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ALLEGANY -- An Olean woman escaped serious injuries after she fell off of a bridge late Saturday night into the Allegheny River, Cattaraugus County sheriff's officials said.

Nicole R. Sherwook, 29, was apparently sitting on the guy wires of the South Nine Mile Road bridge in Allegany at about 10:20 p.m. when she leaned down to place a bottle on the bridge, which was closed to traffic. When she sat back up, she fell backwards into the river.

Sherwook was able to swim to a nearby tree and hang on until firefighters and emergency crews arrived, authorities said. She was taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.


DUNKIRK -- A Dunkirk woman was abducted in a domestic incident over the weekend but escaped after her attacker fell asleep early Monday in a hotel room where he was holding her against her will, Dunkirk police said.

Police said they were called to a Deer Street address about noon Sunday after Jahmaul Johnson, 31, of Ruggles Street, entered the woman's apartment and threatened her with physical harm. An order of protection was in effect against Johnson, police said.

Police then obtained an arrest warrant and returned to apprehend Johnson, who hid in the trunk of the victim's car, police said. A while later, Johnson emerged through the folded-down back seat of the car and attacked the woman as she drove with her son. The boy was released unharmed.

Police said that at about 5 a.m. Monday, the victim arrived at Dunkirk Police Headquarters and reported she was held against her will in the car, driven to Buffalo, then returned to a hotel in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area, where she was repeatedly threatened by Johnson with a hammer. She waited until he fell asleep, then fled, police said.

Johnson was charged with felony kidnapping, burglary, criminal contempt, assault and misdemeanor charges of menacing, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He was jailed without bail pending a future court date.


JAMESTOWN -- A fire Sunday that heavily damaged three rooms in a vacant two-family home at 812 N. Main St. is the work of an arsonist, officials said Monday.

Firefighters were summoned to the scene at 12:51 p.m., and the fire was declared under control by 2 p.m. The house is owned by Scott Widerich, of Jamestown, who also owns a home next door that sustained damage to its siding, according to Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular.

"We had smoke showing from the entire building and fire showing from a front room on the north corner of the building," Sigular said. "There was damage to at least two rooms downstairs and one room upstairs. But basically the overall condition of the home was maintained."

The home was used for storage and was being renovated, officials said.

The fire is being investigated by the Jamestown Police Department.


JAMESTOWN -- A Falconer Street man faces several charges after he threatened to shoot his wife and set his house on fire late Saturday, Jamestown police said.

The suspect, who has not been identified, barricaded himself inside 84 Falconer just before midnight Saturday, when Jamestown police were called to investigate a domestic incident.

Members of Jamestown's Critical Incident Negotiations Team made contact with the man and led him out of the house without incident, police said.

He was charged with criminal mischief, menacing and aggravated harassment. No one was injured, according to police reports.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department, Lakewood-Busti Police, Ellicott police and Jamestown's SWAT team also assisted.


LITTLE VALLEY -- A Salamanca man was allowed to remain free on bail after he pleaded not guilty Monday before Cattaraugus County Judge Larry M. Himelein to charges including sexual abuse and felony assault.

Kirby J. Ferguson, 27, of Jefferson Street, has been indicted in connection with an alleged molestation incident in Salamanca on May 16.

He has been indicted separately on charges of second-degree assault, grand larceny, drunken driving and other offenses for allegedly fighting with police who arrested him while he was driving a stolen car in Salamanca on July 10, according to District Attorney Edward M. Sharkey.

Ferguson was ordered to return to court Jan. 18.

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