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Guilty verdict rendered in attempted shooting

Roosevelt Appleton, a much-arrested Buffalo man, was convicted Monday of trying to shoot a neighborhood man who beat him up last spring after he repeatedly broke into his victim's home.

Appleton, 30, of Monticello Place, was found guilty of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and weapons offenses. Appleton, who did not testify or present any defense witnesses, had been free on $20,000 bail. He was remanded to jail by State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Drury pending his April 4 sentencing.

Prosecutor James F. Bargnesi said he will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark to recommend that the judge sentence Appleton to a life term because of his criminal history, which now includes three felony convictions in the last decade.

The victim, whom prosecutors asked the media not to identify, had told the jury that Appleton was the man who fired five gunshots at his car at Olympic and Warwick avenues about 2 a.m. last April 16. The man told the jury that about a month earlier, he had beaten up Appleton because he had twice recently burglarized his home.

Court officials said Appleton faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.


Police officer kills pit bull to halt attack

A Buffalo police officer killed a large pit bull, firing 11 shots at it while it was biting into a man's arm Sunday afternoon on the West Side. Shortly before that, the dog had attacked a child nearby.

Central District police said the dog attacked the girl at about 1:45 p.m. at Plymouth Avenue and Vermont Street. Witnesses said the dog went to bite her, the girl pulled away and the dog clenched down on her coat.

Officers responded to the scene and searched for the loose dog.

Police said Lt. Sean O'Brien spotted the pit bull in the 200 block of Vermont, where a man was trying to get the dog secured. The dog turned on him, police said, biting the man's right leg, and grabbing his right arm, refusing to release him.

O'Brien drew his service weapon, police said, and fired 11 shots -- all of which struck the dog's body.


Woman robbed of purse at gunpoint on Baynes

A Baynes Street woman was walking near her home Sunday night when she was robbed by a woman armed with a gun, police reported.

Northwest District police said the victim was at Baynes and West Delavan Avenue at about 8:50 p.m. when she was confronted by a woman, described as about 17 years old and wearing a black jacket.

Police said the woman pointed a shotgun, with duct tape wrapped around the barrel, and said, "Yo. Give me your purse."

The victim handed over her purse, containing about $300 and two credit cards, and the robber ran south on Baynes and east on Ardmore Place.


Street shooting brings 10-year prison term

A Wakefield Avenue man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for shooting a man who still has the bullet lodged in his abdomen.

James Manuel, 20, told Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, he "wasn't in the right state of mind" when he shot Thurman Artis, 23, of Eagle Street, on April 5 after a long-simmering dispute.

DiTullio said she doubted his last-minute apology, noting that he shot Artis twice at close range as the victim sat in a parked car outside a pizzeria at Fillmore Avenue and Clinton Street.

Manuel pleaded guilty to first-degree assault for the shooting.


Rape of Buffalo girl, 13, reported by her parents

A 13-year-old Buffalo girl was raped by a man who gave her an alcoholic drink while she was visiting a relative's home, Northwest District police reported.

The girl's family told officers Sunday about the incident, which happened sometime between Nov. 17 and 18.

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