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POLICE & COURTS

Two-car crash claims a life in Ellicottville

ELLICOTTVILLE -- One person is dead after a two-car crash Sunday afternoon on Route 219, near Jackman Hill Road, according to state police.

The crash occurred at about 1:45 and caused the road to be shut down for several hours as troopers investigated.

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Snowmobiler with 3 girls aboard charged with DWI

FRENCH CREEK -- A man operating a snowmobile with three girls as passengers was arrested late Saturday for snowmobiling while intoxicated, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office reported.

A deputy saw the snowmobilers at 11:45 p.m. riding on Conway Road in the Town of French Creek. Neither the operator nor any of the three girls were wearing a helmet.

Deputies stopped Scott D. Dettling, 37, of Copley, Ohio, and determined that he was intoxicated.

Dettling also was charged with refusing a chemical test, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, four counts of snowmobiling without a helmet and unregistered snowmobiling. The Sheriff's Office did not indicate Dettling's relationship to the girls.

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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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Woman estimates her loss in burglary at $12,850

A Wohlers Avenue woman told Buffalo police she lost $12,850 in electronic equipment, jewelry and clothing to a burglar who broke into her East Side home between 10:15 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday.

The stolen items included three diamond rings worth $6,000, clothes worth $2,000, 14 pairs of men's sneakers worth $2,000, 11 pairs of women's sneakers worth $1,000, a $650 gold necklace, a $500 3D TV, two cell phones worth $400 and a $300 video-game system.

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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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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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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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