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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Woman runs five blocks to seize alleged thief

NIAGARA FALLS -- After being told that her mother's 21st Street garage was being broken into, a woman ran five blocks Saturday afternoon and caught the alleged thief in the act, police said.

The man reportedly told the woman he would return two stolen chain saws if she would not report the incident to police. After receiving the saws, she phoned police, and they arrested Kevin Y. Harper at the scene.

Harper, 48, of 21st Street, was charged with third-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and petit larceny and is to be questioned about an earlier break-in at the home, police said.

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>Girlfriend arrested in attack with bottle

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 73-year-old North Avenue man suffered a deep cut to his wrist Saturday when his girlfriend sliced him with a broken bottle during a domestic dispute, police said.

Police said that the two argued at a South Avenue home shortly before 5 p.m. and that the woman swung the glass at the man, causing him to fall backward and strike his head, cutting it open. The man was treated in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

While police were still at the crime scene, the girlfriend returned and was arrested. Charged with felony assault and harassment was Miriam R. Jackson, 42, of Ninth Street.

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>Noisy muffler leads to marijuana charge

HARTLAND -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies stopped a Niagara Falls man for having a loud car muffler Sunday and discovered a large amount of freshly cut marijuana in his trunk.

Deputies said that when they pulled Winston G. Lewis, 54, of Ferry Avenue, over on Hartland-Somerset Townline Road just after 9 a.m., they noticed a strong odor of marijuana inside the vehicle. The pot was found in a basket in the car's trunk after Lewis consented to a search, deputies said.

He was charged with a muffler violation, as well as fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Deputies went to a McClew Road farm where Lewis claimed to have cut the plants but could not locate any additional plants or evidence. An investigation is continuing.

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>Variety of weapons used in gang battle

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two groups of men battled with boards, wrenches, baseball bats and possibly a handgun during an altercation early Sunday at 56th Street and Baker Avenue, police said.

At least two people were injured in the melee, which took place just before 2 a.m. Due to conflicting stories about the fight's origins, including which group was the aggressor and which had weapons, police were unable to make any immediate arrests. An investigation is continuing, however, and charges are expected.

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>Blacktop vandals target Jehovah's Witnesses

PORTER -- In what has become an ongoing problem, vandals caused more than $100 damage Saturday to a freshly blacktopped lot at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Dickersonville Road, Niagara County sheriff's deputies reported.

A car spun its tires on the recently applied surface, causing much of the blacktop to loosen. Bottles and other refuse were scattered near a church door, a repeat of similar incidents of recent months.

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>Woman beaten, robbed by five men in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS -- Five men wearing hoodies jumped, beat and robbed a woman in the 1800 block of 22nd Street, leaving her with a concussion, police report.

The woman told police she was attacked from behind as she was walking home from a discount store at about 7 p.m. Wednesday but was unable to report the incident until Saturday evening.

After being knocked to the ground, the woman was kicked in the body, and her bag, containing birthday cards and other small items valued at less than $4, was stolen. The victim lost consciousness briefly and ended up needing eight stitches to close a wound to her head.

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>Third Street man hurt in drug deal gone bad

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Third Street man may need plastic surgery for a wound suffered during an early morning fight Sunday, police said.

The 45-year-old victim told police that he bought drugs from a man on 19th Street shortly after 4 a.m. but then asked for his money back.

Instead, he was punched in the mouth, causing a laceration that sent him to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment. The victim was advised to seek an arrest warrant.

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