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>Spectacular crash closes one lane of Thruway

A vehicle traveling at high speed left the inbound Kensington Expressway and tumbled down onto the Thruway below shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, state police reported. One eastbound lane of the highway was closed for two hours.

"This is one of the most spectacular crashes we've had," State Police Capt. Michael Nigrelli said.

The driver, Kastara Small, 29, of Humason Avenue, was taken to Erie County Medical Center with a fractured arm and pelvis.


>Lockport boy improving after pit bull attack

LOCKPORT -- A 2-year-old Washburn Street boy mauled by a family pit bull Sunday afternoon remained in serious "but improving" condition Tuesday in Women and Children's Hospital, Buffalo, city police said.

The mother told police that, as she was changing her son's diaper, she sent him to the living room to get a new one. The child was alone for "only a minute," she said, when the attack occurred. She ran to get him when she heard him scream, said Capt. Lawrence Eggert, Lockport chief of detectives.

Eggert said family members told him the 2-year-old pit bull had been a family pet since it was a puppy, and they had no previous problems with aggressiveness.

The dog was taken to the Niagara County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where it was expected to be euthanized.


>Skateboarder hit by truck is fighting for her life

A Buffalo girl was fighting for her life late Tuesday in Women and Children's Hospital after she was struck by a pickup truck while skateboarding on the city's West Side, Buffalo police reported.

Laura Pichardo, 11, was listed in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit with severe head injuries.

Laura was riding her skateboard west on West Delavan Avenue near Herkimer Street at about 7:10 p.m. Tuesday when she was struck by an eastbound pickup truck driven by Jesus Cotto, 38, according to Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

DeGeorge said Laura and Cotto both attempted to avoid each other. Laura was thrown up over the hood and head-first into the windshield, according to police reports. No charges were filed against Cotto late Tuesday.


>Buffalo man assaulted, robbed of cell phone

A Buffalo man was hospitalized Tuesday after he was assaulted by four unknown men who stole his cell phone, police reported.

The victim was treated in Sisters Hospital for bleeding, bruising and swelling on his face.

The victim told Northeast District police that he was walking in the 3000 block of Bailey Avenue at about 3 a.m. when he was confronted by four men.

Police said one of the men asked to use his cell phone and the victim complied, but then one of the assailants threw some type of liquid in his face.

The victim was then knocked to the ground, kicked and punched in the head and body. The assailants fled with the man's cell phone.


>7 shots fired from handgun at Potomac Avenue home

Buffalo police are looking for a shooter who fired seven shots Monday night in front of a home in the 200 block of Potomac Avenue.

The shooter used a .40-caliber handgun to spray bullets at the home at about 11:55 p.m., Northwest District police said.


>Bail withheld for man in child-porn case

A North Tonawanda man who is accused of possessing child pornography and molesting young children will be held without bail until his case is completed in federal court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott refused bail for Richard P. Chervinsky on Tuesday after a federal prosecutor told him that police consider the man a danger to the community.

Chervinsky, 34, of First Avenue, a department store worker, was arrested on a felony child-pornography charge last week after an investigation by Niagara County Sheriff's Investigator Leonard E. Guagliano and the FBI.

In court papers, he admitted downloading Internet child pornography for at least five years and possessing images of children as young as four years.

According to police, he also admitted molesting two young children.

Chervinsky is represented by a federal public defender and has pleaded not guilty.


>Fast-food burglars make two hits

Buffalo police detectives are investigating a pair of burglaries at area fast-food restaurants over the last few days, according to police reports.

In both instances, burglars entered the restaurants through the drive-through window.

The first occurred late Sunday at the Arby's at 531 Delaware Ave., according to reports. The owner reported that the thieves stole a large gray safe with cash as well as gift certificates and two cash drawers.

The exact sum taken was unknown.

Then, between 1 and 4 a.m. Monday, burglars entered the Burger King at 1364 Main St. Apparently nothing was stolen, however, police reported.

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