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POLICE & COURTS

>Man says he was robbed by 2 gunmen in MLK Park

A Walden Avenue man was held up by two men with guns late Sunday while he was walking through Martin Luther King Park, Buffalo police reported.

The victim told police he was walking south through the pool area just before midnight when the two men forced him to the ground and took $15 from his pocket. Both men had black handguns.

Both fled on mountain bikes toward the basketball court, police reported.

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>Woman finds gunshots fired into her home

A 43-year-old Buffalo woman returned home Sunday night and found that someone had fired shots into her Wohlers Avenue house, police said.

The woman told Ferry-Fillmore District police that she returned home about 11 p.m. and noticed holes in her bedroom wall and hallway.

Police said that someone fired shots into the north side of the house and that the bullets traveled through the hallway, with some of them also hitting a bedroom wall. No one was struck.

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>Burglaries in Amherst prompt police warning

Amherst police warned residents to lock their doors while doing yardwork or walking in the neighborhood, following two similar daytime burglaries over the weekend that were committed while one victim was mowing his lawn and the other was walking her dog.

The first burglary occurred at about noon Saturday on Leonore Road, where a resident in the basement heard footsteps upstairs while realizing that her husband was mowing the lawn. She came upstairs and confronted the thief, who walked out the door and fled on a bicycle.

The couple reported the theft of slightly under $1,000 worth of cash and jewelry.

The other incident occurred about 10 a.m. Sunday on Skinnersville Road. A woman who was walking her dog noticed the man going out her back door and fleeing from the area. It was not immediately clear whether anything was taken.

Assistant Police Chief Timothy M. Green said the descriptions of the two burglars were similar enough that detectives are looking at the possibility of it being the same person. Anyone with any information about either incident may call police at 689-1333.

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>Ex-college instructor spared jail in tax case

James N. Siewert, a former Buffalo State College fashion technology instructor, was spared a jail term Monday but ordered to pay the state $143,757 in back taxes and penalties for years of unreported income.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang spared Siewert, 56, of Highview Road, a jail term for failing to report income he earned as an independent contractor. However, she rejected a recommendation from the Erie County Probation Department that the fashion industry veteran be granted a conditional discharge on his Feb. 7 misdemeanor plea to tax crimes.

Wolfgang noted that Siewert, who is in the process of moving back to his native New York City, spent almost three weeks in jail after he failed to show up for his scheduled May 16 sentencing. She said she wants him "monitored" for compliance as she also placed him on probation for three years and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service.

James Q. Auricchio, head of the Erie County district attorney's Revenue Crimes Bureau, said Siewert failed to pay $66,057 in state taxes on independent contracting income from a New York City fashion concern from 2001 to 2005. Siewert declined to comment.

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>Amherst man's fatal fall was suicide, police say

The man who apparently jumped some 80 to 90 feet to his death from a downtown parking garage Monday morning has been identified as Sammy M. Cole, 47, of Amherst, authorities confirmed.

Cole, who lived on Rosedale Boulevard, jumped from the multilevel parking garage on Pearl and Court streets not far from the Main Place Mall, at about 11:10 a.m., Buffalo police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police called the incident an apparent suicide.

Cole worked as a stationary engineer for Erie County, reportedly in the Rath Building downtown, not far from the site of the fatal fall.

Amherst police records show that Cole was charged with felony sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child last December, after being accused of abusing a teenage girl whom he knew. Amherst officials said they had no indication that those charges had been resolved.

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