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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Two buses damaged at We Care lot

WHEATFIELD -- A vandal or vandals caused $1,300 in damage to buses at We Care Transportation overnight in the 2300 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard.

An employee told Niagara County sheriff's deputies on Friday that someone attempted to pry open the driver's door on one bus, causing $1,000 in damage, and another bus had a rear passenger window shattered, causing $300 in damage.

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Figure in cocaine ring gets year in jail

LOCKPORT -- A bit player in the Niagara Falls cocaine ring headed by David A. Phelps was sentenced to a year in jail Friday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Arthur L. Sitzer, 38, of Rochester, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted fourth-degree conspiracy for talking about drugs with Phelps, 36, of Niagara Falls. Phelps is serving a four- to six-year prison sentence in the case brought by the state attorney general's Organized Crime Task Force, in which 21 people have pleaded guilty.

In another drug case Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. placed Percy L. Hilson Jr., 20, of 79th Street, Niagara Falls, on three years' probation for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Hilson was arrested on 20th Street in Niagara Falls March 13, 2007, when he was found with 0.17 of a gram of crack cocaine while driving a car that police said had been hit by gunfire.

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Probation ordered for two-hour standoff

LOCKPORT -- A man who was armed with a shotgun in a two-hour standoff with Lockport police Jan. 14 was sentenced Thursday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to five years' probation, 10 weekends in the county work program, $500 restitution and continued monitoring by the city mental health court.

Michael A. Huntington, 43, of Olcott Street, had pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal mischief for smashing up a woman's apartment and stealing her car and crashing it into a tree before going home and putting the shotgun to his head. Nearby DeWitt Clinton Elementary School was locked down during the standoff.

"I'd like to apologize to the Lowertown community for disrupting their usual quiet mornings," Huntington said. "I never intended to harm anyone other than myself."

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Judge dismisses 1 charge against woman

NIAGARA FALLS -- A City Court judge Friday dismissed one of the charges against a city woman whose arrest last February resulted in police brutality allegations.

Jacquinda L. Coleman, 32, of Hyde Park Boulevard, who suffered a fractured skull and other injuries when she was arrested on Feb. 25, no longer will face a charge of disorderly conduct, Judge Robert P. Merino ruled.

Merino supported Coleman's attorney Joel L. Daniel's argument that Coleman was acting alone, and was not part of a group that night, so the charge didn't apply to allegations against her. Charges of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration still stand, however.

Merino also let stand as part of the case statements Coleman allegedly made during her arrest. She used obscenities, said she didn't have to listen to police, called them racist, and told them they are white supremacists, according to court papers. The judge said statements made in the heat of a moment are admissible and "bear directly" on the other charges against Coleman.

Coleman said she was injured by City Police Officer Kenneth Redmond, who was investigating a domestic incident involving another woman. Redmond said Coleman intervened, and when she resisted arrest, he used pepper spray, then tried to throw her off balance using his flashlight, but instead hit her in the head when she moved forward.

Her criminal case is scheduled to go before a jury Nov. 12.

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Attack on ex-girlfriend leads to prison sentence

LOCKPORT -- A North Tonawanda man who violated a restraining order a woman had against him was sent to prison for two to four years Thursday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Jason B. Bronschidle, 29, of Second Avenue, North Tonawanda, violated the order April 29 by slapping and punching an ex-girlfriend. He had pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal contempt of court.

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Restitution ordered for damage to drive-in

LOCKPORT -- A Newfane man was ordered Thursday to pay $5,400 in restitution for damage caused when he broke into Reid's Drive-In on Lake Avenue in Lockport April 25.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled further sentencing Dec. 16 for Justin Carney, 21, of Charlotteville Road, who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary. Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Carney destroyed two cash registers and some windows.

In another burglary case, Nathan A. Carey, 19, of 15th Street, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal trespass and petit larceny, stemming from a burglary at a home on Fifth Street in Niagara Falls July 14. He will be sentenced Dec. 17.

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