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Assault charge lodged after car targets man

A Buffalo woman deliberately drove a car into a man Friday night on Abbott Road, police said.

Helen Velazquez, 33, was southbound on Abbott at about 10:30 p.m. when, according to witnesses, she yelled something at the man, South District police said. She then turned her car around and struck the man with her car, police added.

Charles Robbins, 42, was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Velazquez was charged with driving while intoxicated and vehicular assault.


Two shot on West Side by gunman on a bicycle

Two males were shot Saturday evening on the city's West Side.

The shooting occurred about 6:40 p.m. Saturday in the 300-block of Busti Avenue, Buffalo police said. The victims were outside, when the gunman -- riding on a bicycle -- opened fire, said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

The victims' names were not released. Their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, DeGeorge said.

Anyone with information is asked to call or text message the Buffalo police anonymous tip call line at 847-2255 or email the information by visiting and clicking on "Report a Tip."


Five flee house fire in Town of Tonawanda

Five people escaped from a burning home Saturday morning in the Town of Tonawanda.

Firefighters from the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Company were called at 10:32 a.m. Saturday to extinguish the fire at 349 Parkhurst Blvd., said Rick Rider, the company's second assistant chief.

Rider and another firefighter who lived across the street were the first to arrive on the scene. Three adults and two children escaped the home unharmed, but firefighters stopped them from trying to go back in to grab belongings, according to Rider.

"The house had an addition on the back and that's what caught fire," Rider said. "The entire rear of the building was destroyed."

The fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage to the structure and $30,000 to the contents, Rider said.

The cause is under investigation.


Brooklyn woman gets jail for importing Ecstasy

A Brooklyn woman who was convicted of importing a controlled substance was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Prosecutors said Miquel Marie-Latoya Smith, 38, imported more than 25,000 Ecstasy tablets into the United States from Canada. She was arrested Feb. 28, 2010, at the Peace Bridge, where the drugs -- valued at more than $629,175 -- were found in the trunk of her car, authorities said.

The Ecstasy was destined for distribution in Atlanta, federal officials said.


Two teens escape with $20 in mugging on East Delavan

A man was mugged at knifepoint Friday night by two teenagers on East Delavan Avenue and Roslyn Street, police said.

The victim said the robbery happened shortly before 11 p.m. He told police the muggers took $20 in cash from him.


Couple who went drinking faces endangerment charges

Police charged a Buffalo couple with endangering the welfare of a child after they left their 3-year-old daughter and a mentally disabled relative in their car while they went out drinking, police said.

Julia Natanski, 20, and Robert Rohrback, 25, of East Street, were arrested by Officers John Cirulli and Jay Reuther at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, after they found the young daughter and Rohrback's younger brother alone in a car.

The two also were charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent person. Rohrback's brother is physically unable to care for himself, police said.


Pickup driver badly hurt in crash at Wilson junction

WILSON -- A man was listed in critical condition Saturday in Erie County Medical Center after his pickup crashed at Cambria-Wilson and New roads, Town of Wilson.

Niagara County sheriff's officials were called to the scene at about 12:40 a.m. They found the driver, whose name was not released, in the road. He had apparently been ejected from his pickup truck.

Investigators believe the truck was southbound on Cambria-Wilson when it crashed into a fire hydrant, tree and embankment. The driver was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC.