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>Man found smashing window; arrest made

ROYALTON -- State police arrested a Lockport man at 4 p.m. Monday after Akron Road residents told them they came home and saw the man smashing a basement window.

A State Police investigator said Troopers Jacob Rudnick and James Pitts charged Julius Vercruysse, 27, of Lockwood Drive, the Woodlands, Lockport, with attempted burglary, a felony, and possession of burglar tools.

Vercruysse was arraigned by Town Justice Margaret Raduns and is being held in the Niagara County Jail on $7,500 bail or $15,000 bond.


>Two get probation for home break-ins

LOCKPORT -- A man and his girlfriend were placed on three years' probation Tuesday for break-ins at a Royalton home a year ago.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza imposed the sentences on Edward J. Hatch Jr., 20, and Kristina K. Anderson, 19, both of Birchwood Drive, Lockport.

They pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of second-degree criminal trespass in connection with the Jan. 14 and 21, 2006, burglaries at the home of Anderson's uncle on Griswold Street in Royalton.

In another case, Sperrazza placed Keith E. Kritz, 16, of Mead Street, North Tonawanda, on six months' interim probation. Assistant District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said it's a chance for Kritz to earn youthful offender status on his guilty plea to attempted third-degree burglary.

Kritz and two juveniles entered a home on Payne Avenue in North Tonawanda Aug. 24, and a man was struck in the jaw with a baseball bat.


>Wounded Officer Parete arrives at rehab center

Buffalo Police Officer Patty Parete, who suffered a traumatic gunshot wound to her spine in December, safely arrived by plane in New Jersey Monday, her friend and colleague, Lt. John King, said.

Parete was admitted to the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, where she will undergo intensive physical therapy to help her recover from the wound.

The Kessler Institute is where "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve did rehab after he was paralyzed from the neck down in a horse-riding accident in 1995.

Parete was first flown by helicopter from Erie County Medical Center to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. From there, a Mercy Flight Lear Jet took her to Teterboro Airport. West Orange police officers then escorted her to Kessler.

Doctors still don't know the true extent of Parete's injuries because tiny fragments of the bullet remain in her spine, making it dangerous for her to have an MRI scan.

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