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Firefighters battle blaze at Niagara Falls motel

NIAGARA FALLS -- City firefighters Monday night were on the scene of a large fire at a Niagara Falls Boulevard motel.

Flames were shooting from the roof above the kitchen of the Castle Motor Inn, 29802 Niagara Falls Blvd., near 98th Street, as firefighters arrived at about 10:10 p.m.

A live wire also was reported down and the blaze was tying up traffic on a busy stretch of the boulevard that is marked by several small, one-story lodgings similar to the Castle Motor Inn.

Guests were evacuated and no serious injuries were reported as of late Monday, according to firefighters at the scene. Owner Vishal Patel was on the scene but declined to comment because he said he was not at the motel when the fire started.


Not-guilty plea entered to sexual assault charge

LOCKPORT -- A man pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court on Monday to a seven-count indictment accusing him of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl four years ago, District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III said.

Carlos I. Aponte, 45, of Seventh Avenue in North Tonawanda, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual act, first- and third-degree sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of third-degree criminal sexual act.

The alleged incidents occurred in North Tonawanda in March and April 2003.


Man pleads not guilty to stealing from mother

LOCKPORT -- A West Caledonia Street man pleaded not guilty Monday in Niagara County Court to charges of using his mother's credit card to steal about $1,300 from her bank account.

Jason A. Dangelo, 36, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and second-degree identity theft.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said the thefts occurred during a period of a few days around Mother's Day this year.


Driver seriously injured as vehicle veers off road

WILSON -- A Ransomville man suffered a serious head injury Monday afternoon after he went off Youngstown-Lockport Road, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

Victor Wood, whose age was unavailable, was driving west near Burch Road shortly before 5 p.m. when he veered off the roadway. Deputies said Monday night they were still trying to determine why.

Wood was airlifted by Mercy Flight helicopter to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, where he was in serious condition, deputies reported.

An investigation into the crash is continuing.


Motorcyclist injured in collision with car

LOCKPORT -- A Barker motorcyclist was being treated late Monday for a severe leg injury after a Lockport woman turned her car in front of his motorcycle, resulting in a crash, Niagara County sheriff's deputies reported.

Deputies said the car, driven northbound on Dysinger Road by 62-year-old Velma Toner, made a left turn onto Raymond Road into the path of the motorcyclist, Alan Seib, 59, at about 7:15 p.m.

Seib was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, where his condition was unavailable late Monday.

Toner was cited for failure to yield the right of way.


Woman aiding elderly accused of credit fraud

A Buffalo woman who was hired to help elderly people with their finances has admitted she illegally obtained and used credit cards in the names of three city residents.

Jamie Guzzetta, 31, pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony charge of access device fraud, the U.S. attorney's office reported Monday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti said Guzzetta "applied for several credit cards in the names of elderly people" and then used them in attempts to obtain goods and services worth $6,768.

According to court papers, Guzzetta worked for a Buffalo company called Miller Gesko, which provides help to senior citizens in organizing their finances. A woman working at Miller Gesko's offices said Guzzetta no longer works there but declined to comment further late Monday.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.


Woman finds naked man on bed; arrest is made

JAMESTOWN -- A 41-year-old Jamestown man was charged with criminal trespass and harassment after he allegedly entered the apartment of his 20-year-old female neighbor late Sunday, took off his clothes and waited naked for her on her bed, city police reported.

Steven Horrocks is accused of entering the woman's apartment through an unlocked door, removing his clothing and waiting for the victim to come home, police said.

The incident occurred at about 11 p.m. Sunday at the West Fourth Street apartment building, police said.

Police responded to a 911 call from the woman, who told them she found a naked man lying on her bed when she came home from work. Horrocks was being held at Chautauqua County Jail on $2,500 bail.

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