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POLICE & COURTS

No foul play suspected in Falls woman's death

NIAGARA FALLS -- No foul play is suspected in the death of a Niagara Falls woman found Saturday outside her apartment building in the 9800 block of Porter Road, police said Monday.

The victim has been identified as Tammy P. Moss, 31. She was found lying in the grassy area behind her apartment complex at 9807 Porter Road just after 7 a.m. Saturday. Capt. William M. Thomson said she had likely been there about four hours.

"The cause of death remains under investigation, but no foul play at this point," Thomson said.

An autopsy is being conducted by the Erie County medical examiner, and results from toxicology tests are expected to take several weeks.

Thomson said investigators have interviewed a number of people who knew Moss and also located and interviewed the man who found her body. The passer-by had reportedly spotted the body and asked a resident of the apartment building to call police before he left the scene Saturday.

The man was released after giving a statement to police, Thomson said.

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Dunkirk man surrenders to assault, drug charges

DUNKIRK -- A Brooks Avenue man was jailed on drug and domestic violence charges Monday by City Judge Walter Drag.

Terrence K. Buchanan, 26, turned himself in at city Police Headquarters on Monday morning, four days after officers seized a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic rifle, ammunition, knives and nearly one-quarter ounce of crack cocaine during a search of Buchanan's home Thursday.

Drag ordered the search a day after Buchanan allegedly brutalized and threatened to kill a female friend at the house. During the search, officers found and destroyed sophisticated hydroponic marijuana-growing equipment in the basement, police said.

A search for Buchanan began Thursday, when the woman said she escaped from his house after Buchanan slapped, punched and kicked her repeatedly in the face and body, held a knife to her throat and pointed a loaded gun at her, police said.

Buchanan, ordered held on $50,000 bail, was charged with third-degree assault, menacing, unlawful imprisonment, criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana and growing cannabis.

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Falls woman tries to fight purse snatcher with cane

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 71-year-old woman attempted to fight off a purse snatcher with her cane as he dragged her to the ground and ran off with her purse Sunday afternoon on Welch Avenue.

The woman told police she had just taken some fast-food bags into her house at about 3:30 p.m. and was returning to her vehicle to get some boxes from her trunk when a man walked up to her and grabbed her purse from her arm.

She said she tried to hold on to the purse and fight her attacker with the cane but missed and was pulled to the ground. The man ran off with the purse, which contained $120, health cards and her driver's license.

The woman, who was injured in the confrontation, said she found her cellphone on the ground and called police. She was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical with pain in her left arm, police said.

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Mobile home fire blamed on overheated clothes dryer

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- An overheated clothes dryer is believed to be responsible for a fire that destroyed a mobile home and left four homeless Sunday in Cayuga Village.

Sandy Scouten, 54, told Town of Niagara police that at 5:28 p.m. she smelled something burning and when she checked the dryer she found it on fire. Scouten told police that she was able to get out of the house with her daughter and two grandchildren, ages 5 and 2. No injuries were reported.

The Red Cross was called in to assist the family. Damage to the mobile home and its contents was listed at approximately $40,000.

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Drug treatment promised in car break-ins, purse theft

LOCKPORT -- A Wheatfield man, who broke into several cars in Niagara Falls and stole a woman's purse in Lewiston, was promised a stint in drug treatment as he pleaded guilty Monday in Niagara County Court.

Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said Anthony J. Paduano, 40, of Walmore Road, will be sent to the prison system's secure drug treatment facility at Willard Correctional Facility. She will make that official July 3, when $1,600 in restitution also will be imposed.

Paduano pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny and third-degree auto stripping. He stole a purse Jan. 4 at the Sunoco Mini Mart in Lewiston and made several attempts to use a credit card that was in the purse, Assistant District Attorney Heather A. DeCastro said. The car break-ins occurred between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3.

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Boaters rescued after craft capsizes near Sheridan

MAYVILLE -- Four Buffalo residents were helped to the Dunkirk harbor early Sunday afternoon after their vessel capsized about a mile offshore in Lake Erie near the Town of Sheridan.

Chautauqua County sheriff's navigation deputies and the department's WET Team handled the rescue.