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EX-NBA PLAYER CHARGED IN ABDUCTION OF BOY

"Everything happens for a reason" was the motto Buffalo native Trevor Ruffin lived by during his days in the National Basketball Association.

But Thursday night, Buffalo police were at a loss to explain why the former point guard and two other men allegedly kidnapped an 11-year-old boy at gunpoint after the boy supposedly broke into Ruffin's luxury car.

Ruffin, 27, of Hedley Place, was charged with kidnapping, criminal use of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child and robbery. He also had been wanted on unrelated vehicle and traffic charges.

Facing the same charges from Thursday's incident are Darren R. Lowman, 27, of Brunswick Boulevard and Gerald Patterson, 26, of Alexander Place. The weapon was not recovered.

The alleged break-in occurred at an undisclosed location late Thursday afternoon and involved Ruffin's Mercedes, according to police. Three youngsters reportedly fled on bicycles.

The men went after the boys, and police said motorists witnessed the abduction near East Delavan Avenue and Main Street. They reported seeing a man with his hand around a boy's neck. The boy reportedly was slammed into the side of a sport-utility vehicle and then forced inside.

The boy's bike was thrown against the brick wall of a building, witnesses told police.

Those witnesses gave police the license-plate number of the vehicle, which was spotted some 40 minutes later near Masten Avenue and East Ferry Street.

Broadway Station Officers Joseph Walters and Kevin Szyszkowski made the arrests. Detectives from the newly formed Major Crimes Squad participated in the investigation.

The status of the boy could not be learned today.

A graduate of Bennett High School, Ruffin played for the Phoenix Suns in the 1994-95 season, then the Philadelphia 76ers the following season. He signed with the New Jersey Nets last fall but was waived a month later after playing in only two exhibition games.

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