Share this article

print logo


Woman, 47, riding bicycle struck and dragged by car

NIAGARA FALLS -- A bicyclist was seriously injured Tuesday night when she was struck and dragged by a car at Pine Avenue and 19th Street.

Lighting in the area was not a factor, said Traffic Capt. Salvatore Pino, adding that the bicyclist apparently was not following traffic safety rules.

Nordeen Harris, 47, was riding her bike northbound at about 8:30 p.m. on the sidewalk on Pine Avenue, facing traffic, and was struck by a car turning right from 19th Street onto Pine Avenue, Pino said.

Pino said the car had the green light as he slowly turned right.

Witnesses told police that when Harris got to the intersection she apparently saw the car turning at the last minute, Pino said.

"She tried to stop, but couldn't stop, so she fell off, and as she was falling, she fell into the car," Pino said. "She was run over by the car, got pinned underneath it a bit and was dragged three feet."

Harris was airlifted to Erie County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover from broken ribs and a mild head injury, Pino said. He said the 48-year-old Niagara Falls man driving the car was not at fault.

"He had the green light, and you don't expect someone to come at you, from the right as you are turning," Pino said.


$3,600 in property stolen in theft at Niagara Catholic

NIAGARA FALLS -- More than $3,600 worth of school property was stolen from the shed behind the Niagara Catholic High School field house, Niagara Falls police reported Tuesday.

Someone gained entry by unknown means and took a canvas tent, a field liner, a utility pump, and red dugout covers with the Niagara Catholic school logo on them, which alone were valued at a total of $2,500, according to school officials.

No sign of forced entry was found. Loss was estimated at $3,645.


Man's bail set at $100,000 in sex attack on woman

LOCKPORT -- Bail was set at $100,000 Wednesday for a man accused of a two-hour sexual attack on a 60-year-old woman Jan. 21 in her Niagara Falls home.

Jeffrey Brantley, 46, of Walnut Avenue in the Falls, pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court to an indictment charging him with attempted first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, and single counts of first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree burglary and petit larceny.

Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco said the victim held a statue of the Virgin Mary as she tried to convince the suspect not to attack her. The statue was broken in the struggle, Zucco said, adding that he will seek a DNA sample from Brantley for confirmatory testing. Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas will hear arguments May 23.


DWI, drug charges follow traffic stop for speeding

RANSOMVILLE -- A Ransomville man stopped for speeding was additionally charged with driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of marijuana after deputies confiscated 2 1/2 ounces of the drug Tuesday.

Paul C. Hricak Jr., 57, of Ridge Road, was stopped for driving 59 mph in a 40-mph zone at 6:50 p.m. on Youngstown-Lockport Road. Deputies said they noticed the odor of both alcohol and marijuana.

In the rear of the vehicle, deputies found two bowls used for smoking marijuana, with marijuana in them, as well as an open manila envelope with two vacuum-sealed bags, each containing an ounce of marijuana, which Hricak said he had purchased for $250. Police found him carrying another Ziplock bag with half an ounce of marijuana in a jacket pocket.

He said he had a few drinks at a Ransomville bar. Deputies said he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit.


Man, woman plead guilty to car insurance fraud

LOCKPORT -- A man and woman from the Town of Tonawanda, accused of torching their own car last year and then filing an insurance claim, pleaded guilty to fraud charges Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Wray J. Bucklaew, 24, and his live-in girlfriend, Nicole J. Cason, 25, of Longfellow Court, were living in North Tonawanda when their burned-out 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis was found in Buffalo on Nov. 14.

Assistant District Attorney Heather A. DeCastro said they filed a claim with Geico Insurance for $3,057, asserting the car had been stolen.

Bucklaew pleaded guilty to felony attempted third-degree insurance fraud, while Cason admitted to misdemeanor attempted fourth-degree insurance fraud. Both will be sentenced July 19 by Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas.


Tenant stole antique stove valued at more than $2,000

NIAGARA FALLS -- An antique stove valued at more than $2,000 was stolen by a tenant who moved out and took it with him, police reported.

A Niagara Falls woman told police Tuesday that she had evicted the tenant from the apartment in the 400 block of 23rd Street and said he moved out Monday and took the stove without her permission.

She said the kitchen ceiling also was destroyed by throwing grease on it, causing it to stain.