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High-speed chase results in arrest; officer hurt

A West Seneca man added more excitement than necessary to several streets near the heart of the Dyngus Day celebration Monday when he fled from a traffic stop, injured a city police officer and led other officers on a high-speed chase through part of the East Side, according to police.

John Gilbert III, 35, of Roycroft Drive, was finally arrested when he was boxed in by patrol cars at Paderewski Drive and Detroit Street about 5:40 p.m., Buffalo police said.

The incident began a short time earlier, when Officer Michael Strobele stopped Gilbert and began issuing him traffic tickets at Fillmore Avenue and Oneida Street. Gilbert revved his car engine and sped off, striking Strobele with his driver-side door and pulling the officer several feet down the street until Strobele broke free, according to a Buffalo police report.

Strobele was treated for knee and other injuries at Erie County Medical Center and told by ECMC doctors to stay off work, police said. Meanwhile, Gilbert was the subject of a high-speed police chase on Fillmore Avenue, Emslie, Oneida, Howard, Townsend and Smith streets and Paderewski Drive, until he was boxed in by patrol cars at Paderewski and Detroit.

During the police chase, Gilbert allegedly drove on pavement on Smith and Townsend streets, causing another vehicle to veer off Townsend "and placing pedestrians and other drivers at risk of serious physical injury or death," according to a police report.

Although doctors told him to stay off duty, Strobele was among the officers who arrested Gilbert, reports said. He helped Officer John Messina subdue Gilbert after Gilbert allegedly got out of his car and began struggling with the officers. He had to be "forcibly subdued and handcuffed," police said.

Gilbert was charged with second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and a number of traffic infractions.

He also was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, and accused of having crack cocaine residue in his car, and unlawful possession of marijuana for allegedly having a marijuana cigarette on the console of his car.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com