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>House in Cheektowaga is scene of tense standoff

A SWAT team and crisis negotiators converged on a quiet Cheektowaga neighborhood Sunday night after an armed 38-year-old man refused to leave his home.

Authorities were alerted shortly before 8 p.m. by a relative fearful the man might commit suicide, police said, and went to the Jeffrey Drive home, at Joel Drive off of Borden Road. At one point, the man fired a shot into the ceiling of the home, Cheektowaga Police Capt. John Glascott said. No one else was in the house at the time, police added.

Nearby homes were evacuated and the "reverse 911 system" was used to alert other neighbors. The captain said negotiators established contact with the man by late Sunday and talks were "going well."


>Attack is reported on pupil at Olmsted

Police are investigating an assault that occurred Friday in a West Side elementary school.

The mother of a student at Olmsted School 56, 716 W. Delavan Ave., said her son was attacked by another student shortly before noon. She said the assailant hit her son and smashed his face against the stairs, causing him to lose teeth and suffer major bruising to his face.

The boy was taken to Women and Children's Hospital, police said, and he will need reconstructive surgery.

The school serves about 250 pupils in fifth through eighth grades.


>2 men shot in fight outside nightclub

Two men were shot Sunday morning outside the Groove nightclub on Pearl Street, Buffalo police said.

Darren B. Raspberry of Cheektowaga was listed in fair condition Sunday in Erie County Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his right thigh. Joseph Littlejohn, of Buffalo, was struck by a bullet in his right foot and was treated in ECMC, then released. Their ages were unavailable.

Central District Police said Raspberry had just left the nightclub, at 481 Pearl St., when he became involved in a fistfight with an unknown man in a parking lot in the 500 block of Pearl Street. Witnesses said other unknown persons joined the fight, kicking Raspberry while he was on the ground, when someone said, "Shoot him."

Police said a gunman with a revolver fired shots toward Raspberry and into the air. One bullet struck Raspberry; another bullet hit Littlejohn.

Witnesses told police the gunman frequents the nightclub.


>U.S., eyewear company settle false-claims suit

A company that manufactures and provides eyewear to veterans agreed to a $3.25 million civil settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding allegations of submitting false claims, authorities announced Thursday.

An investigation was launched after a complaint, filed in 2003 under the False Claims Act, alleged that Korrect Optical, based in Louisville, Ky., violated Veterans Affairs regulations by submitting false claims seeking reimbursements for ophthalmic prescriptions for veterans' eyewear.

Korrect Optical does business in Western New York, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The complaint alleged the claims included false certifications, unprescribed add-ons, nonrendered services -- such as ultraviolet and scratch coating, product substitution and the involvement of unlicensed dispensers. All of the billing matters have been resolved, the U.S. attorney's office reported.

Parties to the lawsuit may recover from 15 to 25 percent of the settlement or judgment if the federal government intervenes.


>Woman uses home tools to attack ex-boyfriend

A Tonawanda Street woman was charged Sunday with stabbing her ex-boyfriend with a screwdriver and hitting him with a hammer after she walked in on him with another woman, police said.

Venus M. Bellaus, 33, was charged with assault and criminal possession of weapon.

The ex-boyfriend, a Kenmore man, suffered a stab wound to his left eye from the screwdriver and bumps and swelling on his head from the hammer. He was treated in Erie County Medical Center, then released.

Northwest District Police said the attack occurred at about 1:50 a.m. inside a home in the 100 block of Grace Street.

Officers Louis Cardona and Angela Yeates arrested Bellaus at the Grace Street home, where they recovered the screwdriver.


>Police wary of claims of gunshot victim

A Guilford Street man was shot in his arm Sunday morning as he walked along Paderewski Drive between Sears and Lombard streets, police said.

Anthony T. Johnson suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm and was treated in Erie County Medical Center, then released.

Johnson told Ferry-Fillmore District Police he was walking along Paderewski at about 11:05 a.m. when a green vehicle, occupied by two or three men, pulled up and a front-seat passenger fired four or five shots at him.

Johnson told police he ran through a yard and went to a Lombard Street home, where he called for help. Police said he was not very cooperative and they doubt some of his claims.

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