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POLICE & COURTS

>Vacant building's owner reports theft, damage

NIAGARA FALLS -- The owner of a vacant building on South Avenue told police that copper plumbing valued at $2,500 was stolen in June and that the building sustained nearly $15,000 in damage to the drywall. The owner told Niagara Falls police last weekend that the building was entered between June 1 and 17.

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>Resisting arrest alleged in chase of drug suspect

NIAGARA FALLS -- Officers needed to restrain a 23rd Street man who resisted arrest Monday night, police said.

Darius D. Williams, 19, was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing government administration and unlawful possession of marijuana. Officers Angelo Berti and George McDonnell said Williams -- dressed in several layers of clothing and a hooded sweat shirt -- was stopped on Centre Court and then led them on a foot chase.

Police said that after they tackled him, they hit him with a baton when he resisted being handcuffed and shouted obscenities at officers.

Berti said that police had threatened to use pepper spray to disperse about 50 people who gathered at the scene but that the onlookers left without incident.

Officers said that in Williams' pocket they found a broken glass jar containing suspected marijuana.

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>Woman denies forging ex-boyfriend's checks

LOCKPORT -- A woman accused of stealing about $6,000 by forging checks on her ex-boyfriend's account pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Maureen M. Baptiste, 38, of Wheatfield Street, North Tonawanda, is charged with third-degree grand larceny and 14 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman said Baptiste allegedly forged about 30 checks between March 15 and Sept. 30, 2006. She cashed some at banks and used others to pay bills, Seaman said.

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>Probation violator sent to state prison

LOCKPORT -- A man who violated his probation on a burglary charge was sent to state prison for 1 2/3 to five years Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

Christopher S. Beard, 34, of 19th Street, Niagara Falls, left a New Year's Eve party early on Jan. 1, 2005, to burglarize the home of another person who was at the party. When the man returned and caught Beard in the act, there was a confrontation that ended with Beard making off with the resident's wallet containing $880.

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>No more than 6 months promised in DWI case

LOCKPORT -- Wayne A. Reinbolt Jr., 49, of Dale Road, Newfane, pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court Tuesday to a felony count of driving while intoxicated.

Reinbolt was arrested March 12 in Newfane, after stopping to have four beers on his way home from work, he told Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. Sentencing was set for Aug. 28, and Broderick agreed to sentence Reinbolt to no more than six months in jail.

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>Knife incident prompts arrest of Falls man

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police have charged a Niagara Falls man with brandishing a knife on Niagara Avenue about 8 p.m. Monday.

Shawn M. Kurtz, 31, of Niagara Avenue was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Police said Kurtz was yelling and gesturing with a knife at a group of people on the street. After a scuffle, Kurtz was arrested, police said.

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>Man admits break-in, stabbing of brother

LOCKPORT -- A man who broke into his ex-wife's home and later stabbed his brother while staying with him pleaded guilty to two charges Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Michael J. Bentley, 49, formerly of Ward Road, Wheatfield, admitted to attempted second-degree burglary and third-degree assault. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled sentencing for Aug. 21.

The break-in at the woman's Wheatfield address, during which she was allegedly threatened with a pellet gun, occurred Oct. 29 and the stabbing took place Jan. 17.

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>Addicted drug dealer draws 2 1/2 -year sentence

LOCKPORT -- A former New York City man who said he sold cocaine to pay for his own drug habit was sent to state prison Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

Shawn H. Grate, 25, of no fixed address, will serve 2 1/2 years for fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance -- 720 milligrams of cocaine, sold in Newfane June 19, 2006.

In another drug case Tuesday, Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza placed William L. Putman III, 21, of Orleans Avenue, Niagara Falls, on five years' probation for attempted fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested Aug. 25, 2006 in Niagara Falls for intending to sell 1.54 grams of cocaine.

The probation term begins once Putman is released from state prison, where he's serving time on another drug conviction.

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