center today after being hit by a stray bullet, according to Buffalo police.


Spokesman Michael DeGeorge said the girl was struck in the upper part of her body around 2:30 a.m. while in a home on the 100 block of Bickford Avenue, which is near Bailey and Kensington avenues.


Detectives said she did not appear to be the intended victim because the shot apparently came from another room in the house.


Shooting victim remains in critical condition


Buffalo News Published:October 31, 2010, 12:00 AM


A Buffalo man remained in critical condition Saturday night in Erie County Medical Center after being shot several times on the city’s West Side.


Robert Turner, 43, was shot at about 8:15 p. m. Friday outside a store at the intersection of Grant Street and Garner Avenue, Buffalo police said.


Niagara Street raid brings weapons, drug charges


Buffalo News Published:October 30, 2010, 8:13 AM


Three Niagara Street residents face felony weapons and drug charges after Buffalo narcotics detectives recovered loaded AK-47 and AR-15 assault weapons, Buffalo police said.


Police raided an apartment at 2136 Niagara St. and seized the weapons and more than four ounces of crack and powder cocaine.


The suspects were identified as Gabriel O. Martinez, 21; Angel L. Febres, 45; and Wanda Rosa, 43, all residents of the apartment. Martinez is the son of Febres and Rosa, police said.


Narcotics Lt. Paul R. Delano and Sgt. Brenda M. Callahan led the raid. Police said the drugs were hidden throughout the apartment.


Two overnight shootings in Ellicott District


Buffalo News Published:October 30, 2010, 10:18 AM


Two shootings were reported overnight in the Ellicott District, police reported.


One of the victims told police that at 1:36 a.m. he was walking on Jefferson Avenue between Clinton and Swan streets when someone unknown to him shot him in the upper left arm. He was transported by Rural/Metro ambulance to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.


Also overnight, about a half mile from the first shooting scene, a woman said she was getting out of her car in the first block of McNeeley Way, when someone fired three to four shots from an unknown direction, police said. She was struck by a bullet in the right upper leg. The woman said she didn't notice anyone in the area when the gunfire began. Police said it appeared that the woman was struck by a stray bullet. The victim sought treatment at ECMC. A specific time was not available for this shooting.


It was unclear whether there was a connection between the shootings


Man seriously wounded in West Side shooting


Buffalo News Staff Reports Published:October 29, 2010, 10:09 PM


A man was shot several times at Grant Street and Garner Avenue tonight, Buffalo Police said.


Shots rang out about 8:15 p.m. outside a store at the intersection, police said. The victim was seriously wounded. Homicide detectives were called to the scene.


Police were searching for a male in his 30s, wearing a black, hooded sweat shirt, who was headed east on Garner after the shooting.


The victim was being treated in Erie County Medical Center. Further details were unavailable.


Overnight double shooting on Wick St.

Updated: Saturday, 23 Oct 2010, 7:31 PM EDT

Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A man is fighting to live following a double shooting in Buffalo.

Police say the 20-year-old victim and a 19-year-old woman were both shot on Wick Street, just after 4 a.m. Saturday.

The man is listed in critical condition at ECMC.

The woman was treated and released.

No word on any names or arrests


Betty Lou Young

Manager of Police Credit Union Retires After 69 Years


By Lou Michel Buffalo News

Oct 23, 2010


Betty Lou Young has hung up her calculator and is retiring after 69 1/2 years at the Buffalo Police Federal Credit Union on the first floor of Buffalo Police Headquarters.


At 83, Young says it is time to turn her attention from making loans to police officers and start cashing in on the happiness of spending more time with family and friends.


"I may even take a trip on an airplane," Young said.


But that would mean overcoming her fear of flying.


"So it will be road trips for awhile," she said.

While nearly seven decades is a long time to work, the way Young recalls her start at the credit union makes it seem as though the years have flown by and that it was only yesterday an ambitious 14-year-old girl began her career.


Her dad, Police Officer Fred Adams, tipped her off in 1941 that a part-time summer job as a file clerk had opened at the credit union, she said. That was all she needed to hear.


"I went down to police headquarters and was interviewed by Leo McDade, who was the treasurer-manager, and he hired me," she said.


Two years earlier, her father and nine other officers from the former Precinct No. 4 at Ash and Sycamore streets had chipped in $25 apiece to start the credit union.


Soon enough, her summer job stretched into the fall. She worked part time and attended Fosdick-Masten High School. When two other employees left after the attack on Pearl Harbor to take better paying wartime jobs at the Curtiss-Wright factory, McDade offered Young full-time work.


Her parents consented, as long as she finished her high school education at the city's Continuation School two evenings a week.


With full-time work, her salary increased from $11 to $18 a week, and she was the envy of all her girlfriends who held lesser paying jobs at five-and-dime retail outlets.


The fact that she worked in an office at Buffalo Police Headquarters at Franklin and Church streets in downtown paid a dividend as well. Her stature rose among her friends, recalled Young, who has always been proud of her affiliation with generations of men and women who enforce the law.


As time passed, she advanced to teller and in five years was named assistant treasurer-manager. When McDade passed away in 1974, Young was promoted to treasurer-manager and presided over an expanding financial portfolio, with the organization growing from $4.5 million 10 years ago to nearly $7 million today.


"I've known Betty for 38 years, my whole career, and she always helped you out the best she could," said Capt. Mark Antonio, who works at Police Headquarters. "She was always pleasant."


Young says she finished her last day this week and left confident she'd done the best she could.

Does she miss working?


"I don't know yet. I haven't had the chance to really miss it," she said. "I've been taken out to dinner, to luncheons and there's many more invites to go."







Lt Eugene Ziemba

Death Notice


ZIEMBA - Eugene October 20, 2010 of Elma N.Y. Beloved husband of Evelyn (LePrell) Ziemba; dear father of Jacqueline (Jonathan) Rogers, Evaleen (Daniel) Ziemba, Jennifer (Allen) Cordier, Amy (Mike) Klocek-Ziemba and the late Jolene Ziemba; loving grandfather of Christopher, Renee and Brenda Rogers, Jacob and Alexander Cordier; brother of Arlene (James) Grzankowski and dearest friend of Annette Klocek.  Mr. Ziemba was a retired Buffalo Lt. of the Buffalo Police Dept., a Navy veteran, a Docent of the Naval Park, Tin Can Sailors Assn., Lower Lake Historical Assn., Destroyers Escort Sailors Assn., East Aurora Fish & Game Club and a member of the Pulaski Police Assn.

Amherst man charged in Goodyear Avenue shooting

BUFFALO NEWS Published:October 20, 2010, 12:48 PM


An Amherst man was arrested late Tuesday and accused of shooting a Buffalo man in a car chase earlier in the day on the 300 block of Goodyear Avenue, authorities said.


Zyed Abbadi, 20, of Bauman Road, was charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.


A second Amherst resident believed to be involved in the shooting shortly after 11:30 a.m. remains at large, police said.


Amandes Pearsall, 33, was grazed in the head from a shotgun blast. He was treated at Erie County Medical Center before being released, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge

Three shooting scenes may be connected

Updated: Tuesday, 19 Oct 2010, 2:17 PM EDT

Posted by: Emily Lenihan


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Police are responding to three shooting on the city's east side, late Tuesday morning.


There are reportedly three people being questioned after a shooting that may have three different crime scenes on city's east side.


At Genesee near East Parade, near a Family Dollar, Police say a man believed to be in his 30's was grazed by a bullet in his upper body, while inside a bullet riddled car.


He was taken to ECMC with what appears to be non life threatening injuries.


Police then responded to an apparent scene where shots were fired on Goodyear, between Genesee and Walden.


Police there say they found several shell casings and broken automobile glass on the ground.


Police then apprehended three males on East Delavan, between Bailey and Eggert, along with two vehicles.


Police are trying to figure out whether or not the three scenes are connected.



Man grazed in Goodyear Avenue shooting

Buffalo News Published:October 19, 2010, 12:36 PM


A man grazed by gunfire while in an apparent two-vehicle chase earlier today has been treated and released from Erie County Medical Center, authorities said.


The man, described as in his 30s, was shot at about 11:30 a.m. while driving on Goodyear Avenue, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.


After being wounded, the man, whose identity was not released, drove to a parking lot on Genesee Street near Best Street.


Authorities were notified, and he was taken by ambulance to ECMC. The investigation is continuing, DeGeorge added.


Arrest made in false report of shooting to divert police

Buffalo News Published:October 19, 2010, 12:00 AM


A Mayer Street man is facing charges he falsely reported a shooting in Riverside on Sunday in order to divert Buffalo police from a drug transaction, according to Buffalo police reports.


Michael Kemp, 25, was charged with falsely reporting an incident, unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell and a public health law violation for having a controlled substance outside of its original container.


Police said they observed an illegal drug sale at a deli at 245 Ontario St. at about 3:30 p. m., and moments later a 911 call was dispatched for the report of a shooting nearby. Officers anticipated correctly that it was a false call and allowed other responding police to clear the fake call at Riverside Park.


Officers Donald Genovese, James Hacker and William Robinson encountered Kemp inside the deli. The cell phone he had matched the number of the fake 911 call for a shooting, authorities said.


Authorities said Kemp was intending to sell 16 Xanex pills and a bag of marijuana


Wasmuth St. man reports being shot in the leg

Buffalo News Published:October 18, 2010, 12:00 AM


A Buffalo man told police he was shot in the leg while walking around his Wasmuth Street home Saturday evening.


Willie P. Brant said the shots came from a minivan that drove by and continued heading north toward Genesee Street. The incident was reported at about 7:40 p. m.


Investigation into assault weapon shuts down East Side deli

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Published:October 17, 2010, 2:28 PM


An East Side deli has been shut down because of an investigation involving an illegal assault weapon, Buffalo Police said today.


Aided by videotape from a city surveillance camera, Ferry-Fillmore detectives arrested Shamsan Mohammed, 25, of Lackawanna, and charged him with possession of a weapon in the Super Market Express Mart, 143 Walden Ave.


The gun found in the store was an assault weapon, with its serial numbers defaced and "loaded with a large amount of ammunition," said Michael DeGeorge, a police spokesman.


Detective Ralph Skinner and police officer Robert Joyce began the investigation after viewing footage from a police surveillance camera showing the gun "in the vicinity of the store," DeGeorge said.


Since the illegal weapon should not have been in the store, police notified the city's license and inspection division about the arrest, and an order to immediately shut down the store's operations was issued, officers said.


The investigation is continuing and further administrative proceedings are pending.


So far, police have not disclosed whether Mohammed is an employee or has some other connection to the store. Efforts by The Buffalo News to contact the store's owner or manager were unsuccessful.


City Grill shooting victim arrested on gun charges

Buffalo News Published:October 16, 2010, 12:00 AM


One of the victims in the Aug. 14 carnage outside of City Grill was arrested this week on felony weapons charges stemming from an indictment warrant, according to Buffalo police reports.


Police records show Tillman Ward, 27, was booked Wednesday on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He is accused of possessing a loaded firearm and a defaced weapon.


A bench warrant for Ward also was in effect. Under that warrant, Ward is facing misdemeanor charges of obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass. He also was charged with two violation counts of disorderly conduct.


Ward, who was shot in the elbow outside City Grill, survived the mass shooting that left four slain and three others wounded along with Ward.


Riccardo McCray, 23, stands accused of the shootings.


Ward also survived a double shooting last November on Walden Avenue that left Francois Mitchell, 25, dead.


Man shot in Genesee Street motorcycle club

Buffalo News Published:October 15, 2010, 11:22 AM


A man took a bullet in the shoulder early Friday morning when someone opened fire into a Genesee Street motorcycle club, police said.


At about 4:25 p.m., someone fired several times into the front window of the Free Riders Motorcycle Club at 2206 Genesee St.


Tremaine Jacobs, 37, was shot in the left shoulder. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released.


Man shot this afternoon is city's 49th homicide victim

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Published:October 14, 2010, 2:31 PM


A 20-year-old man was fatally shot at 12:30 p.m. today in the 100 block of Poultney Avenue, police said.

The victim, whose name was not released, was shot in the back and abdomen. He was rushed by Rural Metro Ambulance to Erie County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.


The man's death marks the 49th homicide in Buffalo this year.


Also today, police identified the victim of Wednesday's homicide on Mulberry Street.


Investigators said the victim of that shooting was Lawrence Hairston, 20, of Buffalo. He was killed in the 200 block of Mulberry Street just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.


Shooting victim listed in guarded condition

Buffalo News Published:October 13, 2010, 12:00 AM


A Tuesday afternoon shooting in the Central Park neighborhood of the city has left one man in guarded condition in Erie County Medical Center, according to Buffalo police reports.


Cash Bynum, 23, was near Rodney Avenue and Holden Street at about 2:40 p. m. when a vehicle occupied by four men rolled up and fired as many as 15 shots, at least one of which struck him in the chest, police reports stated.


Fatal shooting in Fruit Belt is city’s 48th homicide

Published:October 14, 2010, 12:00 AM


A 20-year-old Buffalo man shot and killed in the Fruit Belt section late Wednesday afternoon is the city’s 48th homicide victim this year.


The shooting occurred just after 5:30 p. m. in the 200 block of Mulberry Street near High Street, in the shadow of Buffalo General Hospital.


The victim was rushed to Erie County Medical Center with an apparent gunshot wound to his upper chest, according to reports. He later died. His name was not released by police late Wednesday.


Authorities believe the incident was an apparent drive-by shooting. Police were reported to be searching for a green Jeep Cherokee shortly after the shooting. The vehicle was spotted by a city surveillance camera and later found on the city’s East Side.


Anyone with information should call or text message the Buffalo police anonymous tipcall line at 847-2255 or e-mail via by clicking on “Report a Tip.”


20-year-old man gunned down in drive-by
Published : Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010, 10:17 PM EDT

Vic Baker Posted by: Eli George

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Gunfire has claimed yet another life on Buffalo streets, this time in the city's fruitbelt.

Homicide detectives say the latest victim is a 20-year-old man gunned down in what appears to be a drive-by shooting on Mulberry Street just after 5:30 Wednesday night. Police believe they have recovered the vehicle used in that shooting.

They are looking for tip calls at 847-2255.

Man walks into ECMC with gunshot wound

Updated: Tuesday, 12 Oct 2010, 5:26 PM EDT

Mark Parrotte Posted by: Eli George


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police are investigating a shooting on the city's east side Tuesday afternoon.

We have reports a victim was shot near Rodney and Holden and then walked into ECMC with a gunshot wound to the chest. There's no word on a name or condition.



Man gunned down in broad daylight

Updated: Thursday, 07 Oct 2010, 5:24 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 07 Oct 2010, 5:24 PM EDT

Rich Newberg Posted by: Eli George


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A man was murdered in broad daylight on Buffalo's east side and police are hunting for the killer.


Another spray of bullets, another death on Buffalo's East Side. There have been two brutal murders on Cambridge Avenue in less than two months time.


Shrieks of horror from a woman believed to be the sister of 24-year-old Joshua Anderson who sources say was shot in the chest and later died at ECMC.


Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge said, "The homicide investigators have been called in to the scene and they are right now presently in charge of the investigation."


Officers from the Northeast District who were called to Cambridge and East Delavan just before noon found Anderson near the street. People who know his family say that he was released from prison less than two months ago. Cambridge Avenue has had more than its share of tragedy in recent weeks.


A friend of Joshua Anderson was shot to death on the same block about seven houses away in mid-August. 20-year-old Ronald Walker was shot five times in the back, according to his mother. He leaves behind a 7-month-old daughter. His mother said her son had been an honor student in high school and believes he was mistaken for someone else.


Frances Walker said, "It was eight bullets shot at him. Five of them entered his body and three of them grazed him, and he laid down there and died."


Last week, 15-year-old Dominique Maye was shot to death in her house on Hewitt Avenue in Buffalo. She was described as a bright, enthusiastic freshman at Riverside High school.


"The 15-year-old girl that got shot, that they shot her house up 19 times, nobody deserve that. Nobody," said Walker.


Again, Buffalo Police are asking citizens for help. The Confidential Tip Line is 847-2255.


Man shot on Cambridge Avenue

Buffalo News Published:October 7, 2010, 1:59 PM


A young man was shot just before noon on the 200 block of Cambridge Ave., just off East Delevan. The shooting occurred outside, on the street.


The man, believed to be in his 20s, was rushed to Erie County Medical Center.


Northeast District police officers initially responded, and homicide investigators were called because of the serious nature of the shooting.


Gunfire hits two houses in separate incidents

Buffalo News Published:October 4, 2010, 12:00 AM


Gunfire hit two East Side residences late Saturday and early Sunday, but no one was hurt, Buffalo police report.


One of the rounds hit the wall of an upstairs apartment Saturday night where a 7-month-old baby was sleeping, according to a police report. Officers could not locate the spent round.


A woman at the residence on Poplar Avenue, off of Walden Avenue near the Cheektowaga line, told police that at about 9 p.m., bullets entered the front wall of the room where she and her baby daughter were in bed.


Shortly after midnight, a Gittere Street man also called police to report that two rounds were fired into the front window of his home.


Man shot in leg on Shepard Street

Buffalo News Published:October 2, 2010, 9:40 AM


A man was shot in the leg Friday afternoon while on the 100 block of Shepard Street, police said.

Nathaniel Myers, whose age was not available, told investigators someone fired a single round at him, striking him in the right calf, at about 1:30 p.m


He was transported to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released.


Timon-South Park game ends in brawl

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Published:October 1, 2010, 11:39 PM


A competitive game between South Buffalo rivals ended with a Timon victory and a bench-clearing brawl.


Bishop Timon-St. Jude coach Al Monaco said it took Buffalo police at least 15 minutes to break up a brawl involving fans and players from both sides in the nonleague game played before an estimated 1,000 at Tifft Farms. The game was called with five minutes remaining and Timon leading, 28-14.


Andrew Marinaro rushed for three TDs and 83 yards, and Brian Sullivan added 76 as the Tigers came back from a 14-0 deficit.


Timon scored 14 unanswered points in the second half. Brian Doherty completed 10 passes for 105 yards.

South Park scored twice in the second quarter on rushing touchdowns from Maurice Howie and Nick Wood.


Girl, 15, killed in hail of gunfire

Buffalo News Published:October 1, 2010, 9:10 AM


A 15-year-old girl was killed in a hail of gunfire from a suspected assault-type weapon, about 9 p.m. Thursday on Hewitt Avenue in the University District, Buffalo Police said.


At least 19 rounds were fired at the house at 337 Hewitt and about a dozen bullets penetrated two front windows of the home, which was occupied by an adult, three children -- ages 6, 7 and 16 -- and the victim.


No one else was hit by the gunfire.


The identity of the deceased girl was not immediately known. The house is east of Bailey Avenue, north of Kensington.


"There were a number of calls to 911 of multiple shots fired," said Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives, who noted police were trying to determine if the victim was shot outside or inside the house. The girl was apparently struck in the back and collapsed in the living room of the home. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


Police were still trying to determine whether the girl was targeted or caught in some sort of cross-fire. It also was unclear if the shots came from a car, Richards said.


"It's too early to put out any other details," he said.


Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda also was at the scene of the shooting, where evidence markers dramatized the number of shell casings. The motive for the shooting was still unclear.


Police are seeking the public's help. Anyone with information is asked to call or text message the Buffalo police anonymous tipcall line at 847-2255 or by emailing the information to and clicking on "Report a Tip."


Suspect nabbed in bold morning break-in

Updated: Tuesday, 28 Sep 2010, 5:44 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 28 Sep 2010, 5:44 PM EDT

Luke Smith Posted by: Eli George


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - One suspect is under arrest in a bold burglary on Buffalo's west side.


Police believe two suspects entered a home on Columbus Parkway and stole two laptops Tuesday morning. Some quick-thinking neighbors called 911 and officers arrested 17-year-old Jose Rivera a short time later. A second suspect remains on the loose.


The stolen items have been recovered.


Police hunt for N. Division St. shooter

No information released about victim

Wednesday, 29 Sep 2010, 7:55 AM EDT

  • Shannon Ross
  • Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police are hunting for the triggerman responsible for a late-night shooting.

Emergency crews were called to North Division Street just after 12 a.m. Wednesday.

Investigators have not released any information about the victim or their condition.

News 4 will continue to bring you the latest information

Locations targeted in Wednesday's raids include this convenience store on Virginia Street.

Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News


Arrests target gang on West Side

By Dan Herbeck Buffalo News News Staff Reporter September 23, 2010,


When gunfire crackles in the night on Buffalo's West Side, police say, they often find members or associates of the notorious Tenth Street gang are behind it.


Gang members, they say, have been responsible for murders, attempted murders, beatings, vandalism, witness intimidation and drug trafficking that have damaged the quality of life on the West Side for years.

FBI agents and federal prosecutors say they hope a new crackdown will at least slow down the violence.


Twenty-seven people described as gang members or associates were charged Wednesday in a federal racketeering conspiracy case blaming the gang for three murders and numerous acts of violence.


"We've identified gang violence in the inner city as a priority for this office," said James H. Robertson, special agent in charge of the Buffalo FBI office. "We've worked on a daily basis on this case with the Buffalo Police Homicide Squad and State Police."


One law enforcement official told The Buffalo News that the gang consists of "very violent people."

Agents looking for guns, drugs and drug money raided several locations early Wednesday described as drug houses, as well as a convenience store on Virginia Street.


In addition to criminal charges, Tripi filed a $23.6 million forfeiture action against purported gang members. Robertson said the figure represents the gang's drug profits over the past decade.


Details of the investigation, and of federal efforts to help attack the city's gang problem, are expected to be announced today at an FBI news conference featuring Robertson and U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.


Two West Side community leaders -- Lourdes Iglesias, executive director of Hispanics United of Buffalo, and Monsignor David M. Gallivan, pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church on Seventh Street -- said they welcome the involvement of FBI agents in cracking down on gang violence.


Both said fear of gang violence has become pervasive on the West Side.


"The other night, our religious education director was jolted out of bed by gunfire outside her home from a car speeding down the street. She has a little baby at home, and it scared her," Gallivan said. "I talk to people who are scared to do things, or organize good events in the neighborhood because they are afraid of getting caught in the cross-fire."


"People are afraid, and they realize that they can't do much about it on their end," Iglesias said. "The police have to do it. I certainly believe we should welcome the FBI getting involved, but this is a big problem. It's not going to go away overnight."


"Arrests and prosecutions are only a part of what has to be done to solve this problem," Robertson said. "A lot of it has to do with education and restoring the family structure."


Wednesday's arrests, which began at about 5:30 a.m., involved about 200 federal agents and police officers. In addition to FBI agents, personnel from the State Police; Buffalo police; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Amherst police; Cheektowaga police; state Division of Parole; and Erie County Probation Department participated in the investigation.


Gunman reported to have robbed South Buffalo store

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Published:September 26, 2010, 1:48 PM


A gunman who robbed a Family Dollar Store on Saturday in South Buffalo hit one customer in the head with his gun before fleeing with the cash, Buffalo police reported.


An employee told police that a man in his mid-20s, wearing a black bandanna, black hooded sweat shirt and black pants entered the store at 438 South Park Ave. at 3:25 p.m.


The robber pointed a .45-caliber silver handgun at the clerk and demanded money. He warned the customers in the store not to try to leave, and struck one who tried.


The robber left with an unknown amount of money from the register and fled north on Hayward Street.


The customer who was hit in the head left before police arrived.


Two men shot while sitting on porch, police report

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Published:September 22, 2010, 4:58 PM


Two Buffalo men shot this morning while sitting on a porch on the 200 block of Krettner Street were rushed to Erie County Medical Center for treatment, according to Ferry-Fillmore District police.


The shooters, police said, approached the men and opened fire shortly before 11:30 a.m. One of the victims, described as in his 30s, remains at ECMC where he is receiving treatment.


Clarence Dunbar, 40, was treated and released. District detectives, who are heading the investigation, are questioning individuals, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.

Late-morning shooting on Krettner St.

Updated: Wednesday, 22 Sep 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

Posted by: Emily Lenihan


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The violence continues in the Queen City, late Wednesday morning.

Buffalo Police are responding to a shooting on Krettner Street, off of Broadway.


Initial unconfirmed reports from the scene say two people have been shot.

Police are converging on the scene.


News 4 crews will bring you the latest information, as it becomes available.

Oil from a truck's engine suddenly started splattering all over this Buffalo Police patrol car and, to make matters worse, the police car's windows were open, allowing oil to drench the interior.


Patrol car drenched in oil


By Lou Michel Buffalo News Staff Reporter Photo by Buffalo News

Published:September 21, 2010, 2:58 PM


A Buffalo police officer narrowly missed getting drenched in motor oil this afternoon when the oil line burst in a truck that was beside her parked patrol car, authorities said.


Central District Officer Sherry Holtz had just stepped from her patrol car at 1:15 p.m. on the southwest corner of Church and Franklin streets and was walking into Police Headquarters when the mishap occurred.


Oil from the truck's engine had suddenly started splattering all over the patrol car and, to make matters worse, the police car's windows were open, allowing oil to drench the interior.


An extensive response by firefighters and other police officers to control traffic and clean up the mess at the busy downtown intersection was continuing.


Holtz would only smile when she was asked if she felt lucky.


"The department is thankful that our officer is OK and that no one else in the area was injured," said police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.


Holtz came to headquarters to fill out arrest paperwork after dropping off a shoplifting suspect at the nearby Erie County Holding Center on Delaware Avenue. 


Gunfire exchanged near nightclub

By Jay Tokasz

Buffalo News Staff Reporter

Published:September 19, 2010, 12:04 PM


Two men were shot early this morning when gunfire was exchanged at the corner of Niagara Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.


One of the victims, Andre Funderburke, was shot in the right hand and upper left thigh. He was taken by Rural Metro ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition.


Another victim, whose name was not provided in a police report, was shot in the left calf. He was taken in a private vehicle to Buffalo General Hospital for treatment.


A witness told Buffalo police that the driver of a silver Pontiac opened fire at about 2 a.m. on a man standing on the southwest corner of Niagara and Pennsylvania.


The man then returned fire at the Pontiac and fled.


The Pontiac did a U-turn and fled east on Pennsylvania, going the wrong way on a one-way street.


The witness said six to eight shots were fired, and police found four shell casings on Niagara Street.


The second victim said he was inside Club Rendezvous at 520 Niagara St. when an altercation erupted among several women. Security inside ejected all of the patrons.


The shooting victim said he was outside the club when he heard six to seven shots and felt a stinging sensation in his left calf.


Man mugged at gunpoint

Buffalo Published:September 18, 2010, 11:07 AM


A man reported to police that he was mugged at gunpoint early Saturday morning on the West Side.


At 5:30 a.m. on West Delevan Avenue at Greenwood Place, two teenagers, one of whom displayed a black handgun in his waistband, approached the victim. They demanded money and the man handed over $40 in cash and his cell phone.


The muggers fled north on Greenwood.


Man killed on Berkshire Avenue

Published:September 18, 2010, 11:23 AM


A man in his 40s was fatally shot Friday night on Berkshire Avenue, police said.


The victim, whose name was not released, was shot while in his driveway in the 100 block of Berkshire Avenue just before 11 p.m.


The victim was declared dead at the scene. No further details were immediately available.

The homicide marks the 44th in Buffalo so far this year.


Man dead after daytime shooting

Updated: Friday, 10 Sep 2010, 3:19 PM EDT Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Police are at the scene of a shooting Friday afternoon, on East Ferry near the Donovan Drive apartments.

The shooting happened near the intersection of East Ferry and Ernst Avenue. The male victim, believed to be in his 30's, collapsed a short distance away on East Ferry near Donovan Drive. He was rushed to ECMC where he was declared dead on arrival.

At least ten police cars responded to the scene and homicide detectives are now investigating.

This is the same area where police recently conducted a manhunt, when they were searching for mass shooting suspect Riccardo McCray.

News 4 crews are on the scene and will bring you the latest information.

Retaliation in City Grill murders

By Lou Michel Buffalo News

Published:September 10, 2010, 4:03 PM


A companion of the alleged City Grill killer was gunned down today on a city street, in what appears to be retaliation for the August massacre, a law enforcement official told The Buffalo News.


A man, described as being in his 30s and originally from Buffalo, was fatally shot at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon on Wast Ferry near Schuele.


Police believe the shooting today was in part to settle the score against Riccardo McCray, who is accused killing four and wounding four in the early hours of Aug. 14 on Main Street outside the City Grill.


"[He] moved to the Carolinas and is believed to be one of the people who brought McCray back to Buffalo after he had fled following the (City Grill) shootings," a police source told The News.


Police believe that members of the Schuele Street Gang were involved in the shooting today. McCray previously has been identified as a member of the East Ferry Gang Detectives believe the victim collapsed a short distance away from where he was shot in the 1000 block of East Ferry. He was taken to ECMC where he was declared dead on arrival.


Anyone with information is asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at 847-2255 or Text a Tip at (716)847-2255.


Gunman shoots resident as he answers his door

Buffalo News Published:2010-09-06


A Buffalo man who was shot by a masked man when he answered his door Saturday morning was listed in serious condition Sunday evening in the trauma intensive-care unit in Erie County Medical Center, police said.


Aaron Holmes, 39, who lives in the 300 block of Walden Avenue, between Bissell and Goodyear avenues, heard a knock on his door about 6:30 a. m., opened it and was confronted by someone wearing a mask and carrying a sawed-off shotgun. The gunman shot Holmes in the abdomen, police said.


Anyone with information is asked to call the Buffalo police tip line at 847-2255.


Gunfire from car hits man on Fennimore

Published:August 29 2010, 12:00 AM


Updated: August 29, 2010, 6:36 AM

A man was wounded in a drive-by shooting about 10:35 p. m. Friday on Fennimore Avenue, police said.


Derrick Ramos, whose age was not available, was standing in front of a house on Fennimore when three to four shots were fired at him from a car, hitting him in the backside.

A bullet also struck his car, police said.


Ramos was treated in Erie County Medical Center, then released

Victim in Serious Condition After Saturday Shooting

Buffalo Police Detectives Investigate Shooting


BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Police Homicide Detectives are investigating a shooting that occurred around 6 p.m. Saturday evening on Main Street near Glenwood.

A 61-year-old, male victim was shot in the upper body area. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center and believed to be in very serious condition.

Police are investigating.

If anyone has any information they are asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at 847-2255.

Shooting victim found near gas station

Updated: Saturday, 28 Aug 2010, 7:38 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 28 Aug 2010, 7:10 PM EDT

Zachary Kineke  Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Saturday, Buffalo Police are investigating a shooting that had officers canvassing an east side neighborhood.

The victim was found behind a gas station near Main and Glenwood shortly before 6:30 p.m.

There's no word on how badly the victim was injured.


Police officers credited with rescue during fire

Published:August 28 2010, 12:00 AM


Two Ferry-Fillmore District police officers broke down the door of a burning apartment house, went up to the second floor and led a resident to safety late Thursday night, Buffalo fire officials reported Friday.


Officers Michael Toy and Michael Beavers were the first to respond to an 11:34 p. m. fire call at 305 Sobieski St. They helped the man out of the house, but he was uninjured and did not require any medical attention, according to fire reports.


The fire, which started on an outside wall and spread into the kitchen of a second-floor apartment, left an estimated $30,000 damage.


Two victims of shooting on Genesee Street identified

Buffalo News Published:August 27 2010, 12:00 AM


Two people shot at about 1 p. m. Wednesday in the 2200 block of Genesee Street were identified Thursday by Buffalo police.


Glasco Rozier, no age or address listed, was shot in the shoulder and leg, and Dorian Bellamy, no age or address listed, was shot in the stomach, police said. Both were near Genesee and Eller Avenue when shots came from a silver vehicle, police said.


Rozier and Bellamy were taken by private vehicle to Erie County Medical Center, where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.



Police release HSBC robbery photos

Updated: Thursday, 26 Aug 2010, 6:29 PM EDT
Posted by: Eli George


BUFFALO, N.Y. (RELEASE) - Buffalo police are investigating a late morning bank robbery at the HSBC branch located in the 3100 block of Bailey Avenue.


The incident occurred at around 11:30am Thursday morning, August 26th. Police say the suspect entered the bank, handed the teller a note and then made off with an undisclosed amount of money. It appears the suspect then fled on a bicycle, possible gray in color.


Anyone with information is asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at 847-2255 or "Text a Tip" at (716) 847-2255.

Motorist nearly strikes police officer trying to stop him

Author: Buffalo News Published Date: Aug 24, 2010 2:12 PM


Buffalo police overnight arrested a motorist from Irving accused of nearly striking a police officer who was trying to stop him on a complaint of driving under the influence of drugs.



Police responded to the 911 complaint on Bogardus Street, where one officer told the driver to pull over. But the driver kept going, to the corner of Bailey Avenue and William Street, where Officer Robert Gonez got out of his patrol car and instructed the man to get out of his vehicle.


Police say the driver pulled away, nearly striking Gonez, then continued south on Bailey Avenue, in and out of oncoming traffic, before stopping at Bailey and Dingens Street.


Officers charged Bryan P. Fite, 21, of Irving, with attempted second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, among other charges, according to police reports.


New task force to target most violent criminals

Author: Gene Warner Buffalo News  Published Date: Aug 24, 2010 3:41 PM



More than a dozen representatives of local law enforcement agencies, dressed in dark suits and dress police uniforms, stood behind Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown on Tuesday to issue a warning:

Local, state and federal police agencies are joining forces, even more than before, to go after the most violent criminals on Buffalo's streets -- what several officials called "the worst of the worst."

Brown, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda and representatives from eight other law enforcement agencies announced the creation of the Violent Crime Task Force, which will target violent repeat offenders.


"The Violent Crime Task Force will focus on the most violent criminals, bringing to bear the combined resources of all our law enforcement partners and getting these people off of our streets, prosecuted and sent to where they belong -- jail," Brown announced at the afternoon news conference.


The dual focus, Derenda added, will be to reduce homicides and firearm-related crimes.


The Buffalo Police Department's new Violent Crime Impact Team -- consisting of six detectives and two detective sergeants -- will work in Police Headquarters with full-time members of several law enforcement agencies.


They include the Erie Crime Analysis Center, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Erie County District Attorney's Office, the state Division of Parole and the State Police.


Officials would not comment on the specific numbers, but other sources suggested that the eight Buffalo detectives likely would be aided by a like number of officials from other agencies.

"This will be one-stop shopping for law enforcement under one roof," Buffalo Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said.


To help support the new task force, the Buffalo Police Department recently completed installation of surveillance cameras on city streets. The department now has 125 cameras in operation across the city.


To those who might roll their eyes at creation of another task force, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. cited his firsthand experience as a federal prosecutor in the Donald "Sly" Green gang case.


"Task forces can effectively combat violence, especially violence committed by gangs," Hochul said.

Sean M. Byrne, acting commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, noted Gov. David A. Paterson's recent commitment of $1.6 million in Operation IMPACT aid to Erie County.


"The killings and the crime must stop," Byrne said. "We won't back down. Yes, the state is in a dire [financial crisis], but no, we won't back down."


Byrne cited state statistics that tracked criminals with five or more misdemeanor convictions from 2007 through 2009. Erie County had well over 100 such multiple repeat criminals.


"These are people who are making a living off of committing crimes in our neighborhoods," he said.

Richards mentioned another statistic, a national one showing that 16 percent of criminals commit about 60 percent of crime in the United States.


"Imagine the reduction of crime if we go after that population, which is what we intend to do," Richards added.


As speaker after speaker extolled the cooperation among police agencies, the large elephant in the room was the recent shootings that took four lives and left four people wounded outside City Grill.


Officials emphasized, though, that the task force has been in the works for months and that its unveiling was unrelated to the Aug. 14 shootings.


"All I can say is that the investigation is continuing," Derenda said. "It's progressing very well, and that's all I can say."


Byrne also appeared at a press conference Tuesday in Niagara Falls where he championed a new state program that will collect DNA from those convicted of misdemeanors.

© The Buffalo News


Youth, 16, charged in fatal shooting

Published: Buffalo News August 24 2010, 12:00 AM


A 16-year-old Echols Lane youth was charged with attempted second-degree murder and felony assault in connection with the Aug. 14 shooting of Spencer Cowart, 23, on Sattler Avenue, Buffalo police reported Monday.


Darryl Tarver was apprehended late Sunday by Ferry Fillmore District Police Officers Mark C. White, Thomas M. Starkey and John Simonian. Tarver was wanted by police in the 11:30 p. m. shooting in which Cowart was shot in the face and head.


Cowart remained hospitalized late Monday in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center.

Police credited strong investigative work by the Buffalo Police Homicide Unit as well as the public for their assistance, which led to the arrest of Tarver,


“The Police Department is grateful for the response from the public, and the information provided, which led to the identification of Tarver as the gunman responsible for this attempted murder,“ said Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives.


Teenager sought in firing shots at front porch

Published:August 24 2010, 12:00 AM


Buffalo police are looking for a teenager suspected of firing a volley of shots at the front porch of a Black Rock home where three young people were sitting Sunday night.


Police were called to the Guernsey Street home after the 9 p.m. incident. No injuries were reported.


Teen suspected of firing shots at Black Rock home

News Staff Reports

Published:August 23 2010, 1:08 PM


Buffalo police are looking for a teenager suspected of firing a volley of shots at the front porch of a Black Rock home where three young people were sitting Sunday night.


Northwest District police were called to the Guernsey Street home following the incident, which occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Officers recovered several spent shells and a couple of bullets, while finding one slug that had lodged into the paneling in front of the house.


The shooter fled south on Guernsey in a relatively new blue Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows, police reported.


The house where the shots were fired is about three blocks east of Niagara Street, just south of Hertel Avenue.


Man shot while riding bike in Buffalo

Updated: Saturday, 21 Aug 2010, 7:44 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 21 Aug 2010, 7:44 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - (RELEASE) A male victim was shot around 2:30 PM Saturday on the 200 block of Peach Street in Buffalo.

The victim was shot while riding his bicycle.

Victim taken first to Buffalo General by private vehicle and then was transported to ECMC by ambulance.

Victim remains in serious condition.


Three arrested in robbery at gas station on Elmwood

Author: Brian Connolly Buffalo News Published Date: Aug 20, 2010 9:51 AM


Three men were arrested after they allegedly pointed a sawed-off shotgun at a man at an Elmwood Avenue gas station early this morning and robbed him, police said.


Shortly after 1 a.m., the victim was approached by the trio of robbers at the Mobil station at Elmwood and Forest avenues. They pointed the weapon at him and took $60 before fleeing in a late-'90s Pontiac Grand Prix.


Northwest District Police Officer Anthony Figueroa spotted the car on Parkdale Avenue, and the suspects were arrested.


Eugene Williams, 16, was charged with first-degree robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. Victor Small, 25, and Rickie Robinson, 20, were charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

© The Buffalo News


Two men treated and released following shooting

Author: Brian Connolly

·         Published Date: Aug 19, 2010 9:33 AM

·         Last Updated: Aug 19, 2010 11:56 AM


Two men were shot late Wednesday night at Glenwood and Roehrer avenues, Northeast District police said.

Aaron Bell, 24, was shot in the right hand and Carlton Smith, 27, was shot in the right side.

Bell told authorities that he was on Roehrer around 11 p.m. when he heard 10 or 11 shots fired. He then hopped a fence onto Utica Street and Roehrer and realized he had been shot. He spotted his cousin coming out of a store, and the cousin drove him to Erie County Medical Center.

Smith's cousin also drove him to ECMC, authorities said. He was listed in serious condition this morning.


Bell was treated and released.

© The Buffalo News


Gunman steals $1,400 at restaurant on Delaware

Published:Buffalo News August 16 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: August 16, 2010, 6:22 AM



A Delaware Avenue restaurant was robbed at gunpoint late Saturday, and the suspect is a man who wore aviator sunglasses and a bandanna over his face, police said.


An employee of Moe’s Southwest Grill told Buffalo police that he was outside smoking a cigarette when the bandit approached and displayed a small handgun.


The employee was told to get back inside and was asked where the money was. When the employee stated the money was in the office, the robber then told the other workers to get on the ground.

He took about $1,400 in cash from a cabinet and fled out the side door.


The suspect is a black male, approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 300 pounds.


He also was wearing a black dress cap, red T-shirt, gray sweat pants and red Nike sneakers.


Multiple shots target man sitting on porch

Published:August 17 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: August 17, 2010, 6:38 AM


Gunplay late Monday evening on the city’s West Side sent one man to Erie County Medical Center with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries, Buffalo police report.


The shooting occurred at about 10 p. m. in the 200 block of West Ferry Street near Herkimer Street.


A male victim was sitting on a porch there when someone approached him and fired multiple rounds.

The victim was struck in the midsection at least once, police said.


Teen on couch nearly killed by bullet

Updated: Monday, 16 Aug 2010, 6:22 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 16 Aug 2010, 5:54 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Buffalo woman says a shooting at her home is getting lost among this weekend's violence. She's a mother who woke up to a hail of bullets hitting her home, and her son.

Lamica Gilmer said, "This used to be my home. It's not my home no more."


Lamica Gilmer, her two children and her god-daughter slept somewhere else because of what happened Sunday morning at their home on Floss Avenue near East Delavan. Just after 5 a.m. on Sunday, the family awoke to gunshots. There are seven bullet holes inside of her house, in the front hall, the living room window, and one through the couch, which was the bullet that hit her 15-year-old son as he was laying there. She preferred we don't show his identity, but he demonstrated for us how he was laying when he was shot.


"He said, "Something's wrong. It's my back.: My husband checked and come to find out he got hit in his back," explained Gilmer.


An ambulance rushed him to Women and Children's Hospital and it turns out the wound was just a bad graze from the bullet. Police showed up immediately.


Gilmer said, "They looked around. They seen the bullet holes. That was it."


Later she found a bullet laying around her house and detectives asked her to bring it to them. She wishes police took it more seriously.


"They say the population of the crimes is going down. No, it's not, they're just not talking about it.


They're just not bringing it up, they're just not saying anything about it. But, just because my son didn't get real injured or in critical condition, or dead or something, don't nobody want to talk about it. I'm gonna talk about it. I'm gonna get my point across because the violence in Buffalo is too much. Everybody in Buffalo needs to get together and figure something out," said Gilmer.


Gilmer does not believe anyone in her house was targeted. In fact, the house across the street also had some bullet holes in it. But she says she will not sleep there with her family and she is looking for a new home.




Police investigating three more weekend shootings

Author: Brian Connolly

·         Published Date: Aug 16, 2010 9:25 AM

·         Last Updated: Aug 16, 2010 10:54 AM


The weekend gunfire against young people on Buffalo streets continued late Saturday night and Sunday, with three more shootings, including the shooting death of a 20-year-old man and the critical wounding of a 23-year-old.


In the latest incident, Ronald Walker, 20, the grandson of a key official at True Bethel Baptist Church, was shot multiple times Sunday night and rushed to Erie County Medical Center, where he later died.


Police were called to East Delavan and Cambridge avenues at about 9 p.m. to investigate the fatal attack.


Another shooting, at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Sattler Avenue, left Spencer Cowart, 23, in critical condition today in ECMC, authorities said. Cowart was shot in the head with bird shot from a shotgun and possibly a .22 caliber handgun, according to police.


The third shooting, at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday at East Delavan Avenue and Hagen Street, left a male in his late teens in ECMC with wounds that were not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

The Rev. Darius G. Pridgen -- the True Bethel Baptist Church leader who has taken an advocacy role in urging people to come forward with information about early Saturday's quadruple homicide on Main Street -- was touched personally by the shooting death of Walker.


He identified Walker as the grandson of Luther Walker, who's active with the security ministry at his church.

From what he has heard, Pridgen doesn't believe that the Walker shooting is connected to the Main Street shooting that killed four people and wounded four others.


"It's young people with weapons in their hands who are going after each other for no reason," he said this morning. "I don't think they're related except in the loss of hope."


Homicide detectives are looking at all the shootings, to see if there's any possible connection among them.


"Given what happened outside the City Grill, the department is taking a close look at everything," police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said today.


Luther Walker, the grandfather of the latest homicide victim, has been involved in anti-violence initiatives along with his security ministry at the church.


"It's further proof that the continued violence in our area is not limited to dysfunctional families," Pridgen said. "It can touch families that are very active in protecting our city and our citizens."


Pridgen continues to preach about the need for people with information on the Main Street shootings to come forward with that information. "If you saw it, say it," Pridgen has repeated over and over this weekend.


Why are people still hesitant to come forward, even after the unsolved slayings of four people?

"It's fear," Pridgen said. "It's totally fear. There is a campaign in the community of 'no snitching.' 



There's a feeling that if I tell, there won't be protection for my family. It's pure fear."


Anyone with information on any of the shootings is asked to call the confidential Buffalo Police Department's TIP-CALL line at 847-2255 or "text a tip" to the same number.

© The Buffalo News


Overnight homicide near Schiller Park

Updated: Sunday, 15 Aug 2010, 6:33 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 15 Aug 2010, 6:33 PM EDT

  • Zachary Kineke

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - What had already been a violent day in the Queen City ended with homicide detectives investigating another shooting.


Investigators say 23 year old Spencer Cowart was shot in the upper body around 11:30 Saturday night on Sattler Avenue near Schiller Park.


He's listed in critical condition at ECMC.


If you have any information, call or text the Buffalo Police confidential tipline at 847-2255


Disabled man listed as critical after shooting

Published:August 14 2010, 12:00 AM 

Updated: August 14, 2010, 6:39 AM


Buffalo police are investigating the shooting of a disabled man who was struck once in the abdomen while sitting in an East Side living room some time Thursday night or early Friday morning, Northeast District police reported.


Myles Taylor was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit on Friday night.


Taylor, described by family members as a quadriplegic, was shot by someone who came from the rear of a yard on Navel Avenue, according to police reports. The shooting scene is just east of Bailey Avenue, between East Delavan Avenue and Genesee Street.


The shooter fired several rounds at Taylor before fleeing through the yard.


Four dead in shooting outside downtown restaurant

Author: Brian Connolly

·         Published Date: Aug 14, 2010 7:58 AM

·         Last Updated: Aug 14, 2010 9:54 AM


Eight people were shot, four fatally, in a shooting outside City Grill on Main Street in downtown Buffalo.

The incident happened at around 2:30 a.m. Of the dead, two are men and two are women. The four people injured are all men.


Police say that a large private party, believed to be a wedding reception, was happening inside the restaurant at the time of the shootings.


The father of one of the shooting victims returned to the scene at around 9 a.m. this morning.

Raymond Wilhite said his 32-year-old daughter Tiffany was gunned down following an apparent dispute inside the City Grill.


"It's just a senseless killing. A senseless, random killing. And this kind of thing just has to stop," Wilhite said.


Wilhite said another victim who died was a cousin of his daughter's.


Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police were removing video cameras from the Seneca Metro Rail station this morning in hopes that the incident may have been caught on surveillance tape. Metro Rail officials would not discuss the ongoing investigation, except to say that they are "fully cooperating" with city homicide investigators.


Information can be given to police anonymously by calling or texting the department tipline at 847-2255.


"Anybody with information, we need you to come forward immediately," said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.


City Grill is owned by Scott and Virgina Rossi of East Amherst.

Gallery: Photos from the scene of the shooting.

© The Buffalo News


One killed, one hurt in separate shootings

Author: Brian Connolly

·         Published Date: Aug 12, 2010 9:18 AM

·         Last Updated: Aug 12, 2010 2:15 PM

One man was killed and another seriously wounded today in separate shootings in Buffalo.

Homicide detectives are looking into whether the shootings, which took place about three miles apart, could be connected, police said.


The first shooting occurred just after 3:30 a.m. near Walden Avenue and Harmonia Street. Police said someone drove the victim, described only as male, in a private vehicle to Erie County Medical Center. Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said his condition is considered "very serious."


Then at 6:15 a.m., a 30-year-old man was fatally shot on the street at Durham Avenue near Litchfield Avenue, near Erie County Medical Center. He was declared dead at the scene.


Neighbors said they did not recognize the man who was killed.


Police are asking anyone with information about the shootings to call the confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255.

© The Buffalo News

Woman treated for non-life threating wounds after daylight stabbing

Author: Geoff Nason

·         Published Date: Aug 10, 2010 2:40 PM

·         Last Updated: Aug 10, 2010 2:40 PM


A woman was stabbed multiple times at about 8:30 a.m. today on the 100 block of Highgate Avenue, Northeast District police said.

She was transported to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of what appeared to be non-life threatening wounds, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.


Police are searching for the suspect, who took the woman's backpack containing her personal papers, cash and other valuables.

© The Buffalo News


Man fatally shot in Riverside

Author: Geoff Nason

·         Published Date: Aug 5, 2010 2:53 PM

·         Last Updated: Aug 5, 2010 2:54 PM


A man who was shot in the head at about 1 p.m. today in Riverside died a short time later at Erie County Medical Center, authorities said.


Northwest District officers initially responded to the scene and soon called in homicide detectives to the first block of Rano Street, which runs off Tonawanda Street and is north of Hertel Avenue.


The name of the victim and other details of the shooting have not yet been released.

© The Buffalo News


Man shot in the leg finds ride to ECMC

Published:Buffalo News August 01 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: August 01, 2010, 6:44 AM


A Buffalo man told police he was shot in the leg on Saturday in the city’s Kenfield neighborhood, and then driven to the hospital by a good Samaritan.”


Omego Stafford, no age available, of Courtland Avenue, saw a blue car driving south on Courtland at about 1:45 p. m. Saturday, when he heard a “pop” and realized someone was shooting at him, police said.


The victim was treated and released, a hospital official said Saturday.


Buffalo man arrested in Chippewa violence

Author: Bruce Andriatch

·         Buffalo News Published Date: Jul 31, 2010 11:33 AM

·         Last Updated: Jul 31, 2010 3:01 PM


Buffalo police arrested a Rodney Street man in connection with a double shooting in the Chippewa Street area early Saturday morning.


Darius Austin, 21, was identified by police as one of the gunmen involved in the incident in the popular nightclub zone. He was facing numerous charges, including criminal possession of a weapon with the intent to use, reckless endangerment, two counts of first-degree assault and marijuana possession.


At about 2 a.m., a fight erupted between two groups of young men on W. Chippewa and Pearl streets, police said.


Shots were fired by at least two people, police said.


Antonio Taylor, 20, of Buffalo was shot in the chest and was listed in stable condition at Erie County Medical Center.


Charles Lockwood, 21, also of Buffalo, was treated for a wound to his left leg and released.


Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call or send a text message to the Buffalo Police Department's confidential tip line at 847-2255.


Arrests made in Thursday night shooting

Author: Brian Connolly

·         Published Date: Jul 30, 2010 11:40 AM

·         Last Updated: Jul 30, 2010 11:41 AM


Buffalo police today announced the arrests of three people in connection with the fatal drive-by shooting of a man Thursday night at the Commodore Perry Housing Complex.


Police refused to release the names of the victim and the three suspects, saying the investigation remains open.


At about 9:15 p.m., a vehicle pulled up to the courtyard in the 300 block of Perry Street, near Louisiana Street, and people inside the car opened fire on a 28-year-old man.


The man was shot once in the chest and collapsed near Hayward Street and Stannard Alley. He is the 30th homicide in the city this year.


Police added that multiple weapons believed to have been used in the shooting were recovered as part of the investigation.

© The Buffalo News


Spray of bullets shatters windows on East Side

Buffalo News Published:July 26 2010, 12:00 AM 

Updated: July 26, 2010, 7:08 AM


Windows where shattered in a spray of bullets at Genesee Street, Newburgh Street and Theodore Street at about 11 p. m. Saturday. No injuries were reported.


Witnesses said they saw at least one man, dressed in black, firing indiscriminately. A car headlight was shot out, a barber shop was hit and so was a second business nearby.


Man shot in the head is in critical condition

BUFFALO NEWS Published:July 26 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: July 26, 2010, 7:08 AM


A man found shot in the head at Stewart and Walden avenues was listed in critical condition Sunday in Erie County Medical Center.


John Richard, who police said is in his 40s and lives in Cheektowaga, was found at 1:50 a. m. with the gunshot wound—the victim of an apparent drive-by shooting.


Michael J. DeGeorge, a Buffalo Police Department spokesman, called Richard’s injuries very serious.


Father, 38, arrested in shooting of son, 20

BUFFALO NEWS Published:July 26 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: July 26, 2010, 7:08 AM


Lawrence Hawkins, 38, was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with shooting his son, Marquan Hawkins, 20, after an argument, Buffalo police report.


The elder Hawkins fled before being arrested. His son was taken to Erie County Medical Center.


Two sought after store is robbed at gunpoint

BUFFALO NEWS Published:July 26 2010, 12:00 AM 

Updated: July 26, 2010, 7:07 AM


Buffalo police are searching for two men who robbed a North Buffalo business at gunpoint Saturday morning, department spokesman Michael De- George said.


Two masked men entered the Game Stop at Delaware and Hinman avenues at about 10:15 a. m., police said. At least one man was armed with a gun, DeGeorge said.


The two demanded money, then tied up a store employee. They left with an undisclosed amount of cash.


Robbers burst into home on Peck Street, bind woman

BUFFALO NEWS Published:July 26 2010, 12:00 AM 

Updated: July 26, 2010, 7:07 AM


Three men in black and with bandannas over their faces burst into a home at 108 Peck St. at about 3 a.m. Sunday and bound a woman there with duct tape as they demanded money, the victim told Buffalo police.


The woman said the men insisted there must be a quantity of cash because her boyfriend owned that building and another next door. They eventually left with two flat-screen TV sets and some cash from her purse.


When she freed herself at about 6 a. m., she went next door and found her boyfriend, also bound, with stab wounds to his right calf and left calf, police report. The boyfriend was treated in Erie County Medical Center.


Police officer, driver injured in collision

Published:July 25 2010, 12:00 AM 

Updated: July 25, 2010, 6:37 AM

A Buffalo police officer and another man were taken to Erie County Medical Center Saturday morning after their cars collided near the intersection of Sycamore and Herman streets. Police said neither the officer nor the driver face life-threatening injuries.


At around 8:30 a. m., the officer was responding to a call and traveling on Herman Street, and the other driver was driving east on Sycamore Street, police said.

The crash remains under investigation


Shooting victim in critical condition at ECMC

Author: Geoff Nason

·         Published Date: Jul 25, 2010 12:34 PM

·         Last Updated: Jul 25, 2010 2:36 PM


A man found shot in the head at Stewart and Walden avenues was listed in critical condition this morning in Erie County Medical Center.


John Richard, who police said is in his 40s and lives in Cheektowaga, was found at 1:50 a.m. with the gunshot wound -- the victim of an apparent drive-by shooting.


Michael J. DeGeorge, a Buffalo police department spokesman, called Richard's injuries very serious and asked anyone with information to call or text the confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255.

© The Buffalo News


Arrest made in overnight shooting

Updated: Thursday, 22 Jul 2010, 1:08 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 22 Jul 2010, 1:08 PM EDT

  • Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - An arrest has been made in an overnight shooting, on the 300 block of Connecticut Street.


A 21-year-old male is facing numerous charges, and police are looking for at least two other suspects.


A number of individuals apparently were in a vehicle when one of the individuals shot male victim in the leg area.

The male victim is being treated at ECMC.


Suspect shoots man through window

Suspect knocked on the front window

Updated: Thursday, 22 Jul 2010, 1:25 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 22 Jul 2010, 1:25 PM EDT

  • Posted by: Emily Leniahn

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A 20-year-old man is in stable condition, after a shooting on Pershing Avenue.


Police say, around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, the suspect knocked on the front window of a home.

James Powell, of Buffalo, came to the window of the Pershing Avenue home, and the suspect shot him in the arm.


Powell is now at ECMC.



Derenda approved as police commissioner by Common Council

Author: Geoff Nason

·         Published Date: Jul 21, 2010 2:21 PM

·         Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010 2:45 PM


Daniel Derenda has become Buffalo's permanent police commissioner following one of the most controversial city appointments in recent years.


In a 5-4 vote this afternoon, the Common Council confirmed the 51-year-old former deputy police commissioner for the top job. Voting in favor of the appointment were: Majority Leader Richard A. Fontana, Council President David A. Franczyk, Joseph Golombek Jr. of North, Bonnie E. Russell of 


University and Demone A. Smith of Masten.


Voting against Derenda's confirmation were Michael P. Kearns of South, David A. Rivera of Niagara, Michael J. LoCurto of Delaware and Curtis Haynes Jr. of Ellicott.


Some have criticized the appointment, noting that Derenda does not have a college degree and only rose to the rank of detective sergeant before he was appointed deputy police commissioner in 2006. 


Much of the controversy in recent months has centered on Mayor Byron W. Brown's search for candidates for the $116,989-a-year job.


Brown vowed to launch a national search. However, the administration didn't spend a dime on recruitment efforts, opting to post the opening on free Web sites. No head hunter was hired, and Brown has refused to say whether a search committee was empaneled. The mayor also has declined to say how many finalists were interviewed.


Derenda had little to say about the controversial confirmation process as he left City Hall this afternoon. He said he was gratified that a majority of lawmakers supported his appointment.

"It was a long process, but again, I got five votes," Derenda told reporters.


When asked about the controversy over the national search, Derenda would not comment saying he was not privy to details. But he made a pledge to residents.


"I will work hard for every citizen of Buffalo and for every Council district in the city," Derenda said.

Some have raised suspicions that Brown intended to appoint Derenda to the job from the very beginning. The mayor dumped H. McCarthy Gipson, and Derenda has been running the department since Jan. 1.


The Council met in special session this afternoon to vote on the appointment.


The Legislation Committee voted last week to delay action after some members raised concerns about the search process. For a while, it appeared as if the nomination wouldn't be taken up again until lawmakers returned from an August recess. But Brown resubmitted Derenda's nomination, freeing the item from committee limbo and setting the stage for today's special meeting.

© The Buffalo News


One killed in overnight double shooting

Author: Geoff Nason

·         Published Date: Jul 21, 2010 7:47 AM

·         Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010 7:48 AM


One man was killed and a second wounded in a late night double shooting, Buffalo police reported.

The shootings occurred at Walden and St. Louis avenues.


Detectives believe the two victims were shot while walking at or near that intersection.

One male was declared dead at the scene. The other was taken to ECMC with non-life threatening injuries.


Anyone with information is asked to call or text the department's confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255.

© The Buffalo News


Four arrested in Chippewa District assault on couple

Buffalo News Updated: July 18, 2010, 5:35 pm /
Published: July 18, 2010, 5:35 pm


Four Erie County men were charged with a gang assault on a husband and wife following an argument at a hot dog vendor early this morning in the Chippewa District.


According to police reports, the four men, all 21 years old, got involved in an argument with the couple at Main and Chippewa streets at about 3:40 a.m. and severely beat the couple.


The husband was thrown to the ground, punched, kicked and his head was slammed against the side of a parked pick-up truck, police said. He suffered large bumps and bruises on his forehead, a swollen right eye and a large bump on the front of his head, police said. He was treated at the scene by Rural/Metro ambulance.


The victim's wife also was punched and kicked in the face and head, causing a cut lip and substantial pain and swelling. It was unclear if she was transported to a hospital.


The incident caused about $500 in damage to the pick-up truck when the victim's head was slammed into it.


Arrested were Patrick W. Browne of Delaware Ave., Pierce A. Devine of Lakecrest Drive, Hamburg; Timothy E. Lane of Briar Hills Road, Orchard Park; and Joshua J. Senior of Eden Evans Center Road, Angola.


All four were charged with second-degree gang assault, third-degree assault, harassment, criminal mischief and petit larceny for taking the husband's cell phone.


Buffalo man robbed on Ashland Avenue

Updated: July 18, 2010, 6:41 am /
Published: July 18, 2010, 12:30 am


A 25-year-old Buffalo man was robbed at gunpoint about 3 a.m. Saturday on the city’s upper West Side.


The victim told police a gun was placed to his neck as he walked on Ashland Avenue toward Forest Avenue, near Buffalo State College, police said. The victim was robbed of his GPS, iPod Touch, cell phone and $30 in cash.


Death of man, 24, ruled a homicide

Updated: July 18, 2010, 6:41 am /
Published: July 18, 2010, 12:30 am


A 24-year-old man was found dead in his house on Horton Place early this morning.

Police are investigating the death as a homicide.


Northwest District officers were sent to the house to respond to a call about shots fired just before 2 a.m., according to Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards.


The victim, whose name was being withheld pending notification of his family, was found dead in the house, located just south of Forest Lawn and near Canisius College.


Police were awaiting the results of an autopsy, Richards said.


Man shot in shoulder; gunman still at large

Buffalo News Updated: July 18, 2010, 6:41 am /
Published: July 18, 2010, 12:30 am


A Buffalo man told police he was shot in the shoulder after a dispute with another man in the city’s Kenfield neighborhood about 3:30 a. m. Saturday.


Marquan Hawkins, no age available, was shot in the left shoulder during an argument in his Roebling Avenue home, police said. He was treated in Erie County Medical Center, then released, a hospital official said.


The gunman was driving a dark blue Buick Regal, police said.


Apologetic mugger robs woman on Ericson an Lang

Updated: July 16, 2010, 8:56 am /
Published: July 16, 2010, 8:56 am


A woman was mugged early Friday by an apologetic robber near the intersection of Ericson and Lang avenues, police said.

"I'm sorry but I have to do this," the mugger told the woman as he pulled out a black handgun at about 1:40 a.m.


The robber took the woman's cell phone, purse and jewelry worth about $600, including a pair of heart-shaped earrings.


The victim said the thief then went across the street to a man and they got into a tan 4-door vehicle and fled north on Ericson.


2 men suffer wounds in drive-by shooting on Rodney

Buffalo News July 16, 2010, 8:59 am /


Two young men were shot in a drive-by shooting late Thursday night, police said.

The men were walking on Rodney Avenue near Fillmore Avenue when a tan car pulled up by them at about 11:45 p.m.


A passenger in the vehicle opened fire five or six times, striking one man in the right knee and the other in the backside and right lower leg. Both were transported to Erie County Medical Center. Their injuries were not considered life threatening.


Man in critical condition afer shooting on Grider

Updated: July 16, 2010, 9:38 am /
Published: July 16, 2010, 9:03 am


A man was in critical condition at Erie County Medical Center Friday after he was shot while in his car at the Grider Street entrance to the Kensington Expressway late Thursday, police said.


The victim was in his car at the westbound entrance when he was shot at about 10:40 p.m.

Police said the wounded man and got out of his car and then into a passing car. The driver of that car took the wounded man to ECMC, where she works.


Robbery called motive in Delaware Park mugging

Buffalo News Updated: July 16, 2010, 6:26 am /
Published: July 16, 2010, 12:30 am


A man who was in-line skating in Delaware Park late Wednesday told Buffalo police he was jumped and beaten by four teenagers in an attempted robbery.


The victim said he was skating on the park’s Ring Road at about 11:30 p. m. when the teens, who looked like they were between 15 and 17, came out from behind a patch of trees and demanded money.


DEA rounds up dozens in prescription drug ring

By Phil Fairbanks

Buffalo News Staff Reporter

Updated: July 15, 2010, 10:21 am /
Published: July 15, 2010, 8:30 am


Motivated by the high-profile deaths of several young people, federal agents and local police arrested about 30 people this morning as part of an effort to shut down a prescription drug ring with deep roots in the city and suburbs.


The arrests, which took place in communities stretching from Rochester and Lockport to Orchard Park and West Seneca, are the culmination of an investigation that took law enforcement into "all aspects of our community."


The investigation, headed up by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, targeted a prescription drug ring that relied on unsuspecting doctors and pharmacists and catered to people from all walks of life, many of them teenagers.


"It's not just the city, it's the suburbs," said Dale M. Kasprzyk, DEA group supervisor. "This is one of those special cases that impacts all aspects of our community."

Among those arrested was Michael McCall, 57, of Cheektowaga, and Justin Doyle, 22, of West Seneca.


Authorities describe McCall as the ringleader and Doyle, who sold drugs out of Cheektowaga gas station, as one of his biggest dealers.

The arrests follow the highly publicized deaths of several young people using illegal prescription drugs and subsequently heroin, a drug often linked to pain killers and other prescription drugs with OxyCotin.


Many substance abuse experts think the popularity of prescription drugs among local adolescents has never been higher.


"It's emerged as a major problem," said Charles Tomaszewski, Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA's Buffalo office. "It's one of the new drug trends we're seeing."


Investigators said McCall, unlike drug dealers who use out of town sources, relied on local doctors and pharmacists who were duped into issuing prescriptions.


McCall would school his employees on how to fake illnesses and ailments as a way to get prescriptions and then sell the drugs from those prescriptions, they said.


Kasprzyk estimates McCall's customer base at hundreds of people, one indication of the growing popularity of illegal prescription drugs.


Hailed as the largest local prescription drug bust ever, today's arrests are expected to impact what law enforcement officials see as a growing aspect of the illegal drug trade.


The crackdown on prescription drugs resulted in arrests throughout the region and included the state police, as well as agencies in Cheektowaga, Buffalo, West Seneca, Lancaster, Amherst, Orchard Park and Lockport. The office of U.S. Attorney Williams J. Hochul Jr. also assisted in the investigation.


"This will have an impact," Tomaszewski said of the crack down, and "it was a joint effort by all the agencies that made it happen."

Police Officers Donna Benitez and Bart Adams get ready for their shift at the Housing Authority headquarters.

Sharon Cantillon /Buffalo News

Police Housing Unit created

New city security force tackles drugs, violence

By Abram Brown

Buffalo News Staff Reporter

Updated: July 12, 2010, 12:33 am /
Published: July 12, 2010, 6:34 am


In the Jasper Parrish Homes, children share their playground with drug dealers.


An open-air drug market ran unrestrained at Shaffer Village. And in Kenfield Homes, residents like Leonard Williams are used to the sounds of random gunfire.


"The problems are here. The young people, at night, are out here shooting their guns and congregating," Williams said. "If you drive through here at 10:30, 11 o'clock, then you'll see people hanging on the corners."


Crime is rampant in Buffalo's public housing. The response to the crime: the new Buffalo Police Department Housing Unit that started June 9. It is the first dedicated public-housing security since 2005, when the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority eliminated its 26-member public safety force in a budgetary move.


But for Williams and the rest of the 12,000 public-housing residents, no monetary savings can make up for what they lost in protection. Statistics from all the 27 public-housing complexes show the increase in crime. In 2005, the Housing Authority received 551 reports of homicides, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, larcenies and vehicle thefts.


Last year, the Housing Authority received 849 reports of the same types of crime, a more than 50 percent increase.


In the public-housing complexes now, the new Housing Unit targets serious crime, including drug trafficking and violence.


The Housing Unit costs the Police Department $2.1 million per year, with $650,000 coming from a contract with the Housing Authority. But the $650,000 contract has yet to be approved by the Common Council.


In Kenfield Homes today, Williams makes sure he is in his apartment for the night by 8. He won't even make a trip to the grocery store three blocks away.


He considers himself lucky, though. His apartment is on the second floor. That means he doesn't have to dive to the floor with each gunshot.


"I live on the second floor, so I don't have to worry about it, but I get calls all the time, "Commissioner, do you hear all that shooting?'" said Williams, a tenant-elected Housing Authority commissioner whose term ended June 30.


At Jasper Parrish, Dana Garland remembers her sister's birthday in 2008 well. She was almost shot that night.


It was a cold February night, and Garland parked farther down from her house on Jasper Parrish Drive than she would have liked. She saw a group of kids on the street between her and her house.

When she left her car, she heard the gunshot.


"I heard the shot, and I saw smoke from the gun. I don't know who did it," Garland said.

She raced for a friend's house nearby and called the police.


Things have gotten so much worse since the old public safety force left, Garland said.

"And last year, there was like a shooting every day," Garland said. "We still had problems, but we felt better having our own police force."


In March 2005, the Housing Authority voted to cut its 26-member public safety force. City officials still say that a lack of federal funds led to the loss of the force.


But seven months after the cut, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a report that found rampant fiscal mismanagement inside Buffalo's Housing Authority, including $900 cell-phone bills and winter trips to warm-weather conventions.


When the Buffalo Police Department learned of the cut, it studied the calls from the 27 Housing Authority complexes. A "comprehensive analysis" concluded that Buffalo police did not need a dedicated housing force.


The department declined to provide a copy of the 2005 report, and current officials said they are "not aware" of the report's existence.


Despite the lack of federal funds in 2005 and that departmental analysis, the Buffalo police now have a new Housing Unit staffed by 18 police officers, two lieutenants and one captain. They work 3:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., putting out two or three two-officer cars each day.


The Housing Unit's goal is not to respond to 911 calls; it deals with larger crime and works with other police task forces, including the Narcotics Squad. Unit officers respond to calls if they are in the area, but district police still respond to every call anyway, Capt. Guy Zagara said.


Police declined to comment on specific policing strategies. Since June 9, the Housing Unit has made roughly 115 arrests.


The unit receives new targets each day, based on recent reports. The officers are not at all 27 public-housing complexes daily, instead concentrating on the housing units with the highest levels of crime, said Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda, whose appointment awaits Common Council confirmation.


The Housing Unit will work with public-housing residents and tenant councils to learn the area, the complaints and who causes the problems. Police lost the knowledge and experience of the old public safety force, who knew the residents and the complexes' layouts well, Derenda said.


The complexes with the most crime are Commodore Perry, Shaffer, Jasper Parrish and Kenfield-Langfield.


Some Council members, led most vocally by South District Council Member Michael A. Kearns, have asked if the Housing Unit will take officers away from the city's five police districts. Derenda said the districts did not lose any officers in the unit's creation.


Kearns and other Council members have asked if there is not a better way to allocate the unit's manpower. All neighborhoods in the city should receive the same kind of police protection, Kearns said.


"I guess there would be some block clubs who would like their own police force," Kearns said.


Even among some police, the unit has critics, like Capt. Bob Meegan, Police Benevolent Association president. He contends the unit will not be used as a dedicated housing force; that its officers instead will have to take calls, drawing them away from the complexes.


He called the unit's creation "smoke and mirrors" and said that citizens are being lied to about how the unit will be used.


"They're telling the poor citizens that these guys are going to be there," Meegan said.


Derenda has said the unit will be used to respond to emergency calls. He has stressed that the unit is under the authority of the police and not the Housing Authority.


With any luck, Kenfield resident Williams says, things will start to get better with the new police.


"If they're dedicated to doing the job — they will be able to get to know the various communities, to get know the bad actors, to get know the good actors and will be able to make a difference, yes," Williams said.


Officers injured in knife struggle


07/07/2010 07:27 PM

By: Kaitlyn Lionti

Officers injured in knife struggle

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Two people have been arrested following an incident at a gas station that injured two Buffalo police officers.


Just after midnight on Tuesday, officers on patrol noticed 23-year-old Edward Delmonte with a large knife in his hand yelling and banging on the window of the Red Apple Food Mart.


The officers ordered Delmonte to drop the knife. He refused and that’s when police say he began menacing them with it.


As the officers tried to obtain the knife, Delmonte began struggling and fighting with them.

One officer suffered a knee injury and another suffered a hand injury.


Both were taken to ECMC for treatment. There’s no word on their names or conditions.

Delmonte faces several charges including assault upon a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon.


His 25-year-old sister Jennifer Delmonte was charged with obstructing governmental administration.

Charles Tomaszewski offers a wealth of expertise in role of deputy police commissioner.

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

Enforcement on drugs is key asset of new deputy

Tomaszewski brings DEA acumen to police

By Lou Michel


Updated: July 07, 2010, 7:02 am /
Published: July 07, 2010, 12:30 am


Charles H. Tomaszewski is not arriving at his new job in Police Headquarters wearing blinders.


Buffalo’s recently selected deputy police commissioner for operations moves into the role with both a global and local perspective on battling drugs, having spent the last 23 years with the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration.


Before taking the helm of the DEA’s Buffalo office 18 months ago, Tomaszewski spent five years in Warsaw, Poland, and Berlin fighting the Russian mob’s drug-trafficking operations.


Earlier in his career, the Buffalo native worked in Baltimore as an undercover agent and later as the head of a unit battling the heroin trade, and was responsible for taking down major drug dealers.


All of this experience, it appears, will make Tomaszewski a formidable opponent for the city’s drug dealers and suppliers.


Where there’s drug dealing, he says, violence is sure to follow.


“We want to target areas that are experiencing violence and bring it down to a minimum and improve the quality of life for citizens by disrupting the flow of drugs,” Tomaszewski said. “We want citizens to feel good about living in the city, feel safe.”


Raised on the city’s East Side and in the University District, he has positioned himself well to have an immediate impact on the illicit drug trade. As the DEA’s local agent in charge, he has expanded the region’s Drug Task Force to include representatives from Lackawanna, Lockport and the Town of Tonawanda.


“I’m a big proponent of cooperation in law enforcement, and I plan to continue building on that cooperation,” said Tomaszewski, explaining that the drug trade goes well beyond the city’s borders.

Having a close relationship with the DEA cannot hurt the city, especially because federal resources in law enforcement are often much greater than local resources.


Tomaszewski’s relationship with Daniel Derenda, who has been nominated to become the city’s next police commissioner, is already well-established. Since January 2009, when Tomaszewski returned to his hometown, he said, he has been working with Derenda, who has been eager to build relations with the DEA.


This closeness is in sharp contrast to previous situations when federal agents, not so many years ago, were investigating and arresting rogue detectives in the city’s narcotics unit for shaking down dealers. Some of those officers wound up doing time in federal prison.


The son of Polish immigrants, Tomaszewski, 55, said his hands-on focus will go beyond the city’s narcotics unit and include strong interaction with all of the Police Department’s special units to improve intelligence-gathering.


Tomaszewski, who plans to move from his Amherst home into Buffalo, is the first high-ranking police official to be selected from outside the city force since R. Gil Kerlikowske served as commissioner from 1994 to 1998 after coming here from Florida.


Kerlikowske now serves as President Obama’s director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.


Giving Tomaszewski solid reviews was Common Council President David A. Franczyk, who has known his family for years and in recent months has gone to Tomaszewski for advice on drug problems in the city.


“I knew his father, Karol, before I knew him. His father fought in the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944 with the home army against the Nazis, and it is a miracle he survived. Thousands were killed and the city detroyed,” Franczyk said, pointing out that the older Tomaszewski’s qualities were passed down to his son. “Charlie is a straight shooter and very professional. He’s disciplined. It’s no surprise he’s where he is.”


A 1977 graduate of Buffalo State College who briefly worked as a report technician with the Buffalo police before serving six years in the Air Force, Tomaszewski brings administrative experience to his new post. From 2000 to 2002, Tomaszewski served at the DEA’s Washington headquarters in the Office of Congressional Affairs, developing position papers related to drug enforcement and tracking trends in drug trafficking.


Tomaszewski, who will retire from the DEA on Aug. 31, says he welcomes the challenge of his new position. “I wouldn’t have taken it on if I didn’t think I could help make things better,” he said. 


“Citizens have every right to feel safe and expect the Police Department to be proactive in stopping violence.”




Triple shooting on East Side leaves driver dead as car hits house


Updated: April 09, 2010, 12:05 am /
Published: April 09, 2010, 12:02 am


Police early today were still sorting out the details of a triple shooting that resulted in the death of one man driving a vehicle that crashed on the city's East Side.


The shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. Thursday near the Polish Community Center of Buffalo at Paderewski Drive and Playter Street.


Within moments, Buffalo police fielded reports of man shot near Sweet Avenue or Playter, the crash of a car into a house in the 300 block of Paderewski and then another shooting on Playter.


Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards confirmed late Thursday that a 27-year-old man, who was the driver of the car, was struck fatally after shots rang out on Sweet.


A 5-year-old girl in the rear seat of the vehicle was shot in the leg. Her injuries were described as not serious. A third person, a 10th Street man, was also reported shot in the leg, in the 100 block of Playter Street. It was unclear where that victim was when shots were fired, police said.


"All of this stems from the same incident in the vicinity of Paderewski and Sweet," Richards said.


Buffalo homicide investigators and officers from the Mobile Response Unit and Ferry-Fillmore District remained at the scene early today, "sorting out who's who and what's what," Richards said.

Names of the victims were unavailable.


It is the city's fourth homicide this month and 12th of the year.

Man wounded in shooting at Langfield complex

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: April 09, 2010, 6:45 am /
Published: April 09, 2010, 12:30 am


One person was shot late Wednesday night in the Langfield public housing complex, according to Buffalo police reports.


The victim, Willy Woods, no age or address listed, told police that an unknown male shot him with a shotgun at about 10:30 p. m. and then fled the scene on Sun Street.


Woods was treated for wounds to his left hand and right thigh in Erie County Medical Center.

Northeast District police are investigating.

Buffalo police probe late morning homicide

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: April 06, 2010, 12:08 pm /
Published: April 06, 2010, 11:53 am


Responding to a call of a shooting on the 300 block of Davidson Avenue at 9:45 a.m. today, Buffalo police found the lifeless body of a 23-year-old man in the street in the Kensington Avenue-Eggert Road neighborhood, authorities said.


The man suffered gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge. The victim's name is not being released at this time, pending notification of his family.


An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted Wednesday morning at the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office.


Homicide detectives were summoned to the scene after Northeast District police initially answered the 911 call for help. A motive for the killing remains unclear at this point, DeGeorge said.


Police are appealing to the public to come forward with any information or to call the confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255

Frank Battaglia's drug dealing came to an end when he was arrested on May 4, 2006, at his Lovejoy apartment.

Buffalo News file photo


Aren't the drug kingpins replaced?

First of a two-part News series: Arresting a street dealer removes a big fish, but overall problem persists

By Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel


Updated: April 05, 2010, 10:12 am /
Published: April 05, 2010, 7:09 am


The sun was just coming up on May 4, 2006, when the cops put the hammer down on Frank "Fat Frank" Battaglia, the drug kingpin in the Lovejoy section of Buffalo.


About 20 heavily armed Buffalo police officers and federal agents stormed into his apartment on Willett Street. They arrested the corpulent dealer in his bedroom — festooned with posters of Tony Montana, the homicidal drug kingpin from the movie "Scarface."


Battaglia, then 24, and 14 alleged associates were arrested. All but one were convicted of federal drug crimes. Six got probation, and the others were sent to federal prison, where Battaglia still resides today, serving out a sentence of seven years and three months.


Nearly four years later, police and many community residents consider the drug bust a success. They say the investigation put Lovejoy's biggest pusher — a man whose drug dealings hurt many families — out of business.


"I've been in this neighborhood all my life. Fat Frank was one of the heaviest drug dealers we've ever had here," said Art Robinson, 56, a Vietnam War veteran and community activist. "All I know is, Frank hurt a lot of families. He didn't care who he sold dope to, or how they got the money to buy it."


But did the prosecution provide any long-lasting benefit to Lovejoy?


That's a tricky question. This much is clear: Lovejoy's drug problem didn't go away when Battaglia did. Drug addiction — and the criminal activities related to it — still remain a serious problem, according to those who live there.


Not long after Battaglia's arrest, other pushers — smaller, less flashy operators — moved in to supply crack cocaine, heroin and other drugs to people who still crave them.


A few weeks ago, police busted a drug house in the 1200 block of Seneca Street, near a community center where children play each day. Robinson said young people have been taking drugs in a clubhouse at the Milton Street playground.


"It's one thing to bust the dealers," said Common Council Member Richard A. Fontana of the Lovejoy District, who is thankful that the cops took down Battaglia. "But if you're not providing enough help to the drug users, they'll find someone else to buy from."


The same scenario plays out in many other Buffalo neighborhoods where small armies of cops move in for a day, arresting drug dealers by the dozens, only to have them replaced by new drug dealers.


The continued demand for drugs and the willingness of a fresh crop of dealers eager to replace those who have gone off to prison raise some serious questions:


• How much do major drug investigations cost taxpayers? In an age of dwindling funds, is the investment worth it?

• If such investments are not cost-effective, what would be the cost to society of allowing drug dealers to run rampant?

• Would better drug-treatment programs dry up the demand for pushers such as Battaglia?

• Is the drug war — which costs $15.5 billion for the federal government alone — a nationwide exercise in futility?


"It seems like we are on a treadmill, trying to chase [drug dealers] down. We find ourselves rotating around the city. When you put one away, it seems there is somebody ready to step in," said Lt. Paul R. Delano of the Buffalo Police Department's Narcotics Squad.


Source of frustration


"One thing I've realized in 23 years as a prosecutor is that the criminal law enforcement system is only part of the solution to the drug problem," said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. "It's not the whole answer. Our public health system, the education system, families and the faith communities all have roles to play."


As for the residents of Lovejoy — an East Side working-class neighborhood with about 7,000 people — they're glad that the police rid them of Fat Frank and his crew. Many are thankful that a small army of 150-plus cops showed the dealers that they do not own Lovejoy.


But the fact that the drug problem still exists there is a source of frustration for some, including Marcia Ciapa of East Lovejoy Street. Her son, Samuel, 23, was killed in 2002 because of his involvement with drugs.


"[Drug abuse] is a problem that seems like it's never going to go away," she said. "Once Fat Frank was gone, others stepped right up to take his place. Drugs are still out of control in this neighborhood, ... but you have to keep trying."


Police believe that a dispute with drug dealers — not Battaglia — led to the murder of Samuel Ciapa, who was strangled, stabbed and dumped in a reservoir in Sloan in August 2002. Her son had problems with drugs for years and repeatedly tried to get off of them, his mother said.


"Frank and Sammy knew each other since they were kids. ... Frank's own father was murdered by drug dealers," Ciapa said.


"I asked Frank once, "How can you live with yourself, selling drugs to kids?' He just laughed at me."

Investigators from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration described Battaglia as a brazen pusher feared by many. Cops said Battaglia acted as if he owned Lovejoy while he cruised around in a big blue Lincoln Continental, using his cell phone to bark out orders to the many small dealers working under him.


The month before he was busted, cell phone records showed, he had made more than 10,000 calls. Working the phones paid off. On some days, he and his crew would take part in more than 50 drug deals.


At one point, Battaglia was making more than a million dollars a year selling drugs, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office estimated. They said he slept with a loaded shotgun next to his bed and had an electronic alarm system installed in his apartment.


In May 2008, Battaglia — after losing 170 pounds in jail — took a plea deal. Admitting to a felony charge of running a continuing criminal conspiracy, he apologized to the judge, his family and the community.


"He has turned his life around," said Battaglia's attorney, Rodney O. Personius.


Battaglia could be back on the streets less than two years from now, according to court officials.

Going to prison is a risk most dealers are ready to take, according to Tommy, a former drug dealer and gang member.


A Buffalo resident in his 20s who joined a gang and began stealing cars at 11, Tommy has been around drug dealers all his life. He spoke with The Buffalo News on the condition that his full name not be published.


"Some people aren't scared of jail. They don't give a darn about going to jail," he said. "I know dealers who get arrested, get out on bail, and still deal drugs while they are on bail."


In gang-infested neighborhoods with little opportunity for honest work, some kids look up to flashy drug gangsters as heroes, Tommy said.


"The guy with the biggest rims and the biggest chains has the money," Tommy said.


The key for police, he said, is to aim high if they have any hope of making a meaningful attack on drug dealing.


"[Police] always seem to catch the middle-level dealers and the low-level street hustlers. They don't catch the big guys," Tommy said. "If you don't catch the big dude who's supplying it, what's the point?"


That is true, according to Peter Allen Weinmann, a Buffalo attorney who formerly headed drug prosecutions for the Erie County district attorney's office.


Weinmann was not involved in the Battaglia case, but one thing about it caught his eye — six of 14 defendants were sentenced to probation.


Aiming to get suppliers


"That raises some question with me as to how far up the food chain these people really were," Weinmann said. "Sometimes, I think there is a tendency to go after bigger numbers of arrests to get more headlines and more funding."


Weinmann said he understands why authorities needed to prosecute Battaglia and his top henchmen.


"But I wouldn't be able to tell you whether it was a successful investigation until I knew if the case led to convictions of bigger suppliers," he said.


Did the case lead to prosecutions of major suppliers?


"We always try to go up the ladder, to get the suppliers," said Charles H. Tomaszewski, resident agent in charge of the Buffalo office of the DEA. "In just about every major investigation, we get information that helps us in other cases, sometimes cases in other cities. We obtained helpful information in this case. I'm not going to be more specific than that."


Putting dealers in prison isn't cheap, and the cost goes up all the time.


While declining to give specifics, law enforcers estimated that a long-term drug investigation lasting six months or more can easily cost up to $100,000 for personnel alone. The Battaglia case was smaller than many, lasting about three months.


A team of investigators may work on a case for months, with some conducting surveillance and interviews on the streets, while others spend endless hours listening to wiretapped conversations among the targets. Thousands of dollars more are often spent to pay informants and to make undercover drug buys.


On the day of the arrests, it is not unusual for more than 100 police officers and federal agents to take part in the raids. Some officers receive overtime for their participation.


After that comes a wave of court costs. Officers, prosecutors, judges and other court personnel all must be paid for the hundreds of hours they spend in court.


In drug busts where 20 to 30 people are arrested, it is not unusual for more than half the defendants to receive court-appointed attorneys at taxpayer expense. In federal court, the court-appointed attorneys now receive $125 an hour.


Costs versus benefits


After that comes perhaps the most expensive part of all — the cost of imprisonment. In New York alone, more than 9,700 people are serving prison time for drug felonies. The state estimates the cost of housing a prisoner at $44,567 a year.


That means the state spends about $434 million a year to house drug prisoners, and that figure does not include those held in local jails and federal prisons.


To Delano, the veteran street cop, it's money that must be spent. "The payoff is safer streets, hitting the bad guys where it hurts the most, taking their money and assets and seeing the residents trying to take back their neighborhoods," he said.


He said Buffalo narcotics cops last year seized nearly $1 million in drug money, made nearly 900 arrests and removed 150 guns from the streets.


According to federal law enforcement agencies, anywhere from $20 million to $25 million is forfeited in connection with federal drug cases in Western New York each year.


"Quite often, we seize more money and property from the dealers than we spent on the investigation," Tomaszewski said.


Allowing narcotics dealing to go unchecked would cost society even more, financially and otherwise, said Dick Gallagher, executive director of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services. Aside from destroying individuals and families, Gallagher said, drug abuse is a huge expense to public health system and social services programs.


"Any time you can take any drugs off the street it helps," Gallagher said.


One retired narcotics detective said that it would be wrong to stop arresting drug dealers just because other dealers will replace them.


"You can't stop arresting child molesters," he said, "just because you know other child molesters will take their place."


TUESDAY: Debate over legalizing drugs;

Buffalo man charged with impersonating a police officer

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Updated: April 04, 2010, 2:26 pm /
Published: April 04, 2010, 2:26 pm


A Buffalo man was arrested this morning on an assortment of charges for allegedly impersonating a police officer, Buffalo police reported.


Police said Lemont Overton Hughes, 39, of Olympic Avenue, pulled over a car at Sussex and Grider streets at around 5 a.m., posed as a police officer and displayed what appeared to be two semiautomatic handguns.


The driver of the car told police that Overton Hughes chased him to a Deerfield Street house and that he then ran into the Erie County Medical Center for safety, according to the police report.


Police arrested Overton Hughes at 160 Deerfield, reporting that he allegedly possessed a stolen federal badge from the FBI. It turned out that the handguns were fake, police reported.


Overton Hughes, who police also identified as Deazir Hughes, was charged with criminal possession of a disguised weapon, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and first-degree criminal impersonation, all felonies, as well as fifth-degree possession of stolen property and second-degree menacing.

Pizza delivery man reports he was beaten, robbed

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Updated: April 04, 2010, 2:29 pm /
Published: April 04, 2010, 2:29 pm


A man delivering pizza reported to Buffalo police that he was beaten and robbed early today after making a delivery to a Lawn Street house.


The 24-year-old Mister Pizza deliveryman said he was jumped at around 1 a.m. by two men who took $150 in cash and a silver chain worth $80, according to the police report.


Police said the victim declined aid for his injuries, which included bruises and swelling to his face.

Playground set goes up in flames

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: April 04, 2010, 5:10 pm /
Published: April 04, 2010, 5:10 pm


An outdoor plastic playground set went up in flames this afternoon on the city's East Side, Buffalo Fire Department officials reported.


The fire was reported at 1:30 p.m. at 182 Sobieski St., near Sycamore Street, which is the address listed for Darul Ullom Al Madania, an Islamic boarding school.


The base for the playground set area is made out of recycled tire pellets, a fire official said, and this fueled the fire.


The blaze caused $10,000 damage to the set and $1,000 in exposure damage to a nearby home at 327 Sweet Ave.

Buffalo man shot in thigh on Goemble Avenue

BUFFALO NEWS April 03, 2010, 1:43 pm /


A 20-year-old Buffalo man was shot early Saturday morning as he was sitting in a parked vehicle on the 100 block of Goemble Avenue, Buffalo police said.


Christopher Kelly of Buffalo was sitting in the vehicle when the gunman walked past and began shooting, police said.


Kelly was apparently struck in the thigh area. He was transported by Rural Metro to ECMC where he's been treated and released.


Anyone with information is asked to call the confidential tipline at 847-2255 or e-mail the department at and just click the "Report a Tip" tab on the home page.

John mugged by two men at Schuele Street address

BUFFALO POLICE Updated: April 02, 2010, 7:07 am /
Published: April 02, 2010, 12:30 am


A Buffalo man visiting a prostitute in a Schuele Street apartment was beaten and robbed by two men, police said.


Police said the john was punched in the face and $225 in cash was stolen from him.

Two women attacked as mob surrounds them

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: April 02, 2010, 7:07 am /
Published: April 02, 2010, 12:30 am


Two Buffalo women surrounded by as many as 20 people were attacked and robbed about 5 p. m. Thursday at East Delavan Avenue and Schuele Street, police said.


One victim was cut with a razor and her gold earrings and purse were stolen, police said. A cellular telephone was stolen from the other woman, police added.

Fatal shooting takes place overnight outside Genesee Street bar

Buffalo News Staff Reports

April 01, 2010, 9:46 am /


A 22-year-old Buffalo man was shot to death early this morning outside a Genesee Street bar, Buffalo police have reported.


The man, whose name was not released, was shot outside LoLo's Bar, at Genesee and Hagen streets, shortly before 3:15 a.m.


"Homicide detectives are looking at the possibility that there may have been a dispute inside the place that carried outside," Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.


The critically wounded man was found about a block away at Genesee and Newburgh streets. Police are investigating whether someone may have driven him away from the shooting scene before dumping him where he was found.


Detectives still are looking for the shooter. Anyone with information is asked to call the police department's confidential tip line at 847-2255 or e-mail the department by visiting and clicking on "Report a Tip."

Police investigating afternoon shooting on Fillmore Avenue

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Updated: April 01, 2010, 1:13 pm /
Published: April 01, 2010, 1:13 pm


Two people were apparently shot shortly after 12:30 p.m. today on the 1400 block of Fillmore Avenue, authorities said.


One of the victims was rushed to Erie County Medical Center and first aid personnel were attempting to revive the other one at the scene. Homicide detectives were summoned to investigate, police said.


Further details were unavailable.

Police arrest suspects in two bank holdups

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: April 01, 2010, 7:00 am /
Published: April 01, 2010, 12:30 am


Northeast District police late Wednesday announced the arrests of two men in a recent bank holdup.


The suspects were identified as Andre D. Reynolds, 35, of Dewey Street, and Cameo C. Simmons, 21, of Kensington Avenue.


Reynolds faces counts of robbery and attempted robbery in holdups at the M&TBank branch, 3037 Bailey Ave. on March 19, and the Bank of America, 2389 Fillmore Ave., March 23. Simmons also is charged with menacing and attempted robbery in the Bank of America holdup. Police said he threatened customers and employees with a handgun.

K-9 rookie racks up first arrest on the job

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 31, 2010, 6:35 am /
Published: March 31, 2010, 12:30 am


The newest member of the Buffalo Police K-9 force is being credited with the arrest of a Buffalo man and seizure of a pound of marijuana and an ounce of crack cocaine, Buffalo police said Tuesday.


Stark and his handler, Officer James Howe, were called to a traffic stop about 2:30 p. m. Sunday on Harvard Place near Main Street, where the dog found rugs stashed in a compartment beneath a car seat, police said.


Charges against Frederick Miller, 55, included criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of marijuana and several traffic violations

Teen bandit stalks man getting $500 from ATM

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 29, 2010, 7:06 am /
Published: March 29, 2010, 12:30 am


A 22-year-old Buffalo man was robbed of $500 after withdrawing money from an ATM on Jefferson Avenue at 4:19 p. m. Saturday.


The man told police he was at an ATM in Tops Markets on Jefferson when a teenager got in line behind him. The teen followed him to a nearby store, where he threatened to shoot the man unless he surrendered the money, police said.

20 women reportedly attack other women on Bailey Ave.

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 29, 2010, 7:06 am /
Published: March 29, 2010, 12:30 am


Buffalo police are investigating a report of an assault Sunday morning by a group of 20 women on Bailey Avenue.


Police said a witness saw the women exit four vehicles and attack several other women in the 2400 block of Bailey. The witness told police she tried to break up the fight and was stabbed in the left arm and cut on the right hand.


Police said the witness was treated in Erie County Medical Center, where she received stitches to her wounds.

Man says he was attacked by gang on South Park Ave.

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 29, 2010, 7:06 am /
Published: March 29, 2010, 12:30 am


The victim of a reported gang attack Sunday morning on South Park Avenue claims his life was threatened.


Police said the victim was approached in the 400 block of South Park shortly after midnight by six or seven men who yelled, “We’re about to get you. Call it a day.”


The man said he was knocked to the ground and punched several times in the head, face, arms, back and legs. He told police he was finally able to get up and flee his attackers.

Gunman subdued after waving handguns at Buffalo police

By T.J. Pignataro BUFFALO NEWS

Updated: March 26, 2010, 9:56 am /
Published: March 26, 2010, 9:56 am


A Berkshire Avenue man narrowly escaped police gunfire and faces a slew of charges after pulling a pair of handguns on Buffalo police officers late Thursday afternoon, according to Buffalo police reports.


Terrance J. Breaux, 24, is accused of getting out of a car during a traffic stop on Martha Avenue about 5:30 p.m. and brandishing a handgun in each hand, raising them at police.


Northeast District Officer Jason Mayhook fired four shots at Breaux, at least one struck his clothing, authorities said.


None of the shots hit Breaux, but he was forced to the ground and taken into custody, according to reports. No injuries were reported.


Police were initially called for the report of shots fired or a person shot on Ericson Avenue. A description of the vehicle involved was broadcast and quickly tracked down by Mayhook and Officer James Scherer. Breaux was pulled over on Martha when the situation escalated.


The two officers along with officers John Evans and James Hosking took Breaux into custody. He was in possession of the two guns, one of which was loaded, police said.


Breaux was charged with four counts of criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of menacing a police officer and one count each of criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana.


No victim of the initial reported shooting was located.

Man shot in the foot; close call on May St.

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 26, 2010, 6:52 am /
Published: March 26, 2010, 12:30 am


Shots fired an hour apart Wednesday afternoon caught one man in the foot on Minnesota Avenue and narrowly missed an East Side mother and an infant in a May Street house, Buffalo police said.


Police said Montell Jones, no age or address listed, was walking on Minnesota between Bailey and Comstock avenues shortly before 5 p. m. when he was shot in the right foot. He told police he had no idea how he got shot or who did it. He was taken by Rural/ Metro Medical Services to Erie County Medical Center.


An hour earlier, about 3:50 p. m., a May Street woman told police a gunman fired three shots—one bullet entering the front window, nearly hitting her and a 1-year-old child

Noontime shooting under investigation

BUFFALO NEWS March 20, 2010, 3:27 pm /


Buffalo police are investigating a noontime shooting in the Kensington-Fillmore area.


A male of unknown age was believed to have been struck several times by gunfire.


The victim apparently was driven to Erie County Medical Center in a private vehicle, according to a police spokesman.


Police responded to a call of a shooting near Fillmore and Dewey avenues at about noon, and homicide detectives were at the scene as part of the investigation.

Two women attacked, robbed of phone, cash

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 21, 2010, 6:50 am /
Published: March 21, 2010, 12:30 am


Two women were beaten up and robbed about 5:30 a. m. Saturday on Germain Street, near Amherst and Grant streets, Buffalo police said.


Police said a 34-year-old woman was getting out of her vehicle when she was jumped by three people and knocked to the ground. The assailants took $220 and her cell phone, police added.


Her friend tried to intervene, but she was punched in the face and kicked in the ribs, police said.

The attackers fled in a 2004 gray Hyundai Sonata.

Police probe 2 shootings 10 minutes apart

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 21, 2010, 6:50 am /
Published: March 21, 2010, 12:30 am


Two people were injured in separate shootings Saturday afternoon in Buffalo.


About 2:45 p. m., on Theodore Street in the city’s Schiller Park neighborhood, Brandon Rose, no age or address available, said he heard two gunshots then felt pain in his right thigh, police said. 


Rose was being treated in Erie County Medical Center,


About 10 minutes later, two miles away on Box Avenue, Vanquiten Lawrence, no age or address available, was shot twice in the right thigh, according to police. The shooter was in a dark gray Chevrolet Impala that sped out on Kehr Street. Lawrence was being treated in ECMC.


Their conditions were unavailable.

Victim of shooting fights for life in ECMC

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 21, 2010, 6:50 am /
Published: March 21, 2010, 12:30 am


Buffalo police are investigating a shooting Saturday in the Kensington- Fillmore neighborhood that left one man injured and another fighting for his life.


Omar Walker, 32, no address available, was listed in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center Saturday night, said Michael J. DeGeorge, police spokesman.


The other victim, Alfred Mack, 55, suffered a minor wound to one of his legs, DeGeorge said.


Walker and Mack were standing near Fillmore and Dewey avenues about noon Saturday when the gunman opened fire, striking Walker several times. Walker was taken to ECMC by a passer-by, DeGeorge said.


Homicide detectives are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call the confidential tip line at 847-2255.

Bailey bank branch is held up yet again

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 20, 2010, 6:40 am /
Published: March 20, 2010, 12:30 am


A Bailey Avenue M&TBank branch was held up for the second time in four days Friday; this time, the robbers made off with the loot, according to Buffalo police.


Police said that at about 2:30 p. m., two bandits—one armed with a handgun— ordered everyone to the floor. After a teller handed over a quantity of cash, the two fled the bank and made their getaway in a four-door maroon sedan last seen going south on Suffolk Street, police said.


The same branch was robbed about 11 a. m. Tuesday, when the robber lost the cash after leaving the bank and a dye pack exploded. Police recovered the cash and the robber’s stained sweatshirt.

Drug suspect shot during police raid

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 06, 2010, 6:46 am /
Published: March 06, 2010, 12:30 am


A man was shot in the leg when a Buffalo police officer fired a pellet gun about 5 p. m. Friday during a drug raid in the 300 block of Sobieski St., police said.


The man, who was not identified, faces numerous drug charges, police said. His injuries were not serious, police added. A dog in the house also was shot during the raid, conducted by narcotics and SWAT officers.

Tip brings arrests in ‘zip-tie’ robberies

Citizen’s call to police helps to foil stick-up

By Gene Warner


Updated: March 04, 2010, 7:06 am /
Published: March 04, 2010, 7:48 am


Town of Tonawanda police say they’ve nabbed the “zip-tie bandits,” after an alert citizen helped officers foil an attempted robbery of a Delaware Avenue jewelry store late Tuesday morning.


The same thieves robbed six stores in Amherst, Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Kenmore in the last few weeks, with each robbery featuring the attempted use of a zip tie or some other restraining device, investigators previously have said.


One of the men was arrested Tuesday while holding a duffel bag that contained an AK-47 and five plastic zip ties, the kind of device often used to tie up a bundle of wires, police said.


Arthur W. Swain Jr., 20, and Joshua A. Green, 19, both of Roesch Avenue, Buffalo, were charged with attempted robbery and three other felonies, according to town police.


“They confessed to six other robberies in the area,” police Lt. Nicholas A. Bado said. “These were the guys using the zip ties in all the other robberies.”


The break in the case came during the attempted robbery at Katz Jewelers, 3771 Delaware Ave., after an alert resident of the nearby Ken-Ton Presbyterian Village spotted suspicious activity between a parked car and the jewelry store.


Police say the two men parked their car in a nearby parking lot, before one of them, believed to be Swain, walked into the jewelry store carrying a duffel bag.


After the resident spotted the suspicious activity and called police, Officer Eric Schmidt approached the driver of the red 2001 Chevrolet Impala and was told several different stories about what he was do-ing, police said.


Meanwhile, Capt. Jon Scott went into the jewelry store, saw the person walking out with the duffel bag and was told by a store clerk about that person’s suspicious activity. Scott walked out of the store, saw the man holding the duffel bag in front of him, on his chest, with his hand appearing to be grasping the weapon.


Scott yelled out to arriving officers that the man had a gun. Those officers ordered the man, at gunpoint, to get down on the ground, where he was arrested.


Both men were charged with attempted robbery, two weapons charges and conspiracy, according to police.


Town detectives Joseph Fennell and Kevin Moses conferred late Tuesday with detectives from the other police agencies investigating zip-tie robberies.


“They will be charged in all the other robberies,” Bado said of Swain and Green.

The police lieutenant also praised the nearby resident who called police.


“It was the result of an alert citizen reporting suspicious activity that allowed us to intervene and interrupt a robbery that could have turned into something else,” Bado said.

Black Rock man shot in head while walking dog

BUFFALO POLICE Updated: March 04, 2010, 7:06 am /
Published: March 04, 2010, 12:30 am


A Black Rock man was being treated in Erie County Medical Center after he was shot in the head while walking his dog Wednesday morning, Buffalo police said.


The victim told police he was walking his dog on Holmes Street shortly before 7 a. m. and felt something strike him in the head. He was taken by Rural/ Metro Medical Services to ECMC for treatment of bullet fragments to the top of his head.


Northwest District police were investigating.

42 pounds of pot lead to felony drug charge

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: March 03, 2010, 6:45 am /
Published: March 03, 2010, 12:30 am


A Weston Avenue man was arrested late Monday after Buffalo police noticed a bag of marijuana hanging out of his sweat shirt pocket, then discovered 42 pounds of pot at his residence, police said.


Gabriel A. Rodriguez, 31, was charged with felony criminal possession of marijuana, more than 10 pounds. Police said just before 11 p. m., officers recognized Rodriguez as a victim of a recent home invasion and stopped to talk to him, when an officer spotted the bag of marijuana.


After receiving permission to search his house, police reported finding 42 pounds of marijuana.


Also arrested were Richard R. Grant, 37, a neighbor, and Daniel Harzynski, 21, no address listed. Grant was charged with felony criminal possession of marijuana, more than eight ounces, and Harzynski was charged with a violation for unlawfully possessing marijuana.

Police identify man found dead on May Street

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: February 18, 2010, 6:09 pm /
Published: February 18, 2010, 6:09 pm


A 51-year-old Buffalo man whose body was found in a vacant lot on the 200 block of May Street Wednesday morning was fatally shot, authorities said today.


The victim was identified as Tommy L. Wimberly, according to Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards. Ferry-Fillmore District officers discovered the man's body when they responded to a call of a "person down" at about 7:45 a.m.


"An autopsy conducted Thursday morning at the Erie County Morgue confirmed that the victim died as a result of being shot," Richards said. "Detectives are attempting to ascertain at what time the victim had been shot and the amount of time that elapsed prior to the discovery of the body."


Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line, 847-2255.

Loaded gun found after car chase, crash

Updated: February 15, 2010, 6:52 am /
Published: February 15, 2010, 12:30 am


A chase along Fillmore Avenue resulted in the discovery Saturday of a loaded 9mmgun and the arrest of a man on reckless endangerment and gun possession charges.


Buffalo police said Adrian Boykin, 51, was apprehended after he crashed his SUV into a light pole while trying to flee at about 4:25 a. m.

Drive-by purse snatcher drags woman for a block

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: February 15, 2010, 6:52 am /
Published: February 15, 2010, 12:30 am


A drive-by purse snatcher robbed a Buffalo woman as she walked on the street in the 800 block of Northampton Street, police reported Sunday.


The woman told officers that a maroon, four-door car pulled up beside her at about 8:30 p. m. Saturday and the driver grabbed her purse. When she tried to hold onto it, the car sped up, and she was dragged down the street for a block, police said.


Officers said the woman was not seriously hurt, but she lost the purse, containing $100 cash and numerous personal papers.

Teenager stabbed to death on Genesee Street

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Updated: February 14, 2010, 9:50 am /
Published: February 14, 2010, 9:42 am


A teenager was stabbed to death late Saturday night on the city's East Side.


Buffalo Police Homicide Detectives were called to the 2200 block of Genesee Street sometime after 11 p.m. following what they believed was a fight or dispute involving a number of people, according to spokesman Mike DeGeorge.


At some point, the victim believed to be in his late teens, was stabbed and died a short time later, DeGeorge said.


The victim's name has not yet been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at 847-2255.

Parolee scuffles with officers after arrest

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: February 14, 2010, 6:52 am /
Published: February 14, 2010, 12:30 am


A parolee tried to escape arresting authorities Friday morning by fighting with police officers and nearly grabbing a detective’s handgun.


One officer was cut on the hand and another was bruised on the shin as they attempted to take Darren Curry, 34, of Bridgeman Street, into custody at his home on a misdemeanor charge of false personation.


Curry punched and kicked officers after he was removed from a patrol vehicle so that his handcuffs could be adjusted, according to a police arrest report.


At one point, he reached for the .45- caliber Glock of Detective Tara Wells O’Neill, police said.

Curry also tried to kick out the windows of the patrol vehicle.


Buffalo police were on the scene assisting New York State parole officers.

Curry served time in Gowanda Correctional Facility on a first-degree burglary charge, according to Buffalo News records.


He now faces the following charges: two counts of aggravated assault upon a police officer, a felony; attempted grand larceny; resisting arrest; obstructing governmental administration; and attempted criminal mischief.

$100,000 in cash, guns stolen during burglary

Updated: February 11, 2010, 7:03 am /
Published: February 11, 2010, 12:30 am


A Bailey-Kensington-area man told police that more than 20 guns and $100,000 in cash were stolen when his home was burglarized between Jan. 29 and Wednesday, Buffalo police said.


The 69-year-old victim told police a rear door of his Comstock Avenue home was kicked in and the house was ransacked. Stolen were 12 shotguns, 10 handguns, personal papers, $100,000 in cash and $1,000 in collectible coins, police said.

Police investigating fatal shooting near Military and Hinman

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Updated: February 07, 2010, 2:18 pm /
Published: February 07, 2010, 2:17 pm


Buffalo police are investigating a fatal shooting on the 700 block of Military Road near Hinman Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. today.


A 26-year-old Buffalo man was shot in a parking lot. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he later died, said police spokesman Mike DeGeorge.


Police have not released the man's identity or other details about the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the confidential TIP-CALL Line at 847-2255.

Northwest District police station closed due to mold

By Lou Michel Buffalo News Staff Reporter

February 12, 2010, 11:05 pm /


The Northwest District police station was closed Friday after tests confirmed the presence of mold in the building.


Buffalo police officials, who ordered the temporary closing of the facility at 669 Hertel Ave. after consulting with city officials, said the action was "done in an abundance of caution," based on preliminary tests conducted on the 17,000-square-foot structure.


About a month ago, a police officer from the district filed a complaint that the building had mold growing in it. Efforts to move district operations to a closed school building nearby are being worked out, but for the time being, telephone and walk-in police services are being transferred to the Central District station at 695 Main St.


The temporary telephone number for the Northwest District is 851-4403.

Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said police services for all residents and businesses in the district will continue without interruption.


"The public's patience with this temporary situation is greatly appreciated," he said.


The building, formerly known as the Hertel Station, underwent a $2 million renovation that was completed in 1997 to accommodate the operations of closed precinct houses, as the department consolidated patrol services into five districts.


And while department officials said the reason for the closing was strictly because of the detection of mold, some officers believe the problem is more severe — that the building may contain hazardous building material that has caused cancer among a handful of officers based in the building over the years.


Two recent cases of cancer involving officers elevated concern over whether the building was safe, according to one officer, who requested anonymity, fearing he would get in trouble for violating the department's rule of not speaking to the media.


"I used to work at that building and when they renovated it, they did some demolition and some adding on, but a lot of the structure remained the same and was just covered over," the officer said. "There's been about nine cases of cancer over the years."


Driver admits to crack cocaine use before crashing into Chippewa bar

Buffalo News Staff Reports

Updated: February 07, 2010, 2:45 pm /
Published: February 07, 2010, 2:44 pm


A driver who crashed into a West Chippewa Street bar Saturday night told police he had taken crack cocaine about five hours earlier, Buffalo police said.


William Mobley, 21, of Buffalo, was charged with criminal mischief, criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs among other charges, said police spokesman Mike DeGeorge.


Police said Mobley crashed through the windows of 67 West Chippewa about 10:30 p.m. He then tried to flee but was apprehended by police, DeGeorge said.


Police said they found 47 pink bags of crack cocaine.


Two bar employees were apparently injured. Their conditions were not available. Mobley was taken to Erie County Medical Center after complaining of minor head and back injuries.

Jason Ocasio is accused of intentionally striking this police cruiser outside Buffalo Police Headquarters.

Man displays weapon, leads police on chase hours after brother's funeral

By T.J. Pignataro News Staff Reporter

Updated: February 05, 2010, 11:58 pm /
Published: February 05, 2010, 8:01 pm


Hours after Friday's funeral for Eric Ocasio III, who was fatally shot in Monday's standoff with Buffalo police, his younger brother rammed a Buffalo police cruiser and displayed a gun to an officer, police sources said.


Jason Ocasio, 24, is accused of intentionally striking the cruiser about 4 p.m. outside Buffalo Police Headquarters at Franklin and Church streets before waving a gun at police and then leading them on a short car chase that ended on Trinity Place.


Ocasio was arrested and taken to Erie County Medical Center with undisclosed injuries. Officials at ECMC would not confirm Ocasio's condition.


Late this evening, he was booked on charges of reckless endangerment and second-degree assault, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.


Law enforcement officials Friday declined to say much about the investigation, which involved Central District officers, homicide detectives and Internal Affairs personnel.


"Buffalo police confirm the individual intentionally struck a Buffalo Police car with his vehicle," said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman. "At some point, a weapon may have been displayed."


According to reports, the officer was in his patrol car on Church Street, just east of Franklin, when Ocasio struck the driver's side door. Ocasio then got out of his car and displayed the butt of a gun in his waistband before dropping it and taking off in his own vehicle.


The chase was on Church Street and the Niagara Thruway but "ended a short time later on or near Trinity Place," DeGeorge said.


The incident culminated not far from 57 Trinity Place — the site of Monday's standoff. Jason Ocasio was taken into custody. It was learned later that the gun Ocasio displayed was used for paint balls.


57 Trinity Place, Buffalo

Jason Ocasio was at the scene of Monday's four-hour standoff and, according to witnesses, repeatedly pleaded with his brother Eric, 27, to surrender.


According to Josua Cruz, a close friend of Ocasio who was at the scene, Jason told his brother during the ordeal: "JJ, everything is going to be all right. [The police] just want everything to be OK. I love you, and I'm here."


The incident began when Eric, apparently distraught Monday over a custody dispute with his estranged wife, sent suicidal text messages from his Trinity Place apartment to fellow employees at the East Side sheet meal factory where he worked.


That prompted workers to call 911 to check on Ocasio's condition.


Central District police arrived about 10:45 a.m. Shortly thereafter, there was a report of gunfire and members of Buffalo SWAT and Hostage Management teams were called to respond.


That's when Ocasio fired on Detective John C. Garcia with a shotgun. Garcia, who was positioned behind an armored truck and attempting to approach Ocasio to begin dialogue, was struck in the side of the head and shoulder area by nearly a dozen pellets.


The standoff continued for about two more hours as Ocasio reportedly drank vodka while police negotiators tried to talk him into surrendering. At one point, Eric Ocasio told SWAT officers he wanted to smoke a cigarette with his brother prior to his surrender, witnesses said.


Cruz said Ocasio kept telling the officers, "All I need is to see my brother [Jason]."

SWAT officers opened fire on Ocasio, killing him, after witnesses said he put the barrel of his shotgun out of the second-floor window where he was holed up.


The funeral for Ocasio were held at 10 a.m. Friday in a Main Street funeral home.

News Staff Reporter Lou Michel contributed to this report.

Buffalo police officer shot downtown; gunman dead


By Lou Michel

Buffalo News Staff Reporter February 01, 2010


A barrage of gunfire ended a standoff in Allentown today with a gunman who police say shot a Buffalo police officer in the face as he tried to defuse a hostage situation.


Police sources say the lone gunman is dead, but it's not known whether he shot himself or police officers shot him.


The injured police officer, John Garcia, 47, a detective with the Hostage Management Team, was shot in the face and upper shoulder with buckshot, police said. He was taken to the Erie County Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.


The stand-off, which began at 10:45 when police were called to 57 Trinity Place near South Elmwood Avenue, ended with the gunfire at 2:45 p.m.


Witnesses heard a number of shots fired, followed by two distinctive blasts of a flash-bang device used by police to clear a building. Two clouds of blue smoke were seen drifting over the roof tops.


Shortly before 3 p.m., after police cleared the building, emergency technicians wheeled two gurneys into the house. A short time later, they were brought out empty.


Dennis J. Richards, Buffalo's chief of detectives, homicide detectives and evidence technicians then entered the carriage house at the rear of 57 Trinity.


Garcia, who lives in Amherst, joined the Police Department in 1994. He is a detective, assigned to D District.

Hostage negotiators were assisted by a relative of the suspect and a neighbor. Medical personnel were on alert at the scene.


Police said they were first called to the address at 10:45 a.m. At noon, the police SWAT team and Hostage Management Team came to the scene. Neighbors heard gunfire a half hour later.


"I heard shots, I didn't know what they were, but when I saw cops pulling up, I knew what it was. I thought it was a gang war at first," said Bruce Harris, a resident of the 300 block of South Elmwood Avenue. "I heard people screaming, and more gunshots."


A half hour earlier, residents in the neighborhood observed police cars from the Central District at South Elmwood and Trinity. The police blocked off Trinity, which runs from Delaware Avenue to Virginia Street.


"I was told by the cops there was a hostage situation. I saw a few people crying, and it looked like someone was holding a baby," said Lou Fumerelle, whose son works nearby. "That's all the cops would say, a hostage situation."


His son, attorney Anthony Fumerelle, also heard the shots at about 12:30 p.m. from his law offices at 346 Tupper St.


"I was in my office, and heard a couple shots, then some sharp reports coming back. It sounded like they were from a rifle," he said.


Interim Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda and Mayor Byron W. Brown both visited Garcia at the hospital.


Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said "the initial inclination was it is non-life threatening injuries."

Driver chased by police fatally shoots himself

BUFFALO NEWS February 02, 2010

A man who tried to run over Buffalo police officers during a traffic stop, then led police on a foot chase turned his gun on himself and shot himself to death as police closed in on him, various sources reported Monday.

The incident began at about 9 p. m. Sunday at Rodney Avenue and Holden Street, where officers tried to pull over a vehicle that they believed had been stolen, said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

As officers approached the vehicle, the driver tried to run them over. The officers were not injured, and at least one, if not both, fired shots at the vehicle as it drove off, DeGeorge said. It’s not believed any of those shots hit the driver.

At some point, the driver jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The officers chased him to a vacant or abandoned home on Rodney Avenue, between Holden and Hill streets, where he shot himself.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities confirmed.

One brother shot, the other arrested

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: February 01, 2010, 6:35 am /
Published: February 01, 2010, 12:30 am


Saturday night at Club Chit Chat turned out badly for the Swaggard brothers. Before the evening ended, one had been shot and the other was arrested by Buffalo police.


Marlon Swaggard, 24, who is believed to live in Charlotte, N. C., was walking out of the club at 1048 Clinton St. shortly before 4 a. m. when he was shot by an unknown gunman, police reported.


When officers arrived at the scene, Swaggard was uncooperative, according to officers. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released.


A short while later, Swaggard’s brother, Morton, also of Charlotte, became enraged inside the club and began punching holes in the wall and breaking mirrors and pictures, according to a police report.


Morton Swaggard then went outside and punched the club’s glass door as officers looked on. He was arrested for criminal mischief and obstructing governmental administration.

Interim Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has made some changes to city leadership. Below is a press release sent to Eyewitness News from his office.



National Search for Key Department Heads Will Commence Immediately; Temporary Appointments Will Oversee Day-to-Day Department Operations


BUFFALO - Having been sworn into his second term as Mayor of Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced an emphatic change of direction for his Administration, which will be highlighted with national searches for the vacant Commissioner positions in three key city departments: Fire, Police and Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services.


After taking the Oath of Office today, Mayor Brown stated that, "With one term completed and, as we stand at the dawn of a new decade, I am confident we have made great strides forward and I will continue the progress that we have achieved over the next four years to pursue what we all want: a City of Buffalo that is stronger, safer, more vibrant and secure with a bright future."


Mayor Brown announced that following his appointment yesterday of former Fire Commissioner Michael Lombardo to the position of Battalion Chief, Deputy Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield, Jr. has been appointed on a temporary basis as Commissioner of the Buffalo Fire Department.


In addition, Mayor Brown notified Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson two weeks ago that, per the City Charter, he would not be reappointed. Mayor Byron W. Brown today appointed Deputy Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda on a temporary basis as Commissioner of the Buffalo Police Department.


According to the City Charter, "All mayoral appointments of department heads…shall terminate…at the termination of the elected term of the mayor...," which takes place at 12:00 midnight January 1, 2010. The Charter further states that "In the event of …a vacancy…the mayor shall appoint a commissioner…to serve for a period not to exceed one hundred and eighty days, which temporary appointment shall not be subject to confirmation by the council."


"I thank both Commissioner Gipson and Commissioner Lombardo for their service to the residents of Buffalo," said Mayor Brown. "With the temporary appointments of two experienced and dedicated professionals in both departments, I am confident that our Fire and Police Departments will be managed very well and that our city's residents will continue to receive the highest level of public safety services from the men and women of each department while our national search is conducted to fill each Commissioner position. I've charged both of them with reducing overtime and strengthening discipline in each department."


The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has agreed to lead a national search to fill the vacant position of Commissioner of Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services, which occurred with the expiration of former Commissioner Brian Reilly's appointment. Day-to-day duties of the Commissioner will be covered by Deputy Commissioner James Comerford until a new commissioner is appointed.


Lastly, Susan M. Gonzalez has been appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Parks. She has served as the Director of Recreation in the city's Community Services Department since 2006 and was once the Director of Recreation of the city's Department of Parks and Recreation from 1998 to 2006. She has also been the Executive Director of the Buffalo Police Athletic League since 1997.


Police investigate West Side shootings

BUFFALO NEWS Updated: January 31, 2010, 6:17 am /


The West Side crackled with gunfire late Friday, as Buffalo police investigated four separate cases of shots being fired. One man was wounded in the leg, and two houses and three vehicles were damaged.


Reports of shots fired all occurred between 8:25 and 9:30 p. m. in the D district, the northwest portion of the city. Just before 9 p. m., several shots were fired at 147 Royal Ave. and at 159 Royal Ave. in Riverside.


Four rounds were fired at 147 Royal, hitting the house and a front window. Windows in a lower and upper apartment at 159 Royal also were damaged.


Between 8:25 and 9:30 p. m., a 21-year-old Herkimer Street man was struck in the right thigh by a shot fired from the front passenger’s side window of a white vehicle with four men inside.


A parked car and an SUV also were damaged by the gunfire.


At 9 p. m., officers responded to a report of shots fired near 96 Albert St. and found a 2002 Ford Explorer with its rear window shattered, apparently by a small-caliber firearm.


Also, at about 7:35 a. m. Friday, someone fired a round through the east wall of the front lower apartment of 286 Potomac Ave., damaging a kitchen cabinet and dishes.

3 arrested on East Side as shot is fired at officer

BUFFALO NEWS January 25, 2010, 6:44 am /

Three men were arrested late Saturday after a shot was fired at a police lieutenant as he was questioning a robbery suspect at Suffolk and Lisbon avenues.

The suspect was among a large group of men at the corner when the lieutenant approached him at about 10:30 p. m. and began to question him, according to a police report. Someone in the group fired a shot at the officer and fled, the report said. The officer was not hurt.

Police gave chase and noticed one man giving a semiautomatic handgun to another, who tried to hide it in a house. Police also chased down another man, who fought with them when apprehended. Police said two of the men were found with crack cocaine after they were in custody.

Javon Hayes, 19, of Shirley Avenue, faces charges that include felony possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence.

Charges against Freddie Brown, 60, of Rounds Avenue, include felony possession of a weapon, tampering with evidence, hindering prosecution and promoting prison contraband.

Jorden Davis, 19, of Minnesota Avenue, was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing police, tampering with evidence and promoting prison contraband.

Shooting victim arrested after drugs, gun are found

BUFFALO NEWS January 19, 2010


A Longnecker Street woman who was shot outside her house early Monday morning was arrested by Buffalo police after they found drugs, a gun and more than $12,000 cash when they responded to the shooting.


Danielle D. Overton-Miller, 26, was charged with felony first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A felony that carries a sentence of up to life in prison, along with other charges following the 6:30 a. m. shooting.


Overton-Miller was shot in the left calf, according to reports. Police arrived and found 38 ounces of crack cocaine along with a .22-caliber weapon and $12,850 in U. S. currency.


The woman’s boyfriend, a 33-year-old Victoria Avenue man, was said to be the only other person in her apartment when the shooting took place. By the time police arrived, he was gone and had not been found late Monday.


Besides the felony drug charge, Overton- Miller was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.


Police probe shooting in Bailey-Lovejoy

BUFFALO NEWS January 18, 2010, 1:35 PM /


A woman in her mid-20s was taken to Erie County Medical Center after being shot in the leg before dawn today in the city's Bailey-Lovejoy area, Buffalo police reported.


Police officials said the woman was shot at about 6:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Longnecker Street, two blocks easy of Bailey Avenue. Her injury was considered non-life-threatening, police said.


The assault is being investigated by Ferry-Fillmore District detectives.

1 dead, 1 wounded in restaurant shooting; employee is suspect

Victims were both employees


Updated: January 16, 2010, 6:34 PM /


One man is dead and another man wounded following a late morning shooting inside Merge restaurant on Delaware Avenue, authorities confirmed this afternoon.


Police had a suspect in custody near the scene almost immediately.


The alleged shooter and the two victims were employees of the restaurant.


An initial call reporting a double shooting came in around 11:41 a.m. Three ambulances, a fire truck and about a dozen police vehicles responded, blocking northbound traffic on Delaware between Virginia and Edward streets.


An ambulance delivered one victim with non-life threatening injuries to Erie County Medical Center.



Later on, a man who appeared to be in his 20s was rolled out of the restaurant on a gurney and into an ambulance, as an emergency crew worked feverishly to save him. The man appeared to have a gunshot wound to the chest.


He was taken to Buffalo General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The victim appeared to be a man in his 20s.


The victims weren't identified, but a statement posted this afternoon on the restaurant's Web site mentions "the Costner family."


That statement reads: "Our hearts are with the Costner family at this time. We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that occurred today. It was an isolated incident and a random act of violence. We are accepting charitable donations of any size for the Costner family. Thank you."


A police officer tried to block television and print cameras from taking pictures, even though the cameras were well beyond police tape set up at the scene.


Merge, which opened in 2009, specializes in vegetarian cuisine and features original artwork.

The restaurant was scheduled to feature a "Drinks & Drawing/Pints & Painting" afternoon beginning at noon today. The event encouraged artists of any skill level to "come hang out, have a hot cup of tea or a beer and paint/draw."


The restaurant's owners arrived at the scene after the shooting and were interviewed by police.


Police also escorted two men from the scene who also were apparently restaurant employees. The men were not handcuffed; one of them had a bandage around his arm.

Two remain hospitalized in East Side shooting

BUFFALO NEWS January 16, 2010,


Two people remained in Erie County Medical Center Friday following a triple shooting that occurred in the 3100 block of Bailey Avenue about 3:45 p. m. Thursday.


Felisha D. Martin, 18, of Berkshire Avenue, who was struck by gunfire near the spine and underwent surgery at ECMC, was listed in serious condition Friday. Deon Allen, 18, of Dartmouth Avenue, who was struck in the right ankle was listed in stable condition.


Authorities said Javier Baez, 33, of Kensington Avenue, was treated for an arm injury at ECMC and released.  

Women attacked by group of teenage girls

BUFFALO NEWS January 16, 2010,


A group of six teenage girls allegedly attacked a pregnant woman and another female victim on Bailey Avenue late Friday, stealing earrings and other jewelry.


One victim, who was 11 weeks pregnant, was struck in the head and body and received cuts to her mouth and back. She was taken to Sisters Hospital for treatment of cuts and cramping, Buffalo police said.


The suspects allegedly took a set of gold earrings from each victim, as well as a necklace and bracelet from one of the victims.


The incident occurred about 9:20 p.m. near Bailey and Berkshire avenues. The suspects were believed to be between the ages of 15 and 17


Armed robbers target William Street store

BUFFALO NEWS January 16, 2010,


Three suspects wearing black hoodies, ski masks and jeans robbed a William Street dollar store Friday evening.


The suspects entered Family Dollar at 459 William St. shortly before 8 p.m. and displayed handguns. They took an undetermined amount of cash from the registers and fled west on William Street, Buffalo police said


Ex-con convicted of killing his drug supplier

By Matt Gryta

BUFFALO News Staff Reporter January 14, 2010,


Weldon H. Young, an admitted crack cocaine addict, was convicted today of fatally beating his alleged drug supplier in a dispute over payments.


The Riley Street resident was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the fatal beating of Charles Brackett, 43, last Feb. 23 in the victim's Landon Street home.


Young, also 43, was found not guilty of second-degree murder but the jury of 10 men and two women rejected his self-defense claim.


The jury deliberated for three days after a week-long trial before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller.


Young, who previously served a prison term for dragging a Buffalo police officer down Wakefield Avenue in a stolen car in the summer of 1997, did not react as the verdict was announced about 2 p.m.


Young will remain in custody pending his Feb. 19 sentencing. Prosecutors Colleen Curtin Gable and Brian D. Langenfeld said they will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III to recommend the judge impose the maximum-allowable 25-year prison term.

Witness to homicide threatened by intruders

BUFFALO NEWS January 14, 2010,


A Lawn Avenue woman who is a witness in a recent homicide was threatened Tuesday by two masked men who threatened to shoot her if she testifies in court, Buffalo police said.


The victim told police that the two entered her home just before 6 p. m. through an unlocked door and pointed a shotgun at her and a teenage boy inside.


She said the two threatened “to shoot her if she testifies in court.” One shot was fired into the ceiling before both intruders fled.


Northwest District police are investigating.

Man gets up to 25 years in prison for beating of 91-year-old


Updated: January 12, 2010, 12:22 PM


John Butler, already in prison on a parole violation, was sentenced today to up to 25 more years behind bars for the fatal beating of a 91-year-old woman during a home invasion 17 years ago.


State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang imposed the stiff sentence on Butler's belated admission of fatally beating Mabel I. Neuner during a Christmastime 1993 home invasion on Lang Avenue. The judge denounced Butler as "a seriously dangerous criminal" who continued to commit crimes, "particularly against other women," for years.


"Society needs to be protected from you," the judge told Butler, 32, formerly of Dartmouth Avenue.


As his murder trial was about to start, Butler pleaded guilty Dec. 1 to first-degree manslaughter in a deal accepted by the victim's family.


Butler had been slated to be released from the Attica Correctional Facility on a parole violation sentence in December 2012. Instead, that date will now mark the beginning of the eight-and-one-third to 25-year prison term Wolfgang imposed for the fatal beating of the retired Deaconess Hospital operating-room technician.

Though Butler apologetically told the judge he was only 16 when he killed Neuner and was hanging out with "the wrong people," homicide prosecutor Gary W. Hackbush reminded the judge that his elderly victim's "pleas for justice were silenced" for almost two decades.


Buffalo Police Cold Case detectives, working with the Erie County district attorney's office, charged Butler with the 1993 murder last March. Two of his former teenaged crime accomplices, Steve Martin and Jermain Dunbar, also both 32 and in jail, face sentencing on burglary charges in the case later this week. Both pleaded guilty.

Woman forced into car and robbed at gunpoint

BUFFALO NEWS January 11, 2010,


Buffalo police are looking for a man suspected of robbing a woman at gunpoint Sunday afternoon on Dingens Street.


The woman told police she was walking down Dingens at about 1 p. m., when a man driving an older model Buick or Oldsmobile stopped, took a small handgun from his sweat shirt and told her, “Get in the car.”


The man took her ATM card, digital camera and cell phone before driving her downtown and dropping her off at Elmwood Avenue and Johnson Park


Thieves get winter coat in mugging on East Side

BUFFALO NEWS January 10, 2010,


A man was hit over the head and robbed of his cash and coat late Friday in the city’s Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, police said Saturday.


The victim told police he was at Broadway and Fillmore Avenue at about 11 p. m. when he was hit in the back of the head with what he believed was a gun. The two bandits took the victim’s wallet containing $147, a backpack containing his work uniform, black Southpole jacket and knit cap, police said


Suspect lugging TV set charged in home break-in

BUFFALO NEWS January 07, 2010,


Northeast District police who disrupted a burglary in progress late Wednesday morning arrested a Cheektowaga man stealing a 42-inch television set on Harriet Avenue, Buffalo police said.


Demone T. Peoples, 28, of East End Avenue, was charged with burglary, grand larceny, felony criminal mischief, criminal possession of stolen property and obstructing governmental administration.


Peoples broke into the home through a back window at about 11 a. m. and left through the front door. A short time later, Officers Jonathan Pietrzak and James Whitaker spotted Peoples in a nearby yard carrying a large rectangular object wrapped in a blanket, police said.


When the officers attempted to question Peoples, he dropped the TV and fled on foot, police said. Officer Terry McKnight arrested Peoples a short time later on Hazelwood Avenue, police added.

City police probe 3 homicides in new year

By T.J. Pignataro

BUFFALO NEWS News Staff Reporter January 06, 2010,


Buffalo police are seeking help from the public in tackling three homicides so far in the new year.

The latest slayings occurred Tuesday in the city’s South and Central districts.


The body of Christopher M. Rudow, 32, of Scott Street, was discovered at about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday by South District officers in his apartment in the Lofts at Elk Terminal, police said. An autopsy Wednesday in the Erie County medical examiner’s office determined he died of blunt force trauma, police said.


At about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Central District police responded to a call of a “person down” at 376 Hudson St. Police learned that family members of William Foster, 44, found his body in his second-floor apartment. Foster, an autopsy confirmed Wednesday, died of multiple stab wounds.


“Detectives in both of these cases are trying to determine the whereabouts of both victims, and who they may have been with, prior to their deaths,” said Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives. “In each case, the victims were found in their residence, and they appeared to have been dead for more than a day.”


Richards said it is unlikely Tuesday’s homicides are related. “There’s no clear motive that has been established, and no arrests have been made,” he said.


The two homicides followed the Friday afternoon slaying of Aaron T. James, 17, of Sherman Street, who was shot in the 100 block of Strauss Street. James was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made.


“We need people to come forward with information to solve these cases, and [we] strongly encourage anyone with information to contact police,” Richards said.


Anyone with information on any of the three homicides is urged to call the city’s confidential tip line at 847-2255.


This year is the most active start to a new year for homicides since 1998.


Last year, the city recorded its third and fourth homicides on Jan. 18, when Chisha Hawkins, 27, of Dartmouth Avenue, and Vernard Miller, 38, of Sumner Place, were both found shot inside Hawkins’ house, which had been set on fire.


Hawkins’ ex-fiance, Byron Howard, 22, of Easton Avenue, was convicted last month in the two murders and faces life in prison at his sentencing next Thursday.

Man walking on West Side robbed of $250 at gunpoint

BUFFALO NEWS January 04, 2010,


Buffalo police are looking for a West Side holdup man.


A Buffalo man told police that he was walking at the corner of Hampshire Street and Normal Avenue shortly before 2 a. m. Sunday when the bandit walked up to him, pointed a handgun and said, “Drop everything.”


The victim said he was robbed of $250 cash.

Man returns from hospital, finds his home looted

BUFFALO NEWS January 04, 2010,


An East Side man returned from an 11-day hospital stay Sunday to find that thieves had plundered his home of electronics, furniture and appliances, Buffalo police reported.


The resident of Liddell Street, off Broadway, was hospitalized between Dec. 23 and Sunday.


Sometime during that span, burglars entered the home and stole a set of bunk beds, a couch, refrigerator, hot water tank and two TVs. It’s not clear how they got inside the residence.

Bill Wippert - Bill Wippert / Buffalo News file photo
Haunting reminders of homicide were prevalent last year. Officials say 2008's near-record low number of homicides was an anomaly, and 2009 figures were in line with tallies from previous years.

Gang violence boosts death tally

A spike in the number of deadly gangland quarrels pushed last year's homicide count to 60


by Lou Michel News Staff Reporter

Updated: January 03, 2010,


Just when it looked like Buffalo had a chance to begin a trend of fewer homicides, gang violence derailed the possibility.


City and police officials began last year buoyed by 2008's near-record low of 37 homicides, and they predicted the city was headed in the right direction.


But deadly quarrels among gang members fighting over drugs, money and turf pushed the number of homicides to 60 during the last 12 months.


That represents a 62 percent increase over 2008.


"Buy a gun," a member of a recently busted inner-city gang told The Buffalo News last week when asked what could be done to curtail homicides. "Hey, I'm just being honest. You asked."


Tall and good looking, the young man half smiled, shrugged and seemed to disappear into his oversized winter coat. 


Twice the victim of gunfire — a fact a street cop confirmed — the young man said he views self-protection as the best means of avoiding death on the streets.


The gangs that fight over territory and drugs, he said, are often not well organized.


"It's more like disorganized," he said, asking that his name be withheld.


Police officials don't agree with his advice to take up a gun, but they do say his description of most local gangs is accurate. The only problem is that these disorganized gangs sometimes hit their targets with deadly accuracy.


"We've had a spike in homicides due to the gangland violence. We had more gang violence in 2009 than we did in 2008," said Interim Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda. "We've also had a spike in domestic homicides, and we're working diligently to curtail those numbers going forward."


Describing 2008's low number of slayings as an anomaly, police said last year's 60 killings are more in line with homicide tallies from other years. They also say that perhaps more of the bad guys were behind bars in 2008 and unable to participate in shooting sprees.


"These kids are out here fighting for drugs and to secure a territory. We are reactive to those incidents," a district police official said in explaining that it is next to impossible to predict and prevent this type of violence.


One of the incidents that seemed to highlight the violence last year was the slaying of two young people and wounding of three others late at night in August on Hirschbeck Street.


Police said it was probably a drug-related robbery. Relatives of the dead vehemently disagree.

Family members believe revenge was on the mind of the lone shooter.


Less than 24 hours before the double murder of Jamie Norton, 19, and Joey Lovett, 25, Norton had helped prosecutors build a case against another young man accused of beating and strangling a Sudanese teenager in early June.


Norton testified to the grand jury on Aug. 4 that Julian L. Christopher had taken her car in order to dispose of the teen's body.


"The general consensus is, if it is drug-related, let them kill each other off. That's how people in general feel until it hits home," said Theresa Lovett. She thinks her son may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time as he spoke to Norton on a porch at 72 Hirschbeck, where the killings occurred.


"I think this was more in retaliation for Jamie's grand jury testimony. She realized later what they had used her car for — to transport the body. She tried to do the right thing and help the police, and it cost her her life," Christy Norton said. "If there were more stand- up citizens like my young daughter, then more of these people would be going to jail for their crimes instead of getting away with them, and somebody would be going to jail for what they did to Jamie."


Christopher eventually pleaded guilty to the killing of 15-year-old Rual Kowat and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The teen's family had come to this country from Sudan to escape violence in their homeland.


The investigation to find Norton and Lovett's killer remains active, police say.

Another active investigation involves one of the most controversial deaths of 2009 — a death that is not even listed as a homicide.


Relatives of Amanda L. Wienckowski, a 20-year-old woman who grew up in Kenmore and later lived in Lewiston, say there's no question she was murdered.


"When someone is found upside down, dead and naked in a garbage tote, and you couldn't obviously climb in the thing, it would appear that this is the result of foul play," said Ken Fink, Wienckowski's stepfather.


He and Wienckowski's mother, Leslie Brill, continue to raise money to have the young woman's body exhumed and shipped to a California medical examiner in the hopes that a second autopsy will provide evidence she was murdered and not the victim of an accidental drug overdose — the determination made by the Erie County medical examiner.


The past year also brought homicide investigators success in solving 25 homicides, showing a gradual trend in improving the city's clearance rate for homicides.

The 2009 clearance rate was 42 percent, up 2 percentage points from 2008 and 4 points from 2007.


The national average for 2008 was 64 percent, but police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge pointed out that the FBI's average includes cold cases from previous years that were solved in 2008.


If the city's cold cases were included in the count for the calendar year in which they were solved, DeGeorge said, the department "would be on par with the national solvability rate."


Buffalo homicide investigators earned praise when they caught the alleged killer of Javon R. Jackson, who was fatally shot May 10 while celebrating just hours after graduating from the University of Buffalo with an electrical engineering degree.


When detectives made the arrest, Jackson's mother declared that at least her son would have justice. In this highly publicized University Heights homicide, police brass and Mayor Byron W. Brown announced the arrest at the corner of Main Street and Lisbon Avenue, not far from where Jackson, 23, had been shot.


A police surveillance camera provided key footage that led to the May 27 arrest, and in July a second young man was arrested.

"Without the camera, to this day, we may not have had an arrest. The camera was instrumental in solving that case," Derenda said, adding, "detectives are working hard to solve many of the cases from 2009, and we're expecting some positive results in the very near future."


But no matter how many homicides there are in any given year, the pain from the loss of life to those closest to the victims is beyond calculation.


"So many other lives are destroyed," said Christy Norton.


When the gunman repeatedly fired at her daughter and Lovett, he not only took their lives, but passed a life sentence to Lovett's toddler son, who is now growing up fatherless.


On Christmas Eve, the child, who is named for his dad, spent the evening with his paternal grandmother.

Each time little Joey Lovett saw a photograph of his father, he said, "That's my daddy. That's my daddy," according to the toddler's mother, Kelly Kauffman.


"I think he was expecting his daddy to walk in through the door," Kauffman said.

But that never happened.


Trying to put the best face on it, Kauffman said she is certain her former boyfriend is watching over their son.


"He's not here anymore, but I believe he is looking down on us and protecting his son. He loved his son more than anything."

Cop impostor shoots man in Riverside home

BUFFALO NEWS January 03, 2010,


A Buffalo man was shot early Saturday in a home in the city’s Riverside neighborhood, police said.  


Antonio Potter, no age available, of West Delavan Avenue, was taken to Erie County Medical Center with a bullet lodged in his left arm, according to police. His condition was unavailable late Saturday.


Details of the shooting were sketchy. Witnesses told police Potter was in a home on Fuller Street just after 2 a. m. when the shooting occurred.



A man posing as a police officer entered the house and shot Potter, who was in a bedroom, according to police. The gunman took money from atop a dresser and ran out of the house.

Man shot on East Side is year’s first homicide

By Lou Michel

BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER Updated: January 02, 2010, 


Buffalo homicide detectives opened their first murder investigation of the new year at about 1 p. m. Friday on the city’s East Side.


A 911 “shots fired” call for assistance quickly turned into a homicide probe when police arrived at the scene on Strauss Street between Broadway and Sycamore Street, according to authorities.


The victim, a male described as in his late teens or early 20s, was not immediately identified. He was found lying on the sidewalk outside a residence at 135 Strauss, after being shot while in the street and managing to stagger a short distance, leaving a trail of blood before collapsing, police said.


According to police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge, the young man was pronounced dead at the scene.


Investigators said they found two sets of identification on him, complicating the identification process.


Also, there were no witnesses when police arrived and as a result, DeGeorge has issued a request that anyone with information about the shooting call the police confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255.


In a second tragedy marking the start of 2010, a man was left in critical condition from a house fire at 47 Woeppel St., between Humboldt Parkway and Fillmore Avenue, at about 3:30 a. m. Friday.


Buffalo firefighters pulled the individual from the blaze and rescued three others as well.


The man, whose identity has not been released, was first taken to Sisters Hospital and then transferred to Erie County Medical Center.


The fire, authorities said, started on the first floor of the 2 z -story, wood-frame home and caused a total of $18,000 in damage.


An investigation into what started the fire was continuing.



Buffalo Police Department News 2010, Buffalo NY Crime, 

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