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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Man suspects he received bogus $20 on reservation

NIAGARA FALLS -- A LaSalle-area man told police that a counterfeit $20 bill he inadvertently used Saturday likely came from a gas station on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation.

The man used the bill to pay for laundry at the Laundry Lounge on Niagara Falls Boulevard. When an employee there realized it was counterfeit, she called the man, and he returned to make good on his bill and await the arrival of police.

He told officers he likely received the bill as change after making a purchase at the reservation store earlier in the day. No charges were filed.

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Methamphetamine lab targeted in Ontario

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- Niagara Regional Police were joined by numerous other police and emergency service agencies Saturday as they executed a search warrant on a methamphetamine lab in a barn on Creek Road in Wainfleet. Two men were arrested.

Officers said they seized an array of equipment and a large amount of processed methamphetamine. The raid followed a five-month investigation.

Charged with producing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking were James DiBenedetto, 54, and Jason Barr, 37, both of whom were arrested at their home on Foresthill Crescent in Pelham.

DiBenedetto also was charged with possession of proceeds of crime after police seized about $50,000 at his residence.

The barn was cordoned off as an Ontario Provincial Police team led a group of agencies in removing dangerous chemicals from the property.

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Driver of stolen vehicle backs into police car

NIAGARA FALLS -- A suspected car thief made it easy for police Saturday night when he backed the stolen vehicle into a stopped police car in the 1300 block of Ashland Avenue, locking onto the police cruiser's bumper.

Officer Nick Granto said that a trailer hitch on the back of the stolen vehicle penetrated the bumper of his patrol vehicle when the accident occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The driver, Ricky Q. Caldwell, 46, of Michigan Avenue, was taken into custody without further incident.

Caldwell told police he had gotten the car earlier in the day in exchange for six rocks of crack cocaine. He was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, unlicensed operation, unsafe backing and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

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Arrest made in assault on woman, threat to boy

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Tronolone Place man was tasered by police late Friday after assaulting an ex-girlfriend and threatening her 9-year-old son, police said.

David S. Clause, 49, is charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, menacing, petit larceny, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child.

When police showed up at the address shortly before midnight, Clause charged investigating officers, according to reports. Clause, police added, had kicked in the apartment door, hit the woman, 46, in the face with a hammer, then chased her and her son from the apartment with a large kitchen knife.

Neither the woman nor her son was seriously injured, police said.

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Man, 18, who tried to flee troopers faces charges

LOCKPORT -- A young man who tried to run away from troopers during a traffic stop early Saturday is facing numerous charges after state police say he tried to discard marijuana and a set of brass knuckles during the foot chase.

Troopers said that as they tried to stop a vehicle driven by Sakeel D. Hilson, 18, of the Town of Lockport, at 3:26 a.m. on Ruhlman Road, he jumped out of the vehicle and ran off. They arrested him at a nearby apartment complex.

Hilson is charged with endangering the welfare of a child because one of the passengers in the vehicle he left running while he jumped out of it is 16.

Additional charges include resisting arrest, criminal possession of a controlled substance and of a weapon, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and reckless driving.

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Falls police probing Calumet Ave. break-in

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police are testing tools found at a Calumet Avenue burglary scene to see if they can obtain DNA from the burglar.

The owner told police he came home from work at about 8 p.m. Saturday to find that his front door had been kicked in and that much of his property inside had been moved.

A safe had been taken from a bedroom into the basement, where an ax and other tools were apparently used in an unsuccessful attempt to open the safe.

Police said a handle and lock were broken off, but the safe never was entered.

The victim told police that $100 in cash was taken from the home but that nothing else appeared to be missing.

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