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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>DEC to investigate tire fire in Newfane

NEWFANE -- The state Department of Environmental Conservation will investigate after Niagara County sheriff's deputies discovered an illegal tire fire behind a Hatter Road residence early Sunday.

Deputies responded to 6513 Hatter Road at 2:13 a.m. to find a large fire burning behind the house and a man throwing tires into the flames, according to reports. The Miller Hose Fire Company was summoned to extinguish the fire. The homeowner reportedly told deputies he was trying to get rid of some "junk" and stored tires on his property.

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>Work light ignited gas to cause garage fire

APPLETON -- A work light ignited a small gasoline spill, triggering a Saturday afternoon fire that destroyed a Hoffman Road garage and two vehicles parked inside.

Niagara County sheriff's deputies said the homeowner at 7348 Hoffman Road was working on a vehicle inside the garage just after 4 p.m. when he momentarily set the light down on the floor. The heat ignited a small puddle of gasoline nearby, and the man was unable to control the resulting flames.

The fire quickly consumed the garage and two cars, a 1993 Ford and a 1984 Ford, parked inside. Total damage was estimated at $26,500.

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>Taser gun used to subdue stolen car suspect

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police had to use a Taser gun to stop a fleeing suspect Sunday after he was spotted driving a stolen car.

Officers were able to corner Lavon D. Parks, 17, in an alley following a brief car chase just before 11 a.m. Sunday. They said that Parks then jumped from the still-moving car and fled between houses near 19th Street and Walnut Avenue.

The car's mirror clipped the elbow of Officer Kathy Stack before she was able to stop the vehicle. She was not seriously injured. Police said Parks continued to struggle with officers after being apprehended, causing them to twice discharge a Taser gun to subdue him.

Parks was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, unlawfully fleeing from a police officer, speeding, reckless driving, failure to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle and unlicensed operation.

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>Ex-Buffalo man among 3 found slain in Houston

A former Buffalo man was murdered last week along with two other people inside his Houston home, Houston police confirmed Sunday.

The bodies of Jerome Perkins, 50; his wife, Elaine Foster, 42; and Barbara Bailey, 45, were found last Monday in a burned house. Police said the three were shot, and they believe the fire was set intentionally to conceal evidence of the shootings.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the three victims were shot in the back of their heads, but police said they found nothing inside Perkins' home to indicate they were involved in illegal activity.

The newspaper also reported that Perkins was an apartment complex manager in another neighborhood where he lived up until about three months ago. No details about Perkins' background in Buffalo were available from police.

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>2 employees suspected in theft from Denny's

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two employees are being investigated in connection with the theft of more than $200 from the Denny's restaurant on Niagara Falls Boulevard, police said.

A manager told police that two cash registers near the front counter came up $205 short on Saturday. The money went missing between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Only two employees were authorized to have access to the registers during that period, police reported.

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>Woman reports injury from being body-slammed

NIAGARA FALLS -- A woman suffered a possible ruptured disc in her lower back after being body-slammed to the floor during a recent domestic incident, police said.

The 46-year-old victim told police that she was assaulted about three weeks ago, following an argument with a man. She did not immediately realize the extent of her injuries and did not report the incident until Saturday. She was advised to seek a warrant for the man's arrest.

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