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Falls police name suspect in Main Street bank robbery

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police detectives believe they know the man who robbed a Main Street bank Tuesday morning.

The man entered the HSBC Bank branch at 805 Main St. just after 11 a.m., police said. The man gave a note to a teller claiming he had a gun and demanding money. No weapon was displayed.

The teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of money, and the robber walked out of the bank.

A few minutes later, before bank staff called police, two city detectives arrived at the bank for other reasons and were told what had happened. The detectives immediately broadcast a description of the suspect, but he was not caught.

Detective Lt. Michael Trane said surveillance photos taken during the robbery lead police to believe that city resident Sheldon W. Crogan, 36, is the robber.

Crogan also was identified by a witness, Trane said, and is now wanted on a third-degree robbery charge. Anyone with information on Crogan's whereabouts is asked to call 286-4553.


Paint thinner kicked into fire badly burns boy

TUSCARORA INDIAN RESERVATION -- A 6-year-old boy suffered serious burns Tuesday afternoon when a can of paint thinner was kicked into an outdoor fire on Mount Hope Road near Walmore Road.

The unidentified Mount Hope Road boy was unsupervised while the fire was burning in his backyard, and he kicked a can of paint thinner into the fire. The paint thinner ignited and seriously burned the boy. Some teens at the scene told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that they were outside with the boy, but in the front yard, when the accident happened.

Mercy Flight was called to the scene just before 2:30 p.m., and the boy was transported to Women & Children's Hospital in Buffalo.

The boy suffered burns to 45 percent of the front and back of his lower body. The burns are not considered life-threatening, sheriff's officials said.


Final sentence is given in trailer park love triangle

LOCKPORT -- The case of a trailer park love triangle was wrapped up Tuesday in Niagara County Court, where one of the men involved was placed on six years' probation for sexual misconduct and attempted second-degree menacing.

Darwin J. Fifield Jr., 33, of State Street, Gasport, was living in a mobile home park on Ridge Road in Newfane when he had sex with a 16-year-old girl last year.

She also was sleeping with Raymond P. Boskat Jr., 38, who was sentenced Feb. 2 to 10 years' probation and 25 weekends in the county work program for statutory rape.

Tuesday, Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas rated Fifield a Level 1 sex offender, the least serious category. The menacing charge resulted when Fifield pointed a rifle at Boskat's wife June 11.


Third DWI lands man in state prison

LOCKPORT -- A Wilson man who picked up his third alcohol-related driving conviction in less than five years was sent to state prison Tuesday.

"I think the time has come to pay the piper," Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas told Charles L. Barker, 56, of Randall Road, as she gave him one to three years behind bars.

Barker had pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated after crashing his motorcycle into a ditch July 30 in Wilson.


Son of deported leader rejects plea offer

LOCKPORT -- The son of recently deported Liberian rebel leader George E.S. Boley rejected a plea offer Tuesday and will go to trial next week on charges of beating up his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.

Mahnseah T. Boley, 32, of Hilton, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted. The plea deal he turned down in Niagara County Court would have limited his prison time to 11 years.

Boley, a U.S. citizen, could have pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and attempted assault, both in the second degree. Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said in court last week that the offer was made after the alleged victims urged her to soften the charges.

Boley, a former college wrestling champion and professional mixed martial arts fighter, is accused of beating and sexually assaulting the woman and breaking bones in her boyfriend's face Sept. 5 in a home on 22nd Street in Niagara Falls.


DMV drop box vandalized at Trott Access Center

NIAGARA FALLS -- An outside drop box at the Department of Motor Vehicles was damaged to gain entry to its contents at the Trott Access Center on 11th Street, police said Monday.

A DMV employee told police that sometime between Thursday and Monday, when the office was closed for Good Friday and the Easter holiday weekend, someone pushed in the door to the drop box on the Ashland Avenue side of the building. The employee said the suspect would have had access to license and registration renewals left inside the box.