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POLICE & COURTS

Boy struck by pickup on Duerstein Avenue

A boy believed to be 5 or 6 years old was struck by a pickup on Duerstein Avenue near Seneca Street just before 9 p.m. Wednesday after he ran out into the street, Buffalo police said.

The boy was transported by Rural/Metro Medical Services to Women & Children's Hospital, where he was undergoing surgery late Wednesday. Buffalo police are investigating.

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Driver of car in chase facing charges after crash

A Buffalo driver attempted to hit a motorcycle and cruiser during a chase by police overnight Tuesday, when his vehicle struck a tree on Emerson Place and burst into flames, police said.

Brandon Robertson, 25, was spotted driving erratically and without headlights near Bailey and Berkshire avenues. Robertson took off when police tried pulling him over, leading to the chase, police said.

Robertson was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle and criminal possession of a controlled substance and marijuana.

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Felony DWI charge lodged in Alden traffic stop

Erie County sheriff's deputies charged a Niagara Falls man Tuesday evening with felony driving while intoxicated in Alden.

Deputies said they found Robert E. Wall, 44, stopped illegally on Walden Avenue.

He refused a breath test and was charged with felony DWI because of a previous conviction, according to the Sheriff's Office.

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Weekends in jail await man in sex assault of girl

A Normal Avenue man will spend the next six months of weekends in jail for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Buffalo girl last year, under a sentence handed down Wednesday in Erie County Court.

Uthman Lei, 28, who pleaded guilty April 20 to a charge of attempted second-degree rape, apologized in court to several family members of his victim, saying "I understand what I did was wrong." His victim was not in court.

Judge Kenneth F. Case told Lei he must register with the state as a sex offender. The judge told Lei that once he completes his jail term, he will be on "intensive sex offender probation" for the next 10 years.

Lei sexually assaulted the underaged victim in her home late last August. She complained to her family and a criminal investigation was launched.

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Ex-deputy gets prison for youth sex liaison

A former sheriff's deputy from Chicago was sentenced this week to more than seven years in prison for trying to engage in sex with a minor from Western New York.

Jason Watson, 36, was convicted of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said the defendant met the minor during a trip to Western New York and then developed a relationship with the minor through the Internet and telephone.

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Copper caper causes damage to refrigeration

More than $50,000 damage was done to seven refrigeration units at a Scoville Avenue business by thieves after copper for scrap, according to Buffalo police reports.

The incident occurred between July 21 and Tuesday when the vandals broke into 45 Scoville Ave. and cut copper off of walls, destroying the refrigeration units. The amount of copper stolen was valued at about $3,000.

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Attica man, 35, charged in attempted bank holdup

An Attica man has been charged in connection with the attempted robbery of an East Aurora bank in May.

Ryan C. Westermeier, 35, became a suspect in the case through surveillance video and its release to the public, said East Aurora Detective Rick Daminksi.

Westermeier was already being held in the Wyoming County Jail on a drug possession charge and was arrested at that location Wednesday.

On May 2, Westermeier entered Citizens Bank on Main Street in East Aurora, told a clerk he had a gun and demanded money, police said. However, he became nervous and left the bank empty-handed, according to police.

He was charged with third-degree attempted robbery.

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Woman gets 25 years in death of drug dealer

ALBION -- A former anti-violence activist has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing a suspected drug dealer in in 1992.

Joyce Powell, 49, was convicted of murder in May for the slaying of John Rutledge, 37, who was found in a ditch in Carlton. She drew the maximum sentence Monday.

Police maintained Powell and Rutledge were involved in the drug trade in Rochester and Buffalo and a dispute led to the killing. Powell already is serving a 16-year prison sentence. She organized anti-violence marches beginning in the late 1990s.