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POLICE & COURTS

Arrest made in theft of $500 in merchandise

BATAVIA -- A Buffalo man, already the subject of a Cheektowaga Town Court bench warrant in an earlier larceny case, was arrested by Genesee County sheriff's deputies as he ran away from Kmart on Lewiston Road at about 12:40 p.m. Monday.

In the latest case, Lawrence Zielinski, 38, of Davey Street, is accused of stealing more than $500 worth of merchandise, sheriff's officials said.

Zielinski, was turned over to Cheektowaga police after his arraignment in Batavia Town Court on Monday afternoon.

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Prisoner accused of using ID of another inmate

BATAVIA -- A man in custody for months on larceny charges was ordered Tuesday to remain jailed without bail following his City Court arraignment on a first-degree falsifying business records charge and for violating a court order of protection.

Jayson Michael Connolly, 38, who has no listed local address, is accused of improperly using another County Jail inmate's personal identification number to make a person-to-person call last July 2 to a woman who had a court order against him, Genesee County sheriff's officials said.

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Severely burned boy, 6, dies of his injuries

The 6-year-old boy severely burned when he kicked a can of paint thinner into a smoldering bonfire on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation on April 10 has died of his injuries, Niagara County officials confirmed.

The boy, whose name has not been released, was badly burned from the waist down but initially was expected to survive. He was being treated in a specialty burn unit at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, where he died Sunday, deputies said.

He was badly burned at about 2:15 p.m. April 10 in the 5000 block of Walmore Road. Mercy Flight initially took him to Women & Children's Hospital, which transferred him to Cincinnati.

Sheriff's deputies and Lewiston police said the boy apparently had gone into a neighbor's backyard and kicked the can of accelerant into a fire that was left smoldering from the previous night, only to have the fire flash up at him.

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Town of Lockport fire causes 16 to evacuate

Sixteen people were left temporarily homeless late Monday when a fire in a Town of Lockport apartment building caused heavy smoke damage, Niagara County sheriff's officials reported.

Deputy David Ganz rushed to the apartments at 6594 Dysinger Road after the Sheriff's Office received a fire alarm from the Amherst alarm office shortly after 10:20 p.m.

The deputy entered the building, found the fire in Apartment 8, made sure the resident there was safely out of the building and checked other apartments before the smoke drove him back outside, authorities said.

Volunteer firefighters from Rapids and South Lockport responded, putting out the fire and evacuating the rest of the residents.

Officials worked Tuesday to pinpoint the cause, and no damage estimate was released.

The Red Cross was called to assist 13 adults and three children routed from their apartments, although firefighters managed to confine the blaze to one apartment.

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Guilty plea entered to child pornography

A Buffalo man pleaded guilty Tuesday to production and possession of child pornography.

Paul Hackett, 45, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years on the production count, and up to 10 years on the possession count, when he is sentenced Aug. 14 by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. He also faces a minimum of five years of post-supervision release.

From October 1998 through August 2001, Hackett knowingly coerced a girl who was 15 when the incidents began to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case.

Sixteen Polaroid photographs of the victim were found in Hackett's residence last October, Mango said.

The FBI and Buffalo Police detectives investigated.

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Falls delivery driver robbed at knifepoint

NIAGARA FALLS -- A delivery driver escaped injury when he was robbed at knifepoint by two men inside an apartment building at the 1900 block of Falls Street on Monday night.

The 45-year-old victim, a driver for Submasters on Pine Avenue, told police that he was called to make a delivery at the Falls Street location at 11 p.m. He said when he arrived he called a phone number for the delivery and a woman told him to come inside the building.

Once inside, the victim said, he was attacked by two men who put a knife to his back and demanded all his money. The thieves then went through his pockets and took approximately $70 in cash and his cellphone, he told police.

The victim said the thieves told him, "We know you got more. Let's go to your car and get it." But after searching the car they did not find anything and then fled south down 19th Street and then east through an alley.