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POLICE & COURTS

>Public works employee killed by excavator

NEW ALBION -- A Cattaraugus County public works employee was fatally injured Wednesday morning when he accidentally stepped into the path of an excavator on Mosher Hollow Road in the Town of New Albion.

Kristian J. Tressel, 37, of Dayton, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Sheriff Dennis B. John. The excavator was owned by the county's Department of Public Works and was working at a construction site.

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>Man fires shots at group then flees in SUV

Eight gunshots were fired at a group of people Wednesday afternoon at the Willert Park housing projects in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue, Central District police said.

A Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority worker told police the gunman drove up in a gray SUV, got out and first started yelling at several people. He then went back to his vehicle and took out a rifle and began shooting.

The gunman drove away toward William Street, police said. No injuries were reported in the 3:45 p.m. incident.

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>Guilty verdict returned in robbery, shooting

Rickie R. Scott was convicted Wednesday of robbing a Buffalo man and later trying to kill him.

Scott, 21, of Bailey Avenue, did not react as a jury found him guilty of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree robbery. He faces up to 50 years in prison when sentenced by Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico on Feb. 7.

During the trial, Anthony Wills Jr., 23, of Dartmouth Avenue, said Scott shot him in the right eye, causing permanent brain damage, in the parking lot of a fast-food store at Bailey Avenue and Genesee Street on July 7, 2006.

Wills said the shooting, which left him in a coma for about a month and a half, was Scott's revenge after Wills' friends in the drug underworld shot at Scott, but missed, in retaliation for Scott's holding up Wills at gunpoint outside a Kensington Avenue bank in March 2006 and taking $1,800 in cash and a $1,700 gold chain.

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>Bar manager convicted of shooting patron

For the second time in two years, Buffalo bar manager Gregory Collins was convicted of shooting a handcuffed patron outside his family's Pandora's Sports Bar on Fillmore Avenue.

Following a nonjury trial, State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski found Collins, 46, of Niagara Falls Boulevard, guilty as charged Wednesday on felony weapons and reckless endangerment charges. Collins could receive up to 15 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 30. He was taken into custody after the verdict.

Collins was convicted in the shooting of Lamont Smith, 36, outside the bar at about 3:30 a.m. March 21, 2004, after Smith said he had been handcuffed by bar bouncers.

Two years ago, an Erie County Court jury convicted Collins on the same charges. He was granted a new trial after an appellate court cited procedural errors.

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